Deer and shagbark hickory nuts

Do you have an interesting field note, photo or observation to share? We want to hear from you!
User avatar
gerks
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:55 am

Deer and shagbark hickory nuts

Postby gerks » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:16 am

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?

Thanks,
Gerks

User avatar
Everyday Hunter
 
Posts: 1630
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:12 am

RE: Deer and shagbark hickory nuts

Postby Everyday Hunter » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:49 am

ORIGINAL: gerks

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?

Thanks,
Gerks

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]

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
Image

User avatar
ranwin33
 
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 2:12 pm
Location: Kansas and Missouri

RE: Deer and shagbark hickory nuts

Postby ranwin33 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:39 am

Deer will eat them, but they are not as preferred as white or red oaks.
 
We've got mostly hickories as well, and try to take them down for firewood and open up the canopy any place they are competing with oaks.
 
Turkey will also eat them.  And squirrels do love them.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

User avatar
Dan Schmidt
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:27 am

RE: Deer and shagbark hickory nuts

Postby Dan Schmidt » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:53 am

Gerks: Welcome!!

Steve and Ranwin about summed it up. We have a few shagbarks up here in WI, and deer won't eat them because the nuts are thick and nearly impossible to crack. Squirrels love them. They will sit on a limb or rock and "cutt" a shell for a long time. Actually fun to watch that happen!

Deer will eat "pignut" hickories, but again they are not preferred, especially when oaks are abundant.

Best,
Dan

msbadger
 
Posts: 2374
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:59 am

RE: Deer and shagbark hickory nuts

Postby msbadger » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:22 am

Oh your right about that Dan...We have all red oaks on this side of the valley no whts. and the smooth barked "pignut" hickorys ...deer eat them regularly here....seems they manage to alternate yearly mast drops...this is the year of the hickory and beechnut in our area at home...which have started dropping all ready....camp has alot of acorns on there redoak and regular hickory trees....squirrels have been nawing on them leaving the woods smelling very  nice....

User avatar
shaman
 
Posts: 2462
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:38 am

RE: Deer and shagbark hickory nuts

Postby shaman » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:03 am

I've got a bunch of shagbarks on my place. The squirrels love 'em, but I can't say that I have ever seen sign that the deer have touched them. Hickories drop too early around here for it to impinge on the deer season anyway.
Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries of SW Bracken County, KY
Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
Image


Return to Deer Browse

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest