Sitka Gear
Do they eat black walnuts?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
MNRazorhead 14-Aug-13
Joey Ward 14-Aug-13
turkulese 14-Aug-13
nchunter 14-Aug-13
Bowhunner 14-Aug-13
mn trucker 14-Aug-13
sundowner 14-Aug-13
voodoochile 14-Aug-13
CAS_HNTR 14-Aug-13
Siouxme 14-Aug-13
TMA1010@home 14-Aug-13
tonyo6302 14-Aug-13
huntinnut 14-Aug-13
huntinnut 14-Aug-13
rooster 15-Aug-13
kellyharris 15-Aug-13
kellyharris 15-Aug-13
JusPassin 15-Aug-13
voodoochile 15-Aug-13
MNRazorhead 16-Aug-13
tonyo6302 16-Aug-13
writer 16-Aug-13
t-roy 16-Aug-13
Bou'bound 17-Aug-13
writer 17-Aug-13
SANDMAN 17-Aug-13
bowriter 18-Aug-13
MNRazorhead 19-Aug-13
bill brown 19-Aug-13
stealthycat 19-Aug-13
kkabello 27-Oct-23
csalem 27-Oct-23
fuzzy 27-Oct-23
rooster 27-Oct-23
Dale06 27-Oct-23
sitO 27-Oct-23
Zbone 27-Oct-23
t-roy 28-Oct-23
Corax_latrans 28-Oct-23
Jeff Durnell 28-Oct-23
Zbone 28-Oct-23
otcbowhunter 29-Oct-23
otcbowhunter 29-Oct-23
Zbone 29-Oct-23
buckeye 29-Oct-23
Supernaut 29-Oct-23
Catscratch 29-Oct-23
fuzzy 30-Oct-23
t-roy 30-Oct-23
fuzzy 01-Nov-23
Catscratch 01-Nov-23
t-roy 01-Nov-23
Corax_latrans 01-Nov-23
OTC_Bowhunter 03-Nov-23
Corax_latrans 03-Nov-23
Zbone 03-Nov-23
From: MNRazorhead
14-Aug-13
I've got a new spot that has a bunch of black walnut trees. I've never hunted around black walnuts but know that they have a formidable husk and shell. Can/do whitetails eat them, or do they get left to the squirrels?

From: Joey Ward
14-Aug-13
They'd both have to fight me for 'em. :-)

From: turkulese
14-Aug-13
You've just found yourself a gold mine.... in lumber value.

From: nchunter
14-Aug-13
The hardest shell I know of is a hickory nut. My hunting buddy said he watched a deer for hours crunching the nuts to eat the meat. I have a stand in a walnut tree which drops almost every year and i have yet to see a deer eating the walnuts

From: Bowhunner
14-Aug-13
I'm not sure about black walnuts. I would doubt it. Of course someone told me that deer won't eat the acorns off Burr Oak trees unless they absolutely have to. I found out different as I observed several deer eating lots of them when corn and soybeans were green and within 200 yeards of them.

Deer like variety in their diet for sure so who knows they might eat walnuts too.

From: mn trucker
14-Aug-13
are we hunting the same spot? i just hung a stand next to some walnut trees. it think it for the squirrels .

From: sundowner
14-Aug-13
Deer do not eat hickory nuts or walnuts around here.

From: voodoochile
14-Aug-13
not here either

From: CAS_HNTR
14-Aug-13
All acorns in Ohio.....others are for squirrels

From: Siouxme
14-Aug-13
We hunted the "Walnut Buck" for years in a grove behind the house. Unfortunately, we never saw him feedin there or any other deer for that matter. I'm guessing Wally would be in his teens by now.

From: TMA1010@home
14-Aug-13
My farm has walnuts, shag-bark hickory trees, cherry, and oaks (among other "trash" trees). I've seen the deer obviously eat acorns, I've seen them eat the pods off of locust trees, and I've seen them eat hickory nuts (they look like a dog working on a bone when they turn their head to the side and just keep crunching those hickory nuts), but I've never seen them eat a walnut.

From: tonyo6302
14-Aug-13
The only time I ever saw Deer eat Black Walnuts was in Farmville, Virginia, in the first week of November.

They ate them after the outer husks had turned black and mushy. They ate the husks and all parts. I could not believe my eyes.

Haven't seen that since.

From: huntinnut
14-Aug-13
Tony, when were you in Farmville, VA?

From: huntinnut
14-Aug-13
Tony, when were you in Farmville, VA?

From: rooster
15-Aug-13
My go to stand for the past 7 or 8 years is in a black walnut tree. I have never witnessed any deer eating the nuts in all that time.

From: kellyharris
15-Aug-13
I have a grove of black walnuts and have never seen deer eat them

From: kellyharris
15-Aug-13
I have a grove of black walnuts and have never seen deer eat them

From: JusPassin
15-Aug-13
In a word, No.

