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I have access to several hundred pounds of wheat that I was going to plant (if it will grow in this area) Just Curious if they will eat it?
Here in Kansas in December, a wheat field is a gold mine. All the other crops have been cut and most of the fields have been turned under. A green wheat field will have deer in it every evening and morning and of course all through the night.
One of the things that always amazes me is the differnece in deer eating wheat from west to east. Here in Ontario where I live deer tend to not eat/prefer wheat. In Manitoba wheat fields are amoung the most popular for deer.
winter wheat, rye, barley get hit hard, as the only source of sweet green stuff, here in SW VA, in September thru November, then again late Feb thru March..... field egdes are great places to shed-hunt in late winter
"Do Deer eat wheat?"
Does a bear s*^t in the woods? :)
While I have never actually seen one do it, I firmly believe the answer is yes.
Having hunted Mule, Whitetail, and Blacktail Deer, I can tell you all three of these species will eat darn near everything.
Sure, they have their preferences, but come frigid temps, drought, or high water, they WILL eat what is available.
Deer will eat just about anything that slows down long enough. That's why, in some places, they are called "rats with hooves."
Deer are primarily browsers (sticks and leaves), but will graze a bit (Whitetail = 12% and Mule Deer = 10% according to the Texas A&M Extension study). This definitely varys based on the time of year and how much browse, forbs, and grass is available.
So yes, deer will graze on wheat especially winter wheat that is young and green in the late fall.
Winter wheat is a great food source about January, February,and March around here. When it gets green and is about 4-5 inches tall, the deer love it. It has an added bonus because it is a great place to find sheds if you like to shed hunt after regular season.
They'll eat it in IL.
"deer will eat that winter wheat; they will eat it on a plain, and in the rain, they will eat it before the rye, and when knee-high, deer will eat that winter wheat, try it, try it, and you will know, it will make those big racks grow"
I always plant either wheat or barley for a cover crop and the deer love it. I don't plant it until September and it is lush and green by October.
That's why, in some places, they are called "rats with hooves."
One of the private pieces I hunt on regularly has a landowner that can't stand deer. They decimate his small apple orchard.
He calls them "corn rats."
Winter wheat in my opinion is one reason Kansas has the quality of deer we have. As mentioned in an earlier post is one plant that continues to grow after the first frost. Come Feb most of the sightings of both deer and turkey will be on winter wheat around here.
We plant winter wheat and winter rye side by side. There are 10 deer in the rye for every 1 in the wheat. (at least by us in Wisconsin)
OK, canyonoddler, I'll change my rhyme :
"deer will eat that winter wheat; they will eat it on a plain, and in the rain, few will eat it beside the rye, or when knee-high, but deer will eat that winter wheat, try it, try it, and you will know, it will make those big racks grow"
They will eat it and if you are asking if it is worth hunting over, YES.
I always plant about 20 acres of oats for the deer on my place and several years decided to plant winter wheat instead. The deer eat the wheat very good until it started getting up about 4-6 inches and then quit eating it. I think it got too tough. On oats, they kept it eaten down and stayed on it until early spring. Even when the wheat headed out, the deer still left it along. allen
Same story as most for Mississippi. Great for hunting over in January. They live in it for most of the month and into Feb when its <1'. As it gets tall, they stay out. One other bonus, if you leave it up in spring, the fawns hide in it. I have seen them on the edges, in the middle, etc.
the young wheat has a lot of malt sugars in it, tastes sweet, after thT THEY SEEM TO PREFER RYE OR OTHER GRAIN-GRASSES
welka You are very correct about fawns bedding in the wheat! I run lots of them out of the wheat fields with the combine every june.