Apple tree impact on hunting


Active Member
I am looking for input on how effective apple trees have been on your hunting success. I currently have 8 trees planted in a 1/2 acre clearing. I plan to hunt 75 yards down wind to be in position for scent checking bucks. I have planted varieties of apples that drop thru the entire season. Do mature bucks visit your orchards in the daylight? Do deer perfer apples in the early versus late season? Should I plant more than 8 trees? Im located in west central wisconsin.

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First, welcome to the forum, glad to see a new member posting. To answer your question the deer here prefer apples from late June thru February or whenever the last apple has fallen. Since our apples are mostly wild they grow in a woods environment so are visited regularly during daylight by most of the deer living here except if they have been pressured. Hunting among the apples is not our best shot. Too many deer from too many directions causes us to be winded by one or more and then the area gets spooked. Enclosed blinds have reduced that problem but not completely in all setups.

Catching the deer coming and going between apple clusters has brought our most consistent action unless we are shooting every deer but we haven't had the population making that a necessary option in a few years. The apples definitely draw them to the property though. Every property is different but apples work for us.
Well.. thats the hope! I have 20 trees planted but none large enough to produce yet. Cannot wait for them to be a draw. Sorry I'm not much help but I'm very hopeful. Good luck!
I have an orchard of roughly 75 trees on my Home 10 acres. Deer hammer my orchard. I am building a fence right now! If they arent eating apples, they are eating the trees. They bed near it, around it, and visit it nightly. Over the years, they have trained themselves that this is a foodplot i planted for them. Ha. I will throw some culls over the fence for them starting this August!
There are tons of apples around here. Wild trees and yard trees. I plant pears for mast.
But apple is as good as it gets for a scrape-location species.
I was lucky to have 28 mature apple trees on my land when I bought it. I take care of them by fertilizing them with spikes every spring and keeping them properly pruned. The deer have trails to each and every one of these apple trees. They visit them when they are out browsing in the fall. These are especially good locations after there is snow on the ground. I also see grouse and turkeys using the apples on the ground. A few of my apple trees hold there fruit until December. The apples can be brown and frozen and the deer still will search them out. They actually seem to prefer them in that condition as my guess is that it concentrates the sugar in the apple making it a sweet treat for the deer.