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#345393 - 08/16/07 07:48 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: wcsd462]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: wcsd462
BSK/Wes
Ok... Since I dont know everything, and I like to keep an open mind on things tell me, what causes these problems? Are these diseases caused by what Wes called "bad corn" or are they something that deer just get and then spread when the infected animal comes in contact with another deer. What is bad corn or bad feed? I do know It doesnt need to lay on the groung and rot.


wcsd462,

Two different problems were talking about here. The first is contagious disease transmission at feeder sites. Infectious organisms (bacteria and viruses) generally will not live long outside of the host's (infected animal's) body. Another animal must place it's nose/mouth/eyes on that infectious organism fairly quickly (hours) to become infected.

When deer feed naturally, they do not place their mouths on the same food source in rapid succession. As a group of deer feed, they spread out and each deer bites off just the best part of a particular plant. Since the best part of that particular twig/plant has already been eaten, other deer in the group will not feed on that plant, reducing the opportunity for an infectious organism deposited by the first deer to be picked up by the other deer. However, with feeders, every deer in a group and all following groups place their mouths/noses right into the exact spot every preceding deer did in rapid succession so saliva and other fluids are rapidly shared between many deer, GREATLY increasing the spread of any contagious disease. The differences in the transmission rate of a contagious disease between deer feeding/behaving naturally and those feeding from feeders is astronomical.

The second problem discussed is aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is the byproduct of a specific type of mold that grows on many cereal grains, but is most often found on corn. Even very, very tiny amounts of aflatoxin can be fatal to wildlife, and even if it isn't immediately fatal, it will cause permanent liver damage that will cause that animal to be unhealthy for life.

Because of this risk, many states require any corn sold for feeding to livestock OR wildlife must be certified aflatoxin free (have been tested and shown to contain no aflatoxin). TX is one of those states. Unfortunately, TN is not one of those states. Since there is no requirment to ensure corn is aflatoxin free in TN, producers from states that do have this requirement dump all their aflatoxin-tainted corn into the TN market. In fact, it can be extremely difficult to find corn for sale in TN that is certified aflatoxin free. Much of the "deer corn" sold in our state has a tag on it saying that it may contain up to 20 parts per billion of aflatoxin, which is enough to kill every adult turkey that eats it.

The mold that produces aflatoxin grows fastest in hot, wet weather. That is why feeding corn in the summer, especially in the South, is such a bad idea. I've seen fresh corn poured out yet within three days of wet weather the corn is a pile of gray fur it has so much mold on it. Any animal that ate that corn is probably dead.
_________________________
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"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#345635 - 08/16/07 09:24 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: BSK]
TOW
10 Point


Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 4263
Loc: Back 40

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Well, after that .. are you guys still going to feed "your deer and turkeys"??
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#345723 - 08/16/07 10:00 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: ]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19470
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: TOW
Well, after that .. are you guys still going to feed "your deer and turkeys"??
NO . . . Not me.

If I were in Texas, I might feed a little corn (just not during the antler growing months), and use it as "bait" during August for getting more trail cam pics. But I'm in Tennessee, where the Texans send all their infected corn that's pulled from the market down there due to its containing "deadly aflatoxins". (And IMO, salt licks are about as effective for getting trail cam pics of bucks in August as corn feeders.)

Unlike Texas, we have two high risk factors they don't have:

1) We know we have a high chance of feeding aflatoxin-infected "deer" corn from the get-go.

2) We have a high chance of aflatoxin developing (even it we were feeding aflatoxin-free corn) because of our high humidity, whereas Texas has a more arid climate.

And like BSK points out, it's hard to know you're causing liver damage on what could grow into your prized buck, maybe shortening his life expectancy, maybe causing him to be more susceptible to a disease that causes him to die prematurely. And although the impact is unknown, it is known that any decrease in health is expected to stunt antler growth. So feed "good" corn in the spring/summer, and you're causing your deer to replace needed protein (for antler growth) with unneeded carbs from corn. Feed "bad" corn and you cause them to become sickly or die.

But this is not just an issue of my not doing it because it's both harmful and deadly to deer and turkeys. It's basically going to kill any bird that eats it --- as well as rabbits, raccoons, etc.

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#345778 - 08/16/07 10:37 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: Wes Parrish]
TOW
10 Point


Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 4263
Loc: Back 40

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Let me rephrase that...

Well, after that .. are you guys still going to feed "your deer and turkeys" POISON ??
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#345781 - 08/16/07 10:40 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: Winchester]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19470
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Winchester
 Quote:
---- and there will be absolutely no evidence to show they died ---- no bones, no nothing.
. . . . would you explain your above statement. Does the deer fairy suck these aflotoxin deer up at death and take care of the carcass??? LOL
Actually, Winchester, it almost seems that way. Should you ever stumble across a just died fawn, leave the site untouched, then return in a few days and see if you can find any evidence that was a dead fawn there a few days earlier.

