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Old 12-11-2016, 06:22 PM   #51
BrandonA
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While the bucks testosterone levels are controlled by sunlight, as is estrus in doe, environmental conditions do impact when doe are receptive. The school of thought is that birth is timed to occur when habitat conditions are at the most optimal for fawn survival, thus estrus is timed in the fall to coincide with a period in the spring that the doe's body is telling it will be best chances for the fawn.

Since Texas has a wide variety of climates we also have a wide variety of peak rut dates.

Excellent idea for a thread Hawkpuppy.

Best explanation I've heard. Thanks
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:30 PM   #52
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Yes. But what the research has shown is that when range conditions are good the doe produce a higher percentage of female fawns (slight, but statistically significant in some studies), and 50/50 to more male fawns when conditions are poorer. In Texas, where our annual rainfall is either wet or dry (not many average years), the fawn production sex ratio evens out over the years. So from a mgt standpoint, we use 50/50 annually.

Cause, I think (over 20 yrs since I sat in class), is still being debated. That is, in good years, are doe egg cells more receptive to buck sperm cells carrying female genes, OR, do doe fawns require higher nutritional needs from the mother, visa-versa, do buck fawns have better survivability in poorer years.

Fun question to ponder, but doesn't really impact mgt decisions.
Good to know. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:53 PM   #53
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This thread is awesome guys. Please keep adding with your knowledge!
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:35 PM   #54
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Is there any trend related to this that shows ratio of males/females birthed each year? Maybe for "survival reason"? For instance - a dry year does might tend to drop more females than males, etc.
In my experience of pen raised deer, MOST years it is a pretty close 50/50 split on sex ratio of fawns. Fawn survival is another story though....
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:41 PM   #55
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In reference to food preference, WTD have been shown to eat, I believe, over 300 different trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses. They are selective at times depending on season and availability. Some foods they eat are more desired such as hackberry, cedar elm and sumac. These are commonly referred to as "ice cream" plants. Easy to get, taste good, but not a lot of nutrition in them as compared to most forbs, legumes and other brush.

Oaks are typically utilized for mast (acorns) production and not leaf browsing. Yes, they do eat them, but many other plants are higher preferred. Oaks can have high concentrations of tannins in them. That can be good and bad. Too much can cause sickness and even death. Just enough has been proven to be almost like a natural wormer/insecticide.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:58 PM   #56
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Thanks for all the great information.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:04 PM   #57
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In...
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:08 PM   #58
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From one biologist to another; I tip my Stetson to a great job on your part. Awesome thread.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:17 PM   #59
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Thanks guys, just trying to help out and maybe answer a few questions along the way...
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:30 PM   #60
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Great thread!
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:38 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Hawkpuppy 1 View Post
In reference to food preference, WTD have been shown to eat, I believe, over 300 different trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses. They are selective at times depending on season and availability. Some foods they eat are more desired such as hackberry, cedar elm and sumac. These are commonly referred to as "ice cream" plants. Easy to get, taste good, but not a lot of nutrition in them as compared to most forbs, legumes and other brush.

Oaks are typically utilized for mast (acorns) production and not leaf browsing. Yes, they do eat them, but many other plants are higher preferred. Oaks can have high concentrations of tannins in them. That can be good and bad. Too much can cause sickness and even death. Just enough has been proven to be almost like a natural wormer/insecticide.
I've got a thicket full of cedar elm, would this be a good tree to hinge cut? What trees are best to hinge cut?
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:42 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Hawkpuppy 1 View Post
In my experience of pen raised deer, MOST years it is a pretty close 50/50 split on sex ratio of fawns. Fawn survival is another story though....
Care to explain a little more?
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:01 PM   #63
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Awesome thread, but I found it too early.... got to post #62 and I want to keep reading. Keep the great info coming guys!!!


