Inexpensive Way to Feed Deer

Basit Ali Chaudhary

If you’re looking for a way to supplement your deer’s feed with protein-rich foods while not breaking the bank, there are plenty of low-cost solutions.

Feeding deer with tree leaves, your lawn grass and oats can be an easy and cost-effective way ; deer’s love these.

You can also mix some other ingredients like grain, apples, and hay into the feed to give them a more varied diet.

Nuts are an ideal source of protein that will also help with brain development and other important functions. Oats and dried fruits can be purchased in bulk and provide a great source of nutrition for your deer.

Additionally, beans can be used as a recovery food after the tough rut and winter months – it provides a low-cost, efficient alternative to other sources such as soybean meal, which can be more expensive. All these options allow you to stock up on nutritious, inexpensive foods that your deer will love.

Wild deer are quite the efficient grazers, chowing down on an abundant variety of food sources in their natural environment such as fungi, fruit, peanuts, grass and leaves.

Furthermore, supplemental feeding can help encourage larger antlers since bucks must consume enough protein every day. Cold winter months may be particularly challenging for these animals with food supplies depleting quickly – thus by providing food such as tree leaves or other grains you can attract them towards your property.

5 Cost Effective Foods to Feed Deer

1-Tree Branches

Feeding deer is an incredibly rewarding experience and there are a number of ways to do it on the cheap. One option is to provide tree branches from fruit trees as a source of food. Not only are these branches available for free when trimmed from trees, but they are also packed with nutrition for deer to munch on.

This can be especially helpful during seasons when food sources may be scarce. Moreover, it’s the kind of snack that the deer will not soon forget – and you will find yourself with visitors coming back time and time again!


One way to provide deer with healthy, cost effective food is through the use of carrots. Carrots are abundant and easy to access, typically selling for less than a dollar per pound. Not only do they provide high-quality nutrition for deer, but they are also an excellent source of vitamins A and K as well as offering some B and C vitamins as well.

Carrots also offer an added bonus that many deer-friendly foods lack – they’re appealing enough to be highly palatable. As a result, deer tend to flock to them and thus can help you attract additional deer that wouldn’t normally occur in your yard!


Planting alfalfa seeds on the land can be an inexpensive yet effective way to ensure wildlife has a steady source of food. Buying these seeds in bulk from seed distributors is a great idea since they are usually cost-effective, and you will get more bang for your buck.

Additionally, special machinery is not required; all that’s needed is to simply search the areas where you have seen signs or would like to attract deer, then sprinkle the seeds by hand. Even better, depending on where you live, this may not be considered baiting and within legal limits. Planting alfalfa can definitely prove beneficial for all involved.

4-Clover Seeds

Purchasing clover seeds and scattering them around your land is incredibly cheap and easy. It also provides a wider variety of food to the deer in your area. Wild soybeans and other plants are already part of their diet, but having clover seeds around adds another nutrient-rich snack for them to enjoy.

Plus, you can always test it out first by sprinkling some clover seeds on a smaller patch of land. Clover is known for being low maintenance and vigorous–that means once you’ve scattered the seeds, all you need to do is wait for nature to take its course!


When it comes to feeding deer, oats are a great option! This is because they are easy to come by, nutrient-rich, and economical. Oats provide essential nutrients such as vitamin B1 and magnesium. In addition, these grains can help to foster healthy digestion for deer, giving them the energy they need to thrive. Plus, because oats can be found in most grocery stores for an affordable price, it makes them a smart choice for anyone looking to feed a herd of deer without breaking the bank. With all these benefits, it’s really no surprise why oats are a popular choice to inexpensively feed deer.

Buying Low Grade Fruits & Nuts

If you’re looking for an affordable and efficient source of food for your deer hunting venture, consider buying fallen fruit and nuts. With a little bit of research, you can find apple or other fruit orchards that offer their fallen products for sale—much cheaper than what you’d find in regular stores.

Low grade fruits and nuts are often perfectly edible for humans, but may not meet commercial standards due to minor defects it may have. From apples that are oddly shaped to peanuts with some blemishes, these items are still perfectly safe for wild animals yet much easier on the wallet. Many municipalities around the country offer discounted rates or even free options for those wanting to get rid of imperfect produce they can’t sell – perfect if you’re looking to stock up cheaply. All in all, buying low grade fruits and nuts as an inexpensive option to fee deer.

Homemade Personalized Deer Feed

Homemade deer feed is a great way to provide nutrition for your herd without the high cost of store-bought food. Ingredients like apples, molasses, corn, dry nuts, acorns, and oats are not only affordable but also offer a variety of vitamins and minerals beneficial to deer health.

Plus you know exactly what you’re feeding your animals – there’s no hidden ingredients or need for preservatives. You can try some recipes online and make sure to use ingredients that are sustainable for your area – like local fruits and nuts.

