View Full Version : My deer won't eat corn!

02-15-2008, 04:24 PM
Hi guys,
As you can see this is my first post and I really need some advice.

I have an unusual problem......I would like to do a camera survey this year, actually I've been trying for about two years, the problem is the deer will not eat the bait/corn!
So you know what that means no deer eating bait = no pictures :(

I've tried putting out corn in the spring, summer and winter and all I get is Crow, Squirrel and Coon picks. I also plant food plots and the deer will eat the food plots down to the ground, but I have yet to take a picture of a deer eating the corn.... I've tried corn in a pile, corn scattered, apple flavored corn, corn w/ molasses and ear corn to no avail.

Any suggestions?

02-15-2008, 04:36 PM
Wow, you have some smart, lucky deer.

Obviously they are eating something else that they like better than corn. Corn is usually very high on the preference list, especially fall and winter when nothing is green. Could be that the corn is old, stale, moldy ... don't know. I have put apples with whole kernal corn, deer would always eat the apples before the corn, unless the apples were frozen solid.

02-15-2008, 05:09 PM
wow never heard of that before

you need to capture those non-corn eating deer and sell them to the farmers around here so they can cross-breed with the local herd. The farmers could save millions haha

have you tried roasted soybeans? 'SUPPOSEDLY' the coons and other critters will leave them alone and the deer like them. They cost more than corn though but maybe you could slowly mix in more and more corn and eventually get them on all corn.

02-15-2008, 05:30 PM
I had the same problem. I cut up apples and use some feed with molasis, but once they start their hooked. I have a timed feeder in the back yard during the winter months. Last night about an hour before it went off they were waitng.

02-15-2008, 05:35 PM
Sounds like you need to put the camera's up on your food plots. Is there any agriculture in your area?? Maybe they just haven't figured it out yet??

02-15-2008, 06:18 PM
I have the same problem with the deer on my property in Pa. They won't eat corn from mid Jan to mid March. I have trail camera pictures of them walking right past the corn. We got a little snow the other day so tomorrow i'm going to track a few deer and see what they are eating.

02-16-2008, 01:33 AM
I'm glad to see somebody else has or has had the same problems....on the other hand I feel for ya as well.

The corn that I've been putting out has just been purchased and fresh. The apple flavored corn smells as good as apple pie...I almost started to eat some :D

I'll try the feed w/ molasses and the roasted soybeans. I haven't tried cut apples but I will if I can get my hands on some. I hate to ask a dumb question but do you buy soybeans that are roasted or do you roast them yourself?

I have put cameras on my food plots and have some cool pictures, they love the oats, wheat and Rye. There is no one else in a 1/2 mile radius that I know of planting or feeding anything.....just mature hardwood and pasture and with the drought this year there were very few acorns. My place has plantation pines and thick hardwood.

Great information thanks for the info.... keep it coming

02-16-2008, 02:31 AM
I'll try the feed w/ molasses and the roasted soybeans. I haven't tried cut apples but I will if I can get my hands on some. I hate to ask a dumb question but do you buy soybeans that are roasted or do you roast them yourself?

You roast them yourself. It's a pretty good time, too...setting up the fire, roastin soybeans and hangin out with the bucks. To tell you the truth though, I think they come for the beer and not the soybeans...that's just what they're tellin the does so they don't get in trouble.


02-16-2008, 05:50 AM
Not at all that uncommon of a problem. That's why I use salt licks as my "bait" in late summer. I've run concurrent censuses off corn and salt and the salt lick sites produce photographs of many more bucks than I get on the corn, especially older bucks.

02-16-2008, 03:07 PM
I found a natural salt spill on one of our farms this year. Tracks everywhere!! I am excited about getting a cam out there this spring.:D

02-16-2008, 06:10 PM
Trust me, you aren't the only one.

I wasted 250lbs in a gravity fed feeder over there last year. Fatest squirrells you have ever seen. After season, I put it out with only 100lbs in it. Nothing. They will not eat from the feeder. Spred some out in various locations from plots to pines to hardwoods............
50lbs spred at each location sat on the ground for around a month. I traded the feeder off for some stands. Gonna stop spending money on corn. I've put out 60lbs of Antler King minerals and now I'm gonna spread AK protein blocks out and try that for suppl and pix.

02-17-2008, 09:39 AM
I'm willing to bet that your deer will eat corn; but they may not do it when and where you want them to. :)

02-17-2008, 04:29 PM
Gentlemen, the #1 reason why deer will not eat corns is:


How was you acorn crop this year? If it was like the rest of the South? You had a huge crop.
The experts say that mother nature makes up for the lack of grasses and other browse when there is a bad long drought.
Could this be the case in your area?

02-17-2008, 08:04 PM
We had about 2" of snow on wednesday and i know where the deer bed when its snows. I followed there tracks yeasterday and today. I started tracking from when they left there beds after the snow. They walked over harvested corn and soybean fields and never dug for food. They also showed no sign of eating in the winter wheat fields or grass fields.

They only spread out and feed when they entered the next patch of woods before bedding down again. The deer bedded and fed a few times before heading to the next wooded area.

I also saw no sign of the deer or turkeys searching for acorns. The turkeys have been scratching for food in the harvested corn and soybean fields.

02-17-2008, 10:20 PM
I've had good luck putting syrup on the corn. When the deer did not eat the pumpkins - just add syrup. No failures either way. I would buy syrup at sam's club for five dollars a gallon. Just my idea...

02-18-2008, 12:12 AM
We have the same issue on the farm we hunt in western KY. The deer will not touch corn from a feeder or spread on the ground. We tried for the first 2 years and the corn would simply lay on the ground. We tried moving the feeders to various locations around the farm without any luck.

We do have alot of agriculture in our area and we have 100+ acres on our farm that is planted in corn/soybeans. So I would not have expected to get any action on the feeder corn during most of the year when the deer have "fresh" corn and/or beans to choose from, along with other natural food such as browse and acorns. However, I would have thought that they would have used the feeder corn during Jan, Feb, and Mar when most of the other preferred food sources are mostly depleted.

As stated before, the only answer I could come up with is that the deer have to be finding other food sources that they like better. I have used corn in other parts of the country with good success so I am still a little baffled that the deer on our place will not touch the feeder corn at all, but I have quit trying to figure them out. Sort of like the old adage that says you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink...

I would follow BSK's advice on using mineral licks for your survey and start utilizing your "corn money" on other, more beneficial items.

Good luck.

02-18-2008, 09:41 AM
Thanks guys,
Just to give a little history, I bought this property three years ago. It had been hunted hard by the previous owner (s) and nothing done to help wildlife, not even a entrance road. Needless to say I've been busy.
I put out two mineral licks last week, I'll bet this is the first time a mineral lick has ever been on this property other than natural minerals. Thinking come warm weather the mineral sites will be just right.
Well to make a long story short, the deer started pawing the minerals! I put a camera on one lick and sure enough got some deer picks (and a coon, dang coons will eat anything).

I guess we found something they needed, BSK you hit the nail on the head.
uthunter I couldn't agree more....lets plant some beans for this summer :D

In the mean time, me and the deer are going to have a soybean roast y'all come and BYOB


02-18-2008, 09:52 AM
Back when it was legal and I still (mistakenly) baited, I had this experience too. What I discovered was the corn had some type of bug in it. The kernels were 99% intact, but the germ of the corn had a hole in it. On close inspection I noticed a few small flies around my (fresh and recently bought) corn. Deer wouldn't touch the corn, I returned the corn and got some from a different vendor. The deer ate it up like candy. Worth checking anyway.