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What Do Deer Eat in Fall And Early Winter?

What Do Deer Eat? | Deer Food and Nutritional Requirements for Fall

White-tailed deer are wrapping up one of the most physically demanding time periods of the year; the fall rut and breeding season. This is a time when bucks run themselves ragged in search of does. In fact, a buck can lose up to 30% of his body weight during the rut from all of that chasing and not replenishing his nutritional requirements by taking time to eat. What makes things even more difficult for bucks after losing all of that body weight is they are about to enter into the winter season. Winter is one of the most stressful periods a buck can go through, particularly in the north where winters can be severe. So how can you ensure that bucks on your hunting property have everything they need to survive the winter? What do deer eat in the fall and early winter to build reserves? What is the ideal deer food that can you provide through supplements or habitat changes? This article will discuss some of the natural forages deer rely on during this time of year and why GYT90 supplements tend to work so well for your deer herd.

 

What’s for Dinner?

Deer eat a lot. On average, a deer can eat anywhere from 6 to 8% of its body weight every day. That means that a 150-pound deer can eat up to 12 pounds of food per day! To put that in perspective, that’s like you eating 48 quarter-pound hamburgers a day just to survive…Now think about how much forage it would actually take to weigh up to 12 pounds. That’s a lot of forage!  

So what does a deer eat? Deer will primarily eat browse (woody portion of leaves and stems), forbs (broad-leaved plants), mast (acorns, apples, etc), and grass. Although these are the main foods deer like to eat, the quantity of these different foods differ throughout the year and the region you are hunting.  

Deer Food in Your Region

For example, deer in the Midwest will have a larger portion of their diet comprised of agricultural crops then deer from a non-agricultural area like the northeast. Although a deer’s diet will vary throughout the year, woody browse tends to make up the majority of a deer’s diet throughout the winter, regardless of where they are found. Woody browse is usually more abundant throughout the winter months after crops are harvested and is high in fiber, but also nutritious, especially new stems and shoots from species like black berry, greenbrier, and understory saplings like ash. Think about how much a deer has to eat to survive. Finding up to 12 pounds of waste grain to eat is hard work and if you don’t have standing crops available for deer, then they are going to have to find food elsewhere.

 

Standing crops like corn and soybeans are a great source of energy during the early winter months like November and December and also throughout the rest of the winter. Specifically corn lacks a high level of protein, but has a high fat and carbohydrate content, around 4% fat and 75% carbohydrates. On the other hand, soybeans contain a high protein content (around 40%), and around 20% fat content but are lower in carbohydrates than corn. These high quality sources of energy are just what bucks need to help them recover after an intense breeding season and will help them survive the winter months. Remember, a buck can’t start growing his antlers in the spring until after he has replenished all of his fat reserves that he lost in the fall and winter. That means that the better the body condition a buck is in during winter, the sooner he can start growing his antlers in the spring. The sooner he can start growing his antlers means more time he has to grow them during the summer! 

Why GYT90 Supplements Work

So what can you do to help ensure bucks on your property go into and come out of winter in the best possible shape? That’s simple; make sure they have foods with high-quality fats and a high energy content available to them. This is where GYT90 shines. GYT90 uses a natural crude soybean oil to deliver its 90+ minerals. This crude soybean oil is high in natural fats (95%) and is full of calories meaning plenty of energy for deer consuming it. Both fats and calories are needed by whitetails during and after the rut. Now to really ramp up the effects of GYT90, you simply need to pour it over corn, another food item high in energy. This combination of GYT90 and corn is a quality combination. Deer are not only getting all of the quality fats and energy they need to help them survive the winter, but they are also getting all of the minerals they need to stay healthy. The potent combination delivers carbs, calories, and a very high fat content, enough to pull deer into the site whether you are feeding, hunting over bait, or just enhancing the deer herd health. 

But how many supplemental feed and mineral sites do you need to really help your herd out? That tends to depend on how many acres you are hunting. A good rule of thumb is to have one supplemental site for every 100 acres of property. You can place a 50-pound sack of corn mixed with GYT90 at each site. This should be enough to help supplement the deer herd. Remember, that this combination should only be used as a supplement because you don’t want to, and probably can’t afford, to totally feed your deer herd with corn. Another thing to keep in mind is that, although corn is high in energy, it is difficult for deer to digest. If deer eat too much corn too fast, they can actually die from what’s called acidosis. To avoid this, be sure you place your supplemental sites near woody browse so deer can browse on both food items. This will ensure they can balance the pH levels in their rumen while consuming corn. Or start the corn and GYT90 mixture off slowly, feeding small amounts gradually every week to allow the deer’s rumen to adjust for digestion.

 

If your goal is to grow as big of deer as you possibly can, then deer management is a year-round thing that doesn’t end after you put up your bow or gun for the year. It requires you to think about what deer need throughout the year. Remember, if nutrition is lacking at any point in time throughout the year, then that reduces a bucks chances of reaching his maximum potential. Hopefully this article has opened your eyes to the importance of winter nutrition. Be sure to give GYT90 a shot this fall, it may just help your herd reach its potential.

