Feeding Deer, Food Plots

Although appropriate supplemental feeding of wild deer can improve survival, careless feeding can kill deer or create management problems. Deer have adapted to eating a wide variety of food sources, but their efficient stomachs require time to adapt to a new food source.  For example, a hungry deer that has not eaten corn for several months can die within a day if it comes across a large pile of corn that it devours [bloat and acidosis].  There are over 10,000 deer farms in the U.S. where deer are fed products such as Purina Antler Max Breeder with a protein content of about 16 percent, other deer products may have a protein level of up to 22 percent.  Corn is often used as a food supplement, but is low in protein content and nutritional value and may result in acidosis, so should be used sparingly as an energy supplement during winter or for does trying to feed new fawns. Use of less than 25 percent corn is recommended.   C.O.B. (corn, oats, and barley) is readily available and has protein of about 8 percent, check the corn content on the label.  Goat chow usually has properties similar to deer chow, about 16 percent protein, alfalfa is a primary ingredient.  Feeding deer is illegal in some jurisdictions.

Fires destroy winter deer range September 13, 2014 Washington,  KING5.com
... With most of those plants consumed by fire there will be a massive shortage of available food...  they are also preparing to supply food to the herds if it gets to the point where a massive die off is possible....

Winter Deer Survival is Down to the Wire March 13, 2014 New York, Outdoor Life Magazine
...  We’ve recommended cutting trees to lay tops on the ground ...  We cautioned about putting out unfamiliar foods like corn, apples, barn hay and even bread for hungry deer. This only accelerates the starvation process as they can not digest foods their bodies have not encountered for months...

MDHA issues final report on 2014 emergency deer feeding July 7, 2014 Miinnesota, Outdoors with Sam Cook
... A total of 1,056,000 pounds of feed, or 528 tons, was purchased and distributed across more than 12,000 square miles during the six-week initiative. A total of 969 individuals obtained feed through the program. ... For the complete report, go to the MDHA website [PDF] ... 

Massive emergency deer feeding efforts begin in northern part of Minnesota March 6, 2014 Minnesota, Northland's NewsCenter
... Early Thursday morning, outside Widdes Feed and Farm Supply in Esko, dozens of cars and trucks could be seen loading up on specially formulated bags of deer feed before scattering throughout the Northland. "Some of them are hunters, some of them aren't hunters," said MN Deer Hunters Association Executive Director Mark Johnson. "It's... people who are interested in deer ...

Feeding Deer in Wisconsin March 7, 2014 WDNR News
... Biologists are receiving many inquiries about feeding deer. Deer feeding is strictly regulated in Wisconsin and is prohibited in and around areas where chronic wasting disease has been found. Rules can be found by searching the DNR website for "baiting and feeding." Check out a winter deer feeding factsheet [PDF] for information on why feeding straight corn or hay to deer can be more harmful that helpful to deer, especially in the north or contact a local wildlife biologists for more information...

DNR allows supplemental feeding of deer in southern U.P. counties with permit  January 10, 2014 MIchigan,  Upper Peninsula DNR News
... Due to heavy accumulated snowfall, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will allow supplemental feeding of deer  ... Feed must be placed at least one-quarter mile from the nearest paved public road, at least one mile from domestic farm animals, and at least one mile from wheat or potato fields, commercial fruit orchards or commercial plant nurseries or tree farms. ... Feed can consist only of grains, second cut alfalfa and clover, and pelletized food materials containing no animal protein. The feed must be scattered on the ground at a depth not to exceed three inches. If individuals choose to feed corn, the DNR recommends it be mixed as a minor component (25 percent or less) of the recipe, which should help protect deer from dying by acidosis...

