Apples Are Essential
By Lee Phillips, Excalibur Field Staff
Most of you that deer hunt have noticed all of the different types of attractants that are produced to help you lure that big buck in. Apple products and flavored scents certainly make up a good percentage of these. Apples themselves are an excellent choice for both feed and use as an attracting mechanism. You can do like I do — save on the expense of buying deer attractants — and just use real apples!
I feed apples every year as soon as they become available. The deer love them, and besides being a low-cost alternative, you should easily be able to obtain some sources for your “apple feed”.
You should be able to find people in your area that have apple trees. More often than not – people that have apple trees have many more apples than they can use in a year’s time, and will let you pick as many as you can use. Another good source are stores that sell produce — they may be willing to give you the ones that they pull from their shelves. I feed in only one spot, and my deer eat three 5 gallon buckets full of apples a week. This sounds like a good bit, and it is, but it is well worth it in cost savings. I feed Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and crab apples — and I have found that the deer really don’t have a preference — if I dump them they will eat them. The deer will eat them all in quick fashion, so there is never a problem with the gathering of bees and other insects.
Starting apple feedings as soon as you can will give your deer extra nutrition in the hot summer months when they may not have much to choose from, besides dried grasses and vegetation. I just continue right through hunting season by adding a couple of buckets of apples in with my feed piles. You can even freeze a couple of bags and use them to hunt with in late winter — as this is a great tactic!
Apples are a great cost-effective way to help the health of your deer, and a very GOOD attractant once hunting season starts! I never go without using them as feed if at all possible. Good luck and enjoy!