Do Deer Eat Hickory Nuts?

Jasmine Okechukwu
Do Deers Eat Hickory Nuts?

It is a wonder whether hickory nuts are on the menu for deers, as we are quite aware of the fact that deers are purely herbivores and grazers. Deers do eat most plant-based meals available to them, these foragers are known to eat shrubs, tree leaves, fruits, vegetables, nuts and so many more.

Over time, there has been confusion surrounding whether deers can eat hickory nuts, many believe that hickory nut is on the food chart for deers, while others have reported that deers do munch hickory nuts.

To clear your doubts we will be providing answers to the question; do deers eat hickory nuts?

Quick answer: Yes, deers do eat hickory nuts but it is usually not at the top of the list of meals they prefer to eat. You can only find a deer munching on hickory nuts when there is really nothing else it can find to feed on.

This is because deers find it hard to break the hard shells, and the taste is not as appealing as the other kinds of edible nuts. On that note, if you wish to feed deer with hickory nuts, it is best to crack them open first to encourage the deer to eat them.

Hickory nuts really aren’t a deer’s favorite, in this article you are sure to find out all you need to find out about deer and hickory nuts as well as other nuts that they love to eat.

Are Hickory Nuts Good For Deers?

Deers do not always find hickory nuts alluring, but this doesn’t mean that doesn’t provide the necessary nutritional needs to deers. In drought season, deers usually find it hard to resist hickory nuts.

One of the major reasons why deer will pass on hickory nuts is its tough shell which is very hard for them to break. It is a bit of a struggle to get to crack open the nut, this is why they will prefer to eat the stems, and buds, rather than the nuts.

However, deers may find pig nut hickory more palatable than other kinds of hickory nuts because it has a thin shell they can easily break through. Hickory nuts are good for deers and it poses no dangers to their health. During winter and fall, you shouldn’t be surprised to see deers desperately chowing on them.

What Other Nuts Do Deers Eat?

If you are trying to attract some deers, it is best to have a good knowledge of the nuts that deers find more relishing than hickory nuts.

1. Beechnut

Beech nuts are a great source of proteins, fat, and sugar, it is one of the most cherished meals for deers. It is very common to find deer hanging around beech trees as it provides them with the basic nourishment they need.

In the fall, there is usually a scarcity of food in the wild, deers can be found eating the twigs, leaves, and bark of beech trees. However, the main goal for deers is the beechnut and the crop mast from a beech tree.

2. Acorns

Acorns also interest deers, and they are grossly attracted to them. Acorns provide a lot of necessary nutrients to sustain deers. In all seasons, you will find deer foraging for acorns as they are mostly available to them all year round. If your intention is to attract deers, you have to be sure the acorn is from a palatable oak tree, as deers do not find all acorns edible based on the level of tannic acid.

3. Hazelnuts

The nutrients found in hazelnuts are of high quality and this made hazelnuts of the top priority for deers. Deers would literarily do anything to have hazelnut in their mouth, they are very much attracted to this nut. They are also fond of destroying the plant especially when it is young as they find the seeds, twigs, and leaves interesting as well.

4. Chestnuts

Chestnuts are another favorite nut for deer. Hickory nut might not always do the trick but with chestnuts, it’s a different story. Deers benefit a lot of nutrients from consuming chestnuts, as they are high in carbohydrate, protein, and fats. Chestnuts are also very tasty, and this has made them a top choice for deers at all times.

5. Peanuts

Although this peanut is not a true nut and is categorized as a legume, deers love eating them. Shell or not, deers will surely munch on peanuts as they seem to be one of their favorites. Peanuts are very rich in protein which is one essential nutrient required for both humans and animals.

The nutrients in peanuts can help deers get through very cold seasons and also sustain them. The leaves and vines of a peanut plant are also edible for deers and they would mind eating the entire plant. If you wish to attract deers to a particular spot, then some peanuts would do the trick, but if you are growing peanuts you might have to take some repelling measures to keep the deers away.

Final Note

Hickory nuts are not nuts that deers will eat except they are left with no other choice. These foragers do not absolutely like the taste and smell of hickory nuts and the fact that the shells are tough to break just makes it least preferred.

However, it is best to know that hickory nuts do not repel deers, infact deers will eat them if there’s no other food to eat in wild. This article mentions some of the nuts and legume that deers are crazy about.

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