 "A review of the population dynamics of mule deer and black‐tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus in North America." Forrester, Tavis D., and Heiko U. Wittmer, Mammal Review 43.4 (2013): 292-308.
... "Supplemental feeding during winter over large areas resulted in decreased mortality due to all causes, including predation, even though there was no evidence that predators were preying on mule deer in poor conditions in control areas" p. 302

Effect of Enhanced Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Rate of Change (2011).  Chad J. Bishop, Gary C. White, David J. Freddy, Bruce E. Watkins, Thomas R. Stephenson.  Proceedings of the 9th Western States & Provinces Deer & Elk Workshop
...  "We measured annual survival and fecundity of adult females and survival of fawns, then estimated population rate of change as a function of enhanced nutrition.  Pregnancy and fetal rates of adult females were high and did not vary in response to treatment.  Fetal, neonatal, overwinter fawn, and adult female survival rates increased in response to treatment, although the treatment effect on overwinter survival was most pronounced.... We found strong evidence that enhanced nutrition of deer reduced coyote and mountain lion predation rates ...

BISHOP, C. J., WHITE, G. C., FREDDY, D. J., WATKINS, B. E. and STEPHENSON, T. R. (2009), Effect of Enhanced Nutrition on Mule Deer Population Rate of Change. Wildlife Monographs, 172: 1–28. doi: 10.2193/2008-107
... We measured annual survival and fecundity of adult females and survival of fawns, then estimated population rate of change as a function of enhanced nutrition. Pregnancy and fetal rates of adult females were high and did not vary in response to treatment. Fetal and neonatal survival rates increased in response to treatment, although the treatment effect on neonatal survival was marginal. Overwinter rates of fawn survival increased for treatment deer by 0.16–0.31 depending on year and fawn sex, and none of the 95% confidence intervals associated with the effects overlapped zero.... 

Supplemental feeding regs pass amid controversy August 31, 2014 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks passed supplemental wildlife feeding regulations ... that allow the use of any food or feed year-round... “The feeding of shelled corn, rice bran, soybeans and cotton seed hulls alone does not meet the nutritional requirements of deer,” ... biologists recommended a pelletized ration that is nutritionally complete...

outdoorlife.com 
... If they are eating browse species down the thickness of your little finger then you have very, very, hungry deer that are getting little nutrition from their browsing ...  ... digging deeper than [a foot of snow] ...could be a sign of excessive hunger...  you can decide either to let this tough winter play out or fire up the saw and put some natural vegetation on the ground. But, whatever you do, do not put out corn piles or other foods they haven’t used in months...

Supplemental feeding such as food plots play a role in your deer herd, but so does cover. In winters like the one we are experiencing now, thermal cover is pivotal in the survival of your whitetail herd. Diversifying your property to include thermal cover such as pines and cover that equates to food will help not only attract deer to your property, but also hold them on your farm. To create these areas that provide cover that equals food one simple tool is required: the chainsaw. - February 25, 2014


Follow the rules for feeding deer March 5, 2014 Michigan, Midland Daily News
... the Michigan Department of Natural Resources ... allows what it calls “recreational feeding” ...“Feed should consist only of grains, second cut alfalfa and clover, and pelletized food materials containing no animal protein,” ... the DNR recommends corn be mixed as a minor component (25 percent or less) ...

Feeding the deer June 1, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... Volunteers distributed about 1 million pounds over seven weeks, and figure they fed about 16,000 deer, or about 17 percent of the deer in those areas. About $200,000 was spent, or $12.50 a deer...

Deer in distress: Harsh winter taking its toll February 1, 2014 Wisconsin, ashlandwi.com 
... “We’re losing deer already,” ... ABC Sportsmen Club has decided to take steps towards helping deer make it through the winter...  they decided to take $3,000 and purchase deer formula and corn by the ton. By using the formula and corn mix, it provides the deer with a food that would be more beneficial for them...

State wildlife officials monitoring winter's impact on deer herd January 28, 2014 Wisconsin, Leader-Telegram 
. ... feeding can do more harm than good if done improperly ...  straight corn and hay are not recommended as they can be harmful. Instead, a commercialized pellet or mixes containing small quantities of corn, plus alfalfa, oats, and soybeans, as well as various vitamins and minerals is preferable from a deer health concern. It should be spread out to reduce fighting, away from roads ...

