After Halloween, most people throw their pumpkins straight into the trash. If you’re wondering a better way to dispose of them, there’s plenty of wildlife who would love a tasty treat.
Whitetail deer are herbivorous feeders and will eat a wide variety of plants including acorns from oak trees, berries, persimmons, twigs and other plants found in the woods and pastures. Most times you’ll find them coming out in the early morning or early evening along the edges of fields and pastures chomping on what’s available.
Do deer eat pumpkins?
Sometimes folks ask me if deer will eat pumpkins. The answer is yes, deer love to eat pumpkin fruit. In fact, they eat all kinds of fruits and vegetables.
Pumpkins are a nutritious snack for deer and they love to eat all parts of the fruit including the inside guts, seeds, outer shell and even the stem. You don’t have to break or crack it open either. Deer will use their hooves to scrape it and eventually crack it open.
Pumpkins are nutrient rich and provide additional energy that deer need for the cold weather. They are high in vitamins and due to the fiber content, can aid in digestion.
You can also use pumpkins as a supplement to your deer food plot or salt lick. Throw your old pumpkins on the ground with your other nutrients to provide a variety of attractants for them to forage on.
If your pumpkin has been painted, has glitter or anything on it that is not environmentally friendly, then properly discard it in the trash.
Every year, over 1 billion pounds of pumpkins are thrown away in the trash. There are plenty of ways to reduce that amount including composting, feeding to wildlife and donating them to zoos.
If you are trying to figure out what to do with your leftover Halloween pumpkins, then do not throw them in the trash. Instead, feed them to the deer and other wildlife in the woods.