Blog > November 2019 > Increasing Genetic Potential in your Deer Herds

Increasing Genetic Potential in your Deer Herds

November 18, 2019

Many of you, like myself, have been spending time in the tree stand the past 2 months with your bow and we are now just into rifle season with the Nebraska opening day being Nov. 16. Whether you’re an avid hunter or someone who enjoys watching wildlife, healthy animals reaching their full genetic potential is something both groups can agree upon. To make a nutrition decision consider the forage availability, nutritional requirements, number and kind of species, management practices and production goals. There is a wide variety of options when it comes to feeding deer, protein and mineral are the most popular supplements sold out of our CVA feed retail locations. Loose mineral and blocks are easy to set out to either watch, photograph or catch on trail cameras the wildlife in your area. I encourage hunters to review your states baiting laws before starting a supplement program. Nebraska law states “An area within 200 yards of bait is considered baited for 10 days following the removal of all bait. To be legal, both the hunter and the animal must be outside a baited area.” “It is illegal to establish a baited area from 10 days before the opening of any big game or turkey season and throughout those entire seasons for the purposes of taking big game or turkey.” “Baiting is the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing or scattering of salt, grain or other feed that could serve to lure or attract wildlife to, on or over an area where hunters are attempting to take them.” That being quoted from the Nebraska game and parks website, here are a few options to help herds stay thriving during the off season.

Early to mid-spring is a good time to start a feeding program and usually coincides with timing of food plots being planted. I feel that around NE Nebraska Feb. is the month to begin supplementing. Supplements such as Antlermax should not be fed as a sole diet and require roughages such as hay or grass. Some producers I work with have nice feeders that the supplements can be put into and others choose to dump the product on to the ground near loafing areas. So why not just use corn? Just like cattle, deer that overconsume too much corn can get digestive upset. Due to its palatability deer will ear the corn rather than meeting their daily nutritional requirement. Antlermax is backed by research to determine the requirements for top antler and body growth. It provides high biological availability and the proper balance of trace minerals. Intake is 1 to 4 ounces per head per day and is safely fed to deer, elk and even reindeer. These deer feeds are formulated to support genetic potential for antlers, reproductive performance and milk production in does for strong and healthy fawns.

By-pass proteins developed by Purina Animal Nutrition in 1995 support antler growth by optimizing protein quality. Traditional deer feed breaks down protein by bacteria in the deer rumen and digests the bacteria in the stomach, this however degrades the protein quality leaving lower quality amino acids required for antler growth. Antlermax by-pass proteins pass the rumen and are digested in the small intestine providing high quality amino acids to reach a bucks full genetic antler growth. What is your guess at a deers protein requirement? Its not much higher than cattle diet at 16-17% protein. Some breeders like to use a 20-24% protein diet and have shown no adverse effects with high scoring bucks. A fun fact is that mid-winter a deers normal intake is 1.5% of their body

One of my favorite quotes spoken by Fred Bear is “Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.” To me that means playing my part in conservation and taking care of the wildlife in my area. To learn more about wildlife supplements stop by your local CVA feed retail location and we can help give advice on what supplement will best suit your wildlife needs. Have a safe hunting season this fall.
by Brandi Salestrom
Posted: 11/18/2019 9:33:41 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments

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