What Do Deer Eat In The Summer?

What do deer eat in the summer? In this article, we will discuss their favorite diets during the sunny season.

Deer have one of the most amazing palates ever. Their diets change with each season, and the summer is no different, even though there is more to eat. It is also astonishing that these majestic creatures can eat anywhere from three to ten pounds of food daily. Their food consumption is usually average during the summer and may increase during the fall to prepare for the harsh winter months. However, you may question – what do deer eat in the summer? In this article, we will help you unravel that mystery.

What do deer eat in the summer?

According to a study from the University of Missouri Extension, the whitetail deer can dine on over 600 plant species. In a day, deer eat as much as 20 different plant varieties to gather adequate nutrients. The abundance of food in the summer makes it easy for them to eat up as much as they want.

Nevertheless, you must know that deer would never snack on well-established crops. If they go after corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, alfalfa, they will preferably eat the ones found on the ground. Deer feed on them as a form of snack-time satisfaction. Mushrooms can also be used as snacks, although; they will more likely eat a lot more during the fall season than the summer.

Deer also eat fruits from ash, hemlock, sumac, maple, aspen and ground-bearing fruit like strawberry and raspberry plants. In spring, you may find deer feeding on grass varieties, but they prefer soft stems for summer.

Deer may also feed on fruit trees such as plum bushes, pears, apples, and crab apples. These are their sources for carbohydrates during summer.

Deer usually forage for their meals at dawn and dusk. They also move about a lot and preferably feed when they believe there is no predator around. Therefore, it is possible to see them rapidly feed on something before moving along to another area.

Protein feeding variety

Protein is also an essential aspect of their meals. Females require lots of protein, especially around weeks before giving birth and during the lactation period. Bucks need protein to regrow their antlers during summer and spring. To make up their protein need, most deer feed on winter wheat, soybeans, rye, brassica, clover, and alfalfa. Generally, they feed on as many plant species as they can find close to the ground.

Nevertheless, deer may also feed on lichen and forms. However, they usually seek these at specific times of the year, especially during winter.

Concluding thoughts

So, what do deer eat in summer? Usually deer feed on corn, soybeans, rye, alfalfa, berries, bark, legumes, and many more. However, they also feed on apples, crab apples, plum bushes, and mushrooms. Generally, deer eat almost everything they can find closer to the ground. Like goats, they love browsing around for their meals but also feed on fruits as well.


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