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Placing Bait for Deer

If the deer only come to your tree stand at night what can a person do? I was told to cover your apples at night with blankets. Tie a rope to the blanket and when morning comes and I am in my stand to just pull the blanket away with the rope. I was told, when I climb out of my tree stand, to put the blanket back in the evening.

I don’t usually have too many apples to give the deer so how many apples should I put down? Again I was told 4 buckets first until they come every day, then cut down to one bucket.

I know the deer might taste better but money wise I can afford that many apples every day. It might sound cheap, but I’m on a strict budget.


This question has to do with baiting deer and the proper amount of bait to use. I personally do not hunt over bait piles, but I do provide food plots on my deer hunting property, some in areas I hunt and others in areas that I do not hunt.

Check Regulations

Make sure to read your local deer hunting rules and regulations to see how much bait a deer hunter in your area can put out at his bait site (or if baiting is allowed). Many states have rules and regulations regarding maximum amounts of bait a deer hunter can place while deer hunting.

In my state for example, deer hunters are allowed to put out up to 2 gallons of bait. Baiting is only allowed in certain areas. There are certain deer hunting zones where baiting is not allowed at all.

Deer Bait on a Budget

If your deer hunting area has no limits as to the amount of bait you can put out, a large pile of apples is better than a small one. The more bait you have out, the longer it will last between refills.

If money is tight, try the two gallon option. Two gallons of apples is about 10 pounds or so and should be enough to draw in deer. However, if there are a lot of deer in your hunting area, two gallons could disappear very quickly.

If you have a local orchard near your home you may want to check if they have apples that can not be sold for human consumption. Often times, orchards will sell these very inexpensively. Another cost-savings tip is to see if you can make arrangements to pick up the apples from the ground that can’t be sold. This could save the orchard on labor costs.

Another source for apples in the fall could be your local feed store. My local feed store gave me five 50 pound bags of soft, half-rotten apples free when I bought some shell corn. The deer loved them, and the price was definitely right.

Deer Bait Tips

Trying to program deer to come in and feed during shooting hours can be a challenge. The idea of you covering your apples at night with a blanket has some merit. There is a deer feeder on the market now called the Nocturnal Nightmare. You can program the feeder to close its lid at dusk and to open the lid during daylight hours.

The theory is deer will get used to coming in during daytime hours to feed, thus providing a deer hunter with a shot.

Covering your bait pile with a heavy blanket could work. As long as you are using a very heavy blanket the deer can’t move aside, it should work to protect your bait.

Covering the bait with a blanket will not work if you have bear in your deer hunting woods. Bear will simply pull off the blanket and feast on your deer bait.

Using a blanket could pose other issues for you while you are out deer hunting. Introducing something new, such as a heavy blanket, to your hunting area during deer season could affect deer behavior. Deer may shy away from the area if they see a large mass sitting on the ground or hanging in a tree.

I feel the best way to keep your bait site stocked is to bring in the bait each morning. Instead of putting out a truck full of bait at one time, bring 2 ice cream pails with you each day. This way you know you will have bait to hunt over when you are on your tree stand. Deer may get used to smelling the apples each morning when you arrive at your treestand, prompting them to get out of their beds to have a bite.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Posted by Marty Prokop


How do I get those alfalfa seeds? Do we have any in canada ? How much does it cost?


Posted by: marcel at March 9, 2007 5:00 PM


I recently posted a comment on the blog concerning food plots and how to choose the best seeds for your area.

There are different blends of seed for use as food plots. Each particular blend has its own pricing.

In one of my recent newsletters I talked about how a hunter goes about choosing which seed will work best in his hunting area. You can view the whole newsletter by following this link

Copy and paste the whole link into your internet browser and you will be taken to the newsletter "How to Grow Quality Food Plots"

Soon I may be offering food plot seed developed to grow very well in the northern part of the United States and in Canada and seed that grows well throughout the United States. I will let you know as soon as this becomes available through www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com .

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Posted by: Marty Prokop at March 9, 2007 5:54 PM

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