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Old 04-03-2021, 06:53 PM   #1
gtsticker
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Default How many inches

Those who feed year round protein, how many inches of antler inches do you improve the existing deer? We are buying a place that they do not feed protein. They kill 135-145 deer regularly in the 4-5 year old age group but this year killed 2 over 160. How much improvement could we expect with a full time protein program.


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Old 04-03-2021, 06:55 PM   #2
bgleaton
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When we bought our place the avg was around 125 and now we are seeing 150in deer on the top end but weve been feeding for 10 years.


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Old 04-03-2021, 07:26 PM   #3
warrington
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We feel like we have increased our numbers due to it for one. Our antlers have increased probably 10-15”. But we never saw anything more than a 135 and have since shot a 173&155. 3 years after starting. But haven’t seen a 155+ since

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Old 04-03-2021, 08:14 PM   #4
BolilloLoco
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It’s complicated.
Check out the Comanche-Faith Study.
https://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/publicat...;s-complicated
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:59 PM   #5
WillowCity2506
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More about age structure and letting them mature. We have fed over 9k lbs each year for the last 3 years, have been feeding for 7 total. Gains in total body health and antler mass have been better than total inches in antler gain. We see more 130-140 deer now than we ever have. Our best scoring bucks 1 from 06, 1 from 2018. Neither sniff 150. Not sure if our place can produce that caliber buck but our deer herd is definitely healthier now than ever before. Rainfall and natural browse play a bigger part in the high scoring bucks in my opinion.
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Old 04-04-2021, 09:41 AM   #6
mikemorvan
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IMO - as stated above, it's complicated. Age, rainfall, what is the natural genetic potential of the deer on your place? All these are factors.

I think protein is a lot like advertising: We know it works, but it's hard to quantify just how much. Just my $0.02.
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:48 PM   #7
wingnut
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On my place in Oklahoma last year we fed just a little over 10,000 lbs out of 3 1200lb boss bucks. The bucks took to it like crazy! We had history with some of the deer. Two 3.5yr bucks but on 60” from 3 to 4!! We found their sheds from the previous year. 60” increase was incredible but I think realistic is 20”-25” on average with other factors as well.
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:57 PM   #8
bgleaton
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Everything everyone has mentioned above is spot on. It takes a lot more than just protein but the biggest thing is getting the overall herd health in good shape. We keep annual harvest records, which Im sure a lot of people on here do as well, and it shows our bucks dressed weights are up around 25-30lbs when comparing it to the 1st two years. Protein has helped improve our overall herd health but this is not all due to protein as others have alluded to. Our deer herd is now more under control than it was before so there is a lot more food for them to eat. There is nothing better than quality habitat as protein feed will only take up 25-35% of their total diet. We will continue removing cedars to increase more deer forage as well as plant pollinator mixes and will start burning in spring of 2022. We are hoping we will see even better results over the next 5 years.


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Old 04-05-2021, 09:36 AM   #9
sotx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtsticker View Post
Those who feed year round protein, how many inches of antler inches do you improve the existing deer? We are buying a place that they do not feed protein. They kill 135-145 deer regularly in the 4-5 year old age group but this year killed 2 over 160. How much improvement could we expect with a full time protein program.


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Protein is not the magic bullet. You have a lot more factors to take into consideration. Carrying capacity of your land, age of existing animals, genetic capabilities of the place. It takes years to see improvement. So there is no hard fast number for improvement. It could be anywhere from zero to 200".
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:43 AM   #10
gingib
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemorvan View Post
IMO - as stated above, it's complicated. Age, rainfall, what is the natural genetic potential of the deer on your place? All these are factors.

I think protein is a lot like advertising: We know it works, but it's hard to quantify just how much. Just my $0.02.
x2
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:48 AM   #11
SuperExotics
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I wouldnt expect a quantifiable amount of "extra" growth due to protein. It will certainly boost the available nutritional plane, but not to the extent of an above average rainfall year. You will see a boost in body condition, and fawning rates.

Its a tool, not a cure all.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:29 PM   #12
TildenHunter
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Very difficult question to answer with any real accuracy. When we first started with our place 17 years ago we had 2 deer that were close to 160. We poured the feed to them and ended up shooting several deer that were right at 190. You have to have the genetics to begin with. I would guess the average deer in Texas for a mature buck would score around 120-130". Our area happened to have bigger deer to begin with when we started. There are always outliers. Our average good buck was around 150 and we would get outliers that would get up to 180-190. I do think that protein helps with antlers and body and if you can afford to do it, then by all means. I think it is realistic to say it will add 10% over time, but that is in conjunction with other management practices. As others have said, it is a tool in the management plan.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:44 PM   #13
buck_wild
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My experience is that for MATURE bucks, already 5+ yrs old we probably saw 8"-12" bigger with a rare few that might pop 20"+.
If you are talking about bucks that are still maturing that would have jumped anyway, it was harder for me to get a handle on that other than I figured it probably helped. All that is antidotal info on my part as no true scientific research was done.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:08 PM   #14
diamond10x
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Inches would be about impossible to estimate because of genetics, region, and conditions year to year. One thing that I would say is probably close to fact about feeding protein, it will take several years of pumping the feed to see actual results. Don’t expect to see every mature buck to magically be a great buck since feeding protein. We feed year round all over the place at every water trough and blind where there is never more than .2 mi between protein sources and have for 10+ years and there is still a definite difference in dry years and wet years.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:34 PM   #15
Hills of Texas
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Feeding protein helps, but it takes more than just a pellet. Water, population and age are a few more things to think about.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:01 AM   #16
Snowflake Killa
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I don't believe that you will get a real answer. Genetics and age is a huge factor.

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