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Three (3) Top Tips for Deer Feed and Deer Feeder Use

Whether you’re seeking to grow bucks with monster antlers for the up-coming deer hunting season, or you’re simply making sure to do your part to ensure a healthy deer herd in your area.

According to the Best Deer Feeder Reviews & Comprehensive Buyers Guide you’ll want to explore the options of feeding deer and the use of deer feeders. By making use of a deer feeder and feeding a deer feed that offers a good mixture of fortified vitamins and minerals; you can experience the benefits of a healthier deer herd and increased antler growth.

Many states have embraced the idea of allowing the use of deer feeders, not only for hunting. But, for wildlife viewing, as well. A deer feeder can bring wildlife directly into your hunting location or your backyard, allowing you to benefit from seeing what deer, age and size are inhabiting your area – this can prove to be very helpful if you’re a hunter, as well as offering other benefits for wildlife watchers, as well.

We’ve got three solid tips that will better enable you to utilize your deer feeder appropriately, so you’ll have the best possible chances of attracting more deer into your hunting location or into your backyard for wildlife viewing enjoyment.

Location, Location, Location

As, the saying goes – location is the key to success! Where you decide to setup the deer feeder has direct impact on your chances of attracting deer to that location. If you’re a hunter, location can have a significant impact on your hunting success.

When considering the best locations for setting up your deer feeder; you’ll want to take into consideration such things as, the location, terrain, and for hunting purposes, which direction you expect the deer to approach from. This way you can make sure that your feeder placement is good for your hunting location and wind direction. Great locations for deer feeders are of course in areas that have signs of high deer traffic activity, the area has easy access to water and good escape routes for the deer.

It’s important that the feeder blends in well with the natural surroundings, and that the deer feel safe visiting the area. If the deer feel safe in the area which you have chosen for your feeder. It’s more likely they’ll start visiting and will continue to actively visit your deer feeder. It’s common for unwanted game animals to visit your deer feeders.

These various visitors, mostly rodents – which vary from mice, raccoons, opossums, squirrels and birds – all will attempt to raid your feeders. To help mitigate the process of keeping these unwanted animals out of your deer feeders; we encourage you to use varmint guards or any of the other various deer feeder rodent deterrents on the market today.

Choosing the Right Feed

corn for feeding deer at deer feeders - Hunting Magazine
Dried Whole Kernel Corn is a Very Popular Deer Feed – Hunting Magazine

Deer are omnivorous creatures and will eat a vast mixture of natural food sources; as well as readily available grains. Some of the more popular feed that hunters use in their deer feeders are a combination of mixed grains, corn and growing in popularity are the prepared deer feed such as, deer pellets. These types of deer feeds. Such as, deer pellets are packed with natural vitamins and other nutrients that help promote a healthy deer herd, as well as antler growth. In areas of inadequate natural food resources your deer herd can suffer from weight loss, higher fawn mortality rates, increased vulnerability to disease, along with poor antler growth.

So, adding the addition of deer feeders and feeding high-quality nutrient rich deer feed can greatly increase your chances of having a healthy sustainable deer herd. Along with providing you with many years of quality deer hunting for your deer management efforts.

When feeding deer, you’ll typically, want to choose to feed whole grains, such as dried corn. Dried shell corn is probably the most popular and less costly method to feed deer. Especially, if you’ve investigated feeding the more nutrient rich options. Such as, feeding nutrient-rich deer pellets. Deer pellets, mineral blocks, deer blocks are all very good feeding options; if you’re looking to feed a nutrient packed deer feed. But they do not hold up very well to the natural conditions out in the field. When left exposed to the natural elements such as, rain or snow – deer pellets, mineral blocks, grain blocks, deer blocks, etc. tend to break down quickly resulting in spoilage. So many using deer feeders choose the hardier option of stocking their feeders with all-natural grains.

Nowadays with the explosion of the Internet you can readily find information with regards to deer feed and feeders. But not all information is created equal and there can be a lot of misleading information out there. So, we strongly suggest that you explore and educate yourself on all available options for feeding deer, and source your information from authorities on the topics.

What, When to Feed Deer

Most folks only start feeding deer in the cooler months of the fall. However, deer will frequent your feeders year around, as long as food is provided for them on a regular basis. In the beginning you might need to test several feed options to see what works best for your area.

Once, you’ve settled on a feed of choice, and have found the perfect feed location. You’ll want to check-in on your deer feeder often for the first couple of weeks. You do this to ensure that the feeder is working properly.

For example – you want to make sure the feeder is not getting plugged up, rodents are not wreaking havoc at the feeder, and to ensure that your feed is not experiencing spoilage issues. Another good rule of thumb especially for maintaining a deer feeder for hunting purposes – remember to practice good scent control. So, washing your hands before touching the feed and filling the feeder, wearing good rubber hunting boots are all good measures to ensure that the deer do not spook away from using the feeder.

Feed Deer in the fall and winter helps to ensure the does have higher birth rates - Hunting Magazine
Feed Deer in the fall and winter helps to ensure the does have higher birth rates – Hunting Magazine

Each one of the seasons brings with it a different set of challenges and nutritional needs for the deer in your area. Feeding and supplying the proper deer feed at your feeder is very important. The deer must have, not only the proper nutrients they need for survival. But feed that supplies needed vitamins’ and other nutrients’ that will help to ensure their bodies can thrive during trying seasonal periods. Like during the winter months; where foraging for food might be limited due to extreme elements like – deep snow.
Most deer feeding activity takes place in the fall; which circles largely around the hunting season.

So, fall deer feeding is very important to the hunter trying to increase their chances of bagging a deer. One of the major benefits of feeding deer in the fall is that it helps maintain and sustain the rutting bucks. As the bucks are moving through the rut, and into the wintering season; providing an easy, readily available food resource helps the bucks to maintain some nutritional intake.

During the rut the bucks loose valuable nutrition, body weight and much more as the physical effects of the rutting season takes its toll. So, fall feeding of a deer feed that is nutrient rich, well-balanced with a decent protein ratio, and added fat is a great option to boost your deer herds health. Thus, helping to support them as they enter the wintering months. Now, merely making feed readily available doesn’t mean the bucks will use it – as their minds are elsewhere. But it does offer them a way to help keep their nutrition up when they do decide to feed – if only briefly. Plus, the does that frequent the feeder will also benefit, as they all enter the wintering months. You could realize healthier weights and proper nutrition from both the bucks and does. Which could result in you seeing better conception and reproductive rates, along with the benefits of increased fawning rates from the does in the area.

In Conclusion

Using a deer feeder and the proper deer feed not only helps the hunter harvest a deer. It also helps promote a healthier deer herd. So, whether you’re a hunter seeking to feed for antler growth in your bucks, or you’re a wildlife viewer seeking to bring wildlife up-close and personal. Making the use of deer feed and deer feeders is an important step to consider.




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I’m an editor, hunter, writer, author, and photographer who lives and breathes the hunting lifestyle. The Out of Doors is my playground. I specialize in the daily management of the Hunting Magazine, publishing hunting industry-related content to the digital pages of our hunting journal.

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