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Winter Survival

Old 12-25-2018, 04:37 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: NJ
Posts: 6
Default Winter Survival

Hi everyone!
This is my first post here. I have a question but I will start with a comment. Last winter Jan thru March I was putting out cracked corn for the turkeys. I mixed in some garlic powder to keep the deer from eating it plus garlic is good for turkeys! I had zero deer pics on my trail cam. Come turkey season about a month after I stopped putting corn out I noticed from trail cam pics that the deer that I did catch on camera were very skinny. Almost emaciated. The previous fall we had a good acorn crop.

This season the acorn crop failed miserably. There are no acorns at all! Being in NJ where we hunt it's nothing but woods, no agriculture at all. The deer usually fatten up on acorns to get thru the winter. Now I'm wondering if the deer will even make it thru the winter? How will the does be able to feed their fawns if they do make it thru the winter?

I would like to supplement the deer this winter. Not feed but supplement with a high fat food. Any suggestions on what to use for feed and how much and how often to put the feed out?

I think supplementing will help all of the deer get thru the winter, help the does feed their fawns and get them off to a good start come spring.

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Old 12-26-2018, 04:30 AM
Dominant Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: On an Island in Vermont
Posts: 22,166

Best to check to see if feeding deer in your state is legal. Many states outlawed that practice due to deer being concentrated with the possibility of passing on disease especially CWD. Most biologists don't recommend feeding deer in the winter since their metabolism changes in winter and that high fat food often can't be digested. In addition feeding can concentrate deer away from natural winter yard areas where they are protected. Welcome to HNI.
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Old 12-26-2018, 05:01 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: NJ
Posts: 6

The NJ Legislature has been writing a law to make it illegal to feed deer since about 2014 but it hasnt been made a law yet. In 1999 (I think 99) the specifically allow hunters to bait and hunt over bait. The new no feeding deer law if it is passed as currently written still allows hunters to bait.

When people who know nothing about hunting make laws there are always loopholes. If you read the proposed law as it is currently written you would LOL at how lame it is. It's aimed at homeowners not hunters. If you have a hunting license you can feed deer.

Deer need fat reserves to make it thru the winter. They usually get that fat from acorns. Even with a good acorn crop the deer where I hunt are scrawny in late winter early spring.

I read last night that deer are not harmed by oats and rice bran in the winter. Rice bran is high fat. Unless I get a better suggestion I'm going to use oats and rice bran.
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