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Why dont deer eat turnips? I have planted turnips for 2 years and the deer only eat the tops.

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  • Why dont deer eat turnips? I have planted turnips for 2 years and the deer only eat the tops.

    Why dont deer eat turnips? I have planted turnips for 2 years and the deer only eat the tops.

  • #2
    In my experience with my food plots and friend's food plots, deer will eat turnips but it's hit and miss from year to year. I've had better luck in years that there wasn't an acorn crop here but overall, I've decided that locally they aren't a favorite food. (Northern PA). Deer will dig through the snow to my clover plots before they will do the same for turnips. I have a lot of quality young hardwood growth and also mature oak around my property and the deer seem to prefer these as winter food sources even above clover. With good habitat, I think food plots become a bonus to deer.

    I don't plant turnips in my food plots anymore. (I do plant them for me...they are a required ingredient in venison stew.)

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    • #3
      Turnips are sour until late winter when they become sweet. They are late winter food and nothing more. If your turnips are not getting sweet it might be the soil.

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      • #4
        After it gets cold the greens on the top turn starch into sugar, and deer have a big time sweet tooth. The rest of it is alot of work and no pay off. Deer are pretty picky eaters once you study their diet. They like soft green stuff, Leaves, new growth, things like that.

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        • #5
          Because they are "herb"avores, not "root"avores! LOL!

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          • #6
            I don't know they love them here at my uncles place. We have that and mustard greens and they love them both.

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            • #7
              Turnips are really best for winter carry over forage. as you noticed, the deer aren't that interested in November. I would include them in almost any annual mix though, for the carry over factor. After all, the biggest bucks are often the first to starve during a long winter. Good Lcuk.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by allegnmtn View Post
                In my experience with my food plots and friend's food plots, deer will eat turnips but it's hit and miss from year to year. I've had better luck in years that there wasn't an acorn crop here but overall, I've decided that locally they aren't a favorite food. (Northern PA). Deer will dig through the snow to my clover plots before they will do the same for turnips. I have a lot of quality young hardwood growth and also mature oak around my property and the deer seem to prefer these as winter food sources even above clover. With good habitat, I think food plots become a bonus to deer.

                I don't plant turnips in my food plots anymore. (I do plant them for me...they are a required ingredient in venison stew.)
                I heard you need to have the turnips in the same place year after year because the deer take at least a couple of winters before they find and remember those sweet tasting roots in the late winter time. (and only sweet in late winter)

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