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Mar 25th, 2012
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Prickly pear eating buck #7404724 01/15/19 01:28 AM
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I have seen bucks eating prickly pear on this ranch for years now. It is something they primarily do post rut and then in late summer into early fall every year but have seen them eat pear just about any month at times. They do it no matter what the range conditions are it seems.
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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7404728 01/15/19 01:34 AM
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that's cool. I can't say I've ever seen a deer eat cactus before.

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7404738 01/15/19 01:44 AM
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Very cool. I've always heard that they do


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: D Rogers] #7404745 01/15/19 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by D Rogers
Very cool. I've always heard that they do


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7404862 01/15/19 03:49 AM
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Ok, I've seen this before, and I've heard for some deer it can become a problem.

My son shot a large axis that had a huge rack but was in bad shape, and it appeared all he was eating was prickly pear. Green mouth, lots of thorns around his mouth. I've also heard goats and sheep will sometimes get to where they only eat prickly pear, until they wither up and die.

Anyone else heard of this? I'm sure it's different from deer that eat the occasional prickly pear, but I'd like to get more info on it.

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7404968 01/15/19 12:06 PM
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Neat pic, I saw a doe eating it outside Cotulla a long time ago up


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7404993 01/15/19 12:53 PM
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That's gotta be hard to swallow.


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If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405007 01/15/19 01:10 PM
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they do eat them, I have only seen it one time but knew they do. That is a very good buck with lots of character.

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405021 01/15/19 01:35 PM
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NICE


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405092 01/15/19 02:24 PM
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STX have you ever seen them eat the red flowering end of the cactus?



Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405093 01/15/19 02:24 PM
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Never seen that. Thanks for the photo.


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405098 01/15/19 02:26 PM
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Neat that you can hunt until their horns fall off and you can hang what you shoot on the wall. Nice buck.


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: ErnestTBass] #7405106 01/15/19 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ErnestTBass
Ok, I've seen this before, and I've heard for some deer it can become a problem.

My son shot a large axis that had a huge rack but was in bad shape, and it appeared all he was eating was prickly pear. Green mouth, lots of thorns around his mouth. I've also heard goats and sheep will sometimes get to where they only eat prickly pear, until they wither up and die.

Anyone else heard of this? I'm sure it's different from deer that eat the occasional prickly pear, but I'd like to get more info on it.


We had a cow that did that. It was like an addiction. When we couldn't get her to stop, we sold her down the road. It's very much a natural laxative and she had lost ~200 lbs over the course of a month or two before we got her to the auction.


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405109 01/15/19 02:36 PM
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Very cool

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405110 01/15/19 02:36 PM
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Have definitely seen them eat cactus. I believe I read a study that said late winter that cactus can make up a good portion of their diet. I have even seen deer that will carry a piece of it with them. They will eat a little of it then set it down at the feeder and pick it up and take it with them when they leave.


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: titan2232] #7405114 01/15/19 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ErnestTBass
Ok, I've seen this before, and I've heard for some deer it can become a problem.

My son shot a large axis that had a huge rack but was in bad shape, and it appeared all he was eating was prickly pear. Green mouth, lots of thorns around his mouth. I've also heard goats and sheep will sometimes get to where they only eat prickly pear, until they wither up and die.

Anyone else heard of this? I'm sure it's different from deer that eat the occasional prickly pear, but I'd like to get more info on it.

Can't say that I have seen axis eat pear. The only way I can see them eating it is if they are starving to death or something is wrong with them. Once cattle have had pear burned so they can eat it, some of them will eat pear when it is not burned. Once they start eating pear it is impossible to stop them.
I was at a deer field day/seminar where someone spoke on the importance of pear in the deer diet in places in South Texas. He said that in his studies of deer diet that he found that pear was 45% of the deer diet in late winter- Jan/Feb and then again in late summer -August. Someone was asking about killing all the pear out on their place and he did not think it was a good idea. This study was done in the mid 90's in South Texas also that he was referencing.
Originally Posted by titan2232
STX have you ever seen them eat the red flowering end of the cactus?