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Old 12-12-2016, 10:03 PM   #64
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Following
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:26 PM   #65
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I've got a thicket full of cedar elm, would this be a good tree to hinge cut? What trees are best to hinge cut?
Depends on your situation, but generally - no.
Half cutting is commonly a technique for providing cover from cut branches hanging to the ground (usually for quail). If your wanting to increase quality browse, you'll have much better impact through appropriate livestock stocking rate, deer population mgt (doe harvest), and soil disturbance (if needed).
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:58 AM   #66
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Care to explain a little more?
I was referring to the fact that although fawns are typically born in an even split, survival rates are usually only .75% per adult doe. That means that typically each doe on average only has 1 or less of its two fawns born actually survive to adulthood.
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:59 AM   #67
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Yes, I would never hinge cut anything other than a mesquite or cedar for quail cover.
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:04 AM   #68
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Great thread!!!
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:42 AM   #69
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Great info
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:24 AM   #70
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I'll tell you my experience with hinge cutting. I have hinge cut cedar elm, mesquite, honey locust, and hackberry....and the deer will eat the heck out of all of the shoots. You will be amazed at how many shoots come up and grow vertically from one little horizontal trunk. Its a great way for a deer to reach those young shoots they would normally never have access to.

The other added benefit is that you can make outstanding bedding cover for deer....and they will bed in it readily. The area I hinge cut has been a consistent bedding area for a couple years now and I set my stands accordingly. You can even direct the deer to go where you want them too by hinge cutting trees a certain direction...providing the only route for a deer to travel. Lots of good info on the QDMA site on TSI (timber stand improvement).

Its alot of hard work though and it can even be a little dangerous.....wear a hard hat.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:45 AM   #71
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Great thread guys.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:48 PM   #72
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I'll tell you my experience with hinge cutting. I have hinge cut cedar elm, mesquite, honey locust, and hackberry....and the deer will eat the heck out of all of the shoots. You will be amazed at how many shoots come up and grow vertically from one little horizontal trunk. Its a great way for a deer to reach those young shoots they would normally never have access to.

The other added benefit is that you can make outstanding bedding cover for deer....and they will bed in it readily. The area I hinge cut has been a consistent bedding area for a couple years now and I set my stands accordingly. You can even direct the deer to go where you want them too by hinge cutting trees a certain direction...providing the only route for a deer to travel. Lots of good info on the QDMA site on TSI (timber stand improvement).

Its alot of hard work though and it can even be a little dangerous.....wear a hard hat.
Thanks Unclefish. That's exactly what i have always read and been taught about hinge cutting, which is why I asked if the Cedar Elm was a good tree to cut. I was surprised by the op's response.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:49 PM   #73
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Yes, I would never hinge cut anything other than a mesquite or cedar for quail cover.
Why are you against hinge cutting for deer?
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:02 AM   #74
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:48 PM   #75
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Most times when people hinge cut, they cut too far and it ends up killing the branches. Just mostly seen it done in mesquite for quail
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:22 PM   #76
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On the deer's choice of leaves, I was hunting in Georgia, in a river bottom and there were several maple trees around. The deer would stand under/around the trees, and when one of the bright orange leaves drifted down, the deer walked over and ate it. Obvious preference for them.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:35 PM   #77
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My ex-Inlaws would chain the pastures every few years. They a had a big heavy pipe with a anchor chain attached . Anchor chain like the big ships use. You couldn't hardly lift a link or two. Weighed a ton . Any ways we would drag that threw the brush breaking everything. The new growth was phenomenal and the deer thrived on the new growth.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:39 PM   #78
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My ex-Inlaws would chain the pastures every few years. They a had a big heavy pipe with a anchor chain attached . Anchor chain like the big ships use. You couldn't hardly lift a link or two. Weighed a ton . Any ways we would drag that threw the brush breaking everything. The new growth was phenomenal and the deer thrived on the new growth.
I've seen this done with an anchor chain attached to a dozer on each end. The two dozers would be about 100yards apart and just take off parallel to each other. Pretty impressive
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Old 12-15-2016, 09:03 PM   #79
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I've seen this done with an anchor chain attached to a dozer on each end. The two dozers would be about 100yards apart and just take off parallel to each other. Pretty impressive
Yep it's pretty impressive. I plan to build one for our ranch.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:03 AM   #80
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Chaining is very effective, just not selective. It's a great tool used mostly in South Texas for the choked up bee brush, mesquite and the like to clear out thick places to get more diversity. I personally like fire better :-)
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:21 AM   #81
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My ex-Inlaws would chain the pastures every few years. They a had a big heavy pipe with a anchor chain attached . Anchor chain like the big ships use. You couldn't hardly lift a link or two. Weighed a ton . Any ways we would drag that threw the brush breaking everything. The new growth was phenomenal and the deer thrived on the new growth.
Chaining can be a positive mgt practice if performed on the appropriate species of plant, that is, the quality browse that will sprout. This is a poor practoce on areas with large amounts of vigorous re-sprouters of low forage quality (i.e. mesquite, redberry juniper, huisache).
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:46 AM   #82
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Chaining is very effective, just not selective. It's a great tool used mostly in South Texas for the choked up bee brush, mesquite and the like to clear out thick places to get more diversity. I personally like fire better :-)
Fires in E Texas can get out of hand pretty quick. I did two and after the last one I won't do it again. I had lots of people helping but when the wind came up unexpectedly we had to double our efforts to keep it under control. Whoo!
I like the chain dragging idea or maybe a light disking might help to disturb the soils and get some forbs and or weeds going. Deer like new weed sprouts.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:46 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Hawkpuppy 1 View Post
Chaining is very effective, just not selective. It's a great tool used mostly in South Texas for the choked up bee brush, mesquite and the like to clear out thick places to get more diversity. I personally like fire better :-)
Fire to kill mesquite?
We run fire in south Texas to kill the 3 foot and under mesquites but anything bigger your just making it mad. And that's if you have a fuel load big enough to carry a flame. Dozer, or ipt is what we tend to lean towards in thick mesquite when we manage.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:35 AM   #84
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Yes, fire on mesquite under 3' works pretty good. Most of my fires have been in more cedar/range conditions and they work very well.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:52 AM   #85
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It will exacerbate the problem if you remove the top (chain, disc, push, burn, sheer) invasive, low palatable re-sprouting brush, including, but not limited to, mesquite, huisache, red berry juniper, salt cedar, russian olive, McCartney rose. These plants require grubbing (get root) or chemical.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:58 PM   #86
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:27 PM   #87
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Thanks for this great and informational reviews and comments . This topic always takes my attention .
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:05 PM   #88
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:58 PM   #89
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Jhouse,