Useful Tips

  • Deer, like many wild animals, can be very shy and highly sensitive to sudden changes in their environment. If you’re hoping to attract deer to your property or backyard, it’s essential that you introduce new food sources slowly.
  • Keep in mind that although changing food is beneficial for deer, it is also important to be sure you are replacing salt blocks more often too. When replenishing your site’s deer feed and salt, you’ll reap rewards from seeing an increase deer in your area!
  • Knowing and following the specific laws regarding feeding deer is of utmost importance, especially if you live in the United States. t’s essential to become informed about local regulations, check with your state wildlife agency, and stay up-to-date on new developments.
  • Deer adapt to the ever-changing availability of foods in an impressive way. Depending on the changing seasons and climates, their nutritional needs alter significantly, like the amount of carbohydrates needed when the temperature gets colder and how much protein they need during a period of growth and potential migration.

Deer’s Feed and Seasonality

Deer are amazing creatures and their ability to adapt in changing environment is quite remarkable. During winter, they have the ability to convert their food into energy and store it as body fat. This comes in handy when there is less food available and they literally live off these reserves during the season. Similarly, deer increase their intake of carbohydrates and fats when the seasons change and there is an abundance of food items available in the wild. They change not only the quantity of food they eat but also largely focus on different types of vegetation during different times throughout the year. Research has shown that deer adjust their feeding habits based on seasonal changes, which helps them stay healthy despite fluctuations in weather and food availability.


Spring is a welcome time of year for many, but it’s a particularly special time for deer. After surviving harsh winter conditions, deer reap the benefits of the season’s new growth. These fresh sources of vegetation are often packed with protein and minerals that give deer strength and energy to propel them into summer. If there is high habitat quality available, these nourishing foods are plentiful and endless, from clover or alfalfa fields to regrowth after prescribed fires to young tree branches in forests. This nutritional bounty means supplemental feeding is not necessary in the spring when nature itself provides enough nutrition to help deer grow strong through the season.


In between chasing and breeding does or fighting rivals, bucks often need to squish in some necessary eating in the fall. This is significant due to fall being the fourth quarter for deer and many other animals, which means that before winter arrives, it is the last chance to put on as much fat on their bodies as possible. As a result, they tend to switch up their diets from high-protein foods to food with a higher content of fat and carbohydrates. Some great options available during the fall are oak acorns, beech nuts, chestnuts, apples, persimmons plus agricultural crops such as corn and soybeans. Eating all this delicious fare provides vital sustenance that helps these deer survive through winter.


Winter can be a particularly difficult season for whitetail deer in northern areas due to the decreased availability of nutritious food. Herbs and other vegetation become covered with snow which leaves the deer with branches as their primary source of sustenance. Unfortunately, browse is very high in fiber and low in nutrition, however, deer have evolved over time to digest it fairly. Whitetails also turn to areas where standing corn or soybeans are available as these provide them with a fat and carbohydrate content they often crave during winter months. Thus making supplemental deer feeding efforts especially important this time of year.


During the summer months, whitetails establish routines that enable them to survive and thrive. Providing ample access to essential nutrients and minerals is key, so they make sure they have plenty of opportunities to munch on carbohydrates- and protein-rich fare. Food plots with crops like soybeans and corn provide them with this necessary sustenance while young clear cuts within the area are also excellent places to dine. The animals usually don’t travel far from the food sources, since they have a lot of rebuilding ahead: Bucks need time to regain muscle mass lost in colder weather, while both sexes need nourishment for antler growth in preparation for fall mating season.

Appropriate Place For Feeding is Essential

Choosing the right location for deer feeding is essential if you’re looking to draw animals into your hunting area. If you have an existing tree stand or plan to use a climbing tree stand, picking a spot with tree cover and other natural offerings like fruit trees or shrubs will make it more attractive. To determine the area’s activity level, consider using trail cameras so you can gather further intel on deer movement. Positioning the feeding site strategically is also important; somewhere along a major trail or close by on its edge with the safety of a tree line would be ideal. Once you find the exact spot, try to stay consistent from year to year – this way deer feel comfortable visiting frequently. With scouting and comprehensive planning, it’s much easier to pick an optimal setup that attracts animals to your hunting area.

Inexpensive way to feed deer in winter

Feeding deer during the winter months can be a gratifying experience that helps keep these majestic creatures alive and healthy. One way to do this is to plant a garden full of high-protein food sources like clover, alfalfa or even seedless grains that the deer can access when natural resources become scarce. Planting a selection of native trees and shrubs is also an inexpensive method for providing shelter for smaller animals and vital nutrition for deer. If you have available space, constructing small shelters not only provides warmth but also offers protection from predators and harsh elements throughout the winter season. Allowing access to a fresh water supply, such as a well or pond, will also provide essential hydration for the deer’s during the coldest days of the year.


Is corn good for deer’s?

Normally deer can consume and eat corn easily. But feeding too much corn to deer can cause metabolic issues. Corn is low in protein (9%) and has a poor mineral profile. The added sugars can cause digestive issues, as well as an acidic rumen environment in deer.

So it is better to food deer with corn gradually and with proper adaptation, these same high-starch foods can be safely introduced into their diet. Doing this will help ensure that your deer stays safe and healthy while they enjoy a meal of corn!

Related Posts

Where do deer sleep?

9 Different Types of Deer Around the World

History of Humans Eating Meat And Hunting

Leave a Comment