For land and property managers trying to get the most out of their deer herd, food plots have proven to be a great way to increase the overall nutrition needed for optimal growth. Along with quality food plots, a supplemental feeding program can really help your deer reach their genetic potential. Most people who assume their deer have “bad genetics” would be surprised with the kind of deer they could grow if they had proper year round nutrition.
- Providing supplemental feed in a free choice trough style feeder is a great way to relieve some of the physical stress on a whitetail’s body. Record Rack makes a product called Golden Deer Nuggets that has a great ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and protein to help deer recover from the rut and get them headed into the spring in top health. I have found deer utilize this just as much as corn and it has a much better nutritional content. Once spring green up hits, you can begin to use the Record Rack Professional 16 or 20% feed for the rest of the growing season.
- Deer that enter the spring in top physical shape, rather than having to repair and play catch up, have their best chance of reaching their genetic potential. Doe will have healthier fawns and bucks can have a head start on that next set of antlers when they have a steady nutritional late season/early spring food source.
- Keeping trail cameras up and going on supplemental feeders can show you what bucks have made it through the hunting season as well as showing you when and where they may be dropping their sheds.
- Feeders also attract numerous other critters during the winter, many of these are nest predators such as raccoons, opossums, skunks. With these unwanted egg snatchers coming to a steady food source, it makes it a great place to have traps out to knock down their numbers and helping out your turkey population.
- Supplemental feed helps fill the gaps in growing seasons between food plot crops. Growing consistent quality food plots can be tough with different weather situations that are unpredictable and wreck your best laid plans for your plots.
This tip is courtesy of the GameKeepers Field Notes, a weekly wildlife and land management email newsletter produced by the Mossy Oak GameKeepers.
A GameKeeper by definition is someone who truly loves AND lives the land, the critters and nature…not just during hunting season but all the time. A GameKeeper wants to be outdoors every day and work the dirt while living their personal “obsession”.
Find out more about what makes a GameKeeper by visiting our website.