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Feeding deer in winter? #4628039
01/08/18 10:57 AM
01/08/18 10:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,477
NJ
Leo99 Offline OP
Leo99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,477
NJ
We have a bunch of deer that visit our backyard. Most we've seen is 7 in the yard. Never seen a buck but can tell there are does and their offspring who try to suckle. They're cute and we enjoy watching them frolic; often at night with the motion detect spot lights shining on them.

The ground has been snow covered recently and the deer seem more active. Thought about putting food out for them to help them through the winter. Read that the wrong type of food can kill them. That their digestive systems have switched over to winter type foods and feeding them summer type food and be deadly. Also, don't want the deer to be waiting in my backyard for me to get home from work so they can eat dinner.

Any success stories on how to go about this or just let nature take its course?


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
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Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628043
01/08/18 11:04 AM
01/08/18 11:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,517
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,517
...
Id let them forage for themselves.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628048
01/08/18 11:09 AM
01/08/18 11:09 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,684
'murica
Ethan1 Offline
Ethan1  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,684
'murica
Reminds me of this.

Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628050
01/08/18 11:14 AM
01/08/18 11:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,934
Orlando, FL
Mr Nice Offline
Mr Nice  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 21,934
Orlando, FL
Don't feed the deer, you're trying to be nice but in reality you're not doing the right thing.

Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628067
01/08/18 11:27 AM
01/08/18 11:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,436
New England
Virtus_Probi Offline
Virtus_Probi  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,436
New England
We put some corn out in the woods for the deer right after we moved to New England and ended up attracting a really skeevy looking raccoon that acted strangely and just wouldn't go away. We were about to call the town about it before it abruptly disappeared.
Just be aware that other animals you don't like so much will likely also find the food...the deer have plenty to eat now that our plantings have matured.
We do still feed birds and have to deal with the endlessly inventive squirrels finding ways to pilfer the seeds...one of the feeders has collapsible perches and we used to use plastic hoods for the other two, but the hoods cracked and need to be replaced somehow. We also (re)learned to put the feeders away at the first sign of spring after having three bears visit in the wee hours last April.


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Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Mr Nice] #4628069
01/08/18 11:31 AM
01/08/18 11:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,559
Storrs, Connecticut
jeepman3071 Offline
jeepman3071  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,559
Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Don't feed the deer, you're trying to be nice but in reality you're not doing the right thing.


This.

If you feed them they will become more dependent on neighborhood settings for food, will become less afraid of people, etc. We have someone in my neighborhood who feeds the deer. Now the herd has doubled in size, and they are destroying lots of plants and lawns. They are active in the neighborhood at all hours of the day and have become less afraid of people. I see a few almost every night and they are often crossing the road.


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Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628095
01/08/18 11:54 AM
01/08/18 11:54 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,533
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
zzyzzx Offline
zzyzzx  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 4,533
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
In central Maryland, deer are seemingly abundant as squirrels. I would not worry about them going out if existence if not fed.

Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: jeepman3071] #4628102
01/08/18 11:58 AM
01/08/18 11:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,477
NJ
Leo99 Offline OP
Leo99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,477
NJ
Originally Posted By: jeepman3071
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Don't feed the deer, you're trying to be nice but in reality you're not doing the right thing.


This.

If you feed them they will become more dependent on neighborhood settings for food, will become less afraid of people, etc. We have someone in my neighborhood who feeds the deer. Now the herd has doubled in size, and they are destroying lots of plants and lawns. They are active in the neighborhood at all hours of the day and have become less afraid of people. I see a few almost every night and they are often crossing the road.


That's a reason I don't want to feed them.

I was thinking just feed them enough so they don't perish over the winter. But then nature is cruel but sometimes that is just how it has to be.

It's interesting how the wild animal population has changed in the 15 years I've been in he house in what was once farmland. At first it was a lot of foxes and a few rabbits. Then it was a lot of rabbits and a few foxes. Now, it's almost all rabbits and deer. The predators have mostly disappeared. I can do without the rabbit death screams in the woods at night that I heard 15 years ago.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628116
01/08/18 12:18 PM
01/08/18 12:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 762
Battle Creek, MI
SVTCobra Offline
SVTCobra  Offline
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 762
Battle Creek, MI
I agree with others not to feed the deer, but if you decide to anyway just for fun feed them hay. Buddy of mine buys hay off of me to attract them to watch behind his house. Other animals don't tend to mess with it so it shouldn't attract too many other pests.


Think twice, speak once.
Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628117
01/08/18 12:18 PM
01/08/18 12:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,135
Michigan
ZZman Offline
ZZman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,135
Michigan
Loose corn or sugar beets. But I don't really feed them but love to watch them. A big salt block or sweet lick block brings em around.

Last edited by ZZman; 01/08/18 12:21 PM.

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Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628138
01/08/18 12:48 PM
01/08/18 12:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,261
PV Az
AZjeff Offline
AZjeff  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,261
PV Az
Leo99, you were right in you first post about their digestive systems changing for winter forage. Don't do it. Putting corn out for deer in winter is about the worst thing you can do to them.


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The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with someone else's life. - Frank Zappa

Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628159
01/08/18 01:04 PM
01/08/18 01:04 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,675
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DoubleWasp Offline
DoubleWasp  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,675
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Humans love animal feeders because they are helping the animals and get to watch them.

Predators love animal feeders, because they know it's a great place to find animals, or a snack.

Bears should be in hibernation by now, and I don't know the animal diversity in your area, but you could be inviting something you won't like.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
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Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628172
01/08/18 01:13 PM
01/08/18 01:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,121
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,121
Upstate NY
I do not think it's legal in NY.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
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Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628181
01/08/18 01:22 PM
01/08/18 01:22 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 953
Rio Rancho, NM
Pajero Offline
Pajero  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 953
Rio Rancho, NM
Leo99, I commend you for caring. But, let nature handle the deer. They were here before us and perhaps after us. You are correct about their digestive system. Deer should fear humans, in order to survive.

Funny story, many years ago I was on a nature trail in a National Park in Louisiana (swamps). I grabbed a lizard and fed an alligator (safe distance). I was escorted out of the park by a Ranger for feeding wildlife. I was doing more harm than good. We don't want the alligators associating humans with food. My thinking at the time was not feeding them human food.

Respectfully,

Pajero!


Always remember "Planned obsolescence."

1994 Montero SR 3.5 DOHC, 133,xxx
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Re: Feeding deer in winter? [Re: Leo99] #4628193
01/08/18 01:28 PM
01/08/18 01:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 212
PA USA
rustypigeon Offline
rustypigeon  Offline
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 212
PA USA
Feeding of deer contributes to the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. This is a big problem in some states.



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1999 Mazda Protege 220,000mi
2000 BMW 323i 126,000mi
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