Love to know about what deer like to eat or what deer eat?…well, then you gonna love this post. Most of us know that deer are herbivores and belong to the Cervidae family. They are further divided into two groups cervinae and capreolinae.

First of all, we have to know about the Geological life of deer, they love to graze between the range of tundra to the tropical rainforest. According to  AgriLife Research, 80% of the species inhabit the temperate mixed deciduous forest, where they are thriving themselves with a drastic increment in their population.

What do deer Like To Eat

Deer are found on all continents except Antarctica and Australia, and a few species can be seen in Africa continent like the Barbary stag and fallow deer.

The majority of the species (white-tailed deer, elk, mule deer, caribou, and moose) are found in North America, which lies in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Columbia Mountains.


Before a few decades, deer made boundaries between forests and humans. They never interfered with human boundaries because they had enough space to live. But now they have crossed the boundary because the deforestation by humans deprives their habitat. Now you can find deer in your yard, eating the fruits and vegetables you grow and ruining the crop.

No wonder a century ago, there were less than a million deer in America, But now you won’t believe there are nearly 33 million deer found in America. Interestingly, Over 12 million people in the USA spend around $ 8 billion on deer hunting, with nearly 8 million deer killed during the hunting season each year.

Nowhere, deer are at home now at your next door in the suburbs grazing there without the fear of predators.

Eating Habits Of Deer:

Before going into too much depth about knowing what deer like to eat…? let’s talk about the behavior of the deer while they are going to eat. Deer are the creatures of the shadows of Dawn and The Dusk, they are usually active early in the morning and late afternoon. Deer need to consume up to 7 pounds of food per day. These browsers don’t have upper front teeth. They chew their food by lower incisors against the pad of the upper gum.


They move very slowly, take their time, and look around for the predators before starting grazing. Surprisingly, deer aren’t seen much nearly blind as compared to a human. When it comes to seeing deer face difficulty in finding the shape of anything only they can really make out is a moment the head to find the right shape of the thing. With the combination of head and ear, they can easily know what’s going near them. Their ear is very fine-tuned here a little sound clearly and their nose sense is amazing smell from 90-110 yards away. Whenever a deer feel danger it passes the information away to another they slowly raise its tail to alert all about the danger.

All male deer have antlers (Beauty of the Deer) and females mainly lack antlers, but some of the female species develop antlers. A study of deer antlers noted that a deer needs a large amount of Nutrient-rich diet such as calcium and phosphate for the growth of antlers.

What do deer like to Eat?

Deer are browsers and primarily feed on leaves and grass, Diet selection changes according to seasonality. They like to eat almost anything, nearly 600 hundreds of different species of plant, fresh grasses, acorns, chestnuts, fruit, fungi, lichens, etc.


Around 200 species of the plant are consumed by every deer in their lifespan. The rest of the 400 species are only consumed by those who are greedy to browse. Grasses near your livestock attract them because it’s beneficial both nutritionally and economically.

The food which deer like to eat, the most is cultivated vegetables grown in your yard like Green Beans, potatoes, wheat, oats, corn, soybeans, mushrooms, cabbage, apples, berries, etc.  At times of scarcity, they eat twigs, bushes, fallen leaves, bark even poison ivy. Various fruits and flowers are also made up most of the diet of deer.

According to Texas AgriLife Research, what deer like to eat most is Forbs and mast, which is 75% of the diet each year. These are the most important sources of nutrients because of their year-round availability.


It is grasses like plants, trees, and shrubs. Broadleaf plants or forbs are nutrient-rich plants, it also helps to hide fawns from their predators. Some grasses are 4-6 feet long, protein-rich, and also provide cover for deer in winter.



It is a major food source for deer throughout the year, Acorns, Blackberries, chestnuts, etc are the species of the mast. Deer love to eat mostly acorns, Around 65% of their diet is filled with acorns in the Autumn season. They mostly eat white oaks (Quercus alba) and similar species or in winter red oaks (Quercus rubra), Red oaks are more bitter than white oaks.

