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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Cumberland County 5A
Deer will eat just about anything, when they are hungry and there is little else around for them to eat.
Where I hunt and during periods of high deer numbers, they've often browsed off non-preferred species, like birch and beech, during winters.
That is typically after they've already eaten what they could reach along browse lines (edge areas); under story browse; residual crops and other food sources that they can find. I have never seen a deer eating ferns and spend lots of time watching them with the aid of 10x50 binos and spotting scopes. Maybe they do, but I've never seen it?
I have watched them eat multi flora rose buds on several occasions over the years, usually during rifle deer seasons. Once I've killed a deer, then it's cruise around and observe time.
How they can nip them off without shredding their noses on the thorns, still amazes me. Watching them do that while I'm using a 45X spotting scope, it's not hard to see what it is they're after.
Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B