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Thread: Whitetail Deer eating Hedge Apples. (Osage O/ Fruit)

  1. #1

    Whitetail Deer eating Hedge Apples. (Osage O/ Fruit)

    I have been doing some homework on the whitetail diet during various times of year, and have yet to determine their consumption rate of Osage Fruit. I have heard they wait until after the first freeze and thaw of the fruit to eat it because it loses much of its bitter aroma (and taste I assume). I have seen the fruit in different locations where I hunt in KY split open and chewed on. Im not quite sure if Whitetail are the culprit, or if its tree-rats. If anyone has some evidence or personal experience in the matter I would like you input.



    Thank You


  2. #2

    Tree rats

    There are a lot of Osage Orange trees (Hedge as we call them in Illinois) where I hunt . I have never seen a deer even sniff a hedge apple. Squirrels will peel of all of the outer layer and eat the little ping pong ball sized "seed" in the middle.

  3. #3
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    if you take a machete and cut a bunch of them in half the deer will be eating them the next day.

  4. #4
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    I’ve seen squirrels, chipmunks and a opossum eat them.

    Once watch a chipmunk climb the tree an knock off the hedge apple only to have a oppossum run up and steal it. Man, did that chipmunk scream.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by LL710 View Post
    There are a lot of Osage Orange trees (Hedge as we call them in Illinois) where I hunt . I have never seen a deer even sniff a hedge apple.
    Same here. There are a lot of cows where I hunt and I have seen the cows eat them, but never a deer.

  6. #6
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    Hedge apples are the lowest of the low in whitetail diet. Late winter food source that they will avoid until nothing else is available.

    They stomp and bite open the ball and eat the seeds inside. When you see a hedge apple that looks like it was run over by a lawn mower, most likely a deer did it, and he's in hard times.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LL710 View Post
    There are a lot of Osage Orange trees (Hedge as we call them in Illinois) where I hunt . I have never seen a deer even sniff a hedge apple. Squirrels will peel of all of the outer layer and eat the little ping pong ball sized "seed" in the middle.
    Exactly the same thing I've witnessed over the years as well. To bad the deer didn't eat 'em, we have thousands of those suckers laying all over our property every season!
    An "archer" tries to see how far away he can get from his target and still connect. A "BOWHUNTER" tries to see how CLOSE he can get to his.

  8. #8
    good to know. thanks

  9. #9
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    Aint gotem down here in NC, I hunt in ohio so when I seen them I didnt know what they were. Then I seen them on a hunting showing, they called them horse apples. So I googles the name, kinda cool looking fruit.
    What will people think, when they hear that Im a Jesus freak

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LL710 View Post
    There are a lot of Osage Orange trees (Hedge as we call them in Illinois) where I hunt . I have never seen a deer even sniff a hedge apple. Squirrels will peel of all of the outer layer and eat the little ping pong ball sized "seed" in the middle.
    Quote Originally Posted by IL_Hunter View Post
    Same here. There are a lot of cows where I hunt and I have seen the cows eat them, but never a deer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfed View Post
    Exactly the same thing I've witnessed over the years as well. To bad the deer didn't eat 'em, we have thousands of those suckers laying all over our property every season!
    We've got one 'hedge apple' tree that gets hit by the deer every year. I'll try and pay better attention this year as to when that starts.
    Living today like there's no tomorrow!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    SE Kansas
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    Hedge leaves

    Go check a hedge row. You will find that deer love hedge leaves and will create a browseline. Deer will eat the hedgeballs in late season, but squirrels hammer them all year long.

    ckc
    Heartland Bowhunter ProStaff

    www.heartlandbowhunter.com

    Jesus is my guide.

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