The Best Deer Food: What to Feed Your Buck

You may want deer on your property, but you don’t want them to eat your plants. A lot of deer thrive just to eat anything easy for them to find. Unfortunately, they like to eat vegetables, flowers, trees, and shrubs in gardens.

If you’re looking for ways to help your deer stay healthy, there are a few different products you can buy. This article will discuss the most incredible deer feed items on the market. This will help you figure out what they like to eat, which will, in turn, help you choose the right food for your deer.

What Do Deer Like To Eat?

Deer mostly eat grass, nuts, fungi, trees, and foliage in the summer months. Depending on the deer density, feeding them grass alone might not be enough.

You can feed deer by growing their favorite foods in particular food plots. Grass, nuts, alfalfa, fungi, fruit, corn, apples, clover, leaves, sedges, and sumac foliage can all be grown. Of course, feeding deer in the winter is more difficult because, depending on where you live, these herbaceous plants may not thrive.

They will typically find shoots, tree bark, and tree buds. During this time, their diet is more likely to be supplemented with an additional feed.

The best deer feed is a nutritional mix that is easy for the animals to digest. The combination often contains oats, alfalfa, and soybeans. The manufacturer also typically adds vitamins and minerals to the feed, which helps the animals get the best nutritional content possible.

You can give the animals food all year round to ensure health. The animals will need more food during winter, but you can still provide them with food during another year.

Best Deer Feed Products Reviews

Purina Antler Advantage Feed

This feed comes in pellet form and is made of 20% protein. The high protein ratio can help bucks and fawns grow larger and stronger. Does will also be able to produce more milk for their young.

The feed has a lot of vitamins and minerals to help the animals get the most out of their food.

Both bucks have complex digestive systems that often break down most proteins too soon. However, the high ratio of amino acids in this feed ensures that the protein can be used effectively and is absorbed fully by the animals. This means they really benefit from the goodness.

Purina is a well-known and trusted animal feed brand. The high standard at which Purina deer feed is produced means that each batch has the same promise of good quality.

The feed comes in a 50lbs pack as standard. The animals are naturally attracted to apple trees, so the apple flavor of the feed will also attract them away from your fruit trees.

The feed is designed for whitetail, mule, and exotic varieties. It is meant to be used as part of a supplemental feed program with naturally occurring food to supplement the natural diet.

BIG&J Deadly Dust Sweet Corn Attractant

Big & J Deadly Dust Attractant is sweet corn and other ingredients. The powder is designed to be mixed in with your regular feed. This will make the deer come to your yard to eat.

The powder is five times sweeter than regular corn. Animals love it because it tastes sweet. The powder also has a particularly long-lasting and sweet smell that will attract herds further away, especially whitetails.

You can even use this feed on its own by placing it in a strategic spot while filming or photographing deer or near a viewing spot so you can watch them. This is one of the best deer feed products because it catches deer’s attention and keeps them coming back for more.

Rack Snack Attractant Bait Salt Lick

Rack Snack is a deer attractant that has been popular in the industry for over 10 years. People trust this product because it mimics the natural nutritional content of deer. The reviews often consider it one of the best deer feed products available.

The salt lick powder is a specific blend of ingredients in a granular state. This blend is supposed to help your animal grow and perform well by providing complete and healthy nourishment.

The powder is designed to be scattered on the ground. When it comes into contact with water or moisture, the high amount of minerals within the salt lick feed are activated. This makes it fizzy or effervescent when it touches your tongue.

Salt is effective at attracting animals. However, too much salt might obstruct the absorption of minerals and vitamins in the meal. This can also irritate the animal’s tongue. Rack Snack has found a solution to this problem by formulating their salt lick product with only 26% salt. The supplement in the product makes sure that deer are still attracted to the taste but don’t experience any irritation.

This feed is good for deer all year long. However, it is especially helpful in the spring and summer when deer are looking for water to drink.

If you live in an area where chronic wasting disease is a problem, you should avoid using this feed. This is because the disease is spread through bodily fluids, including saliva. Using a feed that encourages animals to produce more saliva will increase the risk of contaminating healthy animals.

