Supplemental feeding has become a major factor in the management
of white-tailed deer in Texas within the past decade. More and more, we are
seeing the dramatic effects of supplemental feeding of deer: growing larger antlers and heavier
body weights. But with feeding comes an abundance of unknowns. We have been
researching the variables associated with supplemental feeding through the years and
hope you will gain from our
experiences, our mistakes, as well as our successes.
FOOD PLOTS are one way to establish
locally adapted forage to provide supplemental
food during critical periods of the year. Food plots can
also be grown to attract species for viewing or harvesting. The shape, size,
location and percentage of total land area devoted to food plots
should be based on the requirements of the targeted species.
Depending on your goals, food plots can be a wonderful management
tool for you and your deer population. But like many things in life, the
effort put into food plots often dictates your output. Careful evaluation of how much time,
energy and money you feel you can put into a food plot program should be evaluated prior to
the first tilling of the soil.
Often times in Texas, when we need supplemental food, such as in
the time of droughts, we are unable to produce food plots without substantial
irrigation. Conversely, when it is easy to grow food plots
in times of good rain, food plots are often not necessary.
So look at your goals and resources before to spend a lot of time
PROTEIN FEED has taken on a life of its own in Texas deer management.
We have seen some great successes with this type of management as well as
what we would describe as tragedies to the land and the wildlife that live
there. We feel that protein feed can be a remarkable tool if used responsibly. This
means keeping your deer population within the capacities of the habitat, surveying the
population annually, and
implementing aggressive harvesting to balance the affects that
this feed often has.
Our research has come up with a variety of options for
supplemental feeding which include feeder types, designs, pens, density, non-target impacts,
and types of feed.
Contact us and let us know your experiences with supplemental
look forward to discussing any issue you may have so we can
better serve our customers.