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10 Things Deer Like to Eat Most

Deers are notoriously averse to eating edible plants and can quickly devour your vegetable garden, flowers, and shrubbery without warning. Whether they frequent your property or not, learning to identify and protect plants on their menu is critical to protecting those you value most. Guide on what deer eat?

Forbs are a staple in deer diets during the spring and summer months. To learn more on this subject, see “Stomach Samples From East Feliciana Parish.”

1. Acorns

Acorns provide deer with ample protein and fat while offering abundant carbohydrates. Deer can digest them by secreting tannic acid into their stomach to break down proteins and other nutrients before being sent down the small intestine to be absorbed by their bodies.

Different species of acorns contain differing levels of tannic acid, which affects how deer react to them. To attract whitetail deer to your food plots, look for those with lower concentrations. White oak acorns rank the highest on the palatability scale because they produce large crops every third year.

2. Persimmons

Deer are attracted to persimmons because of their abundant source of vitamin C and other nutritional components like calcium and iron. Persimmons serve as an invaluable source of food in autumn when other sources are scarce, providing deer with an alternative source of sustenance.

Gardeners should place these trees in open areas so deer can easily access them while making sure the fruits ripen properly with a pleasing smell that attracts them.

Fuyu or Hachiya Japanese Persimmons are ideal for this purpose, maturing between October and November and being hardy across USDA zones 6-10.

3. Clover

Clover provides deer with high concentrations of protein and calcium that they need for antler growth and fawning, especially in spring and summer when these essential nutrients are most needed. Furthermore, it contains lignans with estrogenic activity, providing additional help for female deer.

Clover plants are simple to cultivate in food plots, helping keep weeds at bay by competing for resources with them. Mowing regularly keeps clover plots looking their best. Clover tolerates heavy browsing well in areas experiencing heavy deer pressure – another significant advantage.

4. Wild Crabapple

Deers need variety in their diets, and this plant provides them with that diversity. Their sweet and juicy fruit is especially loved by deer living nearby.

Crab apple trees make an attractive hedge, and their thorns can help deter deer from grazing in your garden. Planting deer-repelling plants or trees around it may also prove effective.

Wild crabapple attracts honeybees, bumblebees, long-tongued bees, and butterflies; its flowers also draw caterpillars of various moth species.

5. Dogwood

Dogwood trees are considered deer resistant, as their scent deters deer from feeding on them. Furthermore, being taller than most shrubs means that deer cannot reach them or cause damage.

Dogwood berries are lovely to wildlife and provide high-energy food sources during fall and winter when other sources become scarcer, thus making them extremely popular among hunters. What do you consider about deer are herbivores.

6. Asters

Asters contain essential minerals and vitamins that support deer health, giving them energy during colder seasons.

Asters such as New England or Stokes Asters offer succulent, thick stems that deer find irresistibly delicious – not to mention easy to chew – making them attractive food sources.

Deer will feed on aster plants during the fall season when other sources of nourishment become scarcer due to their filling and nutritional value. To protect them from eating them, erect a fence at least six feet high around them and your aster plants.

7. Roses

Deer love eating all types of roses, particularly fresh blooms. Not only are they an irresistibly delectable treat for them, but they provide essential nutrition such as calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, folate acid, and potassium – crucial elements for their survival!

Use deer-repelling plants such as lavender, sage, mint, hostas, and iris to create a barrier around your roses to keep them safe from nibblers. Ultrasonic repellers emit frequencies deer don’t like and will quickly scare them off your garden with little maintenance after installation. These solutions require little upkeep after setup!

8. Vegetables

White-tailed deer are herbivores, so their diets typically consist of grasses, vegetation, forbs, nuts, grains, and acorns.

Beans (Pisum sativum) are another favorite food source of deer. These cool-season crops come in many varieties that appeal to does, stags, and fawns alike.

Broccoli is an abundantly nutritious cold-season brassica crop that benefits from soil rich in organic matter, just like cabbages are. Both are deer favorites; English Ivy (Hedera Helix) also attracts them due to its delicious leaves and flowers, which they find irresistible.

9. Flowers with broad petals

Deer enjoy the delicious flavor of flowers because it stimulates their stomachs and rumen. As buds, leaves, twigs, and stems appear, they eat them, later moving onto shrubs and vines during fall and winter.

Lantana is an annual flower that produces vibrantly hued blooms with broad, smooth flowers that boast soft, touchable leaves.

Irises are another hardy perennial plant with an assortment of color varieties. In spring and summer, iris flowers attract beneficial insects that deer shy away from.

10. Smell

Deer will eat almost anything, yet they have unique preferences you might find surprising. For instance, they prefer flowers with either no scent or a light fragrance compared to roses with solid aromas that they will avoid altogether.

Alfalfa is a top-rated food source among deer, who devour this legume all fall and winter; dogwoods provide important browse species in the eastern half of the United States, while red osier vine is vital in western states. Furthermore, young deer produce high-pitched bleats to communicate with their mothers, while mature bucks grunt their sounds when mating or grunt patterns that differ according to the animal.

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