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Can I feed deer in winter

Old 12-16-2018, 10:19 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Can I feed deer in winter

Hey there

I'm wondering if someone here knows if I can feed deer in the winter. I want to feed them some apples and carrots, I know the deer don't need the food, they have oviesly been surviveing for thousands of years on there own. The reason for feeding is I would like to keep them coming threw the property as there haven't been any lately.Just recently I read something saying that it is possible to actually kill deer if you feed them in the winter because there used to eating the things they usually eating in the winter and they can't digest things like apples corn and carrots, then they sadly starve and die. So I would like to feed them but I don't want to hurt the deer either. My neighbour has just started feeding them corn soaked in mallasas. I'm not sure if that is good for them either.

Thanks

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Old 12-16-2018, 10:46 AM
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first off, a lot comes down to here you live as many states it is ILLEGAL to feed them
so, if you happen tom live where its legal
yes and NO you can feed deer
I think most folks are better off NOT doing so
all wildlife has its own ways to survive when humans step in it can cause them to alter there patterns,, eat things that MAKE them feel FULL when there not and thus cause them to suffer

that being said, IMO< the other side of this coin is, YES you can also feed them, BUT if you start, you need to continue all winter till green up
don't get them coming to your place for easy meals and then cut them off mid winter!

another DOWN side to feeding deer , is when you feed foods to animals making them group up and eat from same piles or feeders, it has been known to cause the spread of illness to deer when or if a sick deer eats from there and then others eat contaminated foods the sick deer maybe drooled on or other wise ??

another thing is just keeping your feed from spoiling, corn dumped on the ground can get moldy pretty darn fast and then things that eat enough of it can get sick or worse?
other foods too can go bad laying about

good intentions many times turn into BAD results
wild animals know how to survive in all but extreme conditions and well then that is mother natures way of making the strong survive and weed out the weak!
cruel at times, but the natural cycle of things
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:06 PM
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I echo what mrbb said. The reality is the only one benefiting from winter supplemental feeding is the person doing the feeding. Seeing more deer and thinking you are doing something good is the only benefit. Deer naturally change metabolism and diet requirements in winter. Here in Vermont about the only help some give is cut a few cedar bows down but it doesn't have much nutrition and is easy and natural for them to digest. Feeding deer anytime of the year is illegal here due to the states position that doing so promotes the spread of cwd and other respiratory illnesses. My advice don't do it. Nothing to really gain. If you want to attract deer to your property plant some natural crops and a few apple trees.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:18 PM
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Concentrating deer through feeding them may make a person feel good but by concentrating them they are doing more harm than good. Concentrating deer over a food source is a good way to spread disease such as CWD. As was stated, people feed deer for people more than for the deer. All those warm feelings abut the good you think you are doing are far outweighed by the potential harm you may do.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:51 AM
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I find this stuff interesting. I have had a small feeder out for over 20 years and the most deer I have seen concentrated is 3. It's usually one or maybe two. However every year the farmers leave a small section of corn standing that they couldn't get out because of weather. Well you will see up to 30 deer in those fields on that corn strip talk about concentrated stupid farmers don't they know there concentrating deer and causing disease spread.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Timbrhuntr View Post
I find this stuff interesting. I have had a small feeder out for over 20 years and the most deer I have seen concentrated is 3. It's usually one or maybe two. However every year the farmers leave a small section of corn standing that they couldn't get out because of weather. Well you will see up to 30 deer in those fields on that corn strip talk about concentrated stupid farmers don't they know there concentrating deer and causing disease spread.
I gather you mean this light hearted like
but it is a fact, when you place food out in winter time, more and more deer will show up
maybwe you don;t have large groups showing up to your feeder, but it does happen
I have seen a 100 + deer on bulb piles a local green house USED to dumb out in winter time for deer
and its also NOT a 100% deala that it will make any deer sick
it just increases the odds that if ONE sick deer is about, it can make others sick
the point is, is the risk/cons that MIGHT happen really worth the hassle to feed them?

I know and have known folks that feed deer all yr and have for decades and never seem to have any sick deer on there lands, but at same time I have also seen where deer have had larger impacts from spreading illness when a sick one eats out of a feed pile! and or deer that got sick eating moldy corn dumped on wet ground!
so it can happen,
does it always~~
NO it doesn't
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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Just down the road from me a farmer dumps out his silage in his field. Deer come to it from miles in the the winter. Way more concentrated than at my small feeder is what I am saying. Lots of things concentrate deer but this guy shouldn't put out a little corn to see deer . plus he asked can he feed deer in winter and the a answer is yes . Should he well that is up for debate as far as I'm concerned.unless your dnr says you can't but so far where I am they haven't.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:57 PM
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Can you? Yes. Should you? Probably not. Is it legal? Maybe.

Deer have been surviving winter weather for millions of years. They don't need our assistance. It's called nature and some will not make it through the winter. It has always been that way.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:03 AM
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You may want to consider planting browse plants on your property. On my land in WI we planted native Red Dogwood and Sumac. Both grow and spread nicely once established and offer renewable browse as well as cover/bedding. My "honey holes" are in, and on the edges of, the cedar wetlands and the red dogwood really thrives there. This couples with a lot of red and white oak (lots of acorns!) has kept deer visiting fairly regularly through fall winter months.

Be well.

Last edited by Divenut2; 12-18-2018 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:18 PM
  #10  
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What Oldtimr said. It spreads disease, especially CWD. The problem of a bait pile is that the deer all end up depositing saliva at the same spot.

Just recently I read something saying that it is possible to actually kill deer if you feed them in the winter because there used to eating the things they usually eating in the winter and they can't digest things like apples corn and carrots, then they sadly starve and die.
Like you, I have heard that feeding deer can cause problems along these lines.

Another thought to consider: Feed deer in your yard and they may discover the shrubbery, flower beds, garden, etc. that you and your neighbors have planted is absolutely delicious.
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