E. Ore. feeder readies for elk to head downhill December 5, 2013 Oregon, The Republic
... If you put alfalfa in the animals' paths from the mountains to the haystacks, and then make sure the supply is replenished, then they won't bother munching the food that's meant for cattle.  By and large the strategy has worked... Besides protecting farmers' and ranchers' hay supplies, the Elkhorn Wildlife Area gives residents a rare chance to watch dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of wild animals acting rather like animals do in zoos...

Feeding Deer in Maine - March 10, 2013


Deer food January 20, 2014 Colorado, subletteexaminer.com
...  Well, here we go again with the bull from the Game and Fish about feeding deer, elk and large game. I say, let’s stop feeding the game wardens and feed the deer.   I have lived here in Boulder all my life and have seen deer fed, elk fed and moose fed alfalfa and hay by a game warden, one of the best ...

Biologists keeping an eye on deer, feeding deer December 12, 2013,  Utah Division of Wildlife 
... Snow and cold temperatures have blanketed the places mule deer live in Utah. And that's brought Division of Wildlife Resources biologists out in force. As they do every winter, biologists will monitor the state's deer herds closely until winter ends. If conditions get too severe, the biologists are ready to feed deer specially designed pellets that will help them get through the winter...

Deer: to feed, or not to feed December 17, 2012 Utah Division of Wildlife, Darren DeBloois
... there are times when we feel that feeding deer during the winter is needed. I am guided in this decision by the Division’s wildlife feeding policy, which boils down to this: we (DWR officials) will feed deer during unusually severe winter conditions. We step in when feeding can provide increased survival rates of females ensuring that the breeding segment of the population will not be decimated. Taking action by saving these animals increases the likelihood that the population will recover quicker from a severe weather event.

Go Pro footage from the G4 Ranch. Deer eating out of the new ASF Stand and Fill Protein Feeder, as well as The ASF Pro Evo for more info on these feeders, visit www.allseasonsfeeders.com



Hangul deer prepares to fight Kashmir winter January 7, 2014 India, The Hindu
... The endangered ‘Hangul,’ a rare species of red deer, is preparing to fight the bone chilling winter in the snow-laden Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary located on the outskirts of Srinagar. Forest rangers said they have made special food arrangements to keep the antlered stag in good health....

Supplemental feeding helps deer in the winter February 11, 2013 North Carolina, North Carolina Sportman
Foods high in protein, carbohydrates and fats — nuts, berries and flowers — go a long way, but, these foods are short-lived... Browse from a variety of trees, shrubs and vines are important in winter, such as: maples, yellow poplar, birch, dogwood, crab apple, blackberry, ash, sassafras, Japanese Honeysuckle, viburnum, wild grape and green briar. ... 

Habitat management influences overwinter survival of mule deer fawns in Colorado EJ Bergman, CJ Bishop, DJ Freddy, GC White… - … of Wildlife Management, 2014
... many pinyon pine (Pinus edulis)–Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) woodland habitats reach late seral stages that encroach into forest openings. This encroachment typically occurs at the expense of browse species that are preferred by mule deer ... documented changes in deer vital rates in response to habitat manipulations are lacking. ... . Our study provides evidence that habitat management on winter ranges can positively influence a key vital rate for mule deer in pinyon pine–Utah juniper ecosystems ...

Purina Deer Chow for Mule Deer - 2009



Charred Winter Range Could Threaten Magic Valley Deer, Elk November 17, 2013 Idaho, Twin Falls Times-News
... The Pony Complex and Elk Complex fires this summer burned about 160,000 acres of winter range for about 6,000 deer and 1,000 elk ...Fish and Game hopes to get ahead of the impending “train wreck” by creating a plan to address the elk’s potential to starve ... "We have tried and tried for years to get rid of winter feeding up there, and now we’re looking at being ready to feed ... We have ordered 20 tons of alfalfa pellets.”

15 minute video on proper deer feeding techniques - Ontario, Canada



Landowners using food plots to attract wildlife July 27, 2013 Oklahoma, NewsOK.com
... While food plots are not a substitute for good native habitat, they are an important part of wildlife management in Oklahoma, said Heath Herje, agriculture educator for the Cleveland County Cooperative Extension, a branch of Oklahoma State University... For does, the food plots can help ensure healthy fawns....

