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Old May 3, 2014, 10:24 pm   #1
Full Member
Name: Stan
Southern, Michigan USA
Ingham Co.
Join Date: May 3, 2014
Posts: 3

Question Do deer eat morels?

I suspect deer eat them. I've gone to known good sites in the U.P. for blacks and have found what's left of stems right next to others I picked. They were nipped and not ripped off. Pretty sure no one had been there before me, since it's on our property. And there were others right next to it that had been there awhile, so if it was a person they would have taken the rest. Still, I don't know for sure. Anyone have positive knowledge on this?
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Old May 6, 2014, 8:26 am   #2
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Name: jeremy
Southern, Michigan USA
Grand Rapids Metro
Join Date: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 89

Re: Do deer eat morels?

Several studies By Mississippi State and others show that deer do eat mushrooms. They even eat some that are poisonous to humans. Deer will eat just about anything with nutritional value. Generally it appears their nose tells the good from the bad. They can eat enough acorns that would kill a cow. They are truly an amazing creation of God. They have even been documented eating Elwifes on the Manitou Islands off Sleeping Bear Dunes.

I think the question is not if they eat mushrooms, but how often. Some of us know they wont touch bait, even when we know they are in the area. They eat what they need, and not always the easy meal.

Some say they spread Morels on deer trails via digestion. I would question that. I think it is more likely the spores are spread on their hooves after stepping in the spores themselves. I often think it may be people spreading them on deer trails as we all walk them looking for mushrooms. Or is it the indentation in the ground, as minor as it is that catches the spores?

I have an area up north that I always find fawns while looking for morels. Sometimes feet away from these hidden babies are several morels.

My conclusion (not scientific) is that yes a deer WILL eat a morel, but they dont target them. I think that bears, squirrels and birds are probably again a contributor to eating a few, but not exclusively.
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