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Deer feeders

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Old 06-10-2015, 05:44 AM
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Spike
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Default Deer feeders

Do any of you guys use deer feeders? I have one, but it has never been used, its brand new. I got it for a Christmas present.

I have been reading online that feeding corn like this can actually kill the deer in the winter time. So I am a little hesitant as to whether or not I should do this.

I know people that do feed them. I've even dumped it on the ground before.

Just would like to hear the thoughts of others on this issue.
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:01 AM
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Jasper, when you hear of it killing deer it's because they dumped suddenly large amounts of feed and the deer weren't used to it. It causes a "colik" type problem in their digestive tracts and they get all twisted up. Feeding throughout the year, especially in early spring, helps them recover from a hard winter diet. Set your feeder up to put out a little at a time at first then slowly increase output over a few weeks till you reach a good feed density for your deer.
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:55 AM
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They don't get colich, or their insides do not twist, they die because they no longer have the bacteria and enzymes in their stomaches to digest grain, they have the enzymes and bacteria to digest bark and buds and sedges and grasses. They cannot digest the corn and it lays in their digestive tracts and and kills them. If corn is fed all year long it will not kill them but then in many states it would be illegal to hunt the property if bait is found on it. If you really want to help deer going into winter, cut down trees and let them lay for the deer to browse on, it is natural food and it is better for them than grains. However check with your wildlife agency to see if that is considered bait in season and if so, do it after the season. Just one of many articles you can find regarding feeding deer corn. From Outdoor life.



Are You Feeding Your Deer To Death?


by Craig Dougherty

120





It’s that time of year again when well meaning do-gooders (including hunters and landowners) start killing winter stressed dear by feeding them. Concerned that whitetails are not getting enough to eat, they drive pickups full of corn or apples (or just about anything a deer will eat) into the woods and leaving it for the hungry deer to gobble down. And that’s when the deer to begin to starve.

In most parts of the North, winter weather conditions put serious stress on whitetails. With the ground covered by a foot or more of snow in some areas, deer are forced to eat woody browse, old dead leaves or even tree bark and lichens. It’s not the best food stuff in the world but whitetails have been doing it for thousands of years and somehow are able to manage fairly well on it (at least in winter). Their digestive system is tuned to winter forage and can make the most of these low-quality foods. They may lose 20-30% of their body weight over the winter but it is how they have learned to survive.

A deer’s rumen (stomach) contains millions of living microorganisms, which allows their digestive system to handle just about anything. The trouble is these microorganisms are specialists. Accustomed to digesting woody browse, they are unable to tolerate corn or apples. Whitetails do not do well on radical changes to their diets and a corn pile is a radical change from the diet of twigs and dead leaves they’ve been on for the past month or more.

Artificially fed deer wander off with a belly full of corn and slowly start starving to death as its digestive system struggles to digest the corn. Should the deer live through his sudden overload, it is then unable to handle woody browse. When the corn pile goes away the deer goes back on woody browse again and the slow starvation continues.

Sure winter stresses whitetails and some of the weaker ones will perish in a severe winter. But filling them up with indigestible foods is not the way to go. So grab a chainsaw and drop an acre or two of pole timber on the ground where the deer can reach the tops. The tender tips and buds have plenty of nutrition and as any logger will tell you, the deer will find them and gobble them up in no time. And since the deer have been working similar stuff all winter, branch tips and buds can be readily digested. Best of all, dropping a few acre of timber will let the sun reach the ground and all kinds of great deer food will start popping up where there was once only shade and leaves covering the ground.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 06-10-2015 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:50 AM
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Ok, I might just do that then.

I'm sure it would attract deer for miles if it was in the deep deep backwoods?

BTW, it is perfectly legal where I'm from.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Jasper912 View Post
Ok, I might just do that then.

I'm sure it would attract deer for miles if it was in the deep deep backwoods?

BTW, it is perfectly legal where I'm from.
You would be surprised how far they will go for food. I've seen pictures when they were hungry with them eating off the tops of fallen trees while the loggers were working on the main trunks!
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:10 AM
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I cut down some popples on my land the winter before last when we had over 3 ft of snow and record cold - the deer made great use of the tops. And I never had so many deer on my land in early spring. And then I cut up the wood in the following summer for firewood.
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:11 PM
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Deer around areas being logged, have been known to come running when the chain saws start running when they are hungry.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:50 PM
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I logged for a few years and deer were all over it all year.
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:54 AM
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One hard winter in the 70's we cut popple down at snow level. the deer trimmed the branches down to double thumb size and even chewed bark off the trunks, Years with not so much snow they had trails down to bare ground for well over a mile going to my dads corn field that was picked just for the dropped stuff.
Counted 86 deer out there one moon lit night.

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Old 06-12-2015, 09:04 AM
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Since I live where deer can feed on corn almost year around and I can legally put out a feeder (during the off season), I put out a feeder every summer. This year I filled it with a mix of corn and pelletized deer feed. It's out mostly to get an inventory of what's on our property.
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