Our land is LOADED with shagbark hickory trees. I can attest that they are annoying to try to climb up in a climbing treestand - anyone else who has tried this knows my frustration!! [:@]
My question is: Do deer eat the nuts??? I have read that they do - but have never first-hand observed it. So has anyone witnessed deer eating hickory nuts?
Gerks, welcome to the D&DH forums.
I can't give you a complete answer, but I'll offer what I can.
First, I hope you like squirrel hunting -- it sounds like you have a great place for it. Should be some turkeys around, too.
Second, you have my sympathy with the climbing thing. Shagbarks are terrible, and have some safety concerns.
Third, hickory nuts can vary greatly in how thick the shells are, how easy it is to get the meat out, and how much meat is in them. I would imagine they vary a lot in flavor, too. I don't know whether deer eat them or not, but if you have nuts with thick shells, not much meat, and they taste bitter, I'd bet they're not a preferred food even if deer will eat hickory nuts.
Fourth, I use to hunt an apple orchard that was right next to about an acre of beautiful hickory trees. I never saw a deer eating the hickory nuts.
If that's worth 2¢, you can sent it to PayPal! [:D]