Supplemental Feeding by Dr. Aaron Gaines

As an avid deer hunter I spend a lot of my time trying to create better habitat and food sources for the deer herd on the farms I hunt.   This has become a real passion and enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor when I’m fortunate to harvest one of my “hit-list” bucks.    Probably like a lot of you I put a lot of time, sweat, and money in food plots to provide better nutrition for the deer herd while trying to keep them on the land I hunt.   This past year was tough on my soybean food plots given hot dry conditions that didn’t allow for maximum production.   I was banking on having a lot of food come late season as standing beans are a deer magnet when temperatures plummet.    Instead, I had a plot that offered enough food to get me through late season but wouldn’t provide enough nutrition into the colder months.  To make matters worse the neighbor’s cow herd took advantage of my deer smorgasbord further reducing the amount of available food.  The other thing that concerned me was the thought of having deer move off my property in search of food somewhere else.   At this point doing nothing was not an option and felt that I needed to consider supplemental feeding.

Supplemental feeding of whitetail in states that allow it is becoming a routine practice by land managers to increase deer carrying capacity during the most stressful period of the year (i.e. winter months when food is scarce).   Several research studies have shown that supplemental feeding works if you are willing to pay for it.    With me being in the situation with limited food resources I wasn’t about to compromise the health of my deer herd nor let the deer travel off my farm onto the neighbors.   So last week (week of Jan 8th) I placed an order for a Redneck Blinds 750-pound gravity feeder and picked up a pallet of Real World’s Maximizer Plus Pro Formula Complete Feed that we recently developed to start supplemental feeding.

 

Maximizer Plus Pro Formula includes the proper level of every nutrient needed to keep deer healthy and productive.  Furthermore, it is highly attractive ensuring that I keep more deer on my hunting property—sorry neighbors!  For 2018 I plan to make supplemental feeding part of my herd management plan and will plan on sharing my experiences in future blog posts—”I am a Hunter, I am a Land Manager, and I am Real World!”

 To learn more about Pro Formula Complete Feed / Attractant, please click here.  

 

There are 4 comments

By Mark Dunaway | February 1, 2018 at 7:36 am

The DNR recommends not having areas where deer congregate at unnatural levels – like salt licks, mineral licks, etc. – for fear of spreading disease. Are you concerned about creating such a congregating area with supplemental feeding?

By Dr. Aaron Gaines | February 1, 2018 at 9:57 pm

There is no scientific data to support the notion that this management practice spreads disease and if there is I want to review it. The primary reason I’m supplemental feeding is to increase the deer carrying capacity of my farm due to the scarcity of food right now. There is research to support the benefits of supplemental feeding for the deer herd and serious land managers have proven its value . Thankfully I’m in a state that still allows it.

By Ryan Bendelow | February 6, 2018 at 7:11 am

Great article. I also have implemented supplemental feeding for the exact same reasons you are on my lease in Ohio. Touching on the spread of disease topic, in my home state of Michigan supplemental feeding is limited statewide but also has been banned in the past in Tuberculosis positive counties. It is also being considered currently as Michigan has an area that tested 51 CWD positive deer. If you want any info I’d just google some of these cases in Michigan. Good luck this season.

By Jim Moore | February 5, 2018 at 11:46 am

I wish that I could use MAXIMIZER. The Mo. DNR does not allow it. How can we educate them.

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