Final day for deer for archers, deer struggle December 15, 2013 New Hampshire, Concord Monitor 
... The deer are going to have a difficult time surviving this winter. There were spotty acorns... What we need is a snow blanket to cover the grasses because the snow acts as an insulating blanket whereby grass shoots provide for a rich nutrient source for deer... if you stubbornly insist upon feeding deer, the most difficult time for deer to survive is March-April, just before green-up. It is then when deer are most vulnerable...

Deer feeding group needs help April 10, 2013 Michigan, Daily Mining Gazette
...  the CLK Sportsman's Club  ... has about 12 registered feeding locations with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources ... 

Fish and Game to Feed Mule Deer in Mink Creek Area January 11, 2013 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... The declaration of a feeding emergency in the Charlotte Fire-impacted areas should not be viewed as a signal that emergency feeding is necessary throughout the region  ... 

The Role of Vegetation and Supplemental Feed in Deer Management
[PowerPoint slides] David G. Hewitt. Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, March, 2012 

Planting Food Plots

Planting Clover for Deer April 25, 2013 Outdoor Life Magazine (blog)
...Clover is relatively easy to grow, is loaded with nutrition, and whitetails simply love it. A good clover plot will produce 2 to 4 tons (per acre) ... Perennial clover plots green up early in the spring (when deer need it most) and generally will produce well into the frost season... Clover tolerates wet conditions well but has a tendency to go dormant in hot-dry conditions ...

Dr. James Kroll and R.D. Wallace of Chestnut Hill Nursery discuss the history of the chestnut and why it was the most important food tree for deer, and how the blight resistant Dunstan Chestnut makes possible replanting the American forests with chestnut trees to attract deer. - April 3, 2013


... Mesquite is a good plant for whitetail. Deer will browse young and tender mesquite leaves because they are very digestible. 

Planting Food Plots for Deer


RA Pierce, EB Flinn, B Mormann, P Lowry - 2013
... Deer are selective browsers; therefore, a variety of foods make up their diet, including broad-leaved herbaceous plants (forbs), woody plants, grasses, mast (acorns, fruits and 
berries) and mushrooms. No one food dominates a deer’s diet throughout the year because deer select foods based on plant availability, palatability and nutritional content, all of which vary throughout the year. The nutritional needs of deer also vary throughout the year. During the spring and summer, pregnant and lactating does and antler-growing bucks need more protein in their diets. During the fall and winter, deer have greater energy demands and therefore need more carbohydrates. Food plots can be planted to provide supplemental nutrition ...

Soybeans: Perfect (and costly) deer food March 27, 2013 Mississippi, Delta Farm Press
... Five million pounds of plant biomass — that’s about how much Mississippi’s 1.75 million to 1.9 million deer eat in a day... “Soybeans are the perfect deer food — there’s nothing better than soybean plants from the standpoint of palatability, digestibility, and food protein." ... says Bronson Strickland, associate Extension professor with the Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture...

... Winter wheat is a top choice for a fall crop because it is readily eaten by deer and wild turkey and is an excellent nurse crop for clover... “I recommend planting clover at the same time you plant the wheat,” said Joe Lacefield, a private lands wildlife biologist ... Lacefield suggests planting Ladino or white clover in shaded, woodland openings. Red clover seems to do better in open fields with full sun ...

Afton Deer Management raffle successful at fair August 10, 2013 Michigan, Cheboygan Daily Tribune
... With the charge of improving the deer herd in Cheboygan County ... the Afton Deer Management, LLC, drew lots of attention selling tickets at the 2013 Cheboygan County Fair ... the corn fields stand all winter for the purpose of feeding the deer, not for hunting them. He said each year members submit requests for plantings and the seed and fertilizer is divided among those requests...

Deer food in the summer August 4, 2013 South Carolina, The Tand D.com
... I believe that providing deer a good water source like water holes and ponds or even troughs during the dead of summer is more valuable than food. This summer it really hasn’t mattered as deer can just lie on their backs, open their mouths and get all the water they want. Generally though, having water on your place when it’s 105 degrees and dry as a bone really helps the herd...

