Question: “My wife and I enjoy deer hunting, but really have some questions about around our house. We live in a suburban area with lots ranging from 4 to 10 acres. Good area for deer. First question is: Why would a whitetail buck shed his antlers almost 2 months before the rest of the other bucks? Next question, what type of grass do deer not like to eat, if any? I know whitetail deer prefer forbs and browse plants, but is there a native grass that they would not eat. Thanks for the info.”
Deer Hunting Pros: Whitetail bucks that are in poor body condition tend to shed antlers earlier. My guess is the buck you’re asking about is either in poor condition, may have suffered from injury or from illness in the past. Could of had something like EHD or bluetongue the year prior. There are many things that can cause a deer to be in poor condition. It can even result from poor nutrition, since you may have a deer overpopulation in your suburban area?
Grass comprises less than 10% of a whitetail’s diet. They will eat many grasses when it has young new-growth, but do not like any once they are older and tougher. Grass is most palatable and highest in nutrition when it’s very young. Whitetail deer will starve to death in a field of only native grass, or any type of grass for that matter. They will eat the young stuff, but not after it’s older. Most of the tender growth in grass is done for the year since we are almost into May.
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