Nutrition & Management
In-Depth Nutrition Articles
Creating Deer Feeds through Research by Dr. Mike Messman
Doing large scale feeding trials with free ranging deer can be difficult and quite expensive. The goal of this article is to consider food plots, supplemental feeding, and how through lab analysis we can develop feeding practices that work together to get the best aspects of both. READ THIS ARTICLE
Feeding Deer Year Round by Dr. John Dedwylder
I have learned that deer must have superior, consistent nutrition year round or their health and production suffers. Unfortunately, for the wildlife watcher, hunter, or wildlife manager, mother nature does not always cooperate by providing it. READ THIS ARTICLE
It’s All About The Rack by Dr. Mike Messman
Antlers on deer are pretty interesting phenomena and have been fascinating people for ages. The annual cycle of growing, carrying, shedding and growing antlers again is more complicated than it looks. Whitetail deer antlers are one of the fastest growing tissues known to man. During their peak growth antlers can grow over 1.2 of an inch per day. READ THE ARTICLE
The Great Spike Debate by Mark Stanley
You can’t sit in any deer camp without the discussion of harvesting spikes coming into a heated debate. Many feel all inferior bucks should be eliminated from a herd while others feel they could mature into a trophy at some point (no pun intended). Let’s look at both sides. READ THE ARTICLE
Quick Tips: Deer Nutrition and Antler Growth
Did you know? The #1 killer of deer is neither guns nor predators. It's malnutrition.
- Inadequate nutrition leads to weight loss, poor conception rates, lower fawn survival, increased susceptibility to disease, poor antler development and increased mortality rates.
- Supplemental feeding creates both increased survival rate among fawns and earlier, more accurate genetic selection of superior bucks.
- Antler growth increases energy requirement by up to 22%.
- During peak months of antler growth, mineral deposition exceeds mineral intake. Bucks must build up mineral reserves prior to summer.
- Antler growth begins in February and runs through September.
- Bacteria and yeast supplements help support healthy rumen function allowing improved growth and performance.
Tips to Attract and Grow Trophy Racks
- Set up one feeding station for every 20-30 deer on your land.
- Deer will travel ½ to ¾ of a mile to feed each day.
- Be wary of over harvesting young and middle-aged bucks. Superior bucks do most of the breeding after they reach maturity.
- A good feeder will:
- Protect feed against weather
- Protect feed from non-target species
- Protect sensitive, growing antlers
- Provide adequate opening to avoid clogging