Years ago the pumpkins we used as fall decorations were thrown in the compost bin where they were soon opened and the interior, including all the seeds, eaten. As many people know, white-tailed deer really enjoy eating pumpkins and it was apparent that deer were the cause of this pumpkin destruction.
White-tailed deer do not have upper incisors and presumably have a fairly difficult time getting through the outer rind on a pumpkin. More recently I’ve saved the deer the trouble of opening the pumpkins by smashing them on a large rock in the yard.
Although the deer occasionally come to eat pumpkin during the day, they usually don’t arrive until after dark and leave before dawn. We were curious about how much time they spent munching away as well as how some pieces of pumpkin wound up far from the rock where they were opened. So a camera trap was mounted on a tree in the yard to watch the goings-on.
In four days the camera took several hundred video clips (of which you've seen but a few) before the pumpkins were completely gone.
From the videos it became apparent that the deer first ate the seeds; they then used their lower incisors to scrape off the soft pulp, much as we use a spoon to scrape the pulp from a pumpkin when making a jack-o-lantern, and ate that. They then did the same with most of the "meat" of the pumpkin, and finally they ate the tough outer rind by shaking the large pieces to tear off smaller pieces. Some pieces of the shaken pumpkins were flung 10-15 feet.
Obviously we humans aren’t the only ones who enjoy pumpkin in the fall – but ours is baked in a crust and topped with whipped cream.