From: voodoochile
15-Aug-13
if you have ever cracked open black walnuts you know how hard they are . I dont believe that a deer could even break one up . Their jaws and teeth just are not designed for it .

From: MNRazorhead
16-Aug-13
Thanks for the info. It's rare to get this level of agreement her on BS, so I don't have to look at them as a food source on opener. I guessed this was the case, but didn't know for sure. Thanks, again.

From: tonyo6302
16-Aug-13
huntinnut,

I drew a tag the first year Featherfin Wildlife Management Area was opened. 2006 maybe - I can't remember the exact year.

From: writer
16-Aug-13
Ditto everyone else. No harder nut to crack in Kansas than walnuts, and we have plenty of them and others.

Deer love bur oak acorns, possibly only second to red oak acorns. When the deer quit showing up in our soybean fields in the early fall, it's usually because the first of the red oaks are starting to drop.

I've never seen anything besides squirrels, and humans, eat walnuts, actually.

From: t-roy
16-Aug-13
I've had the same experiences as TMA1010.

Have to disagree with writer a little. Here in Iowa, they will eat white oak acorns before they will touch the red oaks or burr oaks. Not sure if you have white oaks in Ks.

From: Bou'bound
17-Aug-13
they absolutely will eat the nuts, but the problem is you have to shell them first and break the nut meat apart into sections. most guys don't find it worth the effort.

From: writer
17-Aug-13
T...no many white oaks. We only had four on our farm, and over a 25 year period the beavers girdled enough of the trees to kill them.

Huge, cloud-touching, oaks at the edge of our lake. Love to know how many gray squirrels I knocked out of those branches with a .36 muzzleloader or our heirloom .22.

From: SANDMAN
17-Aug-13
You need to leave a nut cracker under the tree for them. That would surely keep them occupied.

From: bowriter
18-Aug-13
In 55-years of hunting whitetails: I have never seen one eat a hickory nut although I have heard of it. I have never seen or heard of one eating a walnut.

They love the pods off locust trees and will eat any of the oak mast at various times depending on the region. As a general rule, sawtooth are the first oaks to drop and they tear them up. They will eat burr oak and like them at times. You can hear them eating them a long way off.

From: MNRazorhead
19-Aug-13
I better go out and get myself a nutcracker then, LOL.

From: bill brown
19-Aug-13
Nope. I never saw them eat hickory nuts either.

From: stealthycat
19-Aug-13
I'd say no they can't break the shell

but

I also seen Youtube video of a buck eating a live bird ... so anything is possible I guess

From: kkabello
27-Oct-23
If you are asking, do deer eat walnuts? From my own experience in the field i can tell you that unless they are starving, they won't touch black walnuts.

From: csalem
27-Oct-23
I’ve never seen them eat them

From: fuzzy
27-Oct-23
I don't think they can Crack the shells. The confusion on hickory nuts is the species of hickory. Bitternut and pig nut hickory have thin shells, shagbark and white hickory nuts have thick shells

From: rooster
27-Oct-23
Just had a young buck in the back yard. He was checking out the garden but, didn't bother at all with the walnuts.

From: Dale06
27-Oct-23
I’ve got a bucket of them in my garage. I’ll crack them in a vise soon. I’ve never seen deer eat them.

From: sitO
27-Oct-23
All the way back to 2013...and the double post thing was a thing

From: Zbone
27-Oct-23
Have seen deer eat hickory nuts once the hulls split off, they'll crunch on them like a kid eating hard candy, but haven't seen them eat black walnuts and have 2 producing walnuts in my back yard... Once the walnuts drop, they'll lay on the ground a while and eventually the their hulls will rot off and once that happens, usually by spring the nuts are gone, but suspect the squirrels get them rather than the deer...

From: t-roy
28-Oct-23
Fuzzy….the hickory nuts I saw them eating, were from a shagbark hickory.

28-Oct-23

Corax_latrans's embedded Photo
Corax_latrans's embedded Photo
I think I’ve got all I can stand to deal with at this point…

Anybody know about soaking the nut meat to make the flavor a bit milder??

I have an old bench-top vise I have used to crack them. And some old bike (flat) handlebars for leverage. It’s still a Project.

From: Jeff Durnell
28-Oct-23
I've seen them eat pignut hickories, sweeping them up and crunching one after another like popcorn, watched bears do it too, but not the shag or shellbarks. I think they get better jaw leverage with the smaller nuts, and perhaps the shells are thinner as well.

Never saw a deer eat a Walnut, but I think it's safe to assume it's been done.

