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#525838 - 12/12/07 08:51 AM Re: Making up for the lack of nutrition 2007 [Re: BSK]
kholmes
4 Point


Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 280
Loc: Nashville

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How much would the feeders help anyway? I know deer are browsers and eat a number of different foods throughout the year. How much time are they going to spend at a feed station? 20-30 mins? If your land cannot support your deer herd even on a year like this then I think the problem would not be solved by feeding them. I agree with BGG that there is alot of marketing out there promoting products. How much does Cargill or Nutrena really know about deer and their nutrional needs? More than likely they are trying to reach a whole new group of consumers.
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#525984 - 12/12/07 10:43 AM Re: Making up for the lack of nutrition 2007 [Re: kholmes]
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: kholmes
How much would the feeders help anyway? I know deer are browsers and eat a number of different foods throughout the year. How much time are they going to spend at a feed station? 20-30 mins? If your land cannot support your deer herd even on a year like this then I think the problem would not be solved by feeding them. I agree with BGG that there is alot of marketing out there promoting products. How much does Cargill or Nutrena really know about deer and their nutrional needs? More than likely they are trying to reach a whole new group of consumers.


How much feeders help in animal performance is a factor of the quality of the habitat. In the Midwest agricultural belt, feeders would do nothing. In the Florida Everglades, feeders would make a HUGE difference. And that's why you see so much use of supplemental feeding in the Southeast. Hunters/Managers are trying to make up for the poorer-quality habitats/soils common to the area.

Supplemental feeding is used so much in TX due to the near desert conditions. In the very dry years common to the area, there isn't enough rainfall to produce the necessary native food sources to support deer herds and high performance.
_________________________
"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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#526278 - 12/12/07 02:54 PM Re: Making up for the lack of nutrition 2007 [Re: BSK]
WRF
Spike


Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 97
Loc: Nashville, TN

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Here is my two cents. First of all, I will acknowledge that our property may not be the typical property and may not match many of those that you hunt; and therefore, my view is obviously skewed to my own situation.

We have a large property. We have a lot of food plots, natural forage (well, in a normal year), and a few licks. We have used some troughs. 95% of the time they have had soybeans in them. They are empty now, but whether they will be after Jan. 6, I just do not know. My guess is probably not initially.

Here in middle TN on our particular property, I am having a harder and harder time justifying our troughs after reading research and posts by many who obviously know much more than me and provide arguments that seem to be as solid as, if not more so, than those who support the supplemental practices. But I do hear good arguments both ways. Often it depends upon the circumstances and goals. Today, the only thing that presently really concerns me (until perhaps I read the suggested 60 page document) is the aflatoxin.

For me, reasons to continue: trail cameras. For that one goal, the troughs are unbelievably effective. I use to think for added nutrition, but no more (see my reasons to discontinue practice). Licks are effective, too. Plots are good, but often just too big for a camera survey.

Now, one thing to acknowledge, I think that it is safe to bet that most persons doing a true survey of deer using trail cameras are using some form of bait or licks; especially when trying to identify specific deer not just counting. I may be wrong (note that I did not say everyone is doing that so no one get too defensive). Occasional bait here and there, may not be as bad as leaving a feeder or trough in one place, but the problem of spreading a disease I think still could exist. Also, please correct me if I am wrong for I often am that some experts believe that licks can create or foster the same problems as feeders.

Reasons to discontinue: The obvious reasons mentioned in previous posts. The real possibility of spreading diseases. Today that may be very unlikely, but certainly could happen and may some day. Acknowledging that there could be some disease risks even if minimal today, a better argument for me is that I do not know if they provide that much added nutritional benefits. This year may be an exception, but I doubt it. Our property is large. When we have some troughs out, they cover only part of the property. Usually on good years, we have a lot of food plots and natural forage which I think is plenty for our population. It would be my uneducated guess that through food plots and natural forage that our deer get a well balanced diet without us adding anything to it through feeders.

Also responses to two comments from above.

As far as turkeys eating out of troughs, they do. I have many, many pictures of not only deer eating out of our troughs, but also turkeys, coons, skunks, squirrels….

Using natural forage should be much cheaper than supplemental feeding. If you are doing food plots, even just 10% of your land, I seriously doubt that it would be cheaper than supplemental feeding when you consider equipment, fertilizer, lime, seeds, and opportunity cost of ones time. I love the food plotting, but boy is it expensive and extremely time consuming.

