All hunters can and should contribute, not just those with larger parcels. Also benefits wildlife beyond deer. A deer only mentality is limiting in so many ways.
"Once a nutritious deer feeding program begins, it needs to be maintained until green-up. If not, deer mortality will be higher than if no feeding occurred in the first place. For a landowner, costs can easily run into the thousands of dollars, with little to show for it.
Deer can starve from eating food that they cannot digest. A diet of about 25 percent corn and 75 percent second-cut alfalfa has had some success in the Upper Peninsula. Feed pellets are generally recommended for those who insist on feeding deer, as long as the pellets remain in good condition. As for spring fawning, the late summer and early fall nutritional condition is likely more important than winter nutrition.
Better alternatives to deer feeding are habitat improvements and increased hunting pressure. Hunting is a critical tool to help balance deer population size with habitat conditions. Management plans for earlier successional forest types and winter cover will benefit game species. This usually means timber harvesting, including clearcutting in appropriate timber types. Getting the smaller, younger deer into the freezer can save them, and the forest, from considerable hardship.
According to Michigan State University Extension, the key to a healthy deer herd lies in good habitat (forest) management, focused hunting priorities, and accepting that severe winters will result in the loss of the younger and weaker animals. Winter supplemental feeding is an entirely inadequate substitution."
Here is another link showing the Michigan DNR was doing permits for folks to supplemental feed in targeted areas of the Yoop. It looks like if the snow level index is too high, they will issue permits to do supplemental feeding.
Jan. 17, 2017
Contact: Terry Minzey 906-485-1031, ext. 311 or John Pepin, 906-226-1352 Supplemental deer feeding permits available in southern U.P.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the availability of winter supplemental deer feeding permits across the southern section of the Upper Peninsula.
Winter Michigan deer Permits allowing private citizens and sportsmen's groups in the U.P. to provide supplemental feed for deer during the winter months are issued by local DNR wildlife biologists under certain provisions.
Supplemental feeding in the northern part of the region began earlier this month. For the southern U.P., accumulated snowfall depth measurements trigger the issuance of permits.
“Although we continue to have high concerns regarding potential for communicable diseases, such as chronic wasting disease, and would prefer that people not feed deer, the snow depth readings we tabulated today reached the level where we begin to issue supplemental deer feeding permits,” said Terry Minzey, DNR U.P. regional wildlife supervisor.
Snowfall depth totals are collected beginning in November.
For Iron, Dickinson, Delta and Menominee counties and that portion of Marquette County south of the boundary between Township 43 North and Township 44 North, permits are issued if accumulated snowfall depth averaged between the Crystal Falls and Escanaba DNR field offices reaches 48 inches by the Monday nearest Jan. 15.
In Schoolcraft and Mackinac counties and that part of Chippewa County south of the T43N-T44N boundary line, permits are issued if accumulated snowfall depth averaged between the Manistique and Naubinway DNR field offices reaches 60 inches by the Monday closest to Jan. 15.
It’s important to consider the types of food used to feed deer.
Easily digestible food sources most beneficial for feeding deer include grains, second-cut alfalfa, clover, and pelletized deer food. Although deer make use of apples, potatoes, sugar beets, carrots, and many other foods during summer and fall, these provide little benefit for deer during winter conditions and are not legal for supplemental feeding under permits.
“Permits are free of charge and may be obtained from wildlife biologists at several of our DNR offices located across the U.P. Permission must also be obtained from the landowner,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “There are several rules in place for supplemental deer feeding.”
Feed must be placed at least a quartermile or more from the nearest paved public highway (this includes any paved, asphalt, or concrete roadway); at least 1 mile from domestic farm animals, and at least 1 mile from wheat or potato fields, commercial fruit orchards or commercial plant nurseries or tree farms, unless otherwise specified in the permit. Feed can consist only of grains, second cut alfalfa and clover, and pelletized food materials containing no animal protein. The feed must be scattered on the ground at a depth not to exceed 3 inches. Anyone issued a supplemental feeding permit must agree to assist the DNR in collecting deer tissue samples for disease surveillance and must report to the DNR by May 30 the quantity and type of feed used, dates and duration of feeding, and other required information specified in the permit. Anyone who fails to comply with the supplemental feeding provisions will be ineligible for any future supplemental feeding permits.
