The Northeast-Midwest Territories of Whitetail Deer
These areas contain many forests, which house two very important trees: the oak and the white cedar. The oak is very important in the fall because it drops its acorns to the ground. Deer love acorns, and they are rich in carbohydrates, which helps the deer develop their fat reserves. Acorns also stay on the ground for a long time; thus they are a great food source in the middle of winter, when all the other plants have died.
Where available, the white cedar plays the most important part in a deer's diet. The white cedar is a conifer, which means that it does not lose its leaves in the winter. It is also very rich in nutrients. Thus, the white cedar is an excellent year round source of nutrition.
During the winter, deer head toward pine tree plantations, where warm shelter is available. There, they eat anything available and often will dig through deep snow to uncover food. In these plantations, cedar and hemlock are an important part of the deer's diet.
The rest of the seasons provide many feeding options. There are very few droughts in these areas. Thus the only real problems stem from overcrowding and overgrazing of food. However, this too is seldom a problem, due to the abundance of foliage.
Here is a chart of Northeast and Midwest Deer feeding options:
|mountain ash||white cedar|
The winters of the Southwest are very mild which causes few problems with food supplies. However, droughts occur frequently in this area and that can cause most of the plant life to die, which severely limits a deer's choices for food. The lack of water also dehydrates a deer.
The Prickly-pear Cactus is found across the US. This plant is very important to Southern deer, just as the white cedar is to Northern deer. The cactus, which is able to survive year round, is also rich with water and can prove very essential during the dry days of a drought.
Below is a chart of Southwest Deer feeding options:
|broadleaf plants||honey locust||dewberry|
|mushrooms||supple jack (where available)|
The Southeast also presents very few problems for hungry deer. The winters are never severe, and the area is covered with a wide variety of foods. Overpopulation is the limiting factor in food availability. However, overpopulation seldom causes shortages severe enough to kill a majority of the deer population. Usually, it just forces deer to eat less healthy foods, which leads to malnourishment later in life.
Fall foods are available for a longer time in the Southeast, since the mild winter does not kill the plant life.
Below is a chart of Southeast Deer feeding options:
Popular Foods of the Southeast
|chickweed||beans||honey locust seeds|
|grapes||grapes||plain leaf puss toes|
|oak||Mexican persimmon fruit||spurge|
|oranges||mountain mahogany||various grasses|
Popular Foods of the Northeast and Midwest Deer
|American beech||American plum||bearberry||big sagebrush|
|black cherry||black haw||cliff rose||common persimmon|
|cucumber tree||curl-leaf mountain mahogany||crabapple||dandelion|
|downy serviceberry||Douglas fir||elderberry||juniper|
|high mountain blueberry||honey locust||honeysuckle||mountain ash|
|mountain laurel||mountain snowberry||prickly bear cactus||porcupine sedge|
|purple-flowering raspberry||quaking aspen||red alder||red clover|
|red huckleberry||red maple||Sitka willow||smooth sumac|
|sweet bay||tall cinquefoil||basswood||white oak|
|white pine||winter berry||wintergreen||witch hazel|
|yellow birch||yellow poplar||yellow skunk cabbage||yellow sweet clover|
Common Spring Foods for Whitetail Deer
|magnolia||may hawthorn||New Jersey Tea||plantain|
|poison ivy||pokeweed||red maple||sassafras|
|teaberry||trailing arbutus||wild strawberries||willow|
Common Summer Foods for Whitetail Deer
|black-eyed Susan||blueberry||bluegrass||cabbage palm|
|ferns||green brier||jewel weed||mushrooms|
|red maples||sasafras||soy bean||sumac|
|sunflower||wheat grass||wild grape||wild rose|
Common Fall Foods for Whitetail Deer
|acorns||arrow leaf sida||aster||bittersweet|
|mat euphoribia||mushrooms||oak||palmetto berries|
|persimmon||plains love grass||puss toes||red raspberry|
|sweet fern||teaberry||wheatgrass||wild cherry|
|wild grape||wild rose||wintergreen||witch hazel|
Common Winter Foods for Whitetail Deer
|honey locust||honey suckle||lady's tobacco||live oak|
|plantain||poison ivy||poplar||puss toes|
|sumac||swamp ironwood||teaberry||white birch|
|white cedar||white pine||vwild rose||willow|
|wintergreen||witch hazel||viburnums||yellow birch|
Trees & Shrubs
Annuals & Perennials
Bulbs & Climbers
|barberry black locust||astilbe||daffodil|
|fox wood||bleading heart||lily-of-the-valley|
|bridal wreath||butercup||tiger lily|
|magnolia pear||Oriental Poppy|