If you want to attract more deer, and grow bigger deer on your land and you still haven't planted chestnuts, you're missing out. The cultivation of hybrid chestnut varieties, like ours, that are resistant to chestnut blight have made it possible to plant chestnuts again in North America. (See our previous post to learn why blight resistant varieties are necessary) Since these varieties have become available, hunters and land managers everywhere have started planting them with big results.
Plantings of chestnuts can draw deer in for miles, and keep them coming back year after year to their favorite food source. Chestnuts are extremely palatable to deer as they contain no tannins like acorns do. Tannins make acorns slightly bitter, so given the option deer will choose chestnuts over acorns every time. In fact, according to a study done by the Whitetail Research Institute, deer choose chestnuts over acorns 100 to 1.
Chestnuts are also superior in nutrition to acorns providing more carbohydrates and 10 times the protein. They're not only attractive, they will nourish your herd like nothing else. Chestnuts are even used to fatten beef and hogs and the meat is sold at a premium price due to the great body condition achieved by feeding chestnuts. If you want a food source to increase the size and quality of your deer herd chestnuts can't be beat.
Unlike some other plantings like sugar beets or other brassicas, deer don't need time to develop a taste for chestnuts. In the study referenced above, the deer that were studied had never seen or eaten a chestnut before but as soon as they were put out the deer wasted no time finding them. In fact, it took less than an hour for the first deer to show up on camera to chow down on these tasty nuts.
Chestnuts also have another advantage over other plantings. They're very low maintenance and they'll last a lifetime. Other plantings like clover, alfalfa, corn, etc. require landowners to work the ground, replanting year after year, applying tons of expensive fertilizer, mowing, and providing weed control. If not cared for and replanted every year, they're gone. With chestnuts, you don't even need to be able to work the ground at all. Just dig your hole, plant, and aside from providing some water the first year, no other maintenance is necessary. Just sit back and watch them grow for 2-5 years and you'll have trees that are producing the most attractive whitetail food source available without having to do work every year.
These trees will not only produce for you, they'll still be around for your grandkids too. The honey hole that you create for yourself will still be a great hunting spot for generations to come. Chestnuts aren't just a great investment for you, they're a legacy you can leave behind. Get started planting them today, head over to our shop page to order your seedlings before we sell out for the year.