Any point in Winter feeding?

Thread starter #1
For a stable population of deer at multiple properties ( mature breeding does and a couple of shooters) should I cause disruption in order to feed in north ga or wait for spring to start feeding again?
 

huckhgh

Senior Member
If you've been feeding them corn all fall and their bodies are used to corn, that's fine but don't introduce corn into their diet now.
 

huckhgh

Senior Member
I should have said, I wouldn't introduce corn to them right now. You can obviously do what you want. :)

Huck
 

huckhgh

Senior Member
(Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert! Trial and error is my teacher.)

Yes, something high in Protein, Fat and Fiber is best for their stomachs right now. However, if corn is your only option introduce it slowly. You can either put out 20 pounds or so (depending on deer density) every couple of days or use one of the spin feeders that are programmable.

Thanks,

Huck
 
I heard some biologists an a radio show a while back talking about a study that was being done in South Dakota. Traditionally deer from the black hills averaged way less body weight and antler inches than deer from the ag regions of the state. It was something like 50lbs and 30 inches but I don’t remember exactly. They trapped a bunch of deer from both regions of the state and put them in captivity. They conducted the trapping when fawns had just hit the ground within a day or two. So they have bucks, does, and new fawns in captivity and on the exact same “optimum” diet. At maturity those fawns that were trapped basically grew into what their ancestors were. The black hills fawns we’re still significantly smaller than the ag deer.

Now here is where it gets interesting. The does that had given birth to those fawns were then bred in captivity to bucks from their respective regions and the whole time being kept on the high quality diet. The black hills fawns than were bred and born in captivity to the does that had been on the high quality diet closed 80% of the size and antler gap between the blacks hills deer and the ag deer.

Their theory is that when a doe is getting proper nutrition before and during pregnancy in turns on some kind of a “genetic switch” in the dawn that allows the fawn to grow bigger at maturity. They were going to continue the study to see if the gap would completely close within a few generations. I thought that was pretty interesting.
 
Thread starter #11
I heard some biologists an a radio show a while back talking about a study that was being done in South Dakota. Traditionally deer from the black hills averaged way less body weight and antler inches than deer from the ag regions of the state. It was something like 50lbs and 30 inches but I don’t remember exactly. They trapped a bunch of deer from both regions of the state and put them in captivity. They conducted the trapping when fawns had just hit the ground within a day or two. So they have bucks, does, and new fawns in captivity and on the exact same “optimum” diet. At maturity those fawns that were trapped basically grew into what their ancestors were. The black hills fawns we’re still significantly smaller than the ag deer.

Now here is where it gets interesting. The does that had given birth to those fawns were then bred in captivity to bucks from their respective regions and the whole time being kept on the high quality diet. The black hills fawns than were bred and born in captivity to the does that had been on the high quality diet closed 80% of the size and antler gap between the blacks hills deer and the ag deer.

Their theory is that when a doe is getting proper nutrition before and during pregnancy in turns on some kind of a “genetic switch” in the dawn that allows the fawn to grow bigger at maturity. They were going to continue the study to see if the gap would completely close within a few generations. I thought that was pretty interesting.
So in conclusion, you are a proponent of year round feeding?
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Corn and protein mix?
We do it with oats, wheat and clover in the form of food plots - but corn and protein will do fine.

They need food to help get through the hard times of winter and the bucks are trying to get over the rut.

Obviously, with supplemental feeding, you will need to be cognizant of the approaching turkey season.

Good luck!
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Question?? Just what are "you all" trying to accomplish with year 'round feeding?
See above - nutrition for the herd and help through winter....

Most does are pregnant and the bucks are worn out.
 
So in conclusion, you are a proponent of year round feeding?
About the only thing I am a proponent of is improving habitat.

I'm not for or against year round feeding. I just thought that discussion was interesting and relevant to the bigger picture of winter time nutrition.

The other question to ask is can you create a herd who's health will deteriorate if the supplemental feed is taken away?
 
I'm on board with Jim Boyd on this. I feed year round. 7 acres of nutritional food plots , 3 spinners and a trough with high protein and corn , fertilize natural vegetation . Continuous year round habitat improvement. This all on only 60 acres and close to home. I say if you can afford it and have the time , go all in. We see piles of bucks and does year round and they keep looking healthier and better every year after 4 years now.
 

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
The other question to ask is can you create a herd who's health will deteriorate if the supplemental feed is taken away?
I think not.

Deteriorate is likely not the right word. More likely, the herd would simply migrate back to the state it was in before the feeding.

It would be wise to remember that the “herd” is not captive. They come and go - and when food is reduced - they go (within reason) to where nutrition is more readily found.
 

sea trout

Senior Member
I think year round feeding helps the deer on our clubs pine management forest get extra calories. We only stop for the 10 days before turkey season until the last day of turkey season.
I don't know about when is good time to start feeding but I do know that now is a bad time to stop.
Someone wrote to introduce extra food slowly to you herd, I think that sounds good and safe.
Good luck!
 
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