Wow, that is weird. But seems like some others say hackberry is good for deer. From what I always read and observed they didn't use it. Live and learn I guess

Last edited by bukkskin; 12-17-2016 at 11:00 PM..
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:12 AM   #90
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"common woody browse plants utilized by whitetail deer in south texas" by Taylor, Hererra, and Rutledge

"Range plants of north central rexas" by Ricky Lenix

"Common rangeland plants of the Texas Panhandle" Natural resources conservation service

Those are the actual books I know of off the top of my head.

TPWD has some brief, value based guides in PDF format for several of the eco-regions (not all). Just google search "tpwd common browse plants utilized by whitetail deer". You'll get more info than you might care to read.
Thank you for the information. I will be reading up!
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:02 AM   #91
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In reference to food preference, WTD have been shown to eat, I believe, over 300 different trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses. They are selective at times depending on season and availability. Some foods they eat are more desired such as hackberry, cedar elm and sumac. These are commonly referred to as "ice cream" plants. Easy to get, taste good, but not a lot of nutrition in them as compared to most forbs, legumes and other brush.

Oaks are typically utilized for mast (acorns) production and not leaf browsing. Yes, they do eat them, but many other plants are higher preferred. Oaks can have high concentrations of tannins in them. That can be good and bad. Too much can cause sickness and even death. Just enough has been proven to be almost like a natural wormer/insecticide.
Very little Elm and Cedar where I hunt in Newton Cty, but, lots of Oak tree stumps that sprout. If its a Willow Oak, deer eat the regrowth on the stump on a regular basis.
I thought they had to be starving to eat Cedar. I would have never considered it a browse plant. Would a Ironwood tree be considered an Elm?
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:46 PM   #92
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Very little Elm and Cedar where I hunt in Newton Cty, but, lots of Oak tree stumps that sprout. If its a Willow Oak, deer eat the regrowth on the stump on a regular basis.
I thought they had to be starving to eat Cedar. I would have never considered it a browse plant. Would a Ironwood tree be considered an Elm?
A cedar elm is a type of elm tree. All elms I know of are good for deer browse. However, cedar (eastern red cedar, ash juniper, redberry juniper) is terrible for browse, as you said "must be starving".

Oak browse quality is variable, dependent on species and growth stage. None of the oaks, that I know of, are bad browse, they're just not first choice.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:36 PM   #93
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Great thread
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:39 AM   #94
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Ok, all caught up, now on to more info....