Their stomach is based on the ruminant standard able to digest nutrients from the plants through the fermentation process. Rather than digesting a huge quantity of nutrients food, they love to eat fresh grasses, young leaves, etc. They digest easily and have high nutrients, They eat quickly and later cud up food and chew it again.

Nowadays, in many states of America Deers adapt themselves to human life due to the limitation of Land or to thrive in their population. A key factor to increase their population is to balance their habitat and forage supply. According to seasonality, native plants are absent and low in nutrient value, at that time the forging supply fulfills the needs of nutrients level.

Mostly ask questions..?

Do Deer Eat Carrot


Yes, Deer eat carrots as I mentioned above they eat almost anything grown in your yard. Doesn’t do them much good nutrition though. Deer take time while they chew carrots because these are big in size as compared to forbs and mast.

Do Deer Eat Pumpkin…?

Yes, deer love to eat pumpkins it’s hard for them to crack the pumpkin. If you are going to feed your Halloween pumpkin to deer make sure it’s ripe well or you smash them on the ground before feeding.


Eating pumpkin deer takes time, Because of the absence of the upper teeth. Firstly, they prefer to eat the inner part of the pumpkin, If they are starving, then they are going to eat the whole pumpkin.

I hope you love this information about what deer like to eat. Nowadays they eat human-made stuff if you see what type of stuff they eat let me know or others to hit comment below.


About David Gray

David Gray is born & raised in Bozeman Montana, USA. He has been hunting & fishing since 2009. And used most of the outdoor gear during his 22 years of hunting experience. He likes to spend most of the time in the woods, on the trail, or by the water. He taught us about his outdoor journey and equipment experience.

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13 thoughts on “What Do Deer Like To Eat: Facts Never Here Before

  1. Sandi Kates says:

    You should warn people not to feed deer corn. It’s hard for them to digest, so they feel full and will starve to death and die. The only deer that live in areas where they find corn naturally, like corn fields, can eat corn without a problem.

  2. David Grey says:

    Thanks for your reply but corn is great to feed for deer as compare to wood, twigs, shrubs because in winter days they don’t have enough food to eat. But too much of eating of anything is not let them survive until unless they drink water.

  3. Leland P Gehrke says:

    Do they eat sunflower plants or seeds?

  4. David Grey says:

    Yes, they eat sunflower plants or seeds for more information please read our post:-

  5. Jo Eck says:

    Is it safe for deer to eat almonds? Thanks in advance. Jo

  6. David Grey says:

    Yes, it’s safe but not in excess quantity. Because in the winter season it’s really hard for them to find water easily.

  7. Dorothy says:

    What about papaya? Is it safe to give them cut up papaya?

  8. David Grey says:

    Yes, It is safe to give them cut papaya.

  9. Lyle Barkley says:

    I have Troyes lots of different foods to attract deer. They seem to enjoy red grapes the best of all! I have a salt lick and a large water trough for them! I have a family of them that visit every day in spring through fall.

  10. David Grey says:

    Great to know about your story thanks for sharing with us.

  11. Dalma says:

    I have a little white tailed deer that appeared on my farm approximately 2 months ago. She is a baby but is eating the grass and living with my. Packing Goats and slowly becoming part of the family. I have been feeding her apples, she has on a couple of occasions foamed at the mouth and like had a belly ache. She is obviously uncomfortable, because she cannot lay down, stand or walk. It has happened two times that I have noticed. I thought it was because she got into the alfalfa cubes, but it happened again tonight. Do you have any idea what it is? What can I do to avoid this? My vet was here to visit my goats and said maybe she’s 4-7 months and appears healthy.. today she is very uncomfortable. Any thoughts on what this might be?

  12. Jeff says:

    Can you try to get her in an enclosure to get a vet to see her?

  13. Dan Bronson says:

    You may be simpply repeating what someone has told you. Gross generalizations often have exceptions. Clolumbia deer of the northwest are small, and finicky eaters. Often they only take a mouthful or two of human provided feed and then go on browsing the bushes. They have an instinctive self control. They live best with variety in their diet.

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