Tips & Tactics

Divine Fruit, Divine — Rub?

Divine Fruit, Divine — Rub?

By Greg Lawrentz

Whitetails LOVE persimmons! That’s why I rub them on my boots and clothing. The smell is natural and serves as both a cover scent and an attractant.

– Editor’s Note: by Tim H. Martin

Greg’s use of persimmons to rub on his hunting clothes sounds sticky, but given how much deer love them, maybe he’s on to something.

I know that when persimmons are dropping, bowhunters should do everything in their power to set up nearby. Persimmons might be the most powerful edible attractant growing naturally in the whitetail woods.

Once, during bow season, I witnessed a coyote appear in broad daylight to gobble persimmons rotting on the ground. As the coyote chomped nervously, a herd of wild hogs interrupted his meal and took over the feast.

Keep in mind these are nocturnal animals, especially during hunting season, so their willingness to risk being seen by humans tells you something about the power of the persimmon.

Here’s more on persimmons by wildlife biologist Bob Humphrey. Bob is the man who answers questions from fans in Buckmasters’ Ask the Biologist.

Persimmons: Divine Fruit? – By Bob Humphrey

The scientific name of the persimmon is Diospyros, which means, "divine fruit" or "fruit of the gods." I think most whitetails would agree. I've been at this game for a while now and have yet to find a more attractive natural food.

Persimmons are highly astringent and bitter, and deer will all but ignore them until they ripen. Then something magical happens. The ripe fruits become deliciously sweet and drop to the ground where deer and other wildlife will quickly gobble them up.

I first experienced how desirable persimmons are while on a Kansas hunt. Deer were all but ignoring the corn and soybean fields we were hunting until after dark. Then we found a persimmon patch.

The first afternoon I observed a dozen different racked bucks and countless does and fawns coming straight to the persimmons — all well before dark.

The down side is that this bounty won't last long. I'm a big proponent of not overhunting a stand. I rarely hunt the same one on consecutive days, but with ripe persimmons I would make an exception. I would hunt it every day until the fruit is gone. It probably won't take more than a couple of days before you see what you're after.

If you have a unique or special tip you’d like to share with Buckmasters fans, please email it to and, if chosen, we will send you a cap signed by Jackie Bushman, along with a knife!

Read Recent Tip of the Week:
A Heads Up on Tree Safety: Hunters spend many hours keeping our treestands safely maintained. But here’s a heads up on an often-overlooked aspect of tree safety.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd