Feeding Deer in Winter Harms More Than Helps

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RE: Feeding Deer in Winter Harms More Than Helps

Postby scotman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:25 am

If a Biologist is condoning feeding deer through winter then I would personally check how they are tied to the industry. Do they have something to lose personally? With feeding deer in the winter some can make it look like they are wanting the deer survive through the harsh winters becuase they care but when you have time and money invested in crops it is hard to turn a blind eye away from a $2500.00+ yearly investment.

The majority of main stream wildlife biologists do not condone feeding animals. But this would not be the first time we seen wildlife biologists holding to double standards. We have seen how the outside consensous can even effect the findings of some scientists how is it soo hard to believe this is just not another case of that?

With CWD still on the rise we have our whole tradition at stake here. What do we actually know about CWD and how it is contracted? The finger of truth is pointing to animals that are brought together under a unnatural set of circumstances are susectible to CWD it is only a matter of time before it effects the wild population overall. We should be refraining from any practices that make deer congregate unnaturally. That is something we can control to reduce the chance diseases can be transferred. That is something we must face as hunters.
"The deerskin rug on our study floor, the buck's head over the fireplace, what are these after all but the keys which have unlocked enchanted doors, and granted us not only health and vigor, but a fresh and fairer vision of existence" -Paul. Brandreth

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RE: Feeding Deer in Winter Harms More Than Helps

Postby Gulfcapt » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:58 pm

when a biologist quots by feeding the deer it "can" have devestating effects on the enviroment. most fail to tell you in what way.... Some of these forums I had read are people that actually been on a few studies.. WELL was the studies in a remote area? Was it monthly/yearly/summer/fall? was their Greenry planted for the study, and what kind? are there water holes or lakes or rivers manmade/natural nearby? Understand! you plant something new in a remote area its like putting icecream infront of a kid. They will flock to it, pound on it, crap and piss on it, and the surrounding area,and its Nearest watering hole. Now this is a prime hotspot for the disease/CWD? I believe so... But You take away every food plot in america those deer will be even more congrigated on our farmland,and If you think for one second they won't congrigate to one area/foodsorce in the so called forest/woods/swamp in the winter, because of the lack of forage your crazy. The more different areas/foodsource their is for deer,the more dispursed they get. Again this is 1mans apinion mike.haglund@gmail.com

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RE: Feeding Deer in Winter Harms More Than Helps

Postby dtrain56 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:39 pm

TO feed or not to feed is the question????
what is artificial and what isn't....
are the dozen apples trees that i planted and  turn into feeders every fall...not good for deer...
are food plots not good for deer...they increase the capacity of the land to hold deer...and come and go with the seasons...
Just because it comes in a feeder or a bucket makes it no different than anything else that attracts deer to an area....
and when the food runs out the deer adapt and move to areas with food....they don't hang out....
do feeders help with survival rates???? I can say they do but .....i am no biologist....I have observed in my area doe having twins instead of singles in the mountains which tells me they are healthier
sure the surronding vegitation gets eaten more...i am sure it does because there is more deer around...but they wouldn't stay thier if they were going to strave to death...they would find a better place to be
they are not stupid....matter of fact i think the population of deer  has exploded in modern times.
BUT really pay attention to the message ...when they start talking car collisions   This leads me to think they have a political agenda and are taking kick backs by the auto insurance agencys...
this happened in PA....all the sudden their was a huge push to reduce doe herds in 2002...the guy who was the head of the game commision got canned when he was linked to the auto insurance industry.....
Biologist should be worried with....herd health....habitait distruction.....not the cost of collisions....I know someone is already crying people die from hitting them....
how many people..... anymore than crossing the street....by swearving to miss a rabbit or racoon in the road....
no...the problem is they cause millions in damage to cars.....who do you think is pushing to reduce deer herds.....
I lived in NH...the deer herd is less than 100,000...with no habitait at all...just forest and not hard woods...pines acidic soil and lots of pines...deer kill is like 10,000 a year or less by hunters....
they would  certaintly not the leading experts i would be listening to....about anything...they are not doing a good job at all...people in NH would rather go out of stateand hunt.... at least you will see some deer.....
if you get a shot at a deer once a year you are doing great for NH and i mean One shot.
but back to feeding....it has no effect if you do all winter stop half way or don't at all deer will seek out the best habitat..
the one exception would be if the snow is real deep and it lasts for a prolonged period. If withn that time you decided to stop....then you are going to really stress the deer...they can't travel all that well and searching for food will be a very difficult and exhausting task

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RE: Feeding Deer in Winter Harms More Than Helps

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:11 pm

but back to feeding....it has no effect if you do all winter stop half way or don't at all deer will seek out the best habitat..

