Will Deer Eat Corn With Weevils?


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As most hunters are well aware, deer seize upon any opportunity to feed heavily upon corn. This proves true for both standing corn, and corn used as bait by hunters. During virtually any time of the year, deer will readily feed upon corn wherever it is available, often bypassing other food sources to do so. This leaves hunters to question whether or not there is any scenario in which deer would pass up such an opportunity.

Along these lines, many hunters ponder the notion of whether or not deer will eat corn with weevils. While this is quite an interesting quandary, it is one likely to actually be encountered in the field. It is not uncommon to observe weevil-infested corn, under a wide range of scenarios, all but guaranteeing that deer will stumble across such a situation themselves.

What Is A Weevil?

Weevils are a type of beetle with an elongated snout, commonly referred to as flour bugs. These pestering insects commonly flock to various types of grain, including corn. In fact, weevils come in more than one variety and are commonly named after the type of grain that they infest. Some of the most common weevil varieties include rice weevils, maize weevils, and bean weevils.

Weevils typically measure ⅛”-¼” in length and are easily identified by the appearance of their abnormally long snouts. The average lifespan of weevil is 2-8 months, though this can vary from one particular region to the next. During this time, female weevils can lay up to several hundred eggs.

Female weevils are known for burrowing inside of grain, where they will deposit their eggs. Once hatched, weevil larvae feed on the inside of these grain kernels, until reaching maturity. It is at this point that weevils emerge from the inside of these kernels, with the intent of mating. The burrowing and egg-laying process will then repeat itself indefinitely.

What About Weevil Infested Corn?

As mentioned above, deer typically jump at any opportunity to feed heavily upon corn of almost any type. Surprisingly, even a weevil infestation cannot dissuade deer from gobbling up corn kernels with a vengeance. In fact, deer are often observed eating corn with weevils, without any sign of discouragement.

From prior observation, it is safe to say that deer show no preference between corn that is free of weevils, and that which has been infested. This is primarily due to the notion that deer are believed to be incapable of distinguishing the source of any insects that they encounter. Simply put, insects are a natural part of a deer’s environment and therefore are not recognized as a threat.

All things considered, deer are likely unable to determine between standard and infested corn, deer are not believed to be able to rationalize the origins of a weevil or any other insect. Furthermore, a deer’s desire to consume carbohydrate-rich corn outweighs any discrepancies uncovered in the grain that they encounter.

Will Eating Weevils Hurt Deer?

There is also no need to fear the idea of deer being harmed upon consuming the weevil-infested corn kernel. Deer are not harmed by weevils, no matter the quantity of these pesky insects that they consume. In fact, it is safe to say that there are few wild deer alive today, living in an agricultural country, that has not accidentally consumed their fair share of weevils.

Weevils are so common that most any corn that has been stored for any period of time, has already been invaded by weevils. This goes for both bagged corn sold at many sporting goods stores and feed houses, as well as that bought in bulk from farmers. Even waste grain left over after combining is quickly infiltrated by these miniature pests.

Furthermore, to date, there is no evidence that humans are consumed by the occasional accidental consumption of weevils. While the idea of chomping down on a bug or two with breakfast is quite unsettling, it does prove a point, nonetheless.

Conclusion

The deer that you hunt will be in no way harmed, by incidental weevil consumption. Therefore, there is no reason to throw out otherwise quality corn, due to the appearance of the stray weevil. More importantly, don’t let a weevil infestation keep you from filling your feeders with this essential commodity.

Josh is an avid hunter of over twenty years and strategically manages several properties. Josh is also the Branch President for his local chapter of QDMA (Quality Deer Management Association).

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