Monthly Archives: January 2016

Feeding Deer in Mississippi for Supplementation

The supplemental feeding of white-tailed deer in Mississippi is an important topic right now. Recent flooding along the Mississippi River alluvial valley caused thousands of deer to relocate to drier land. Research has proven that deer displaced by high water events will return to their normal home ranges within weeks of the flood waters receding.

As these deer return, questions exist as to the flood’s impact on available food supplies. The answer will depend on habitat conditions on each property. Portions of woody plants, called browse, should not be negatively impacted. However, lack of oxygen and sunlight will have damaged cool season forbs and native grasses and planted food plots. The full nutritional impact on returning whitetail will depend on relative amounts of each forage type available on their home ranges.

The need for artificial nutritional supplementation (feeding) should be determined by a wildlife biologist. However, if a supplemental feeding program is started, biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks recommend a complete ration consisting of protein pellets. This is a feed mixture in the form of a pellet that is nutritionally adequate for deer and contains crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, vitamins, minerals, and does not contain any animal byproducts.

Shelled corn, rice bran, soybeans, and cotton seed hulls alone do not meet the nutritional requirements of deer. However, mixing corn or feeding soybeans with protein pellets will improve acceptance by deer and will increase energy intake. Rapid changes in the types of food ingested by deer can cause the onset of digestion problems that result in the death of deer.

If a land owner chooses to feed, feed should be provided from an above ground covered feeder or a stationary spin cast feeder. It is illegal to pour, pile, or place feed directly on the ground. Additionally, it is imperative to use the correct feed. Many people feel that feeding hay to deer during times of stress would be beneficial.

However, this is not recommended because deer have a complex digestive system and cannot digest hay due to the lack of needed bacteria in their stomach. Consumption of hay can actually burn more energy than gained. Deer will not benefit from eating only hay.

When providing supplemental feed to deer impacted by the Missippi River use caution. Whitetail have specific food needs and can not digest the same materials as domestic livestock. Use pellet proteins that contain protein, fiber and a complete ration of nutrients.

NWTF: Managing Wildlife Habitat for Hunters

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is putting better habitat on the ground for wildlife across the US. When it comes to funding conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage, the NWTF is a good steward of your contributions. In the latest report from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, the NWTF was found to put 89.8 cents of each dollar spent towards its mission.

“The NWTF is truly grateful for our dedicated members and volunteers. We want to ensure their contributions are used to fund projects that will preserve our hunting heritage and ensure the future of our wild places and wildlife,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “Our Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative helps drive our efforts towards projects that will help make the biggest and most immediate impact to conserve the most imperiled habitats and recruit the next generation of hunters.”

The NWTF also received the highest score possible on fundraising expense and efficiency, meaning the organization spends very little on its fundraising effort, while it still has great returns.

The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state and federal wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, improving more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and introducing 100,000 people to the outdoors each year.

The NWTF was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C. According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history.

To find out more about the National Wild Turkey Federation, become a member or make a charitable donation, visit www.nwtf.org or contact (800) THE-NWTF.