With only a few weeks left in the deer season, it is a good time to start thinking about what can be done to improve your property, lease, or hunting club during the late winter. For folks that are really looking to improve body weights, antler growth, and overall health in their deer herd, the late winter is a great time to start supplemental feeding. This is also a key time to get trail cameras up and going on supplemental feed and help you take inventory of what bucks have made it through the hunting season as well as showing you when and where they may be dropping their sheds. Many fail to realize that the toughest time of year on a whitetail can be the late winter time period before spring green up, this is especially true in the northern states. 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. To encourage consumption of protein pellets or other feed, high nutrition attractants like Chestnut Magic can really help draw deer in and encourage feed consumption. 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. Supplemental feed can really give you the edge in growing bigger bucks and healthier deer. Supplemental feeding of protein pellets also has a positive impact on turkeys. Many properties that have a year round supplemental feeding program hold high numbers of turkeys year round and have measurable increases in their body weights.
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.