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Are Persimmon Trees Good for Deer Hunting?

By Brodie SwisherAugust 17, 2022
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Few things take me back to my early days of deer hunting like the sight and smell of persimmons in the woods. Of all the food sources out there for deer, persimmons continue to find their place at the top of my list for action-packed, early season opportunities to punch buck and doe tags with a bow. 

Persimmons are like candy for deer. You can bet every deer in town knows where these trees are on the landscape. That’s why it’s so important for every hunter to know the whereabouts of these trees on the properties they hunt as well.  

The video below with Lindsay Thomas Jr. of the National Deer Association (NDA) shares some great insight on what you need to know about persimmon trees for deer. 

Persimmon Tree I.D.

Fortunately, identifying persimmon trees is fairly easy. The brick-like, or checkered pattern of their bark makes them easily recognized among other trees in the timber. 

Scan the timber and take notice of the trees you see. Again, the defined bark pattern of a persimmon tree will stick out among the others. You’ll typically find these trees ranging in size from 6″ – 12″ in diameter and 25 – 30 foot tall. 

Improve Your Hunting Property With Soft Mast Trees
Persimmons are like candy for deer in the fall. Do you have these trees on the property you hunt?

Male or Female Trees?

You also need to know that only female persimmon trees produce fruit. If you’re finding these trees in the late summer, when fruit is on the branches, it’s fairly easy to figure out what trees are female. But what about if you’re discovering these trees in the winter when the leaves are off the tree and there’s no evidence of fruit? 

In the video above, Thomas says you can still figure out the female trees in the late season as well. Just dig around in the leaves at the base of the trees for the hard cap (calyx) from the persimmon fruit. Deer do not eat the calyx, leaving it on the ground to dry out and harden. You can also look for persimmon seeds on the ground below these trees. Deer will spit these out as they eat the fruit. If you find either of these below the persimmon trees you come across in the woods, you’ll know you have identified a fruit-producing female persimmon tree. 

Are the Persimmon Trees Overcrowded?

When you find persimmon trees in the timber, be sure to take inventory of the other trees around it. Are they overcrowding the persimmon tree? If you have other trees close to your persimmon tree, they will hinder it’s growth. It can’t reach full potential if it doesn’t have room to branch out and maximize its crown. 

Where possible, cut these other competing trees down to open up the canopy and allow your persimmon tree to grow up and out. Fruit will grow from the ends of these branches. They need room to grow to maximize their full potential. The persimmon tree will always grow best in full sunlight.  

persimmons-on-ground
Can you identify a persimmon tree by what you find on the ground beneath them?

Persimmons will typically begin to drop in September, and even August, making them the perfect spot for an early-season sit in the treestand with your bow. 

Coons and coyotes will be competing for this fruit as well, so be ready. It’s not uncommon to shoot a mix bag of critters with your bow in the early season while bowhunting over persimmons. 

For a closer look at Bowhunting Persimmon Trees in the Early Season, click HERE

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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