Sorry but you are wrong on this. In an area that where winters are severe enough that winter mortality can occur, you most certainly WILL create an effect on the native habitat. That's the most important thing...native habitat...that most people with the best of intentions completely overlook. This isn't about the deer. It's about the native ecosystem that they inhabit. Artifically high deer numbers in an area who's native WINTER carrying capacity is less than what's there can damage that ecosystem to the extreme, and maybe permanently.

Mother Nature can be a real b****. The result of keeping deer numbers higher than what the native winter habitat can support are deer die offs (at the best case scenario...deer can recover VERY quickly their population numbers), and LONG TERM HABITAT DESTRUCTION (at the worst) which can DECADES to rejuvanate...if ever. This not only further reduces deer numbers, but also all the other wildlife in the area.

If you can't identify the specific ecosystem you're in, or the plant species in it, OR the current state of plant succession, then all you are doing by supplementally feeding is throwing darts in a dark room. You have NO idea of what's there, what you've hit, what you've damaged, or how severe the damage may be.

Get a professional to assist you in making a plant inventory, and then come up with a management plan that can maybe increase the winter carrying capacity and be happy with that. If all you want are lots of deer, and then just fence the land and make a feedlot out of it, then you can see all kinds of deer. Who knows? You may even get a real live, honest to goodness TV hunting show personality to come and film an episode on it! [;)]
Hunt Hard,

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Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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Re: Feeding Deer in Winter Harms More Than Helps

Postby stonewolf2101 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:03 am

RE: Feeding Deer In Winter Harms More Than Helps

I have to disagree with Mr. Gustafson in regard to feeding deer in winter. As an ex-hunter I get to see the pros and cons in regard to hunting. Contrary to popular belief, hunting is not and never was, an effective tool in really reducing deer herds and causes much more ecological damage than someone that enjoys feeding deer in winter. A deer herd can only get as large as it's available food supply, which we know is it's carrying capacity. Mother nature insures that once a herd gets too large, die offs occur and the weakest animals perish, leaving the strongest, healthiest members of the herd to reproduce. On the contrary, hunters kill the strongest of the species or the so called "trophy's" which is like evolution in reverse, leaving the weaker animals to reproduce inferior deer.

Feeding deer in winter is relatively harmless and the reason why game wardens and officials of wildlife agencies plead against it, is simply because people enjoy it and it creates a bias against hunters and hunting. It really has no damaging effect on the deer, as we are led to believe. For example, if you take into consideration the thousands of deer that are harassed, wounded, maimed and killed, during the hunting season, which is much more harmful, inhumane and immoral, you cannot condemn feeding deer. Bow hunting alone accounts for a more than 50% wounding rate and this information is easily found in most hunting magazines, by the hunters own admission. Furthermore, Mr. Gustafson makes the same old non sensible arguments about deer starving and the overall negative impact of feeding deer. However, many of us know that every year thousands of deer are injured, wounded and maimed by hunters and as a result, the animals become immobile, are unable to forage for food, and die from secondary causes...(starvation)...the very thing hunters claim to prevent.

If you like feeding your deer, don't feel guilty about it, relax and enjoy it!

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Re: Feeding Deer in Winter Harms More Than Helps

Postby stinger » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:05 am

Baiting deer works - that's why it is illegal in many states. But I've never seen a decent buck go into a pile of corn (you may have, I haven't and not many trail camera photos either).

As Jeff Foxworthy pointed out in one of is Parody's of a motivational buck giving a lecture to a herd of deer, "If you see a pile of corn in the middle of the forest, it is NOT a gift from God!"

The other danger is CWD and spreading that through shared saliva on salt licks, mineral licks, wheel barrels full of corn and the like (Wisconsin and Northern Illinois). If 1/10th of residents feed the deer, an entirely unnatural habitat will result.
I have hunted in 5 states, Whitetail and Antelope. Very active on hunting forums since 2003. Hunting Success=Good scouting, good shooting, trail or game cameras, + hunting lures.


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