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Top 10 Deer Foods in Canada [PICS]

deer food feature
Northern Outdoors

Think you know all about whitetail deer? Can you guess the top 10 deer foods in Canada and nearby American states?

Whitetail deer are browsers and eat a huge variety of plant species throughout the year. But there are also certain key deer foods that are consumed steadily throughout the year.

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deer food pondweed


These preferred deer foods consist of native shrub and herbaceous plant species, and were identified by six Canadian province’s deer biologists. Many of the deer foods are common across the whitetail’s range, but there are some differences regionally.

Can you guess the bonus five notable deer foods at the end?

If you think you know, click through the slideshow to see the top 10 deer foods for Canada.

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1. Asters

deer food aster

Helpful Gardener

Aster species occur throughout the whitetail’s range, so it’s no wonder they made the top 10 deer food list.

2. Brambles

deer food bramble


Similarly, Rubus species (e.g., raspberry, blackberry, etc.) are everywhere. Their aggressive growth and copious berries make it an obvious choice.

3. Chokecherry

deer food chokecherry

Iowa State University

Prunus species (e.g., cherries, plums, etc.) are heavily browsed by whitetails in the northern U.S. and Canada.

4. Fireweed

deer food fireweed


True to its name, fireweed often colonizes sites after wildfires, adding a bright splash of pink life to a charred black landscape. It generally out-competes other plants in forest clearings as well, making it an abundant deer food.

5. Pondweed

deer food pondweed


Pondweeds (Potamogeton species) are fairly common aquatic herbs across Canada, and come in several species. Whitetails need water, so why not stop for a pondweed snack while there?

6. Snowberry

deer food snowberry


Snowberry (Symphiocarpos albus) is a thicket-forming shrub with pink bell-shaped flowers and large white berries.

7. Sow thistle

deer food sow thistle

Toronto Wildlife

Sow thistle (Sonchus species) are annual herbs with yellow flowers resembling dandelions. Some species spread aggressively, making them a widely-available deer food in disturbed areas.

8. Trillium

deer food trillium


Trilliums are easily recognizable perennial herbs that occur in forest settings. Identify them by their three leaf-like bracts surrounding three flower petals (generally white in Canada and the northern U.S.).

9. Virginia Strawberry

deer food strawberry

Friends of Eloise Butler

Virginia strawberry (Fragaria species), or wild strawberry, is commonly seen along roadsides and trails. It has distinct three-part leaves, white flowers, and of course, small red strawberries.

10. Wild Rose

deer food rose

Minnesota Wildflowers

Wild roses (Rosa species) produce different kinds of fruits called hips, that draw wildlife to them in late summer.

Bonus Deer Foods

deer food bonus


The five honorable mention deer foods include Canada mayflower, jewelweed, lupines, ragweed, and wild lettuce.

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Top 10 Deer Foods in Canada [PICS]