 

Attracting Deer to Your Hunting Setup

Tactics to Make Your Deer Set Up the Spot on the Spot

The pursuit of whitetail deer has hunters nationwide working to create opportunities and increase the odds of a whitetail encounter for the hunt. Whether you love hunting deer for the camaraderie and fellowship, for the challenge that the pursuit of trophy provides, or to provide meat for your family; one thing remains the same, you need deer in your area to hunt. When it comes to influencing deer, their habits, and the area they live in; there are multiple strategies that can be effective at attracting deer to your hunting area and increasing hunting opportunities. Utilizing deer attractants in your hunting strategy will increase your odds of success, and your enjoyment of the hunt.

The term “deer attractant” is a generic term, and it can encompass a wide variety of tools and methods that are proven to attract deer into a certain area. Some of the means to attracting deer to a specific spot include the use of: food plots, baiting, mineral sites, and deer scents. Hunters can utilize one or many of these methods in combination to attract deer into their hunting area depending on factors like state and local laws, available resources, and terrain. Attracting deer to your spot on the spot, and providing a hunting opportunity is critical to your hunts success. With a little strategic planning, and the right tools put to work, you can increase your number of whitetail encounters and shooting opportunities.

  

Food Plots

The use of food plots as a deer hunting attractant is as old as deer hunting itself. Natural food plots such as acorn mass and large crop fields continue to be an effective draw for deer. The use of food plot crops planted specifically with deer hunting in mind is becoming more and more common. From larger plots of forage soybeans covering 10 or more acres, to small parcels of broken tree canopy planted to brassica; various crops including corn, milo, turnips, peas, clover, and alfalfa will attract and keep deer.

One of the surest ways to attract deer is through their stomach. Whitetail deer are ruminant animals and require both quality protein and fiber forage to survive. Supplying quality groceries to the deer herd you are hunting is the perfect way to increase the frequency of deer in your area, and the amount of time they spend in your core hunting zone.

Baiting

For the same reason that food plots are so effective, bait as a deer attractant can also be extremely effective. An easy meal provided by a corn pile, a gravity feeder filled with a grain mix, or a prepared liquid deer bait is impossible for deer to resist. The nutritional demands of the breeding season, surviving through harsh winter conditions, and regaining lost nourishment expended during the rut drive deer to seek the most nutrient dense feed supply possible.

Keep it Legal

Using bait to attract deer is extremely effective, and a proven tactic for all seasons; including summer feeding programs, pre rut, peak rut, and post rut recovery. However, laws vary widely from state to state, from public to private, and even by date. Make sure you know and abide by the state and local regulations when it comes to baiting deer, hunting over bait, and when you bait.  You may find your state allows hunting deer directly over a bait pile, a late season tactic that is sure to produce results. On the other hand, some states allow baiting, but restrict the distance to the bait. Still other states allow baiting, but all bait must be removed or consumed 10 days prior to season.

In states that only allow baiting out of sight of the hunter, or a certain distance away from the hunter; bait is a fantastic tool for manipulating deer movement. Bait stations between bedding and feeding areas can draw deer within range of your stand. Utilizing pinch points and travel corridors, and strategically placing stands for prevailing winds, using bait in a state that does not allow hunting over bait can produce amazing opportunities while staying well within the law.

Mineral

Just like all other animals, deer require certain essential minerals to remain healthy and to best utilize the nutrients they digest from feed. Essential minerals like calcium and sodium are natural attractants to deer, and in many states offering these minerals to deer is not classified as baiting. Be careful however when offering mineral as a bait station, some states classify mineral as bait if it is incorporated into the soil from rains. This can be tricky if the state you’re hunting doesn’t allow hunting over, or near a leached mineral site. There are ways to still offer the minerals deer crave, and remain on the right side of the law.

 

Whether your state allows hunting over bait, or not; or classifies mineral as bait, or not; make sure and consider using essential minerals as an attractant in accordance with regulations. Mineral sites and offerings are perfectly paired with other types of deer attractants to make your hunting area truly dynamic for whitetails.

Deer Scents

According to research conducted at Mississippi State University, deer can smell somewhere between 500 and 1000 times better than humans. It has been said that whitetail deer see the world through their noses. We have all been there, watching a deer that has no idea we are nearby, then the wind switches. One little gust of scent carrying wind and that deer is off, no questions asked. Harnessing scents that attract deer has been tested for decades, and year after year, hunters fill their tag and swear by a scent product that helped them do it.

By coupling a deer’s amazing sense of smell with their biological phases, the wind currents, and a strategically placed stand; deer scents can be used to bring that old wary buck into range. There are numerous deer scent products on the market, but a couple of the most popular include doe in estrus urine, and rutting buck scent. By tricking a buck’s nose into thinking there is an estrus doe nearby, or a competing buck in the area, you can play on a deer’s most advanced defense to create an opportunity to fill your tag.

