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#5548793 - 01/17/15 06:37 PM I need opinions on protein feeding
Theringworm Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 321
I am thinking it's about time to start protein feeding on my lease however I have several questions that I would like your opinions on. First let me start off by describing my lease. The lease is in West Texas and the acreage that myself, my son and my father hunt on is about 1,500 acres. There is one hunter to the South of me and another to the East of me with about the same acreage each. There is no one that hunts to the north of me for about 1 mile. The browse is typical West Texas mesquite trees, Greasewood bushes, etc. The only water on the my lease is from two troughs fed by Windmills. All stock tanks are bone dry and have remained so for 10+ years therefore food plots are completely out of the question. Plus I don't have equipment to put a plot in anyways. We have both mule deer and WT on the lease. There are no hogs.....yet, but we do have a ton of javelina. The rancher has a good an avg number of cattle on the property as well. Unfortunately the lease is not under MLD so we are overwhelmed with deer numbers, especially Mule deer does which can't be taken because the rancher doesn't put in for permits. I currently have 4 corn feeders that I run year round. None of my neighbors feed protein nor does anyone surrounding them. Now for my concerns/questions:

1) I really only want to put out only one protein feeder more or less in the center of my lease next to one of my corn feeders. I know 4-5 would probably be ideal but that's more money than I want to spend. The reason for only one is mainly cost since everything on the lease comes out of my pocket. Will one 1,000lb gravity fill protein feeder do any good at all with the large number of deer I have on the lease whom will all likely be partaking in the protein? I am afraid they may blow through a 1,000lb feeder in no time flat.

2) I know if I addressed the above with a timed feeder it would limit the amount they can eat but it also limits who can eat and how much they get/need. So a time feeder is a bad idea....isn't it?

3) Will cows get into the gravity fed protein feeders? I have hog panels around all of my corn feeders. Just curios if cows will get into them because I would prefer to not put a panel around it due to the fact that the mule deer don't care too much for jumping fences or paneling. Then again, they may not come to the protein anyways.

4) Would you recommend something else to increase the quality/health of the deer on my lease besides the above? Or, is this just a bad idea all together because I am going to being dumping money like crazy and very few protein will be feeding a ton of mouths?

That's all that I can think of for now. Thanks for your opinions.

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#5549166 - 01/17/15 09:57 PM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
Bbear Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 596
Loc: West Texas
1. The feeder will primarily benefit the deer in the immediate vicinity, not an entire 1500 acres. I hunt on 3200 acres and we have 15 (including 3 at the house). Most are 2000 lb capacity and the deer/axis empty them in about a week and a half to a week. We have a service that comes out and re-fills them for us.
2. I hunt a small place of 200 acres. We set two of the corn feeders to feed once a day for 10 seconds.Both feeders hold about 600 lbs of protein. It helps a little, but not like the 3200 acre place.
3. Yes. Pen them in if you can.
4. I feel that any amount of protein assistance you can give them will help. Will it make all of your 1.5 year old bucks have 10 points? No. It will help keep the does a bit healthier, at least those near the protein feeder. Same with the bucks.
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#5549482 - 01/18/15 08:37 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
blackcoal Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 7563
Loc: 60 Mi North of DFW
Bbear, what is your annual cost on feed?
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#5549489 - 01/18/15 08:43 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
colt45 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 5383
Loc: bastrop county
right now is when the bucks can use all the protein they can get
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#5549600 - 01/18/15 10:06 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
Theringworm Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 321
Bbear, thanks for the input. It will just be me refilling the feeders and I don't know that I can keep up with that frequency of a need to refill. Corn feeders during the season last about a month which isn't an issue cause I am down there every free chance I have. Once browse kicks in the spring I turn the feeders way down and can go 3-4 months before refilling. I hate to have to go once a month if not sooner to refill a 1,000lb protein feeder in addition to the corn refilling. The wife won't be happy about that at all. Hmm, decisions, decisions.

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#5549610 - 01/18/15 10:16 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
TC hunter Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/17/12
Posts: 84
Get a bigger feeder 1 ton protein at least and absolutely build a large panel pen around it

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#5550717 - 01/18/15 08:14 PM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
Bbear Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 596
Loc: West Texas
2013 we spent a little over $53,000 for corn and protein plus the filling of the protein.
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#5551107 - 01/18/15 11:59 PM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
Brother Phil Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/07/15
Posts: 128
It sound like your real issue is to many deer. Any kind of feeding will make the problem worse. The risk of disease/starvation goes up. I suggest working with the landowner on this, to reduce the deer numbers. The first step is doing a deer count. Then figure out how many deer you want on the property. Also consider the buck/doe ratio. The habitat on the ranch is not going to change. However, you can still practice accepted deer management principles. I suggest reading some articles online about whitetail deer management. The only guarantee you will have by protein feeding is less money in your wallet.

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#5551553 - 01/19/15 10:05 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
The Mule Deer will live at the feeder and never leave. You cost will be higher than normal due to the Mule Deer. They are larger bodied and will take over the free choice all you can eat buffet of protein. Protein can make a huge difference in the quality of the bucks(MD and WT both) over time that are raised on it. It should not be started without a management plan in place and numbers/ratios worked on first. At this point I would get a survey and purchase more ammo. Feeding excess deer lead will solve a lot of problems with food left over for the remaining deer.
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#5551586 - 01/19/15 10:16 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Bbear]
KG68 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 6054
Loc: Goldthwaite,Tx
Originally Posted By: Bbear
2013 we spent a little over $53,000 for corn and protein plus the filling of the protein.


eeks333

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#5551645 - 01/19/15 10:34 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
Wilhunt Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 2309
Loc: New Braunfels, San Saba county
$53,000. on 3200 acres.....surely a typo?

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#5551650 - 01/19/15 10:35 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Wilhunt]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: wilhunt
$53,000. on 3200 acres.....surely a typo?

No it is not. I know of a ranch that was less acres and fed twice as much per year.
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#5551728 - 01/19/15 11:13 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Theringworm]
Bbear Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/24/13
Posts: 596
Loc: West Texas
During the drought of 2011, we spent over $75,000 that year. That was for corn and protein. We still lost a large number of deer that year. It's showing in what we saw this year. The number of 4 year old deer was nearly non-existent.
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#5551775 - 01/19/15 11:29 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Bbear]
titan2232 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 2998
Loc: Conroe, TX
Originally Posted By: Bbear
2013 we spent a little over $53,000 for corn and protein plus the filling of the protein.


It'd be hard to justify those $$$ amounts for the West Texas deer I've seen the past 10 years. WOW that's some serious cash.
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#5551785 - 01/19/15 11:33 AM Re: I need opinions on protein feeding [Re: Wilhunt]
Navasot Online   content
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25909
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
Originally Posted By: wilhunt
$53,000. on 3200 acres.....surely a typo?


Use to feed around 3200lbs every other week on 4k acres in Houston Co. Adds up quick
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