The bait debate for deer hunting August 1, 2013 Wisconsin, WQOW TV News 18
 ...  chronic wasting disease is believed to spread by deer sharing bait piles with other infected deer ..."Food plots are really considered an agricultural activity and food plots are not regulated by any of the feeding or baiting regulations," says [DNR wildlife biologist John Dunn]

Food plots only one part of deer management plan September 14, 2013 Arkansas, Magnolia Reporter
... The most common plants used are wheat, oats and clovers... Cool season food plots generally should be planted during the month of September for best results. A good all-round cool season planting is 100-120 pounds per acre of either wheat, oats, or cereal rye. Many other plants are available. A great food plot reference online can be found at the following link: https://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/PB1769.pdf.

... "Management of native browse species is many times overlooked when hunters and sportsmen want to improve habitat conditions ... Fertilizing Japanese honeysuckle, blackberry and dewberry and other forbs and vines normally found in open timber stands will greatly enhance the food and cover that Louisiana upland wildlife depend on... Where manipulation of the native habitat is possible, establishing long, narrow food strips in a wagon-wheel fashion can be of maximum benefit ...

Private land management key to growing deer population October 4, 2013 Missouri, News-Press Now
... Since more than 90 percent of the land in the state is privately owned, these practices can influence populations across the state... Whitetail deer can forage for and utilize more than 600 plant types ... “Growing native warm season grasses make every acre more usable from a wildlife standpoint if they can provide native grasses vs. cool season grasses,” said Jeff Powelson, a private land conservationist. “Those that manage for deer also manage for quail, turkey and rabbits at the same time.” ...


Supplemental feeding helps deer in the winter February 11, 2013 North Carolina, North Carolina Sportman
Foods high in protein, carbohydrates and fats — nuts, berries and flowers — go a long way, but, these foods are short-lived... Browse from a variety of trees, shrubs and vines are important in winter, such as: maples, yellow poplar, birch, dogwood, crab apple, blackberry, ash, sassafras, Japanese Honeysuckle, viburnum, wild grape and green briar. ...

Deer Management October 11, 2013 Whitetail Domains
... The level of management must increase ten-fold once the fence is up because those animals inside have far fewer options and may not be able to support themselves in severe cases. Without a fence, they can leave/migrate/return and move as needed for survival. With the fence, they are kept in place and must deal with the conditions as they change for the better or worse... High fences stabilize the population and it is more difficult to manage a moving population of anything...

Tips to create a waterhole that deer can't resist October 27, 2013 Wisconsin, Green Bay Press Gazette
...   ... Deer don't like to feel boxed in when lowering their heads to drink... Deer tend to bed high so they can watch below while scent-checking air currents flowing over the crest behind them. Waterholes should be about the same level as bedding sites, so deer can use them when leaving or returning. Identify the site’s predominate autumn winds, and build the pond downwind from bedding areas....

...Hunting over bait is still against the law. But supplemental feeding of grain-based products and other feed is allowed in areas where deer and hog hunting takes place...
Deer Dying from Bloat, photo, this can happen when a hungry deer encounters a large amount of some food that their stomach has not adjusted to, such as a corn pile when there is no other corn in the area.

Feeding winter wildlife can have deadly consequences February 2, 2014 Pennsylvania, Altoona Mirror
... Test results revealed the trophy 6-by-7- point bull died of rumen acidosis, a condition caused by the sudden introduction of carbohydrates into the animal's system... Game Commission sources aren't sure how the bull elk ingested the corn that killed it, but it is probable the grain was put out by a person or persons as supplemental winter food ...

Feeding deer, as in baiting by hunters, may increase the transmission of disease.

Deer Food Plots

Confused on food plot management for deer? There’s an app for that October 23, 2013 Mississippi, Mississippi Business Journal 
... Bronson Strickland, a wildlife management specialist with the MSU Extension Service, said he wanted to give people easy access to research-based information while in the field or in the feed store looking at seed... “Deer Plot App” is available for Apple devices. An Android version will be ready soon...

