Do Deer Eat Apples? | Types of Apples Deer Like

Deer is a beloved animal of hunters. They are very attractive in appearance and inhabit all parts of the world except Antarctica and Australia.

There are more than 40 species of deer found in the world, white-tailed deer being the favorite of hunters, especially in the United States.

Being herbivores, deer eat almost everything found in the wild which includes fruits, crops, plants, nuts, etc. But the question we are going to answer today is whether deer eat apples or they do not.

Well, the short answer is Yes. Deer love to munch on apples. 

However, apples are like candies for them. It can be dangerous for deer to eat apples in excess, as they can’t digest them properly, especially during winter.

On the other hand, apples have many essential nutrients which should be a part of the deer diet. 

Moreover, if you want to attract deer to your hunting grounds, you can use apples as bait because deer can smell apples from miles and miles away.


Why Do Deer Eat Apples?

Apples are fruity, sweet, juicy and a perfect treat for deer. An apple can grab their attention from miles away. Unlike some hard fruits, apples are completely edible and healthy for deer.

However, apples can only be a part of their diet in order for them to take full advantage of all the nutrients provided by apples. So, apples should be eaten by deer in moderation.

Apples usually grow in the cold months of November and December, but it is not the best possible time for deer to eat them.

As in winters, conditions get bad and deer must adjust to eating dead leaves, woody browse, tree bark, and lichens due to the thick layer of snow covering all the forestation. Due to this, the deer’s digestive system adjusts to running on these things. Apple being low in protein does not help deer to stay warm in winter.

On the contrary, apples are very rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C, and all these minerals are necessary for maintaining good health.

In addition, apples contain high water levels to help deer survive through low water resources. As discussed earlier, apples should only be a part of their diet and cannot be the entire diet.

A fun fact about apples is that old apples can become fermented, and deer can get drunk on them.


Attract Deer Using Apples

As mentioned above, apples can lure deer to your hunting grounds. If you want to hunt them, take pictures, or just like them visiting you, you can place apples somewhere or plant them in your backyard.

As apples take time to eat, they distract the deer from detecting predators around them, giving the hunters a considerable advantage.

The disadvantage to this technique is that apples attract many animals, not just deer. Instead of deer, you might attract other unwanted animals to your backyard, such as raccoons or foxes.


Best Apple Trees to Attract Deer

  1. Liberty Apple Tree
  2. Freedom Apple Tree
  3. Enterprise Apple Tree
  4. Gold Rush Apple Tree
  5. Yates Apple Tree
  6. Red Delicious Apple Tree
  7. McIntosh Apple Tree
  8. Ginger Gold Apple Tree
  9. Golden Delicious Apple Tree
  10. Rome Apple Tree
  11. Arkansas Black Apple Tree
  12. Jonathan Apple Tree
  13. Gala Apple Tree
  14. Dolgo Crabapple Trees
  15. Chestnut Crabapple Tree


Do Deer Eat Hedge Apples?

The Osage-orange tree grows to a small to medium size. Usually, it reaches a height of 25 to 30 feet. The yellow-green, softball-sized fruit of the Osage-orange tree is known as the “hedge apple” also known as “hedge balls”.

Squirrels, chipmunks, cattle, mice, rats, horses, deer, cows, dogs, turkeys, and other wildlife consume hedge apples.

These fruits have delicate skin and are full of minerals, including vitamin C. They are thought to be beneficial for deer’s immune system and heart.


Do Deer Eat Crab Apples?

Crabapples are indigenous to both Asia and North America. They are commonly grown for their lovely growth patterns, display of spring flowers, and ornamental fruits.

Crabapples are a favorite food of deer. The consumption of these small apples has no adverse side effects on the deer.

Deer prefer sweeter and juicier fruits, like crabapples, because of their picky nature.


Do Deer Eat Yates Apple?

A very firm, tiny red apple with spotted skin, the Yates apple boasts delicious flesh that is juicy, fragrant, and flavorful.

The Yates apple tree is a favorite among wildlife and is fairly simple to grow. Its fragrant, juicy flesh makes them irresistible to deer.



There is a variety of apple trees that are appealing to deer. Deer can smell an apple from miles away; hence they are a good source for luring deer to the hunters’ preferred hunting spots.

One of the reasons why apples are deer’s favorite fruit is their sweet taste. Apples are like candies for them. You love eating them but can’t eat them in excess, especially in winter when the digestive system cannot digest them properly.

Keeping this aside, apples also have many minerals and vitamins essential for deer to grow, such as potassium, Magnesium, and Vitamin C.

To sum up, deer will surely munch on any apple they find, and if you have apple trees in your backyard, they will be your regular visitors.

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