Sportsmans Choice Record Rack Feed

This deer feed is perfect for those who manage a deer population. The Sportsman’s choice feed is designed to supplement the naturally available food. It has a 20% high-quality protein content that will help increase antler growth and improve deer body size and condition.

The game food manufacturer is proud to have its own exclusive food technology called ‘Optimum Performance Technology.’ This technology uses nutrient formulated deer food mixtures that balance critical by-pass amino acids. This, together with the organic trace minerals from bio-available sources, means that your deer herds will absorb the optimum amount of nutrients for optimum health.

Sportsman’s brand uses a lot of research to make their products. You can see this in their technical feed specifications. Furthermore, their unique manufacturing methods ensure that their feed is nutrient-rich and can sustain deer throughout the year.

Deer like to eat the rack feed because it tastes good to them. The feed stays fresh in bad weather, so the deer get important nutrients even when raining.

9 Whitetail Foods for Deer

Knowing what deer are eating is important in the fall. But in the late hunting season, it is really important. During the rut, bucks were not as interested in food because they were focused on mating. But now, and in the next few weeks, bucks are choosing food sources that will help them survive. Some secondary breeding is still happening, and bucks are still fighting and posturing. But all of this is happening near or at the best food sources in the area.

This makes hunting for white deer in the late season simpler. Not easy, necessarily, but simpler. As winter settles in, even mature bucks go on a feeding binge like no other time of year. So success in the late season is truly as straightforward as this: Find the food, and you’ll find the deer. It’s so important now that it’s more than worth your while to give up a day or two of hunting to pinpoint exactly where deer are feeding. With that in mind, here are the nine whitetail foods that are most likely to put you onto a great late-season buck.

1. Acorns

The number of acorn corp has been dropping since fall. This has made some deer hunters think that the show is over. However, there are plenty of nuts unless you hunt where oaks are rare, or the good crop is particularly poor. You should not expect to find many white-oak acorns now, as well as oak trees. Instead, concentrate on red oaks, which frequently throw a bigger crop that can last through winter and into the following spring.

You should spend a couple of hours looking for stands of tall, mature red oaks during the day. Oaks are easy to spot this time of year because their brown leaves are often the only foliage still clinging to the otherwise bare trees. You can also identify which oak flats or individual trees deer are hitting hardest this time of year. Because you’ll see a lot of obvious feeding signs, with leaves churned up and pawed at.

You should only stay in an area if you think deer are hitting it hard. If you see a rub or two near the area, it means that there are deer there. If it’s snowing, the mission is simpler because you can see the deer’s trails to get to the acorns.

2. Alfalfa

Alfalfa bales are a good feed for deer. They are much better than corn or hay. Alfalfa is easy to digest, but it won’t be cheap. It has a 15-20% protein content depending on the cut. Any alfalfa farmer will tell you that alfalfa can attract deer just as well as any other type of feed.

3. Apples

Many hunters think of apples as a sign that fall is coming. This is because apple trees usually produce fruit during this season. Hunters should remember to check for trails leading to late-bearing apple trees, as deer will be attracted to them during the post-rut. Crab apples are also a good food source for deer during the late season.

4. Soybeans

Soybeans have a lot of protein in them. They also grow close to the ground, so deer can eat them easily. But if there are other food sources around, the deer might not eat the soybeans.

5. Brassicas

Brassicas are a perfect food plot seed for the winter months. Deer largely ignore their leaves in summer and early fall, but after they get hit with a frost or two, deer are all over them. They also provide more sheer tonnage of food per acre than almost anything. But be warned–you’ll need to rotate your deer food plot crops, as planting brassicas several years in a row will result in disease or decreased production.

6. Corn

Corn is a food source that is obvious for farm country deer. However, it is not always an easy choice for them. Deer prefer to eat the corn feed or kernels on the ground instead of on a cob. This means that they are attracted to cornfields that have been picked but not plowed. However, hunting in standing cornfields can be successful when deer do not have many choices in very cold weather.

