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Do Deer Eat Corn Husks – Everything To Know!

One day you went hunting for a deer and you want to use corn as bait. You are thinking if they eat corn or if is it even good for them. 

So, do deer eat cron husk?

Yes, deer do eat corn husk but it is not good for them. Feeding them corn husk creates digestive problems for them due to their physiology. They are ruminants and due to corn, they can even die. It also makes them prone to disease and obesity problems. So it’s better not to feed them corn.

You might still be perplexed about this matter. Don’t worry because this whole article is about why you should not feed them corn and what actually to feed them.

Do Deer Eat Corn Husks?

The simple answer to this question is yes because deer do eat corn. The effect will be favorable as long as deer owners avoid feeding their animals corn as their main source of diet. 

It could be useful as an addition to the ideal feeding strategy. There are also some cases where the deer won’t eat corn.

Deer can greatly benefit from eating corn along with a traditional deer diet including leaves, fruits, nuts, and grass. But this is not the best possible action and it will be mentioned below.

Are Corn Husks Good For Deer?

Even though you can feed deer corn husks, these are not good for them. Feeding them corn creates multiple problems and in the end, it can lead to death. 

Due to this, in many states of the USA, it is a crime to even feed the deer. Why feeding them corn is a bad idea will be mentioned below.

Reason 1: Digestion Problems

Due to the traits of both maize and deer, corn creates issues in the deer’s digestive system. Starch, which makes up the majority of maize, is intended to provide the corn seedling with energy following germination. 

Deer want maize because it is easily accessible to them and the starch that the developing corn plant needs.

Starch is a significant source of energy, but because deer are ruminants, they may have issues with it. The rumen is a large sac-like organ that is a component of the digestive system of ruminants. 

The rumen is home to advantageous bacteria that make nutrition while dissolving or more accurately fermenting. So the deer cannot independently digest these plant parts. 

So, when they eat corn, they have digestive issues.

Reason 2: Infectious Disease

For deer, improper additional feeding might result in acidosis. When deer consume a lot of low-fiber carbs, acidosis develops. 

Their stomachs are unable to adequately digest the meal since it is uncommon in their winter diet. This renders them more vulnerable to illnesses.

Reason 3: Obesity Problems

Deer become obese when they are fed corn. They slow down, as a result, become awkward, and are now easy pickings for coyotes and fast-moving cars. 

This is just more argument against feeding corn to animals.

Alternative To Corn Husks For Deer 

Due to its affordability, corn is perhaps the most popular deer feed in the nation. But for a number of reasons, corn is not the greatest meal for deer. Deer are mostly lured by people feeding them. 

You might want to locate an alternate meal as the goal is to draw deer rather than feed them to death. There are some great substitutes that are better for deer than corn. 

You can also make sweet feed with some of these.


Turnips are excellent for deer since they provide a lot of protein. Depending on the variety, the protein level of turnips ranges from 15% to 20%. Deer will benefit from the substantial protein content of this over the winter.

Additionally, the cold of winter triggers a chemical process in turnips that increases the plant’s production of glucose. This indicates that turnips get tastier for deer over the winter. Turnips are hence more appropriate for Northern states.

Turnips grow best in the late season, when it is typically quite chilly, in Southern areas. It’s important to note that both the leaves and the roots may be fed to deer.


Although somewhat more costly than maize, soybeans provide more nutrients. Additionally, they are less expensive than high-protein pellets produced commercially. As a result, they are a great substitute for maize in the deer diet. 

Soybeans typically contain between 35 and 45% protein. Compared to corn, which has a protein level of 5–7%, this is significantly greater. Soybeans are a good investment.

High Protein Pellets:

Commercial protein pellet production is done with the aim of feeding deer. These pellets typically contain between 16 and 21% protein, making them highly protein-rich. They also include additional nutrients in their constituents.

Protein pellets are not a naturally occurring food, in contrast to some of the other choices on this list. The majority of retailers that offer deer meals carry these, which must be prepared.

Hard & Soft Mast:

Deer have wonderful year-round access to both hard and soft mast. Throughout the year, a low-maintenance vegetable plot may provide a fantastic substitute for corn. 

A wide variety of mast-producing trees and bushes may be present in the feeding plot. Find out which deer feeders are the greatest for these different options.

Probably, the most important mast is acorns. Up to 71% of deer diet throughout autumn is made up of acorns. Deer are drawn to acorns in the fall, especially those from white oak trees. 

The explanation for this is that acorns assist them in gaining weight as they get ready for winter.

Red oaks and other such trees and plants are more important in the winter. It is advised that you plant various red and white oak species since acorns produce in cycles. You may also grow additional mast-producing trees like hickory, beech, and chestnut.

Deer require soft mast meals in the summer. You may utilize soft mast from pawpaw, wild grapes, crabapples, and blackberries, among other sources. During the summer, domestic apples are another top source of the soft mast.


Deer will benefit from anything with a high protein and fiber content. Oats are one of the greatest substitutes feeds as a result. Oats contain roughly 12% protein and are high in fiber. 

They are also simple to digest, which is usually advantageous for deer.

Rice Bran:

The protein level of rice bran is rather low when compared to other alternative diets. It has fat in abundance. It contains 20% fat or such. Additionally, deer adore rice bran, which will be a great deer attractant throughout the hunting season.

It is not advisable to use it alone though because it is not as nutrient-dense as other meals. When combined with other feeds, it functions best. This might be professionally produced attractants or molasses to sweeten it.

It is quite comparable to cottonseed and is excellent for assisting deer in gaining weight. Apart from that, it does not offer much in comparison to other feeds.

Deer Feeding Tips According To Weather

There are several solutions to the query of what to feed deer besides corn. Knowing how deer graze at various times of the year is crucial, though. You may then decide which feeds are best for each season using this information.

High Protein For Winter:

Deer require protein as a source of energy throughout the winter since it is chilly outside. Protein-rich diets are thus suggested for deer grazing throughout the winter. 

Proteins also aid in the development of antlers. In the winter, low-carbohydrate diets are advised.

High-Fat for Autumn:

Winter comes after autumn. Deer are preparing for winter at this time, just as all other creatures. Deer choose diets with a high-fat content in the fall. The majority of animals, including deer, will try to gain weight before winter.

Deer and other animals with higher body fat may generate and keep more body heat.

High Protein For Spring:

Deer emerge from their winter hibernation in the spring. Bucks are currently getting ready for the development of their antlers. Does, on the other hand, are getting ready to raise fawns. Deer will thus need proteins to increase their energy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Which Animals Eat Corn Husks?

Raccoons scale corn stalks to get to the ears, breaking or destroying the stalks in the process and then removing the ears. Before moving on to another husk, a deer nibbles the end of one and then eats one or two bites off a corn ear.

What’s The Favourite Meal Of A Deer?

Browse, forbs, mast, and grass are what deer consume most frequently. However, these are the primary things that deer like eating. The amount of these various meals varies depending on the season and the hunting area.

What Attracts A Deer The Quickest?

From smaller patches of damaged tree canopy planted with brassica to bigger forage soybean plots encompassing 10 acres or more. Deer will be attracted to and maintained by a variety of crops, including maize, milo, turnips, peas, clover, and alfalfa. Through their gut, deer are one of the easiest to draw.


Now you know the answer to do deer eat corn husks. Corn is also not the finest deer feed, despite being inexpensive. Many deer perish as a result of poor diet, particularly from ingesting maize in the winter.

Consequently, you must be aware of what to feed deer in place of corn, particularly during the winter. Deer baiting and feeding should thus not include maize throughout the approaching hunting season. 

The options listed above will all produce superior deer feed to maize.

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