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DEER-CORN-FOODPLOTS
Posted: 07 December 2011 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This past Friday I was talking about deer with a guy I know that raises deer & buffalo, he has been doing this quite a while, also hunts, so I have a lot of respect on what his thoughts are. He made a comment that really through me back and he was totally serious on this matter. He stated that corn was really bad on deer and he hardly ever fed it to his deer. Naturally my question was why? He stated that corn is really, really hard on a deer’s digestive system. There were several other people in on the conversation so I never got to ask more on this. Not being a deer bioligist or knowing any can anybody help on this. If, this is correct, could this be (one) reason with deer decrease with the amount of corn being planted now. If it hurts the digestive system, could this be a problem with doe’s nursing fawn’s and the fawn’s are not getting the nutrition they need and die? And if it is true, that would be more of a need for food plots than just trying to draw deer in, but for the overall health of the deer in the state. Yes, I agree predators and tags issued is a problem, but since Friday I have been thinking on this, and maybe he is right. Since the price of corn has sky rocketed in the past years and more corn being planted than ever. If you think about the time line when all this happened, it does seem possible. Now I know farmers are not going to stop planting corn to cut into their profits or for the sake of the deer, hell will freeze over and the cubs will win the world series, but it could be a reason form more food plots on all our part.

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Posted: 07 December 2011 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That doesn’t really surprise me.  Deer, like cows, buffalo, etc., probably didn’t evolve (or were not designed) to eat a diet of corn.  You might find this interesting (though its about cows):
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/interviews/pollan.html

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Posted: 07 December 2011 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I am a firm believer in soybeans as a late season food source. When I started to seriously look at planting viable late season food sources to promote herd health everything I read consistently supported the use of soybeans as a beneficial late season food source. Now I have I been planting soybean plots (along with clover and small amounts of corn) for the past 4 years and i believe the results have been positive (i.e. increased body weight, better reproductive rates, and of course antler growth). Moving on to what I interpreted as your primary question - I believe the reduced herd numbers is due to numerous factors however Im not sure the increase in planted corn would be one of those. The following are

1.) Too many permits being issued
2.) Farming practices have changed - less food during the late season (i.e. harsher months)
3.) Our DNR not truly practicing sound management - it is left to the individual hunter to practice herd management. The problem with this is most people are not in tune with what is going on in their local deer herd nor do most of them care. Sadly it seems most people just want to shoot a deer during gun season and are not concerned about the future of deer hunting.

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Posted: 07 December 2011 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Murdy, That is kind of like apples to oranges though, cattle have been domesticated for centuries. But it is also why I buy my beef from a friend. They are always in a pasture, but they are fed corn and hay ground into feed. And plus I like the fat around my steak and it being marbled with it. I will take my beef corn fed any day over just grass fed, for taste and being tender. And if not for corn what would we be paying for beef, pork & chicken. But with deer, the meat is never marbled, you just find fat basically over the back legs and loins. So I would say that corn does effect deer different that domestic livestock.

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Posted: 07 December 2011 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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shigsarch1, Yes, farming has changed, but consider this. Crops were left above ground longer with equipment being smaller and fields being plowed instead of chiseled. So that would meen that they would go to more natural foods now with more ground being worked. But, I will also say that with chiseled ground they have more chance of finding grain than when ground was plowed. Soy beans also have way more protein also, but they are not a natural food source either. I am more willing to hunt a bean field before rut than a corn field. But consider this, there was way more crop rotation 7-8 years ago also with farmers rotating corn and beans every other year, now you see fields being planted in corn year after year and with in that time frame is when all lot af us started seeing less deer. And truthfully I can’t even say this is a problem. Just like I think deer are starting to go to open ground more, are they getting smarter to stay away from us, or in open ground they can they spot predators easier and get away quicker, both, or is just my opinion.

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Posted: 07 December 2011 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Didn’t mean to imply that cows and deer are exactly that same, but how about lemons to oranges instead of apples. grin 
They have some similarities, and it seems some of the problems cows encoutnered were similar to what your friend was referring to with deer.  While it is true that cows have been domesticated a long time, they were also grazed most of that time.  There’s probably some difference with varioius breeds too. 
Anyway, I find the subject interesting for both animals.

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Posted: 08 December 2011 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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OK Murdy I will go lemon & oranges, or lets really change it and go lemons and tangerines. And I am not disagreeing with what you wrote either because you made a valid point. I just know that something is wrong with the deer in IL. Yes, there are to many tags issued, but still there is a steady decrease in deer reported. Should check stations be brought back, if a guy is not wanting to call in a deer why would he take the time to drive to a check station. Poaching is a problem I would say in some area’s and with the economy bad it will not get any better, someone looking for food or profit (horns) and I always heard that DNR figured that 100,000 deer reported they would estimate that 1/2 that or more are poached each year. Predators, more yotes than ever I would say, and then you can bring in the debate on the state releasing cougars. Up until the past few weeks if you would have asked me if there were any in my area, hell no. Now the guy I buy my beef of off & also hunt there has stated yes they are here and he has seen them from his house and they were within a hundred yards of his home, he has seen bobcats so he knows the difference. And I live in an area with out a lot of big timber, small patcheds of it. creek lines, hedge rows and tons of open farm ground. But if one of these stayed in area for while how many deer could he take out in a certain time frame? But there still can not be that many in the state or would they even stay in one area very long. Maybe as I am getting older I am seeing things differently, but to me there seems to be something else going on. If someone posted that I am crazy, that would be there opinion and maybe I am. And no, I don’t think aliens are swooping down and getting them either.

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Posted: 09 December 2011 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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i think your missing the point of the original topic….. is corn bad for deer…probably

i know with cattle and other ruminants, yes corn is bad, it causes ulcers. but in the beef market it doesnt matter because they slaughter them before they reach maturity. God made them(cattle) to eat grass and chew their cud… but its cheaper to finish them on grain or just feed straight grain.. and also it makes for more marbling and higher fat content.

the carbs in corn helps them stay warm, from what i hear..all deer i shoot i cut open and look at the stomach contents..most have corn…it comes down to efficiency.. when deer browse on greens, they must get up every 3 hours to feed..when they eat acorns/corn..they have to get up every 5 hours..just like if you ate a salad you would eat 5 meals aday..but if your ate steak and potatoes you would eat 3 meals.

i hope that helps

studies in mice show gmo’s to cause some sterility..who knows…

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Posted: 16 July 2012 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Corn per say is not bad for deer, but, it developes a mold called anitfloxin if moisture comes in contact with it. If it is dispersed not as much harm for the mold to grow, but when it is piled up, even morning dew can cause the mold to start growing rapidly. A small amount of this mold is not bad, but if mold gets heavy, can quickly kill a deer. For this reason in states that sell corn for feeding, it is recommended that the corn you buy be tested for antifloxin. Buying corn by the sack should state that the corn has been tested and is antifloxin free. When the mold grows you can see it on the corn kernals.  Goggle antifloxin and you can find out more about it. Think about this, if corn was bad for deer, as much corn grown in Illinois, your herd would be decimated.

By the way, if you have hogs around your area, in a 5 gallon bucket of corn, pour 5-6 beer cans to it allowing about 4 days for it to ferment. Pour out on the ground and them dudes will find it quickly. Have a friend who did this, poured out the corn, went to his truck, walked back and hogs already on the corn. Walked back to his truck got his rifle went back and killed 5 hogs, they would not leave the fermented corn.

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