White-tailed deer are browsers, which means that they feed on a wide variety of plants and plant parts, including leaves, twigs, shoots, and berries. In terms of habitat, white-tailed deer generally prefer forests, woodlands, and other areas with a mix of trees, shrubs, and grasses. The goal is to provide a diverse array of food sources to attract more deer on your property, including:
- Soft Mast Fruit & Chestnut Trees: A mix of Persimmon, Pears, Apples, Crabapples, and Chestnuts are the #1 Way to diversify your property from your neighbors while also creating an August - December Food Source. Fruit and Nut trees provide higher protein and carbohydrates than Ag and Acorns. These Trees also are better for patterning deer late in the season.
- Food Plots / Agricultural crops: Designated areas set aside on property as a destination for white-tailed deer to come feed. Some examples of crops such as corn, soybeans, clover and alfalfa. Clover also does well underneath a fruit and a nut trees as a nitrogen!
- Acorns: White Oak trees are a major source of food for white-tailed deer, especially in the fall and winter when other food sources may be scarce. White Oak Acorns if the only food source around will draw quite a lot of attention from Whitetails.
- Twigs and shoots: White-tailed deer will feed on the twigs and shoots of especially of trees and shrubs, especially in the spring when new growth is available. Protect those fruit & nut Trees with Tree Tubes to prevent deer rub & browse. Deer are especially love to consume woody browse of Red & White oak trees!
- Shrubs & Grasses: White-tailed deer will also feed on a variety of grasses and berry producing shrubs (herbaceous plants that are not woody), especially in the summer when these plants are more abundant. These also serve as a great bedding thicket area in the winter months.
To create the best habitat for white-tailed deer, it is important to provide a mix of these different types of food sources. This can be achieved by planting a variety of trees, shrubs, and grasses, as well as providing access to agricultural crops or other food sources.
At Morse Nursery, we take pride in offering only the highest quality shrubs that are suitable for creating rich deer habitats. Our team of experts is well-versed in the specific needs of whitetail deer and can guide you in selecting the right shrub species based on your location, soil type, and climate. With decades of experience, we're dedicated to helping you achieve your wildlife habitat goals.