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 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 don't seem to show a preference in the apples that they eat. Any available or reachable apple is fair game. They've 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. Some years we have a great apple crop, while other years have absolutely nothing. When we have a lot of apples we get to see a lot of deer.

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 believe that the remote location of this old tree added to the attractiveness to the deer. I never hunted near this tree due to its location. Last fall we took a walk to this part of our property and found that the tree had finally succumbed to age.

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, but it didn't work.

Most of our apple trees are getting old so we’ve planted a few more the past couple of years. Last year they finally started to produce. Our biggest hurdle has been protecting them while they are young. No one has yet explained to the deer that they need to let fruit trees grow so they can eat the fruit later. I guess they are just like us, they want everything now. I love seeing fresh rubs on trees come fall, but I don’t want to see them on our new apple trees so we wrap them with corn feed bags and the bucks leave them alone.

This is a photo of an apple tree that we planted several years ago. It has started producing apples, but it's remote location leaves it open for apple theft by every animal out there. The other tree we planted in the same area died in 2015 after looking real healthy since we planted it. We don't know what happened.

New apple tree

Return from Whitetail Deer and Apples to Whitetail Habitat Improvement.