I had this exact conversation yesterday with a close friend who started one of the first wildlife food plot lineups. He also has as much experience with managed intensive grazing as i do. I was discussing how i've recently been in many food plots where deer were hitting my brassica blends in the past month or 2 and how so many people have been sending me pictures with deer in their brassicas. This is a-typical of the industry and for those who follow my PROGRAM, this is the norm.
I mentioned how so many people ask me what deer prefer to eat. I asked him what does he think deer prefer to eat.......his answer was.....ANYTHING
i totally agree. Deer will eat anything depending on numerous factors. This is why i subscribe to the cafeteria style approach when it comes to cattle and deer grazing. They are selective grazers and know what their needs are. They typically prefer young, succulent growth and will always prefer forages that are not diseased, insect pressured and those in earlier vegetative stages.
So, deer prefer various forages over others but deer will eat just a bout anything if they have to, need to or want to. These are important factors in how deer will prefer your plots over the neighbors or others.
It starts with soil pH.
High soil organic matter
Correct and balanced soil nutrients
Location of the plots
Foliar plant foods