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#431326 - 10/04/07 10:43 PM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: Chris Tripp]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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 Originally Posted By: Chris Tripp
I am not saying I am against foodplots, I do plant and use them. I am against supplemental feeds placed for wildlife... you never want your local wildlife to become dependant on any unnatural food source and not have a habitat that can support them.


Chris,

Have an open mind for a minute. I run cattle and have much more pasture than I need so I never run into a problem with feed. I lime, fertilize, and plant legumes in order to prevent supplemental feeding. The same thing as food plots. All true QDM folks do this for the health of the herd and also (be honest) to provide browse that the natural soils of TN cannot produce. The drought this year has devastated my pastures and hay fields. My hay is in short supply and is lacking in protein due to the lack of rain. The same is true of the natural browse for the deer to include acorns due to the late freeze (14 degrees here HURT everything). My food plots are dust and other people are talking about their stuff germinating but it's so dry here a germ can't live. \:D We kill does and keep our deer herd in check and monitor via cameras and sightings to include thermal imagers and night vision (it's what I work on for a real job that pays the bills and feeds the cows in years like this). I am not trying to sustain a over populated herd with my cows or the deer. I have been providing feed in the form of range cubes for my cows and prior to doing this they were looking almost as bad as my deer! What I am wondering is if someone makes a protein feed for deer in a large pellet/cube form that (once the season is over) I can spread out maybe a foot between each cube in order to prevent the sharing of salivia. I think that would prevent the spread of anything. I do absolutely no feeding besides food plots but I have no plots due to the drought. Whether you want to admit it or not at least with cattle anyway providing range cubes gives the exact same results as well planted and cared for food plots with rain.
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#431392 - 10/04/07 11:45 PM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: TAS]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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I am not wanting to get in an argument with anyone and I am hoping BSK will shed some light on this in the morning. I know he has said basically that corn is a terrible supplement (I agree) and that protein feed is much better and if done it should be monitored by a biologist. Drastic times call for drastic measures. I think most of my deer will survive but would like to help them in any way I can. I just can't buy the natural habitat business with food plots. They are not natural as I don't have limed and fertilized DER, oats, peas, etc. just happening natural. Bear in mind, I am not anti-food plot as I have them but they are dust bowls. I know my first calf heifers would be having alot of dead calves if it wasn't for range cubes. I also know that by the book (Beef Quality Management) I am running half the cattle I could on my land in a normal year. My deer herd is in the same shape due to the weather and I am looking for solutions. Thanks! Stalker I'm sorry If I am hijacking your thread.
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#431534 - 10/05/07 07:10 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: TAS]
brier rabbit
4 Point


Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 130
Loc: sumner tn

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very good post TAS. i do not want to over populate the deer herd. i just want the deer to the ablity to reach there full potintial. i kill many does to keep the herd in check. oh and by the way is MAN not part of nature?
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#431546 - 10/05/07 07:27 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: Chris Tripp]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65325
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Stalker,

Can supplemental feeding benefit a deer herd? You bet it can. Especially in areas where the habitat and/or soils are very limited. If the habitat and/or soils are great, supplemental feeding would provide little benefit. For instance, supplemental feeding in IL or IA would be a waste of time and money. But supplemental feeding in Southern AL or all of FL would pay huge dividends in increased body weight and antler development. Supplemental feeding would provide little benefit in TN along the MS River floodplain (good soils and lots of agriculture) or in Williamson County (great soils and considerable agriculture). But supplemental feeding would produce considerable benefit in the East TN mountains (very poor soil) or the expansive hardwood regions of TN (no agriculture and moderate to poor soils).

However, supplemental feeding is a double-edged sword. It can help and hurt at the same time. The most common problems associated with supplemental feeding are:

1) Sets up a situation guaranteed to spread contagious disease as fast as possible.

2) Increases health and reporduction, which is a good thing, but increased reproductive success can lead to rapid overpopulation. And the biggest problem with over-population is that most hunters won't recognize it until it's too late. Most hunters believe they would be able to identify over-population, but I have not found this to be accurate. Very, very few hunters will recognize the early signs of over-population. In addition, how many hunters/managers are actually controlling their current deer density? I bet even among the QDM hard-core, only a minority are controlling their local population. As you improve habitat, reproduction increases, and more importantly, it will also begin to draw in surrounding deer. So not only do you have to remove the same number of adult deer as fawns produced each year, you will also have to control the new deer moving into the property to access the new and better food sources. With a low density herd, this isn't a big problem, as few total fawns are produced. But once you move into the 25-30 deer per square mile range, it gets more difficult than most imagine.

3) Produces a deer herd that is relying on the supplemental feed for production and survival. Rule #1 of localized deer management is ALWAYS produce the volume of food deer need to subsist through natural browse production. Other food sources (food plots and supplemental feeds) should just be a "quality bonus" on top of the needed natural food sources. They should be used to provide higher quality foods than nature produces, NOT more food than nature produces. And the herd density should always be kept within the framework of what natural foods are available. Food plots can fail, acorn crops can fail, and what happens if for some reason you can't provide supplemental feed for a year or two? And considering this year in particular, food plots are bare dirt, yet natural food sources, such as annual weeds, are naturally drought resistant and are doing much, much better than agriculture. Even on very dry ridge-tops, in my "weed plots" I have ragweed and pokeweed ten feet tall (two highly preferred natural food sources).

