We live on 10 acres (very small, I know) but we have got a deer and I was wondering how to bring more deer in. I am looking for advice on land management to achieve this. Some stat: we live in Michigan, one side (of the woods) meets up to a field, the other side has a trail separating my neighbors woods and are woods, the other side meets up to a pond on my other neighbor property. thank for every thing.

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    You want more deer? How I wish Scotty could beam some of ours to you. But, seriously, is your own woods surrounded by other woods? Or is It surrounded by fields. Deer are an edge species , which means that they "thrive where forest and field meet."
    – ab2
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 0:26
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    '10 acres (very small, i know) " - LOL Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 2:47
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    Hi triplex and welcome to TGO. I assume your main question is how to attract more deer and the land management changes to achieve that. Could you please edit the title to make that more clear. Generally asking for pointers about land management is way too unspecific and broad.
    – imsodin
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 7:28
  • 10 acres is about 200 by 200 meters whatsisname. It's very big for a back yard, but quite small for a forest, or for the living area of a herd of deer.
    – Monster
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 20:26
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    As I wrote before, I think the part about attracting deer is not too broad. As I believe this is the main inquiry of triplex I took the liberty of editing the question to narrow it down on that aspect. I hope that's correct, otherwise please edit again/rollback my edit.
    – imsodin
    Commented Dec 2, 2018 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


Deer are browse feeders. They nibble on shrubs during the winter. You want to keep the forest clear enough of trees that shrubs do well. In our region (Alberta) dogwood and alder are the big ones for deer browse, but most willows, high bush cranberry, snowberry are also palatable for them.

Ideal deer cover is a mixed wood with some conifer, some hardwood, some big stuff, lots of little stuff. Needs to be open enough that deer can flee predators easily, closed enough to provide shelter from winter wind.

Deer are under maximum stress most years in late winter: Snow more than a few inches deep requires significant energy to move through. Running in snow is unpredicable, and is stressful on joints. Nutrient content of buds declines through the winter. Buds and twigs dry, making deer eat more snow for water. Snow that takes heat to warm up.

If there has been a thaw/freeze, the snow may have a crust that cuts deer legs when they break through. Here in Alberta coyotes, being 1/3 the weight, and twice the paw size can stay on the crust when deer are breaking through. Deer population drops dramatically on those years.

10 acres is enough that you can manage it for firewood. Here, I can harvest a cord per acre per year indefinitely on poplar woods. That should also hold true for other fast growing hardwoods like silver maple. Oaks and red/sugar maple maybe half that.

Try phoning your local county extension agent or horticulturalist. Many areas have some form of Wood Lot management association that shares workshops on replanting, safe use of chainsaw, selective cutting. Or Google "wood lot {name of your state or province}"

If you want deer, put out a salt lick. Not legal during hunting season in many locales.

  • So that others don't have to look it up too: a cord is a measure of wood and corresponds to 3 stere or 3 stacked cubic meters.
    – fgysin
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 14:55
  • trust me i know what i cord is we go thru 5 to 8 cord a winter. :)
    – triplex
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 14:59

First decide want you want to do. Here in East TX wooded areas , the deer come in and eat about anything , no matter how small the area. This severely limits what can be grown. If we want deer , a few handfuls of corn from time to time, will bring a plethora of deer. This is partly because local deer hunters go to places like Colorado to hunt deer. I mean you need to decide if you want a diverse woodland or a deer park, you can't have both.


A bit of googling seems to indicate that Michigan has the second largest deep population in the US at around 1.7 million. There is about one deer for every 5 or 6 people in Michigan.

The chances that there is really only a single deer visiting your property is very low. You might have only seen one at a time, but there are likely several of them.

Before actually trying to encourage local deer to spend more time on your property, research the issues and decided if this is really what you want. Often the idea and the reality are drastically different.

Next consider that you only own 10 acres which is not going to support any number of deer alone, these deer will also be visiting your neighbors. Some of of whom are almost certainly hunters. How is your family going to react, when your neighbor shoots the deer you have been feeding; in their front yard, and then proceeds to butcher it while your family looks on?

If after considering the implications, and you really do want to encourage deer to visit your property, all you need to do is provide food, more food = more deer. You can plant things like fruit trees, and shrubs


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