From: Zbone
28-Oct-23

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
My house was built in the middle of a hardwood grove and have white and red oaks, black walnuts and 3 species of hickory, one tree is a Shellbark (7-leaflets), two Pignut (smooth bark) hickory trees, and a bunch of Shagbarks (5-leaflets) in my so-called yard... The deer with eat both red and white oak acorns and all the species of hickories once they shed their hulls... The pignut hulls are thin, they may even eat them with the hulls on but never really paid attention because they usually come at night, although they will come during the day for the acorns... Notice the little one eating white oak acorns less than 5 yards off the deck in September... That is a black walnut tree trunk in the background...

From: otcbowhunter
29-Oct-23
Not to sabotage this thread, but..... is it possible to grow a food plot under a black walnut tree? I have a group of 5-6 and the only thing growing under them is weeds and a couple raspberry plants. Its a nice secluded spot and a food plot would make it great again! What's you thought's?

From: otcbowhunter
29-Oct-23
Not to sabotage this thread, but..... is it possible to grow a food plot under a black walnut tree? I have a group of 5-6 and the only thing growing under them is weeds and a couple raspberry plants. Its a nice secluded spot and a food plot would make it great again! What's you thought's?

From: Zbone
29-Oct-23
Likely would depend on how much shade the trees provide... Mine, the biggest one photoed has grasses growing on one side, and rye on the other, all three have vegetation growing under them although they are in a line well spaced apart not in a cluster... Just my 2-cents...

From: buckeye
29-Oct-23
Corax, I generally let them dry out after getting the husk off using a trash can full of water and strong ,corded drill with a paint mixer, ( I welded one out of rebar) , you can't let them sit around forever tho cuz the oils in the meat will go rancid. It's a labor of love for sure.

As far as deer eating them , I don't think they have the right teeth for the job, and I've never seen them eat walnuts. Then again I was told that nothing eats hedge apples, ( Osage orange fruit) but I have seen deer and fox squirrel eat the seeds.

As for growing anything under a walnut tree, I wouldn't waste the effort or time, they are are highly acidic, lots of tannins, but the ground shells can polish your spent brass in a tumbler, you can dye traps and leather with the husks, and the lumber makes beautiful furniture, knife handles, etc.

From: Supernaut
29-Oct-23
Black Walnut husks make great trap dye. Wear gloves if you do it or your hands will get dyed black as well.

I don't know if the deer eat them, I've never seen it. I know the squirrels around my house sure like them.

From: Catscratch
29-Oct-23
The chemical in walnut trees that kills other plants is called juglone. Some plants are very sensitive to it and some aren't. Google it. Might find something that will grow there that attracts deer, might not. I always thought a hosta food plot would be cool.

From: fuzzy
30-Oct-23
Most grasses tolerate juglone, might try oats or wheat

From: t-roy
30-Oct-23
My wife has a hosta food plot….kinda. She’s not very happy about the constant activity she sees in it, either;-)

From: fuzzy
01-Nov-23
t-roy that's pretty cool. The shagbark nuts are tough. It's amazing what animals can do to survive and thrive.

From: Catscratch
01-Nov-23
"My wife has a hosta food plot….kinda. She’s not very happy about the constant activity she sees in it, either;-)"

Lol, she probably spent more on that "plot" than any you've ever planted... and got better results! Grin!

From: t-roy
01-Nov-23
She’s not even in the same league as me, when I comes to spending money on food plots, Jason!….She’s not too happy about that, either. One of her often used lines is: “what the h#@% is THIS bill for??” ;-)

01-Nov-23
Yeah, the only spot in the whole yard for the garden is under the BW; fortunately the 3 Sisters are juglone-tolerant. Carrots, beets and sweet potatoes do Fair. Peppers and maters get grown in big pots with fresh potting soil every spring (old potting soil goes into the garden).

We usually have a fair number of black squirrels around, but the last few days I’ve been seeing one that looks more like a gray that fell into the big tub of unprocessed nuts…

I have another bucket full of hulls just soaking… thinking to use it to stain some woodies….

03-Nov-23
I'm thinking of taking some of the limbs off to open up the canopy and reduce the amount of nuts. It's just a perfect spot next to a bedding area. Thanks to all for the suggestions.

03-Nov-23
Just keep it legal. Your land, your call, I suppose.

From: Zbone
03-Nov-23

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Black Walnut Sapling
Zbone's embedded Photo
Black Walnut Sapling
I know Hosta plants don't affect young black walnut trees because I have a sapling black walnut growing up amongst my Hostas... It sprang up wild a couple years ago and I've been debating whether to keep it since it's right up next to the garage... I suspect either a chipmunk or squirrel planted the nut... Took the top photo this summer of some my Hosta plants, the walnut sapling is just out of view... Just took the 2nd photo for this post, the Hostas are now covered with leaves...

  • Sitka Gear