4) Even when supplemental feed is provided in unlimited quantities, deer continue to browse. In fact, more than 50% of their diet will still be browse. Deer continuosly browse as they travel, and as they move towards a feeder their browsing becomes concentrated around the feeder site. Severe habitat damge can occur in the vacinity of the feeder.

5) Using feeders can dramatically alter deer travel patterns. They can concentrate activity and home ranges near the feeders. This causes deer to clump their activities around the feeder locations, leading to unbalanced use of resources. Deer may be devistating the habitat within a couple hundred yards of the feeders while good natural food sources go unutilized farther away.

These are just some of the biological concerns of supplemental feeding. But there are other more esoteric considerations. Exactly what are we trying to accomplish with management? Are we trying to produce a healthier and more naturally structured deer herd or are we trying to produce the largest antlered bucks for harvest? In addition, consider the age-old debate about "When is management too much management?" Each hunter/manager will have to answer that for themselves. Some will feel anything done by the hand of man is too much management. Others will feel that anything goes as long as results (larger antlers) are realized. Again, when management becomes too much management is a personal decision. For me personally, I manage to enhance the environment for the benefit of the deer and to produce more enjoyable hunting for myself. However, once a WILD animal begins being treated as a domestic animal, in my opinion they are no longer wild. I personally have no interest in hunting domestic animals. If I did, I would go shoot one of the cows behind my house. To me, the thrill is that the animal I pursue IS a wild animal. The minute that animal begins to be fed out of a trough or feeder, it is no longer wild, but has become a cow.
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#431551 - 10/05/07 07:30 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: brier rabbit]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65325
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: brier rabbit
very good post TAS. i do not want to over populate the deer herd. i just want the deer to the ablity to reach there full potintial.


I fully understand your point brier rabbit, but reach which full potential? Their maximum genetic potential, which requires extremely unnatural means, or their full pontential for the environment in which they live? That's a HUGE difference.
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#431619 - 10/05/07 08:14 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: BSK]
treehanger27
4 Point


Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 190
Loc: Spring Hill

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Thanks for the great info BSK
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#431623 - 10/05/07 08:16 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: BSK]
TAS
6 Point


Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Hickman County

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BSK,

Thank you! That's what I was looking for. I let people bring their kids to hunt my property and that is one of the ways I keep the population down. I know my wife and kids wouldn't kill enough.

I was just worried about the deer for this winter because they are SKINNY this year. I will not feed them now.

Oh yeah and for the record, I haven't killed one in years though I have looked at some nice ones. I do it for others. I get a huge kick out of watching kids shoot their first deer or first few deer.


Edited by TAS (10/05/07 08:19 AM)
Edit Reason: last paragraph
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#431700 - 10/05/07 09:33 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: TAS]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65325
Loc: Nashville, TN

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TAS,

The deer are going to have a tough time this winter. But that is Nature's way. In addition, those who have managed their property for maximum natural food sources will have healthier deer than those that haven't.

Use Nature to provide the needed VOLUME of deer food to carry the local deer herd. Use supplementation--and I strongly prefer the food plot variety of supplementation over what can be poured in a feeder--to increase the QUALITY of food available.
_________________________
"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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#431731 - 10/05/07 10:04 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: BSK]
JWW4
8 Point


Registered: 06/09/07
Posts: 2087
Loc: Signal Mtn, TN

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I have done some suplemental feeding this year b/c it was the first year I had a food plot growing and wanted the deer to notice it was there. The first time I put corn out I dumped it in a pile. A few days later it did not look so good. From then on I tried to spread the corn out is "single serving" piles (a small hand full every 5 feet or so). I probably put out 15-20 pounds on 3/4 an acre at a time. Does this methiod present the same disease spreading risk?

Edited by JWW4 (10/05/07 10:04 AM)
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#431796 - 10/05/07 11:05 AM Re: Suplimental Feeding [Re: Chris Tripp]
Allen Sullivan
12 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 5319
Loc: Ridgely, TN

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Texas does not have the humid air that we do... This all depends on what part of TX your in.

 Originally Posted By: Chris Tripp
 Quote:
My question: Wildlife feeding as been deemed as being a means of spreading disease. Tennessee Conservation and (BSK) are against feeding because of scientifical studies. If there are problems with feeding then why do other states (like Texas) allow feeding all year even durring hunting season? I have seen dramatic results in the deer I have on trail cam pics since I have started. They are fatter and appear to be healthier. The bucks seem to all have even racks (I have no pics this year of bucks with 3 on 1 side and 2 on the other etc...)


Texas does not have the humid air that we do... Feeding deer does one thing beyond spreading of disease... allows the herd to surpass the land's carrying capacity which is not only detrimental to the herd, it is aslo destructive to the habitat. If you want to help the herd and promote a quality habitat to hunt, save the money you buy feed with, lime and fertilize native browse, and work on enhancing habitat, never will I or never have I relied on food plots or supplemental feeding to support the herd. One of the cornerstones of QDM is habitat enhancement... If your herd or habitat is so poor that it has to rely on you to feed it to carry them through and keep them looking healthy, both are nearly helpless.

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