Since there seems to be a good interest in deer foods, lets continue on there. Deer are selective feeders, meaning that they eat a huge variety of things. They don't just sit in one area eating the same thing every day like a cow does grass in a field. Typically you will see deer feeding along and almost always moving while doing so. They get a little bite here, and one there. That is why most people like to use seed varieties in food plots for greater utilization. Simply put, deer like to eat a lot of different things. A lot of it is based on what is available in a given area and time of year.

Deer are also curious animals when it comes to food items. That's why a lot of the fly-by-night feed attractants seem to work. Deer see/smell something different, they take a look and see what's up. Most of the ones in my experience that are used repeatedly are the sweet style attractants. Everybody like something sweet now and then. I always laugh at the marketing on these items when they are telling of the scents and smells that deer go crazy for. Do you really think a deer in central Texas has any idea what an apple is? Or an orange? Nope, just something they smell is sweet and not a threat to them....
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:56 AM   #95
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Great thread Hawkpuppy 1
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:26 AM   #96
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In for knowledgeables
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:17 AM   #97
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Ok, all caught up, now on to more info....

Since there seems to be a good interest in deer foods, lets continue on there. Deer are selective feeders, meaning that they eat a huge variety of things. They don't just sit in one area eating the same thing every day like a cow does grass in a field. Typically you will see deer feeding along and almost always moving while doing so. They get a little bite here, and one there. That is why most people like to use seed varieties in food plots for greater utilization. Simply put, deer like to eat a lot of different things. A lot of it is based on what is available in a given area and time of year.

Deer are also curious animals when it comes to food items. That's why a lot of the fly-by-night feed attractants seem to work. Deer see/smell something different, they take a look and see what's up. Most of the ones in my experience that are used repeatedly are the sweet style attractants. Everybody like something sweet now and then. I always laugh at the marketing on these items when they are telling of the scents and smells that deer go crazy for. Do you really think a deer in central Texas has any idea what an apple is? Or an orange? Nope, just something they smell is sweet and not a threat to them....
When I first started feeding protein, I thought the deer would just flock to it. Boy was I wrong! It took a year to get them to eat the protein with regularity. So much browse in our area I think is the reason. So I mixed it with the Sweet Feed heavy in molasses and corn. 300#=200#protein/50#corn/50#sweet feed. After a year of doing that I could see them spending more time at the feeder. I eventually nixed the sweet feed, but kept the corn in the mix. Every night they would spend an hour or more eating protein. I was happy with that.

As a side note, the only bucks that came to the feeder were spikes. I never got a picture of an mature buck...ever! In 4 years, not one.

By the way I love this thread.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:21 PM   #98
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^ In areas with high quality and even a high amount of "regular" browse under good range conditions, deer don't tend to rely nearly as much on supplemental feed, because they don't have to. Even when they do use protein feeders, it doesn't make up a huge portion of their daily intake in most cases. Same goes for mineral supplements. Deer will only use "free" mineral if they need it, not because they want it or because it tastes good. Their body dictates when they need more mineral in their diet.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:56 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Hawkpuppy 1 View Post
Ok, all caught up, now on to more info....

Since there seems to be a good interest in deer foods, lets continue on there. Deer are selective feeders, meaning that they eat a huge variety of things. They don't just sit in one area eating the same thing every day like a cow does grass in a field. Typically you will see deer feeding along and almost always moving while doing so. They get a little bite here, and one there. That is why most people like to use seed varieties in food plots for greater utilization. Simply put, deer like to eat a lot of different things. A lot of it is based on what is available in a given area and time of year.

Deer are also curious animals when it comes to food items. That's why a lot of the fly-by-night feed attractants seem to work. Deer see/smell something different, they take a look and see what's up. Most of the ones in my experience that are used repeatedly are the sweet style attractants. Everybody like something sweet now and then. I always laugh at the marketing on these items when they are telling of the scents and smells that deer go crazy for. Do you really think a deer in central Texas has any idea what an apple is? Or an orange? Nope, just something they smell is sweet and not a threat to them....
Very interesting. I was one of those guys always looking for that magic hocus pocus to bring a deer in. In my experience corn works just about as good as anything. To me regular corn does not have a smell so I never figured how deer find it so quickly. But it works. Some of the other stuff works also but it is so expensive. Now that I am getting a good feeder all I will be able to run through it is corn so I will be limited. Probably a good thing.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:19 PM   #100
DUKFVR
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Great thread! Thanks guys!
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