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Feeding Deer Year Round

Old 01-17-2005, 04:32 PM
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Default Feeding Deer Year Round

I've recently obtained rights to my lease year round instead of just deer season. I'm interested in a year round feeding program. I do not own a huge ranch or have some unlimited budget, so let's keep this realistic.

Basically, I feed with timed feeders of the 30 to 55 gallon with spinner type timers. I do not own free choice type feeders, but could obtain or build trough type if feasible.

The situation is this.... I live two hours from my lease, so I am not there on a real regular basis. They also run cattle on this lease from early spring up to deer season. I also live in Texas and hunt in Central Texas....NOT SOUTH Texas.

With that being said, would feeding my deer throughout the spring and summer be benefical? Secondly, any recommendations on what to feed?

The health of the herd is my primary goal throughout the year with keeping deer in the area a second.....

Thank you in advance....
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Old 01-17-2005, 04:49 PM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

If it were me, I would plant food plots instead of using feeders. That way they won't become conditioned to the feeder and they can eat off the food plots naturally as they need it just as nature intended. I would require some initial work to set it all up but once planted you wouldn't have to return on a regular basis.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:47 PM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

What I have read from biologists in the past, feeding wildlife can induce spread of disease and parasites. It only makes sense if several deer are feeding in the same area then it would be easy for viruses to spread from one to another. I would opt for the food plot instead of using feeders.
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:20 PM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

We use timed feeders only throwing about 2 pounds in am/pm.......Also we stagger our food plots.....starting in about april...we will plant a different plot about every 4 weeks. This way the deer can move to a newer greener patch and by time bow season gets here we have 5-6 mature food plots. Just my opinion. I also hunt a cattle farm and you better make sure the cows dont get to it or it wont be bennificial!!!!LOL
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:34 PM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

put out minerals

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Old 01-17-2005, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

I would say that you could get more bang for your buck with food plots if your looking for added nutrition and if planting is even feasible. Supplemental feeding could get real expensive.
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:34 AM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

I hunt in Central Texas, as well. I know the drive is a killer to refill feeders. What a lot of people do is to have each person on the lease fill all the feeders once or twice per off season. In my area there is a guy starting a feeder route and refilling feeders on multiple leases. Get larger capacity feeders. Texas Trophy Hunter Magazine had some neat looking 1000 lb. cap. spinners advertised. A 250-300 lb. capacity feeder last about 4-5 weeks, maybe 6 if you turn it down. I have a 500 lb. spinner and a 600 lb. free choice at the same feed pen. It is enclosed in a triangular shaped four strand barb wire fence. Both the spinner and free choice are filled with a 16% pellet-corn mix. I am told anything higher in protien is a waste on free ranging deer, because this is a suppliment to their regular diet. Straight pellets will clog the spinner. I plan on planting two food plots, but like you I am concerned with the cattle wiping it out. Winter wheat is good for the fall, and the cattle can only graze it so low. The deer will graze it down the rest of the way. The rancher's plot looked like a concrete slab. This is because of the high deer density in the Hill Country. I would check with the owner before planting perenials like clover. I am concerned that they may get a foot hold and overtake native and improved pastures of bermuda and jigs grasses.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:25 AM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

We have food plots and then after the winter we also carry some corn out to a few spots.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:58 PM
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Default RE: Feeding Deer Year Round

I think feeding deer from a feeder would be a higher threat to spreading diseases and parasites. food plots would be the way to go. i dont think feeding them corn pellets year round is going to do a whole lot for your deer herd. its expensive adn doesnt provide the same amount of nutrition as food plots can. too much risk of spreading diseases and parasites too. a big feeder drum makes it sound like you guys are raising cattle, not deer....

ds
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