Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Deer Candy – Wild Persimmons



Wild Persimmons
In the southern region of the United States a late bearing fruit tree that occurs naturally can be a gold mine for big deer.  It is well known that even during the prime of white oak acorn season that deer still desire a wide variety of things to eat.  Persimmon trees are the tip of the week.

When you hear of persimmons, the first thing you may think of is something so sour that it will curl your bottom lip.  The reality is that when persimmons are allowed to ripen, they are very sweet and are a good fit for deer that seem to always have an insatiable sweet tooth.  The trees can produce prolific numbers of fruit that are a delicacy for many species of wildlife.

They love them!
Some real good info on persimmon trees is that the wild native version of the tree grows male and female and you must have several trees in order to produce fruit.  It’s not like you can go out and raise the skirt of the tree to figure this out, so during fruiting season it is a great idea to mark the tree with a ribbon or something so you will remember which tree is the female.  The tree will begin dropping fruit around October and will continue up until December which is perfect for the deer season.

Another thing about persimmons is that deer prefer to eat the fruit that has fallen to the ground is rather over ripe or almost mushy.  If you can find a tree, it is possible to collect the fruit, let them ripen to mushiness and then place them out for your herd to devour.  As always, be careful that this is not considered baiting if your state does not allow it.

Japanese Persimmon
Japanese Persimmon
If you would rather grow your own trees and place them on your land or lease, you might want to consider the Japanese persimmon tree.  The fruit is a bit bigger than the wild variety and both the male and female plants produce fruit, so you don’t have to plant 5-10 to get the desired result.  Also, the Japanese variety can tolerate more climate zones and can be utilized by a much larger segment of the U.S.

The season is opening here in Louisiana tomorrow and I for one just cannot wait to get into the blind and wait for a big boy to stroll by.

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