Why an Angled Back Cut is Dangerous When Hinge Cutting Trees for Deer - January, 2013


... A 75-foot tall red maple tree, standing proud and pretty, provides next to nothing for your deer herd. However, hinging that tree will provide both immediate and long-term deer browse...  it also creates the living, horizontal cover that big bucks love, and birthing fawns rely on...  a hinge cut is made by cutting roughly halfway through the tree at a slight 45-degree angle 3-4 feet off the ground ...

Soybeans excellent choice for food plots April 28, 2014 Virginia, Northern Virginia Daily 
... For this time of year the best plants to put in the ground are annuals. You want crops that come up quickly ... This boils down to three main choices: cowpeas, forage soybeans and lablab... Several companies make forage soybeans ... The plants also grow incredibly tall and dense...

Cwiklinski offers advice on feeding deer May 26, 2013 New York, Evening Observer
... Deer really like crab apples, so try to thin out the limbs to afford more sunlight to increase the fruit yield. In a maple forest, consider cutting saplings to a height of four feet to create "bushes of browse" for the deer ... 

Plant in spring to ease stress of late summer March 15, 2014 Florida, Florida Today
...  management practices such as prescribed burning and timber thinning will create a habitat with enough resources to carry the herd until hard mast crops begin to fall ... “Cow peas, purple-hull peas, those summer annual legumes do pretty good,”  ...

 Making food plots make a difference June 15, 2013 Georgia, The Albany Herald
... “A food plot that includes such plantings as alyce clover, joint vetch, or cowpeas can do a lot to help deer through the traditional stress of late summer until natural fall foods become more readily available ... By the same token, food plots planted with small grains and crimson clover can help get deer through the equally stressful period just before spring green-up... they can certainly help deer enter the more bountiful times of year in better condition.”...

Deer management information at Alton July 24, 2013 Missouri, The News
...Deer are selective. Grass, fruits, mushrooms, acorns and forbs are what they eat ... The best foods for warm seasons are fresh greens, wildflowers, fruits, clovers and soybeans, which are all high in protein. For the cooler seasons, deer eat acorns, corn, waste grains and soft native plants...  If you want to supplement the food through a longer period you might add clover, chicory or alfalfa ...

Plant spring food plots with Realtree Nursery March 22, 2013 Texas, Lone Star Outdoor News
...the Dunstan chestnut, which was bred by noted plant breeder Dr. Robert Dunstan. Because of higher disease resistance and heavy annual production of nuts, the Dunstan chestnut is perfect for food plots. Plus, deer love chestnuts. They even prefer them over most oak trees ... 

NRC makes regulation changes UpperMichigansSource.com 8/13/2010
...Supplemental deer feeding is now more widespread in the U.P. The NRC voted to include southern and some eastern U.P. counties as well as Gogebic. This allows feeding of deer during rough winters... Upper Peninsula Sportsmen's Alliance ... "This has been a struggle that we've been dealing with for 10 to 12 years," explained UPSA President, Dale McNamee. "It's taken a long time to gather our thoughts to work up some details to figure out a way to actually feed the deer when they need to be fed. It doesn't happen every year, but it helps the survival of the herd to maintain a viable population." ...

Successfully grow your own giant deer with a food plot December 9, 2012 New York, Metrowny.com
... While NYS law Part 189 of Title 6 makes it illegal to feed deer with food attractants, such as apples, corn or anything that is not alive or comes in a bag, the law does allow agricultural crops, including wildlife food plots ... Gray used a mix of turnips, buckwheat, clover and brassica, in his plot...

In the past, the norm was to keep livestock out of the woods ... Silvopasturing maintains a forest structure while allowing enough sunlight to the forest floor to grow grasses and forbs.  The concept of Silvopasturing is a method that can be used to benefit livestock and /or wildlife.  The structure and plant diversity of silvopastures is attractive to many wildlife species including wild turkey, deer, and many songbirds.

Deer Habitat Management:  Getting Started January 22, 2013 New York Corning Leader 
... In numerous cases the process of improving a particular woodlot cannot start with a commercial cut, so the first phase of work is Timber Stand Improvement.  The genetically best species that are preferred by deer and other wildlife will be left for seed production.  The Timber Stand Improvement process before a future commercial cut can be conducted should focus on removing; autumn olive, multiflora rose, buckthorn, barberry, prickly ash, hayscented fern, New York fern,  hopehornbeam, ironwood, beech and aspen...

