Hunters more than anybody realize how tough the late winter can be for whitetails. Deer in the upper Midwest, northern states, and Canada, can have massive amounts of snowfall to try and navigate through and are often forced to exert a lot of energy to find whatever food is available. Reliable food sources are few and far between and many deer consume a lot of low quality, hard to digest, woody brush in the late winter.
- 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.
- 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. Does 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 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, opposums, 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.
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.