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Do Deer Eat Pumpkins? Everything You Need To Know

Autumn is the season of vibrant pumpkins and delightful pumpkin recipes, but it’s also the time when clever deer might be eyeing your orange treasures to eat them.

Generally, deer love to eat pumpkins due to their good taste, water content, and high nutrient availability, which gives them energy and a healthy diet to survive. However, pumpkins are not the first choice for deer as they mostly prefer cereals, grasses, and baby greens.

Deer prefer the flesh and seeds of pumpkin fruits, but they also consume the leaves and stems.

So, go through this complete article to know the other food items that deer prefer in your vegetable garden besides pumpkins and the techniques to get rid of them.

What Vegetables Do Deer Eat?

Deer are opportunistic herbivores that feed on a variety of plant items like grasses, clovers, fruits, flowers, vegetable crops, and other ornamental plants.

These wild animals usually feed on forest plants but can invade your vegetable garden during food scarcity.

Deer eating a pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich is carbohydrates and makes deer fuller upon feeding.

So, after deer reach your vegetable garden, they can feed and damage variety of vegetable crops like Cucumber, Lettuce, Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, and many more.

These vegetables have a high water content and are highly nutritious. Deer can get energy to forage other food items after consuming these vegetables.

Moreover, these vegetables are readily available and taste better. This makes Deer to get attracted to them.

Do Wild Deer Eat Pumpkins?

Wild deer love to eat Pumpkins, especially during the early spring and fall seasons when other food sources are rarely found.

Pumpkins can be a good source of food for deer as this vegetable contains a significant amount of water, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fiber.

Thus, feeding on this vegetable not only makes herbivores like deer fuller but also provides essential nutrients for healthy survival.

Additionally, pumpkin is sweet and tasty and can attract deer again and again once it feeds upon the vegetable. Many people attract wild deer to hunt them using pumpkins.

However, pumpkins are not the first food choice for deer during the availability of other food items. They mostly prefer cereals, grasses, and baby greens.

But, it can be the perfect wildlife strategy to attract deer and other wild herbivores using pumpkins to observe them closely.

How To Prevent Deer From Eating Pumpkins?

Deer are very cunning, and preventing them from eating your vegetable crops like pumpkins can be challenging. Most deer forage for food during early morning while it its still dark.

So, you must be aware and use the techniques that work even during your absence to prevent them from eating your pumpkins.

  • Use an 8-foot tall metal fence to prevent deer from visiting your vegetable garden.
  • Spraying strong-smelling and bitter-tasting liquids also works as deer repellents. However, you have to reapply the liquid if it rains.
  • Using motion-activated devices or devices with loud noise can scare deer away from your garden.
  • Buy a mesh cover or plastic and hide the pumpkins under it to keep your pumpkins away from deer.
  • Plant the fodder plants that deer love to draw their attention out of your pumpkin patch.
  • If you have pets, roam them around your garden to scare deer away.
  • Use human or pet hair to deter deer from your vegetable garden. Deer do not prefer to forage in areas with human and animal traffic.
  • Keep your garden tidy by removing fallen fruits and trimming tall grasses. Deer usually get attracted to the place where grasses are tall and green.

If no technique works due to the huge deer population, contact professionals to save your vegetable garden from deer invasion.

From Editorial Team

Deer Resistant Plants To Deter Deer Away!

Planting the Deer-resistant plants around your pumpkin patch can deter deer as they don’t roam around the crops they don’t like.

Some deer-resistant plants include Asparagus, Eggplant, Garlic, Onion, Peppers, etc, which have strong smells and strange flavors that deer do not prefer.

However, these plants are deer-resistant but not deer-proof. So, you must use other methods together with growing these plants.