Ask The Biologist

Bleach Is for Laundry

Bleach Is for Laundry

By Bob Humphrey

We’ve heard of some crazy deer attractants, but this one is really out there.

QUESTION: A friend told us to put Clorox out to attract the deer. Is this true? Does it work or is it harmful for the deer?

ANSWER: I’ve heard of some wild products used as deer attractants or cover scents before, but never bleach.

Before there were bottled scents, some southerners used turpentine as a cover scent, which makes sense because it’s basically oil made from pine resin. Using scents like vanilla or anise oil as attractants seems a little more radical, as neither naturally occurs in the deer woods, yet deer are strangely attracted to them, sometimes.

While it might be a stretch, and probably quite unnecessary, ammonia might have some effect as urea breaks down into ammonia gas. However, bleach has a very strong and unnatural odor that (one would think) will almost certainly put deer on alert. I’d say stick to the store-bought scents or other home remedies and leave the bleach for disinfecting your deer processing tools.

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