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October 2, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Jury still out on whether deer eat apples

My column last week elicited several responses about whether deer eat apples and when. There were pros and cons. The best I can figure is: Sometimes and at certain times deer eat apples. I will share with you some of those responses.

Aaron Clark writes: At my work we have an abundance of some kind of crab apple tree. I'm not sure what they are, but deer dig through snow and eat them up during the winter. I had a buddy that told me about a pile of apples he put in front of a trail cam. Nada. Typically, the magazines have you believe that deer eat apples this time of year, but I'm not so sure either.

Nathan Bryans writes: I have an apple tree in my yard which I don't spray, two-to-three years ago, late summer, I took a heavy trash bag of unsprayed or untreated apples from the ground and tossed them into an area near Brookville that is thick with deer and squirrels. Two weeks later, I went back to that same location, and there were still lots of apples on the ground. I think it is more a fact of, if an animal is used to eating it, they eat it. If you take something that they don't get in their area normally, and as long as they have other food they are used to eating then they will eat what they are comfortable eating. Same reasoning as to why we in Indiana don't dine on cooked grasshoppers ... as long as we have hamburger and chicken around, we don't have to eat bugs.

I'm not sure about that analogy Nate, but it could be.

Robert Marsh and his wife often travel between Layton Road and Lapel. On a bend, there stands an apple tree about 30 yards off the highway. They have been seeing a doe and her twins feeding under said tree.

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