Deer need to maintain a specific diet to remain healthy throughout the year. Setting up food plots or providing the deer herd with supplemental feeding can be a great way to keep the herd healthy and get them familiar with your property. At the time this blog was posted, there are deer feeding and/or deer attractant bans in about half the counties in Minnesota. Please visit the website to see if your county is on the list that prohibits supplemental feeding. Make sure to check your own state’s regulations before you begin feeding the deer.
1. Provides the Herd Protein
Bucks require certain nutrients for their antlers to grow. When they have the sufficient nutrients, protein makes up a decent percentage of their antlers. Protein is important during the summer months because that’s when a deer’s antlers are growing. It’s also important for the deer herd to gain weight back that they lost over the winter months. Bucks can lose a fair amount of body weight during the rut season, so they need to be at a healthy weight before their antlers can follow.
2. Bring the Herd to Your Property
Deer are incredibly intuitive when it comes to nutrition. They know what they need to make themselves feel better and they make sure they seek it out. Due to this intuitive nature, presenting deer with nutrition on your property will send them in your direction. They’ll eventually find your food plot or feeder and begin to visit them frequently. Now is the perfect time to start feeding your deer. Set up a Feedbank Gravity Deer Feeder to get started.
3. Provides the Herd with Consistent Water
Using a water source, like our Wild Water® Systems, will further encourage the deer to stay on your property. Deer like it when their food sources and water sources are close-by each other. Providing the deer herd with a consistent water source will keep them hydrated and help them associate your property with these items.
4. Will Encourage Them to Make Bedding Areas
Deer love it when food, water and shelter are all in one place. If you provide them with both a food plot and a water source, they’ll likely make their bedding areas nearby so they can meet their criteria. Once they’ve made their bedding areas, they’ll likely travel between all three places throughout the day. This will give you a pathway to hunt from. Avoid hunting directly over food plots, water sources, or bedding areas. You don’t want to put hunting pressure on those areas. Stick to hunting their travel routes.
5. Gives You Time to Observe Them
When the deer herd is consistently visiting your property, it makes it easier to observe them with trail cameras. Set up some trail cameras around your food source and water source and gather information about your herd. You’ll be able to learn what time of day the deer feed, how large the herd is, how healthy they are and the general direction they seem to come from. All of this information will be helpful during the hunting season because it will give you a roadmap to the herd’s behavior.
It’s important to check your state’s regulations before you begin feeding your herd. In Minnesota, there is a ban instituted in about half of the state’s counties, so knowing your area’s restrictions is of the utmost importance.
Do you maintain a food plot on your hunting property? Let us know in the comments below!