In the event chronic wasting disease (CWD) is documented at a location within Michigan, within 10 miles of Michigan's border with another state or Canadian province, or as determined by the DNR director, the director will issue an interim order banning the use of bait and the feeding of deer and elk, at a minimum, within the relevant CWD management zone.
Recreational feeding of wildlife is also allowed on private land in the U.P. year-round, provided the feed is placed within 100 yards of a residence and the total amount of feed does not exceed 2 gallons at any time. The feed must be scattered on the ground and must be at least 100 yards from areas accessible by livestock.
Supplemental deer feeding permits are available by contacting DNR offices located in Baraga, Marquette, Crystal Falls, Escanaba, Newberry, Sault Ste. Marie and Shingleton (Cusino).
People cannot let emotions guide their thought. Deer do not need to be fed in the winter. Deer do just fine browsing naturally.
If you want to help deer, make the habitat better. Artificially feeding deer is never needed.
Some deer will always survive no matter how severe the winters, diseases, and wolf predation.
Why are so many hunters not happy hunting what remains of the carrying capacity, say in northern Wisconsin?
Why do some bait plot? What are the plotting objectives.. and will simple browse meet those same objectives? Personally, I do not believe that to be true. For sure not on my lands.
I guess an analogy would be like you eating 3 meals a day, but eating a cup of sugar mixed with some fiber. Your body does not get nutrients from this diet. Unfortunately, deer can get acidosis, a lethal condition caused by the high carbohydrate diet. First signs are diarrhea all over the place. Next, dead deer who either pile up in a bed or picked off by predators.
So, if your emotions guide you to feed deer, please do not include corn. Look for special blends of protein and fiber that deer can digest, quite often horse pellets have the needed digestible proteins.
But honestly, when winter comes, deer slowly switch over to woody browse. The gut flora returns all the nutrients needed until green up in spring.
A secondary issue with feeding deer is that they become habituated and when they congregate, predators also congregate, picking deer off one at a time. Deer also travel straight line to where people feed them and when they cross roads frequently, get hit by vehicles!
No amount of feeding can be done to help deer. Artificial feeding has been shown to do much more harm than good. Emotions run high on this, but in the end, do not interfere with deer by feeding them.
Feeding deer just is never needed. They have survived well before people started feeding them.
And no, deer do not need direct feeding of carbohydrates.
""Elk found dead from eating corn in northern Wisconsin January 11, 2020
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Authorities say an elk was found dead in northern Wisconsin after it ate corn put out by a landowner in a misguided attempt to help wildlife.
The Department of Natural Resources said the animal found dead on Jan. 2 died from rumen acidosis, a direct result from eating the corn. The condition affects deer and elk when their diet is changed too rapidly from natural, high-fiber browse such as twigs to low-fiber, high-carbohydrate supplemental feeds such as corn, wheat and barley. It inhibits or stops digestion in affected animals; rapid death can result even in deer and elk in otherwise good physical condition.
The Journal Sentinel reports the elk, a young bull, was part of a contingent of animals transferred from Kentucky to Wisconsin in April. It had been released in the Flambeau River State Forest.
It died on private property near Tony in Rusk County, southwest of the state forest.
The elk was wearing a GPS tracking collar that emitted a mortality signal in late December.
Authorities say the landowner was not cited for a violation but has pledged a donation to the state’s elk program.""
This sounds like a situation where the property owner feeds the local wildlife and the elk wondered by and ate the corn intended for the other animals. If it was anything other, the property owner would have got cited. That makes you wonder how many deer and elk die from wondering into a corn field or plot during the winter? It might not be as many as folks suspect.