All that being said, I am close to leaving what some see as the dark side, but the force is strong. Time will tell. Also, like many of you, I am not the sole person making the decision. I have tremendous influence what occurs, but there are some other opinions that count on various levels and should.


Thanks for that link, BSK.

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#526326 - 12/12/07 03:34 PM Re: Making up for the lack of nutrition 2007 [Re: WRF]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


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

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WRF,

GREAT post.

Some positives of supplemental feeding:

In low to moderately productive habitat, supplemental feeding (when done right) WILL improve herd performance, and in some situations, dramatically. This is especially true for those hunters/managers that connot alter the habitat (leasing, etc.). Even many forms of natural habitat enhancement cannot provide the quality of professional produced supplemental feeds.

Long-established feeder sites make excellent photo-census locations in summer.

Supplemental feeds can definitely be easier and in total equipment costs cheaper than large-scale food plotting.


Some negatives:

Serious pontential for disease transmission.

Even though cheaper than large-scale food plotting, a well-designed supplemental feeding program is still very expensive.

Potential to produce over-population problems.

The potential to alter deer utilization of the habitat patterns (over-utilization near the feeders).

Potential to provide foods that really aren't that good for deer (corn in the summer).

Afaltoxin risks with corn.

Creates a very "artificial" management practice (turns management into animal husbandry).

In TN, cannot be continued through the fall months during hunting season. This could do considerable harm to the deer, as they may have become dependent on the food during the other 3/4s of the year.


There are other positives and negatives, but those pop to the top of my head.
_________________________
"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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#526488 - 12/12/07 05:23 PM Re: Making up for the lack of nutrition 2007 [Re: BSK]
hard county
6 Point


Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 558
Loc: hornsby tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
Supplemental feeding is definitely one of those risk versus reward debates. But I'll also freely admit there is a huge ethical and philosophical side to the debate as well.

I just finished rereading a speech Dr. Karl Miller gave at the "Shoot from the Hip" segment of last year's Southeast Deer Study Group Meeting that was reprinted in this month's issue of Quality Whitetails magazine. The discussion involved "keeping the fun in hunting." Dr. Miller was musing on "why we hunt" and he made some philosophical points that I totally agree with when it comes to the intensity of the management effort. Here are some excerpts of his talk:

"As managers and hunters engage in making more common what was once rare, we also increase the intensity of the management, and at some point on the management-intensity ladder we begin to artificialize the resource. At some point, the natural world becomes an artifical world, and at some point wildlife management becomes animal husbandry."


Once again, the age-old debate about "how much management is too much management." Obviously, this is an "ethical" question, and every individual will have a different answer for what intensity of management is "stepping over the line." Now by no means am I bashing the pursuit if large-antlered bucks. I do it myself every year and I'm proud as punch when I finally do take a large-antlered buck. My hat is off to those hunters that set their goals high, and accept nothing less. But what worries me is the move towards more and more artificial means of acheiving that goal. Again, I also freely admit that every hunter/manager is going to have a different view on where that ethical line is concerning "too much management." Ethics are unique to each person. But I agree absolutely with Dr. Miller when he said:

"...I view with sadness some current trends in maximizing trophy production at any cost."

"Hunters should be encouraged to become part of the management equation. But this must be constrained to some level of management short of animal husbandry."

Again, everyone is going to have a different view of what is "too much management." But for me, once you start feeding deer out of troughs, they are no longer wild animals; they have become cattle. I have no interest in hunting cows.

its all relative isnt it, my dad uses a reurve and doesnt believe in food plots, my brother uses a recurve in bow season but believes in food plots and supplemental feeding. i believe in pretty much everything but crossbows (for non-handicapped) and fences, these are all personal opinions, but in mine using a crossbow is not bowhunting, and fences are to me what troughs are to you.
just my little version of ethics, soybean seed comes in a bag, same as a bag of soybean meal. i dont see why my putting the seed in the dry where it cant rot detrimental.
_________________________
"The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual."
John Muir

"The mountains are calling and I must go."
John Muir

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#526521 - 12/12/07 05:40 PM Re: Making up for the lack of nutrition 2007 [Re: hard county]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


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

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Biologically, it is proven that supplemental feeding spreads disease. To deny that is simply burying one's head in the sand.

But when it comes to the "ethics" of supplemental feeding, then that is going to be different for every person.
_________________________
"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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#527061 - 12/13/07 06:38 AM Re: Making up for the lack of nutrition 2007 [Re: BSK]
Radar
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 31209
Loc: Kansas City, Mo.

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I plan on fertilizing some native browse this spring .
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