Deer and hunters alike often find themselves at the mercy of this modest nut. A poor acorn year can spell disaster for a herd headed into a hard winter, just as a bumper crop can ruin even the best hunt plan. Here’s everything you never knew about the hard mast that packs a real punch.
Number of oak species that exist worldwide (depending on how they’re classified)
Approximate number of oak species in the U.S.
Pounds of food a deer consumes per day, on average
Portion of a whitetail’s fall diet that consists of mast like acorns
Acorns a gray squirrel may hide but never recover
Protein should make up 16% of a buck’s diet for its antlers to reach maximum growth
Number of acorns a single oak tree can drop in a good year
Time it takes acorns from the white oak family to mature
Time it takes acorns from the red oak family to mature
One Pennsylvania study measured how many acorns a stand of red oaks could produce. In a poor seed year researchers tallied just 7,000 acorns per acre. but during a bumper year, they recorded 273,000. That’s a lot of nuts.