7. Hard/Woody Browse

Woody browse is a food source that is often overlooked. This is the food that deer evolved to eat to sustain them through the winter. They often choose this food over other, better-looking options like deer food plots and farm crops.

You need to be careful if you have poplar, maple, young white cedar, or Douglas fir saplings near your home. Deers love to eat these plants, and they will focus on them if they are feeling pressured or if the weather is warm.

8. Shrub/Brushy Browse

There are many types of plants that deer love to eat. The Japanese honeysuckle, dewberry, dogwood, blackberry cane, and Oregon grape. And it can be found in most regions of the United States. In my area, honeysuckle leaves remain green late season and provide bedding and security cover for hungry whitetails.

9. Local Winter Favorites

Whitetails are experts at choosing the food that gives them just what they need at a specific time. Some of these food sources are not chosen very often, but they are important for the deer during certain times of the year. Red flowers called “candles” on a woody sumac stem are like deer candy in northern states. They grow on slopes that whitetails prefer for bedding, especially during cold snaps.

In the lower Midwest, honey locust pods become a preferred food for deer in December. Deer often step over the pods as they travel to farm fields. Keep an eye out for other quirky food sources that deer might be eating in your area, and you might add one more hotspot to your late-season deer lineup.

Final Thoughts

You can feed the animals yourself by making your own deer feed, just make sure to perform a soil test before planting deer food. But if you want to attract and keep deer on your property, it is a good idea to use one of the best deer feed products. These products can help supplement the animals’ natural diet, which is especially important in winter when there is not much vegetation.

Deer need to eat a lot to stay healthy, so you need to make sure they have food all year round. Putting the deer feed in slowly will help them get used to it. When the winter comes and they need more food, they will be OK eating the deer feed.

Deer feed comes in a variety of forms. Some of the ones we reviewed can be used by themselves, while others are meant to be mixed in with other foods you are using.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Deer Food

What Is the Best Thing to Feed Deer?

Deer need a healthy mix of fiber and carbohydrates to stay healthy. They eat a lot of different things in nature, like apples, grapes, cherries, peas, carrots, and snap peas. Another safe food source for deer is acorns.

What Can I Feed My Backyard Deer in the Wild?

A deer will mainly use its fat reserves for energy, but it still needs to eat. The deer eats mostly woody browse, like blackberries and greenbriers, and saplings this time of year.

What Is the Best Food for Deer in the Winter?

Deer eat woody browse in the winter. This can be leaves, berries, saplings, bulbs, or buds. In wintertime, they will eat food from the ground. They can also have some lush forage such as kale, radish, turnips, apples, or cabbage if it is available.

What Food Smells Attract Deer?

There are some scents that you can use to attract deer. Some stores sell scented deer corn, like orange-flavored corn. Deer love the smell of apples, so products with apple flavoring, like corn and liquids, help attract them.

Do Deer Eat Carrots?

Carrots are a good vegetable to feed deer. They are root vegetables and can be found in different colors like orange, purple, red, and yellow. Deer will dig them up and eat them once they are in a carrot garden.

Do Deer Eat Apples Whole?

If a deer finds a whole apple, it will eat it. Deer are not very picky when it comes to food, so they’ll eat anything edible. If a deer eats too many apples, it might starve because apples are not nutritious.

Will Deer Eat Straw Bales?

Feeding deer hay or straw during the winter can make them starve. This food source does not have as much nutritional value as natural browse species. There are peer-reviewed sources that say deer have been found dead with a full stomach of hay/straw.

Does Supplemental Feeding Help Deer?

Feeding deer high-quality supplemental feed can help improve their nutritional health. In some cases, it can increase the size of their antlers, but this only works if the deer are not too old. Deer need access to good nutrition to stay healthy.

What Happens if Deer Eat Bread?

The deer are attracted to the people who hand out food. This often causes more deer in an area than the area can support. When there is too much food, the deer’s stomachs become overloaded with sugars and starches. Many deer die within three days because of this.