Hinge cutting trees for deer habitat: pulling trees down for bedding - June, 2013



Trees for Deer, Habitat Management - December 26, 2012 Montana



Aggressive behavior of white‐tailed deer at concentrated food sites as affected by population density  August, 2013  RN Donohue, DG Hewitt, TE Fulbright, CA Deyoung… - The Journal of Wildlife Management
... Concentrated food sources are used frequently in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) management and research, but because such food sources are easily defended, aggressive interactions among deer may influence their effectiveness... [Conclusion:  spread out the food a little so the does and fawns can get something].

This episode of Red River Outdoors features some great tips and techniques for building deer habitat. We include some video and interviews about the Oklahoma DMAP program. - September 23, 2013


Timber cuts a magnet for deer October 21, 2013 Virginia, Northern Virginia Daily 
... If you've ever thought of having some timber cut on your hunting property, you probably worried whether it would drive out the deer.... timber cutting offered new sources of both food and cover to the whitetails... Even cuts a year or two old are good...

Deer-feeding family has following April 1, 2013 Maine, Press Herald
... Harriet, 80, and Basil, 81, have been feeding deer for more than 50 years ... Her parents began to feed the deer regularly in the 1940s, and when she and Basil moved back into the family home, they took over the feeding... Harriet said the deer leave behind droppings and tear up the yard with their tracks, "but we'll be one of the first people in town to have a green lawn." ...

Options in deer feeding December 30, 2013 Texas, Killeen Daily Herald (blog)
... While corn remains the most popular whitetail deer feed, protein-supplemented pellets and soybeans are also popularly used with various feeding systems.
The planting of a strategically-placed food plot (usually .5-3 acres in size) is also a popular means of feeding and nourishing a deer population.  Small grains, such as oats, wheat and rye grass are most commonly used ...

Deer management information at Alton July 24, 2013 Missouri, The News
...Deer are selective. Grass, fruits, mushrooms, acorns and forbs are what they eat ... The best foods for warm seasons are fresh greens, wildflowers, fruits, clovers and soybeans, which are all high in protein. For the cooler seasons, deer eat acorns, corn, waste grains and soft native plants...  If you want to supplement the food through a longer period you might add clover, chicory or alfalfa ...

Feeding Deer, New Mexico - March 27, 2013


Cwiklinski offers advice on feeding deer May 26, 2013 New York, Evening Observer
... Deer really like crab apples, so try to thin out the limbs to afford more sunlight to increase the fruit yield. In a maple forest, consider cutting saplings to a height of four feet to create "bushes of browse" for the deer ... 


Feeding deer a growing tradition at Jefferson Barracks cemetery February 1, 204 Missouri, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
... Most people love seeing the deer, said Jeff Barnes, cemetery director.  Feeding the deer is “such a tradition here,” he said. No rules forbid it and that’s not expected to change ... Scores of deer wander among rows of white gravestones ...

DNR to allow deer feeding February 12, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... In a turnabout some call “shocking,'' the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin emergency deer feeding in northern Minnesota ... The effort is expected to cost about $170,000, and will be the first time the DNR has fed deer since the winter of 1996-1997 ... the DNR wants to act “in good faith,’’ Telander said, with an emergency deer feeding account whitetail hunters have paid into for about 15 years with 50-cent license surcharges...

Don't Use a Bucket With Handles
...   government officials and the woman who feeds the animal are trying to catch the animal to save it... she feels bad and will cut handles off her buckets from now on ...

... The supplementary fed population had a higher population growth rate, the females were more likely to reproduce and their calves were heavier than in the control population. Female body mass was negatively related to timing of vegetation green-up in both herds. Since both populations increased in the last decade we found support to our prediction that density-dependence negatively affected our study herds. Indeed, density negatively affected growth rates, female body mass, reproductive success and calf body mass in both populations and, as expected, this effect was more marked in the control herd.
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Deer Friendly,
Jan 11, 2014, 9:55 AM