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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
do deer eat crab apples. there are a few crab apple trees near were i have my groundblind set up. there are a few deer tracks around the trees and there are lots of deer hanging in that area. it is also fairly thick in there so im wondering if there just in there for cover. i put the blind in an open transition area right near there so i am not disturbing were they may bed down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks
well I found a hotspot then. also corn feild on both sides and thick cover,I think i know were im goin hunting saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dutch said:
I think i know were im goin hunting saturday.
Now, just where did you say that was again?
the last place that most people would look for deer. most people see the pines and thick growth and think that cant be a good spot for deer. the deer are gonna stack up there even more when all the hunters up the road get them moving. I found the only open spot and put my blind there and cant wait to get in there on saturday.
 

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I have a couple wild crab apples on my property. They don't like em as much as regular apples, but they do eat them quite readily.
 

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There are about a million different kinds of crab apples. Deer preference certainly varies. At my place, we always find at least one of the larger yellow/green crabapple-hawthorne-thornapple fruits in our gut piles...for deer killed in gun season. This time of year, though, the deer seem to walk right past them. I think they tend to go after these little apples later in the fall, but your situation may be different. Not many regular apples here this year, so maybe they will eat the others earlier.

In a year when apples are in short supply, a tree with fruit is a huge draw. Every deer in the area will know where the apples (and white oak acorns) are dropping.
 

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My farm (Wash. Co.) was hit with a later frost. It appears that the early blooming fruit trees suffered, as there have been nearly sero apples to speak of. I have seen what appear to be McIntosh Apple trees (the BIG red apples) that did well. They must be a later blossoming apple variety.
 

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some varieties of crabs will get sweeter as they hang on the tree longer. good article on crabs in this months qdma magazine. answers your question to a T. If you cant get a hold of a copy drop me a pm next week and I will copy the article and mail it to you. I am leaving this evening for camp until wednesday so I wont be able to do it then..
 

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some confusion comes from the common names of the various trees. There are the Hawthorns (called thornapples in some areas) (genus Craetegus) which are quite common (about 800 species in North America) which have very distinct thorns and the fruit looks like a little apple. Deer eat these but not as readily as "real" apples.

Crabapples (Malus coronia and others) include both wild crabs, domestic crabs and flowering crabs. All produce fruit that deer and other wildlife will consume, although there is significant differences in how much they are desired. Certain strains of crabs like zumi and sargentii are often poduced and sold as wildlife crabs. They are often selected because they hold their fruit until late in the winter. Great for critter survival in the winter but not as good as crabs that fall later than when you want them to be attracting deer.

What we usually think of as wild apples are usually either
named domestic strains around old homesteads or orchards or are truly wild apples that have been planted by birds (along with a dollop of fecal fertilizer). Huge variablility of size, color, and shape (that doesn't really matter to deer and shouldn't matter to landowners). What does matter is fruiting consistency (related to suspetibility to late frosts, scab and fireblight) and when the fruit falls (preferably during the season).
 

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either way. crab apple or hawthorns. Yes deer eat them if you find a location with them. Deer will bed in orchards that have a lot of the thornapples. Hunt the edges and you will be rewarded. Have taken may deer on their way out of those patches. Either with a bow in a stand or via man drives to chase them out of them.
 
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