A good winter feeding program for deer is designed for efficiency. Consider using a gravity-fed deer feeder to develop healthier does and bucks.
Land managers with the goal of developing a healthier deer herd and growing bigger bucks are always thinking about the next hunting season. And that means a winter supplemental feeding program. These are designed to restore the fat bucks lose during the rut, heal injuries, and help prime them them to begin growing the biggest racks possible once spring arrives. As for does, supplemental feeding increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
The rut can be extremely hard on a buck’s overall health. Those that have a limited supply of feed during the winter will burn muscle tissue when their fat stores are depleted. Then, once spring arrives, and the new growth of available protein is consumed, it will be used to replace the muscle tissue lost during the winter instead of fueling the growth of developing antlers, or the the case of a doe, healthy fawns.
Designed for Efficiency
A good winter feeding program is designed for efficiency: you want the deer to use as little energy as possible when they travel from bedding areas to feeding sites. This means strategically placing feeders around your property. By doing so you ensure that the nutrients they consume at the feed sites will be stored rather than quickly burned up. To find these optimal areas you must spend some time scouting in the summer and right after the season ends.
Find Ideal Areas
Ideal deer feeder locations are close to the herd’s core area, which is typically protected from the wind and exposed to sunshine; think the leeward, southern-facing side of an overgrown hillside. One of the best times to scout is right after the season closes. Deer are still in their winter patterns and if you scare them out of a bedding area, what difference does it make? The season is over and they will return within a few days. In the meantime, start putting up your feeders.
Use Multiple Feeders
Reduce the stress of any particular feed site by positioning multiple deer feeders around the property. This will reduce pressure among the pecking order and help to keep the herd spread out. A clean feed site can ultimately reduces the risk of spreading any diseases. Don’t force every deer on the property to use one feeder.
Banks has designed the Feed Bank to be the best deer feeder during the winter months. Because it’s gravity fed, there are no mechanical parts that will fail in the freezing temperatures, and the UV Stabilized Polyethylene material prevents damage no matter the climate.
In addition, the Feed Bank is designed to stand with just one center post, eliminating obstructions for bucks and reducing the chance of damaging their antlers. An overlapping door creates a watertight cover to prevent food spoilage. And if you need to change the location, all you have to do is relocate the center post. These features are essential to quality deer management as we transition from the harsh winter to the welcoming months of spring.