 Originally Posted By: BSK
When it comes to young deer, especially fawns, they can die in extraordinary numbers, yet their bodies are so small and the skeletons so under-developed that they rot away and are consumed so completely be scavengers that rarely will anyone find a dead fawn carcass.
. . . . . half of all fawns born die before hunting season every year. In all your years of hunting/scouting how many dead fawns have you found?
. . . . .
Deer can die in amazing numbers and no one will notice. Scavengers are amazingly effecient at cleaning up Nature's excess.


Let me share another high-risk factor associated with feeding deer.

Predators such as bobcats and coyotes can quickly pick up on the fact that feeding stations are an excellent ambush place to kill birds, raccoons, and young deer. Button bucks are particularly susceptible to being taken by predators (more than female fawns), and by using a feeder, you're increasing the odds of loss to predators, most particularly on your button bucks.

For you more logically-thinking readers, consider this hypothetical scenario.

Your trail cam pics document 10 fawns showing up in/around a feeding station during July. Five of them (half) are male "button" bucks. These five young males represent much of the potential bucks you could have for harvest in the coming years.

Let's say one of them just gets sick and dies, and it had nothing to do with your feeder. Another gets caught and killed by your own dog (but you never know what happened). Now you're down to 3 male fawns --- close to what would be surviving from 5 in most situations WITHOUT any supplemental feeding stations.

But let's just say because of your feeding station, one of your 3 male fawns gets killed by a bobcat who's figured out there are lots of birds and animals coming and going from this one spot. When you lose 1 of 3, you've lost a third of what you had. The fact that you never find out doesn't negate your real loss. This risk factor alone is enough to make me not want to feed anything, much less corn.

But then, how many of you believe you have as many as 10 total fawns/momma does within a home range utilizing your feeder? Should you have only 2 button bucks, and a bobcat gets one near the feeder, maybe you've caused a 50% greater loss simply because you ignored the risks? I guess some will just say what you don't know won't hurt you.

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#345802 - 08/16/07 10:52 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: BSK]
Greg .
aPoStROpHe PolIcE
16 Point


Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 11122
Loc: NC Piedmonts

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Does anybody know if the "reject corn" ends up in NC as well?
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#345809 - 08/16/07 10:53 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: TOW]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: TOW
Well, after that .. are you guys still going to feed "your deer and turkeys"??


TOW,

People will do whatever they feel gives themselves some sort of easy advantage, no matter what the consequences. I've learned that the hard way. I can present solid scientific data until the cows come home and some pepole wil still do whatever their logic tells them will help even when its been proven to not help and even to be dangerous. That's just human Nature.

Reminds me a lot of the early days of QDM. I can't tell you the resistance I ran into when these ideas were new. I was called every name in the book and my data was called "voodoo science." Thankfully, that battle is long over in the South.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#345811 - 08/16/07 10:56 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: Greg .]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Greg .
Does anybody know if the "reject corn" ends up in NC as well?


I don't know the laws in NC. But I can tell you that research by the Southeast Wildlife Disease Study Group found that half of all bait/feeder sites tested in NC contained dangerous levels of aflatoxin.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#345818 - 08/16/07 11:07 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: BSK]
Greg .
aPoStROpHe PolIcE
16 Point


Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 11122
Loc: NC Piedmonts

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Thanks, Bryan. Above I read

"Studies done in NC found that half of all bait/feeder sites tested showed levels of aflatoxin contamination high enough to cause significant poisoning of wildlife. The Southeast Wildlife Disease Study Group is finding new and unknown diseases appearing in areas where feeding/baiting is legal, but those diseases are not being seen where feeding/baiting is illegal."

I was wondering if it was determined if it came in on the corn, or was just naturally around.

In any case, it seems it is a bad idea. Try telling that to the folks in NC, though. In NC, feeding wildlife is legal as is baiting deer. Most folks use corn ... and from what I've read, some LITERALLY put out tons of it.
_________________________
Abandon all rational and unbiased thought. Just blame Boooosh.
lIbeRaLs LIE ... lazy lIbeRaLs repeat LIES.
: http://obamaclock.org/

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#345847 - 08/16/07 11:35 AM Re: Feeding Deer [Re: Greg .]
Darkthirty II
6 Point


Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 534

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I read where someone was not worried about a-tox in the field with standing corn. It still has it, there is no difference. Everyone here probally already knows that I am not too concerned with baiting, or killing off the herd.
WIth that said, if your interested in seeing how much aflatoxins are in the corn you are feeding, here is what you do:
Take a cup of corn and put into a blender and grind the corn for a few seconds.
Put ground corn under a black light, and the aflatoxins will sparkle or glow with a greenish color.
This is what we used when getting in fresh corn from farmers when I worked for the chicken company's. If we did see a-tox in the blacklight, then we did the scientific method to break it down into ppm. A small amount was ok (can't remember the exact ppm's), but if was more than that, then we rejected the load.

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