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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.

How to Turn Summer Mineral Sites into Attractive Hunting Sites

Deer Hunting Bait Sites | Transitioning Deer Minerals to Fall Attraction

Most hunters are familiar with the benefits of providing their deer herds with supplemental nutrition. Whether you decide to provide mineral, the benefits range from helping you inventory bucks on your hunting property or collecting scientific data for management purposes to ensuring your herd has their complete nutritional needs in case nutrition is lacking. Although these are great reasons to use mineral sites, you may be wondering how effective they can be to use as an attractant for hunting. Although not all minerals serve as good attractants during the hunting season, GYT90 does. This article will discuss what makes GYT90 different from other minerals on the market and how to use it during the hunting season.

Why Deer Decrease Mineral Use

If you run trail cameras over your mineral sites for deer, you probably notice some obvious trends. Use of mineral sites generally increases with spring green up and is maintained throughout the summer. This is likely related to deer seeking out sodium to balance all of the water they are consuming that is contained in the new growth of vegetation. And although there isn’t much research out there, providing supplemental minerals likely also provides nutrition needed to both bucks who are growing their antlers and does that are producing milk for their fawns. 

So why do deer decrease their use of these mineral sites in the fall? There are several reasons like alternative food sources such as acorns and supplemental food plots becoming more prevalent on hunting properties. In addition to those things, vegetation no long has the same water content in the fall as it did in early spring and summer. This means that deer no longer need to seek out sodium to balance their diet which ultimately decreases their use of mineral sites. This is where most supplemental minerals fall short, they don’t provide any additional components to continually attract deer throughout the fall, in turn, not making them useful attractants during hunting season. This leaves hunters in states where deer hunting over bait is legal scratching their head. How do you avoid reinvesting time, hunting pressure, and money into your summer mineral sites just to keep the attraction up throughout the hunting season?

PHOTO: Summer mineral sites for deer decrease in use as sodium is no longer needed once vegetation loses its water content, creating the need to provide deer with additional attraction if a bait/hunting site is desired.

If you simply have a mineral lick for deer and fail to add additional attraction, the site will no longer be pulling deer like it was through the summer. You need to be able to provide something that deer associate with quality nutrition in the fall. They concentrate on food sources like standing grain and acorns. Soybeans, corn, and acorns give deer access to fats and calories, preparing their bodies for the winter and rut ahead. Keying in on these attraction points should be the focus on your deer hunting bait sites.

Finding a Product That Doubles as Mineral and Attraction

Arguably the best thing to find in this scenario is something that doubles as providing minerals and attraction. Corn and regular deer feed do not fit the bill by themselves since they do not provide the sodium for the summer. Most mineral blocks and licks do not provide the calories and fats, not to mention the scent of associated quality nutrition like corn, acorns, or soybeans. The trick is finding something that offers sodium, minerals, scent, taste and attraction for both summer and fall.

PHOTO: GYT90 is a product that offers sodium, minerals, scent, taste and attraction for both summer and fall hunting.

GYT90 is one such product. At its core GYT90 is a deer mineral and feed supplement. So what makes GYT90 different from other deer mineral supplements on the market? First, it contains more than 90 minerals that deer can use in addition to unrefined sea salt and natural crude soybean oil. Why is this good? GYT90 has everything a deer could want in both summer and fall…hitting key features hunters should be looking for. It provides them with the sodium they need in the spring and summer time, but also provides them with healthy fats that are provided by the natural crude soybean oil. The soybean oil hits deer with both soybean scent and flavor profiles that they already associate with quality food sources. Long story short, GYT90 always provides something deer need and are attracted to.

PHOTO: With scent and flavor profiles of soybean oil, deer are instinctively attracted to GYT90 mineral and hunting sites.

Another thing that makes GYT90 a great supplement is it comes in a liquid form. This means that you can mix GYT90 with just about anything. For example, you can mix GYT90 with corn and place it out for deer. The corn may serve as an additional attractant to pull deer into an area. You can also mix it with supplemental feed. Deer may be reluctant to start eating supplemental feed when you first start providing it. Mixing an attractant like GYT90 will likely help speed up that process of deer getting used to eating supplemental feed.

 How to Use GYT90 for Hunting

So how do you maximize your use of GYT90 so deer get the supplements they need but you also can take advantage of attracting deer to an area during the hunting season? The first thing to consider is where you are going to establish your mineral site. Some obvious areas are in food plots or agricultural fields where deer are already frequenting. You can also consider using wooded areas to establish sites. It may be easiest to find a staging area going out to a food plot or agricultural field for this. Wherever you decide to establish a mineral site, there are two things to consider. You will want to pick a site that sets you up best to hunt the area. This means you can access the area on multiple wind directions with minimal probability of detection when entering and leaving the stand. The next thing to consider is when to begin establishing the site. You will want to do this as early as possible. The more time you give deer to get used to visiting a site, the better.

PHOTO: Appling GYT90 deer mineral supplement and attractive deer bait in areas of frequent travel like soybean fields make great hunting bait sites.

Now that you’ve picked out your location, how do you use GYT90? That’s easy because you can use GYT90 in several ways. As previously mentioned, you can add it to corn and place it in some type of trough on the ground to attract deer. You can also simply pour it over a stump or on a log if you are in the woods. Again, whenever you are choosing a location to establish a mineral site, be sure it is in an area that you can easily hunt. 

There are multiple benefits to using supplemental minerals on your hunting property. But if you are hoping to find a mineral that also serves as an attractant during the hunting season, then GYT90 is for you. Be sure to give GYT90 a try this fall. You never know, it may just help you harvest your hit list buck or even help to put some meat in the freezer.