Deer Magnets

It is no secret that whitetail deer love apples. We have several apple trees on our property that we planted a number of years ago and the deer have visited them every year.

One of my early bowhunting memories is of my trying to ambush a spike buck that visited an early harvest apple tree that was in the middle of our hayfield. I hid behind an old grape harbor until he finally showed up and put an arrow just below his belly.

It has been our experience that when the apples are falling from the trees deer may show up to check the ground for fallen apples any time of the day.

We have a few different varieties of apple trees and the deer do not seem to show a preference in the apples that they eat. Any available or reachable apple is fair game. They have even eaten the leaves that they can reach.

Every once in a while a hard frost, while the apple trees are in bloom, will destroy the apple crop. Fortunately we have had at least a couple of trees still produce for the last several years.

Several years ago I found a big old apple tree way down in the hollow about as far away from civilization as you can get from our house. I would have had to been blind not to have seen the muddy trails coming to the tree. I have never hunted near this tree due to its location and do not know whether or not it is still bearing fruit. I believe that the remote location of this old tree added to the attractiveness to the deer. If I’m ever looking for a gut busting drag I’ll go down there and hunt near this tree in early bow season.

I also found two old apple trees near one of my favorite hunting spots a couple of years ago. I tried to clear away some of the nearby trees to give them some much needed sunlight a couple of winters ago.

Most of our apple trees are getting old so we’re planning on planting some more next spring. I’ll probably plant some near my favorite hunting spots also. Our biggest hurdle will be protecting them while they are young. No one has yet explained to the deer that they need to let fruit trees grow so that they can eat the fruit later. I guess they are just like us, they want everything now. Some wire fencing should do just fine. I love seeing fresh rubs on trees come fall, but I don’t want to see them on our new apple trees.

In the spring of 2005 we have planted six new apple trees. We planted two gala, two red delicious, one ginger gold and one granny smith apple tree. We didn't choose these varieties for what we thought the deer would like, we picked them for us. I don't think the deer will mind.

So far they look pretty good, they looked healthy when we recieved them and planted them. We ordered them from Nature Hills Nursery over the internet. You can Order Fruit Trees. Apple, Cherry, and more! here from Nature Hills.

This is a photo of one of our new apple trees two weeks after I had planted it.

New apple tree

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