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April 21, 2020 2 min read

Deer can eat over 600 plant species, and we will list most of them in this exciting article.

The forest is the home to diverse animals and plants, and the deer species is never left behind. Deer are graceful, and majestic, and found in all continents except Antarctica. You can even see at least one indigenous representative in each of these continents. However, you may have questions like; what do deer eat in the forest? How do they source for their food? How about season changes? In this article, we will shed insights to answer all of these questions.

What do deer eat in the forest?

Deer eat as much as they can out of almost all plant species, except for toxic plants. They are herbivores that feed and regurgitate their food. They are also known for never staying in one place for too long (except during the winter). These constant movements and their ability to travel in herds help keep predators in check.

You must also note that deer consume over five to eight pounds of food for every 100 pounds of body weight daily. They also need lots of water, although that need is partially satisfied by the water content in plants.
If, for any reason, deer have to feed on farm crops, they will most likely feed on the edges and slip back into the woods whenever they sense danger. To keep them off your property, you can erect fences or plant tall plants.

Favorite meals?

Beyond farm crops, their meals are primarily divided into different parts:
Preferred forest deer foods White pine, maples, yellow birch, viburnums, dogwood, and sumac Medium-quality foods Jack pine, oaks, aspen, ash, white birch, and witch hazel Starvation diet beech, spruce, balsam fir, red pine, tag alder, and leather leaf.

Bear in mind that their diets are not restricted to these lists. Their diet depends on the type of season and the most available food source. For instance, in winter, most deer will seek out lichens for most of their nourishment. Deer also eat lichen, which is the moss-like growth found on dead or dying aspen and spruce trees.

In fall, deer may also increase their mushroom diet to increase fat deposits in preparation for winter.

Fruits also form a large part of their diet. Most deer favor fruit such as apples, crab apples, persimmons, sumac, and many more. They can even eat vegetables like carrot, cabbage, potatoes, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, rye, etc.

Concluding thoughts

What do deer eat in the forest? Deer eat almost ever plant-based food source in the woods. They are not picky eaters and would likely snack on whatever they find. However, deer preferably eat the twigs, buds, and fruits from white pine, maples, yellow birch, viburnums, dogwood, and sumac. Their diet also changes with the different seasons. In the fall, they increase their consumption to prepare for the winter. During the winter season, they make do with small buds, twigs, fallen leaves, lichen, and anything they can find.