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-   -   Strategy for Antler/deer growth (https://discussions.texasbowhunter.com/forums/showthread.php?t=731836)

bcj jones 05-16-2019 12:25 PM

Strategy for Antler/deer growth
 
What are some of y'alls recommendations for increasing antler growth? I believe now is the time to start really feeding for antler growth am I right?

I have a buddy who is suggesting soy beans mixed in with my deer corn. Also putting some mineral licks out for them. Does that sound like a good approach?

Greenheadless 05-16-2019 12:27 PM

Range conditions and age are the only real factors that will move the ball from a herd standpoint.

Hoss163 05-16-2019 12:56 PM

Double Down close thread 😉

Hoss163 05-16-2019 01:14 PM

Cotton seed and some sort of protein pellet is definitely a must . Mix corn with the protein at first if you havenít ever fed it . To get them on it . I tried the corn mixed will cotton seed that they started selling they make a licorice are persimmon flavored and the deer hammered it .I donít really know how much cotton seed they actually ate because there was a lot scattered on the ground but they had to eat some of it .

Bowhuntingobsession 05-16-2019 01:31 PM

Feed all you can afford and do it year round ! At least January through September. Just because their growing now doesn't mean they didn't need it the last 4 or 5 months.

antonlsu 05-16-2019 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bowhuntingobsession (Post 14152322)
Feed all you can afford and do it year round ! At least January through September. Just because their growing now doesn't mean they didn't need it the last 4 or 5 months.

This

skeeter 05-16-2019 01:43 PM

Age and range.

I’ve never understood feeding protein to grow bone. I thought calcium was for healthy bone, protein was for muscle. All these body builders wanting to build muscle mass take in mass quantities of protein... to build muscle. How is feeding protein growing bigger bone antlers? I’ve read where all the nutrients taken in by a deer before the age of 4 go to muscle mass.

If we want to grow bone, why aren’t we feeding calcium???

Patton 05-16-2019 01:46 PM

Yep, feed as much as you can. If you get them on the protein in January, their bodies start to recover and gain weight more quickly--which results in them being able to direct energy towards antler growth sooner.

TXBRASS 05-16-2019 05:15 PM

I'm really excited about this year's antler growth. Due to the last few years of constant protein combined with great range conditions, all our bucks look amazing as far as body composition goes. That should pour over to antlers this year. We shall see what happens.

TXBRASS 05-16-2019 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skeeter (Post 14152350)
Age and range.

I’ve never understood feeding protein to grow bone. I thought calcium was for healthy bone, protein was for muscle. All these body builders wanting to build muscle mass take in mass quantities of protein... to build muscle. How is feeding protein growing bigger bone antlers? I’ve read where all the nutrients taken in by a deer before the age of 4 go to muscle mass.

If we want to grow bone, why aren’t we feeding calcium???

Not sure of the source, but I can try to find it, but there was a study where mineral supplementation (calcium and Phosphorous) was supplemented to pen deer and no noticeable growth increase in antlers was present, but protein supplementation had a large impact. Something about how the protein is converted and utilized (way above my pay-grade knowledge), but it was shown how much consistent protein helps add inches as well as age being the number one factor.

That being said, I still put out salt mineral "rocks" in my feed pens on a regular basis. TSC now carries one that is half the price of the "Trophy" brand. The main reason I do this is after thousands of game cam pics I quickly noticed how much my deer lick on them. They love them, especially in the summer months. Not doing that for growth as much as I'm giving them a treat that they like and salt should increase food and water consumption.

I used to spend a lot on bags of di-calcium phosphate and mix it with mineral salt and put it in a pit in my feed pen. I just saved the money and increased my protein feed output and just went with the rocks for them to lick.

Patton 05-16-2019 05:46 PM

TXBRASS, your post reminded me of what was talked about in a semi-recent MeatEater podcast.

They (some biologists) took multiple buck and doe mule deer fawns from 2 different areas, only a few days old. The bucks from area A typically grew to say 180# and 150" and bucks from area B typically grew into 230# bucks and 180" (I forget these exact numbers, but there was an obvious difference). These deer were raised in the exact same conditions and coincidentally grew up to be similar to their respective fathers.

They then did a test where they bred the original buck and doe fawns (now 5 or so years old) to one another- Area A does bred with Area A bucks; Area B does to Area B bucks. They raised these 'gen 2' fawns under identical conditions to one another, and how they had done in the past. Surprisingly, the 'gen 2' fawns from Area A were something like 40" and 40# larger than their dads. The 'gen 2' fawns from Area B were still around 230# and 180#/same size as their dads.

Their conclusion from this study (I think a 14 year long study) was that the size that a buck reached at maturity was directly related to how healthy his mother was while he was in the womb/how much prenatal nutrition he received.

I forget which Podcast episode it was, but in the past 10 episodes and certainly worth a listen.

bcj jones 05-16-2019 05:53 PM

Thanks for all the input guys! I appreciate y'all taking the time to write some opinions. I may just stick with some protein feed mixed with my corn and some calcium licks. Anyone have an opinion on protein feed? The stuff at TSC seems to have good reviews

deerwatcher51 05-16-2019 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcj jones (Post 14152676)
Thanks for all the input guys! I appreciate y'all taking the time to write some opinions. I may just stick with some protein feed mixed with my corn and some calcium licks. Anyone have an opinion on protein feed? The stuff at TSC seems to have good reviews

There are numerous threads on here as to what is the "best" protein to feed but in my opinion as long as you feed any kind of protein that you can afford you are ahead of the game. The best of luck to you.

TXBRASS 05-16-2019 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcj jones (Post 14152676)
Anyone have an opinion on protein feed? The stuff at TSC seems to have good reviews



Hereís a good read:

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=589066


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

bgleaton 05-17-2019 07:33 AM

Here’s a good podcast:
http://extension.msstate.edu/deer-un...eeding-program

TXBRASS 05-17-2019 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bgleaton (Post 14153229)

Really good listen..... Thank you!

Txhuntr2 05-17-2019 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcj jones (Post 14152676)
Thanks for all the input guys! I appreciate y'all taking the time to write some opinions. I may just stick with some protein feed mixed with my corn and some calcium licks. Anyone have an opinion on protein feed? The stuff at TSC seems to have good reviews

I would not mix the protein pellets with corn in a typical broadcast/spinner feeder. The pellets tend to swell with moisture and clog the funnel.

Most people mix corn with the protein initially to get the deer started and they feed out of feeders designed specifically for protein, either a free choice feeder or a timed protein feeder.

If you are on a small tract or if your neighbors are not feeding protein too, you are unlikely to see a measurable benefit as far as antler growth. Supplemental feeding is only a piece of the management plan. Age is a huge piece and its a lot cheaper than protein. Learn to age deer on the hoof and allow them to reach maturity.

You may still want to feed some protein as an attractant, especially from a timed feeder in your hunting area.


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