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Whitetail Food Sources

Understanding what food sources whitetails prefer during different times of the year in your area can greatly increase your chances of harvesting a deer. In this blog post, I aim to share the knowledge I have learned over the years about whitetail deer food sources that have increased my success rate of harvesting mature bucks.

How to find deer food sources

When learning how to find deer food sources one should first understand the different categories of food sources which are browse, mass crops, and agriculture. Once you have an understanding of these categories it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different types of plants, nuts, fruits, crops, etc. that fall under each category. Learn what they look like, where and when they predominantly grow, along with when deer prefer each type. By learning about these types of food sources you will be better equipped to to find them while hunting or scouting. 

What is a deer’s main food source?

Generally speaking, deer typically don’t have one main food source but will browse on many different types of plant species throughout the year. This is due to different food sources being more abundant or scarce during different times of the year or in different areas. Whitetails will travel and seek out these food sources throughout the course of the year. 

How many food sources does the deer have?

Whitetail deer have a variety of food sources available to them, especially if they have access to diverse habitats. A deer’s food sources change with the seasons and depending on what’s available in their particular environment. 

List of Natural Whitetail Deer Food Sources

  • Acorns

  • Greenbrier

  • Honey Locust Pods

  • Ragweed

  • Oldfield Aster

  • White Cedar

  • Pokeweed

  • Persimmon

List of Agricultural Whitetail Deer Food Sources

  • Corn

  • Soybeans

  • Wheat

  • Alfalfa

  • Turnips


Whitetail deer are incredibly adaptable, possessing a diverse diet to thrive in various environments. Recognizing their preferred food sources can enrich your knowledge and transform your hunting strategies.

More than just agricultural fields or food plots – awareness about native plants can drive conservation undertakings and enhance hunting success rates. Indeed, delving into the dietary secrets of whitetail deer has never been more enlightening!

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