Build an Arsenal and Develop a Strategy

Food plots, baits, mineral, and scents are all effective tools that you can put to work in the deer woods this season. By coupling multiple tools into an effective arsenal you will be able to influence where the deer travel and find an opportunity to fill your tag. Make no mistake, whitetail deer are elusive, wary, and always on their guard; but by working a strategy to make your stand the spot on the spot, it is possible to even the odds.

Using Deer Attractants for Observation Instead of Hunting

No Pressure + Deer Attractants = Great Hunting Intel

When most whitetail hunters talk about deer attractants and mineral supplements, they automatically drift towards the deer hunting application of them. After all, our powerful and attractive product can create one of the best hunting sites you’ve ever sat above. But eventually, you’d probably educate a few bucks about your intentions if you sat over a site too much. And additionally, an increasing number of states do not allow hunters to hunt over or even near anything that could be considered bait anyway, which would rule this scenario out too. So have you ever considered using a deer attractant to enhance a bait site or mineral site without hunting it?

It might seem crazy to some people – why spend the effort and money on keeping a site like that running if you can’t directly hunt the deer using it? But there are actually several benefits of doing just that. Here’s how to use deer attractants and some tips on where and why to use them.

Why Use This Strategy?

The best reason for using this approach is that you can gain valuable insight about the deer using your property in a way that you might not if you were hunting it. Whitetails are pretty quick at patterning people, so hunting a deer bait site several days in a row definitely turns the pressure on. With this strategy, however, you can capture trail camera pictures of essentially unpressured deer (since you don’t hunt it). This property reconnaissance helps you understand truly which deer are using your land; whereas, mature bucks may be reluctant to use a bait site that is regularly hunted. That is the true power of this deer attractants strategy.

 

In addition, if you’re wondering how to attract deer to your property, this product is so versatile for different situations. There are several ways to use this product, depending on the situation. At easier to access sites (i.e., accessible via a trail system), this is probably the best deer attractant to mix with corn because it adds fat calories (soybean oil), 90+ minerals, unrefined salt, and attraction power (scent of soybeans) to the bait pile. For more remote areas, you can pour it onto decaying wood or directly onto the soil to create the best deer mineral attractant. These are all very good ways to attract deer.

And as we mentioned earlier, there is another obvious reason this approach might be a good option for you. In some states, it is illegal to bait deer while hunting them, which often includes any caloric food source at all (including grains, fruits, vegetables, molasses, etc.). Since our product is made with crude soybean oil and chock full of fat calories, you definitely couldn’t hunt over it in that situation. However, some states may allow you to bait deer on your property, provided you don’t hunt within a certain distance of it. In this case, you could still get the benefit of baiting deer in front of your trail cameras without breaking any laws. But be sure to study your state’s regulations on this topic before you start.

Best Places to Put Deer Attractants

While this approach could work for any property to get an unbiased look at the deer there, here are a few places where this would make the most sense.

  • If you have a small property (e.g., total of 40 acres), you need to be serious about deer hunting to consistently do well. Instead of walking around your whole property throughout the season, try designating most of the center of it as a sanctuary that you hardly ever enter (except to re-apply more GYT90 deer attractants and check your trail camera). Then you can use the trail camera pictures to decide how to hunt the perimeter, based on which deer are comfortably using the interior portion. 
  • Do you have a cellular trail camera that directly sends pictures to your mobile phone? That’s even better. Find a very remote part of your property that you can’t access easily (e.g., an island in the middle of a swamp). Take some time to apply a liberal amount of GYT90 deer attractant on some decaying logs and within the soil so that it will persist longer than just applying it to a corn pile. Rest assured, the deer will absolutely eat the decaying wood and dirt. Then let the camera and deer attractants do their work. This approach probably makes GYT90 the best deer attractant for trail cameras at remote sites.

 

How to Use This Approach for Hunting

Wait, didn’t we say we were not hunting over these deer attractants? Yes, but there are still ways you can use this method to inform your hunting strategies. First, simply having this site in an unpressured area could entice deer to stay longer than they otherwise might. Keeping them on your property is over half the battle once the general hunting season opens.

For a more specific hunting example, if you start seeing a mature buck using your remote site, you will need to figure out how he is accessing it and where he goes afterward. Study some aerial maps of your property and find some likely travel corridors or pinch points that the buck might use. If he primarily uses the site at night, it’s likely he will head to a bedding area in the morning, so look for densely vegetated areas on the map where a buck could feel safe during the day. Then place some trail cameras in those locations. After a week or two, sneak back in to check the cameras (or use the cellular option mentioned above). Once you find out where and when he is using a certain area, set up a tree stand or ground blind downwind of his primary access – remember to not hunt too close to your deer attractant site. By only hunting the perimeter of this area, you stand a great chance at attracting and then hunting a buck as he comes and goes.

Best Deer Attractant

This season, try using this amazing product and hunting approach to see how it goes. In most cases, the deer attractants will pull the deer in on their own – how you handle the hunting of them is up to you. But providing a no-risk area for deer – especially mature bucks – to congregate and get some nutrition and minerals from is a fantastic way to get a census of the deer using your property.