I have watched deer eat a lot of different things but not seen them eat the flowers off of cactus...yet. I have seen them eating the Tasajillo fruits in October 2018. Watched them eat ''tunas" or "pear apples" from prickly pear many times.
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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: BenBob] #7405117 01/15/19 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BenBob
Neat that you can hunt until their horns fall off and you can hang what you shoot on the wall. Nice buck.

It is, but this photo was taken on Dec. 19th.



Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405118 01/15/19 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
Originally Posted by ErnestTBass
Ok, I've seen this before, and I've heard for some deer it can become a problem.

My son shot a large axis that had a huge rack but was in bad shape, and it appeared all he was eating was prickly pear. Green mouth, lots of thorns around his mouth. I've also heard goats and sheep will sometimes get to where they only eat prickly pear, until they wither up and die.

Anyone else heard of this? I'm sure it's different from deer that eat the occasional prickly pear, but I'd like to get more info on it.

Can't say that I have seen axis eat pear. The only way I can see them eating it is if they are starving to death or something is wrong with them. Once cattle have had pear burned so they can eat it, some of them will eat pear when it is not burned. Once they start eating pear it is impossible to stop them.
I was at a deer field day/seminar where someone spoke on the importance of pear in the deer diet in places in South Texas. He said that in his studies of deer diet that he found that pear was 45% of the deer diet in late winter- Jan/Feb and then again in late summer -August. Someone was asking about killing all the pear out on their place and he did not think it was a good idea. This study was done in the mid 90's in South Texas also that he was referencing.
Originally Posted by titan2232
STX have you ever seen them eat the red flowering end of the cactus?


I have watched deer eat a lot of different things but not seen them eat the flowers off of cactus...yet. I have seen them eating the Tasajillo fruits in October 2018. Watched them eat ''tunas" or "pear apples" from prickly pear many times.
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Have seen them eat those pear apples here in Young county on my place. Have them on camera with the red juice after having eaten them. Looks pretty cool.

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405135 01/15/19 02:58 PM
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Here is another buck from about 4 yrs ago now on the same ranch. You can see the bite marks on the pear leaves in the back ground also.
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I was told by Little Roy Hindes around 2000 that he would always burn pear in late March where he wanted to find shed antlers. He learned this from burning pear in late winter for cattle and he seemed to always find sheds around the stumps left after cattle ate the pear. He started burning a few pear bushes for the deer. He said the bucks would bed around those pear bushes and drop their antlers there.



Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #7405149 01/15/19 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Originally Posted by ErnestTBass
Ok, I've seen this before, and I've heard for some deer it can become a problem.

My son shot a large axis that had a huge rack but was in bad shape, and it appeared all he was eating was prickly pear. Green mouth, lots of thorns around his mouth. I've also heard goats and sheep will sometimes get to where they only eat prickly pear, until they wither up and die.

Anyone else heard of this? I'm sure it's different from deer that eat the occasional prickly pear, but I'd like to get more info on it.


We had a cow that did that. It was like an addiction. When we couldn't get her to stop, we sold her down the road. It's very much a natural laxative and she had lost ~200 lbs over the course of a month or two before we got her to the auction.


Interesting. I think that's what had happened to this axis, and that's consistent with what I've been told about some goats and sheep. Every now and then, an animal will just get "hooked" on it, make it 100% of their diet, and wither away. I'd never seen or heard of that until he shot this axis and I started asking around and looking into it.

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405194 01/15/19 03:59 PM
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Never actually seen them eating it but I have seen the bite marks in the pear.


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405215 01/15/19 04:14 PM
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Shot a nice buck with 320gr .50 Maxi bullet one time and opened up his stomach to try and find the bullet. He was plum full of red pear apples, never realized they ate them up til then. Place we hunted was covered up in prickly pear, I got in the habit of wearing leather gloves when skinning deer to keep from picking up thorns they had stuck in the hide. Lots of the prickly pear had bite marks, never realized it was probably the deer.

Nice pics. Thanks for posting.


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Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405256 01/15/19 04:46 PM
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Nice!

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7405488 01/15/19 08:16 PM
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Cool pics

Re: Prickly pear eating buck [Re: stxranchman] #7406127 01/16/19 02:03 PM
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Great pics! cheers


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