Vanilla Extract, Real vs Imitation- Does it Matter?

Thread starter #1
I know this topic has been brought up a few times, but I'm just curious of the people that use vanilla, do you use the real stuff, or the $0.99/bottle baking imitation stuff?

Lots of folks on here say that the real stuff is the only stuff that works. I've been using the imitation stuff and it seems to work. I covered my boots last week w/ it and had 9 deer walk straight to my stand... using the trail I used. Who knows???


Senior Member
When I was a kid my dad used to buy this stuff called Cover Up. It came in a little white plastic bottle with this green liquid. It smelled a lot like vanilla, but not as strong as regular vanilla. We never had a problem with deer winding us at all. But I have not seen it anywhere for the last 20 years. I am sure that either regular or immitation would work fine. I don't think that it would take to much of it either. Just enough for it to overcome your natural smell.
I use the imitation and have killed maybe 7 or 8 does during early season and 2 or 3 bucks following the does in rut. All in years past, not just one season. It's an all season lure, bring in the bait, shoot the bucks chasing the bait.

Bait being does that is...
I have used it before and never seen a deer....almost felt as if it is was too strong and warded them off.

That's why I cut it with water!

And also, in the off-season, when we put corn out we also spray the extract around the corn and feeding area. That way, when the deer smell the vanilla, the associate the smell with the food.


Senior Member
seems like a strange odor like vanilla that deer have never smelled before would scare em off kind of like useing apple scent where there are no apple trees.
Curious sweet smell .I use both and have had good results .Deer like sweet .


Senior Member
imma believer in it and have been using it for years my mama showed me how to make it instead of buying it and we have been doin it for years.But i can't tell you how many deer that i have had walk straight to the bushes that i had sprayed over the years.Or walk up and smell the air licking the lips tring to find out the smell try it you wont regret it


Senior Member
1 5th of of grain liquor and 3 vanilla beans it takes a while to can add pure vanilla to the bottle just to speed up making it.good luck
I have had as good luck with the big bottles of imitation vanilla as I have had with any of the commercial deer lures.

I have never seen it spook a deer, I have seen it draw a deer right to it and I have also seen zero results(Most common)just like with the high priced stuff.


Senior Member
If deer are in smelling distance, and there is no other foreign odors (artificially made), they will make a bee line for it.... especially during early season.

However, don't spray it near you during early season- it does attract yellow jackets. A bush or a branch near you will work.


Senior Member
Vanilla Extract, Real vs Imitation- Does it Matter?

oh.... for hunting.

I cannot get my wife to buy the cheep stuff.


Senior Member
I don't see why it would matter; imitation or pure vanilla extract are both exotic smells that attracts a deer based on curiousity. I know the imitation stuff lasts longer.