What is getting your deer through the winter?

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BackWoodsHunter
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What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:12 pm

With this excessive snow and frigid temps do any of you are taking a "break" til spring scouting wonder what is getting your deer through these winter months? I won't be up to our private land in northern WI til April so it's hard to say up there, I'm thinking the buds on most of the recent clear cuts are what is pulling my deer through-rough life if you ask me.

Anyhow I am attending school and living in the central part of the state been monitoring the deer around here on some public spots as well as private too and from school. Took the scenic route yesterday and was AMAZED at what I saw. A large potato farming business that is family owned, owns most of the land along my 18mile ride to school. I found a spot back in the woods maybe a mile or two long that they are in the process of having it selectively logged off or harvested for timber right along the road. All I can say is HOLY CRAP. The last time I saw that many deer was shining with my dad in Marquette County 8 years ago. I stopped my car and deer stood up from everywhere and too off for the woods. The forest was brown and appeared to be moving. Those deer were feeding on the buds from the tree tops left behind from the loggers. Next winter I will drop a few trees before winter sets in to provide extra food for my deer.

Any idea what your deer are eating? I was absolutely amazed at what I saw in the cut!


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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:29 pm

The snow is too deep for rummaging off the forest floor unless it's under some cedars or hemlocks on the public land. They will also eat those cedars and hemlocks if they can find them, but mostly it will be buds and small twigs. If this keeps up there might be a fairly large winter deer kill this year. To early to tell. Hopefully we have an early spring. Of course the deer herd in southern Michigan farmland will be fine.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby Wrinkleneck » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:18 pm

I put out a little corn for all the deer and critters that can get there before its gone everyday. I by no means put out enough for the herd to survive the winter, but a little snack for them is all I can afford.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby huntinfool14 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:18 am

i had alot of food plots planted like corn and soybeans but they got pounded so hard early winter that the deer are starting to venture out and eat off browse...now with all the snow we just got, i havent had the chance to go out and look at what they are feeding on now
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby Spysar » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:34 am

Mostly browse. They also yard up here in deep snow.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby headgear » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:33 am

Loggers and cedar swamps are keeping my deer alive, they also have a lot of browse to pick over but it is still going to be a very hard winter. Deep snow and a large wolf population are really going to hammer the already low deer population.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby U.P. MAN » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:32 am

headgear wrote:Loggers and cedar swamps are keeping my deer alive, they also have a lot of browse to pick over but it is still going to be a very hard winter. Deep snow and a large wolf population are really going to hammer the already low deer population.

My identical answer up here also.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby Swampthing » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:35 pm

BackWoodsHunter wrote:With this excessive snow and frigid temps do any of you are taking a "break" til spring scouting wonder what is getting your deer through these winter months? I won't be up to our private land in northern WI til April so it's hard to say up there, I'm thinking the buds on most of the recent clear cuts are what is pulling my deer through-rough life if you ask me.

Anyhow I am attending school and living in the central part of the state been monitoring the deer around here on some public spots as well as private too and from school. Took the scenic route yesterday and was AMAZED at what I saw. A large potato farming business that is family owned, owns most of the land along my 18mile ride to school. I found a spot back in the woods maybe a mile or two long that they are in the process of having it selectively logged off or harvested for timber right along the road. All I can say is HOLY CRAP. The last time I saw that many deer was shining with my dad in Marquette County 8 years ago. I stopped my car and deer stood up from everywhere and too off for the woods. The forest was brown and appeared to be moving. Those deer were feeding on the buds from the tree tops left behind from the loggers. Next winter I will drop a few trees before winter sets in to provide extra food for my deer.

Any idea what your deer are eating? I was absolutely amazed at what I saw in the cut!

There is a method for dropping trees for forage,without killing the tree.It,s called [b]Hinging [b] you cut roughly 1/2 way through small tree and tip it over. That way it will still live and provide forage for the deer .
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:57 pm

been reading a lot about hinging on the QDMA forums actually! I will definitely be doing that this year! I have areas I am clearing this spring and will stack the tops up in the woods but the buds will dry up and die before they are winter forage for next yr.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:37 pm

Swampthing wrote:... There is a method for dropping trees for forage,without killing the tree.It,s called [b]Hinging [b] you cut roughly 1/2 way through small tree and tip it over. That way it will still live and provide forage for the deer.

Unless you are hinge cutting very small saplings cutting 2/3-3/4 of the way through is generally used. Make's it easier to pull over the bigger stuff. ;) I usually cut them about nipple high. :D Ideally you cut enough trees that when you turn around you say OMG what have I done! That's when you have done it right. Now they have immediate food, future food from regrowth, cover and bedding. Image They like to bed under the half cuts too.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:57 pm

Yea I'm not prepared to drop that many trees simply because I don't want to drop that much timber on our small piece of property. I will drop a few in areas I want to promote new growth in that's about it for this year. At the end of next fall before winter I might get more aggressive however.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby dan » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:21 am

They browse pretty heavy on dogwood in the marshes and swamps in deep snow.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby HelpImStuckInMyTree » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:07 pm

Oxygen.
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:38 pm

HelpImStuckInMyTree wrote:Oxygen.



very helpful post... :roll:
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Re: What is getting your deer through the winter?

Unread postby DEERSLAYER » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:19 pm

dan wrote:They browse pretty heavy on dogwood in the marshes and swamps in deep snow.

I love finding dogwoods. Great browse.

HelpImStuckInMyTree wrote:Oxygen.

:lol:
You cannot invade mainland America. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.
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