The benefits of supplemental deer feeding year-round are practically endless. Along with food plots, the extra feeding can really help to improve the health of your local deer herd, allowing your deer and their antlers to grow larger. Most hunters put small antler growth down to poor genes but that’s not usually the case – year-round nutrition can boost growth tremendously. Before planning your feeding program, it’s a good idea to check up local and state regulations on feeding local wildlife.
Post-Rut Supplemental Feeding
Providing your deer with optimal supplemental feed is a great way to provide some relief after the rut season. Protein, Corn and Beans are an excellent mix since these provide a good ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fat that will help your deer recover from the rut and winter stress, ensuring they enter spring in peak condition.
Deer that enter spring in peak physical condition also have the best chance of reaching their best genetic potential. Does will have healthier fawns and bucks have a better chance of growing larger antlers, with the help of a steady source of nutritional feed in early spring and late winter.
It’s a good idea to install and maintain a couple of trail cameras close to your deer feeders – this way you can track your larger bucks more accurately and keep a through inventory of your local deer herd.
Automatic deer feeders usually attract various forest critters, especially during the winter. Many of these are skunks, opossums and even raccoons. Since they will tend to visit your automatic deer feeders regularly, it can be a good idea to place some traps to limit their numbers.
Maintaining Growth Between Seasons
Using an automatic deer feeder for supplemental feeding can help fill the gaps between growing seasons for the foods your deer love most. Droughts can have a detrimental effect on herd growth since the deer have less access to naturally growing foods.