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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6075419 - 12/09/15 04:22 PM feeding free choice protein
rickym Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 4800
Loc: texas
I've been thinking about starting to feed free choice but I have a few questions. How difficult is it to keep Coons off a free choice feeder? And does anybody feed protein or a protein corn mix in north east Texas? Is it worth spending the extra money?

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#6075501 - 12/09/15 05:14 PM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9801
Loc: Bandera, Tx
All I know is if you feed free choice and have a lot of deer you best have deep pockets.
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#6075513 - 12/09/15 05:21 PM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: don k]
tlk Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 2105
lots of different factors - you can buy feeders that make it hard for coons to reach the feed. Depends on size of your property, neighbors, etc. if it is worth the money. You have more details on where you are hunting?
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#6075525 - 12/09/15 05:34 PM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
SingleShot85 Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 1776
Loc: S.A. and Kinney Co.
don't waste your time mixing protein and corn
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#6075602 - 12/09/15 06:28 PM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: SingleShot85]
fouzman Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1157
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: SingleShot85
don't waste your time mixing protein and corn


Disagree. If the deer are used to corn but not free-choice pellets, a 50/50 mixture, then 75/25 protein/corn followed by 100% protein on the third filling of feeders is an excellent way to start deer on free-choice protein. And this time of year, when deer require more carbs in their diet, is the best to begin that process. Whether it's worth your money depends on your expendable income, your acreage, deer density and your neighbors (assuming low-fenced).

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#6075613 - 12/09/15 06:34 PM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: SingleShot85]
Lone Ranger Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 1334
Loc: Irving, Texas
I have 3 300 pound free choice protein feeders on my place in NE Stephens county and the deer absolutely love it!! I have a corn feeder and a protein feeder both in the same area with hog panels around them. I have raccoons, but have never had a problem with them emptying the protein feeder, but the hogs were really bad before I put up the hog panels a few years ago.

When my deer are really hitting it, they can empty all 3 feeders in 30 days. It does get expensive, but in the last few years my deer have really benefited from it by size. The largest buck we have taken field dressed at 150 and was 11 pts with the smallest field dressing 135 with 8 pts.

I put 4 sacks of Purina Antler Max and 2 sacks of corn in each feeder. I start out with about 1/2 sack corn, then 1 protein, then 1/2 sack corn then 2 protein and so forth until full.

When I first started this about 6 years ago, the deer would not touch the protein at first. After about 45 days they started eating it and haven't stopped since.

Like I said, it does get expensive, but it really works on my place. The deer come to the protein feeders more than the corn feeders.

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#6076145 - 12/09/15 11:44 PM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
rickym Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 4800
Loc: texas
Cass county, 100 acres with alot of water, fairly low numbers and no fence for a few miles around

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#6076166 - 12/10/15 12:34 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
Mathp Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 476
Loc: Coppell Breckenridge, TX
The question for me is will the bucks feed off of the free choice protein feeder after dark and be satisfied, or will they still show during daylight. I haven't filled my protein feeder since 10.27.15 but I still saw several bucks come to protein feeder but no feed so they wandered off. Are your bucks coming to protein during daylight hours?
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#6076175 - 12/10/15 12:54 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: Mathp]
Lone Ranger Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 1334
Loc: Irving, Texas
There is a lot of night time activity for sure, however, when it gets close to the rut I am seeing good bucks at the protein feeder either very early in the morning, right at sunrise or very late in the afternoon, right at sunset. Some smaller bucks in the daytime along with does. You just need to get there early and be watching and stay late and be watching. Sometime a big buck will show up in the middle of the day, but most of the big ones this year have been later, right before dark.

Last year I shot a big 10 pt at 8am.

I have a Bushnell Trophy Cam wireless that emails me photos so I know exactly what is showing up and when. It works great.

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#6076256 - 12/10/15 06:21 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
titan2232 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 3389
Loc: Conroe, TX
I have a lot of coons at my feeder pen, but they focus on my broadcast corn feeder 90% of the time. Most of my mature deer action at the free choice protein seems to be 10pm till midnight
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#6076263 - 12/10/15 06:30 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
tlk Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 2105
we feed protein and cottonseed from January to October and then stop totally during the season.
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#6076316 - 12/10/15 07:38 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
huntindude Offline
Tracker

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 914
Loc: Trinity county
tlk. Is that the norm? Thats what an owner of a local feed store told me. Why? just curios. He mentioned that the larger lease members or landowners come in around october and order 15 tons of corn and they will feed corn till january then order protein. thanks

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#6076463 - 12/10/15 08:41 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
klp Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 82
Would feeding free choice be beneficial (would you see results) on a 400 acre LF place? Would it be worth it? Not in AR county.

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#6076486 - 12/10/15 08:50 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: tlk]
kdkane1971 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/30/14
Posts: 1980
Loc: Mesopotamia
Originally Posted By: tlk
we feed protein and cottonseed from January to October and then stop totally during the season.


This is what I have done as well. Protein from February through September - Corn from late August through early February.

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#6076523 - 12/10/15 09:01 AM Re: feeding free choice protein [Re: rickym]
TxAg Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 3421
Loc: Live in Katy, Hunt in Llano Co...
It can pull some good bucks to your property that may not normally travel through it. You'll just have to figure out where they bed and intercept them.

As to coons, they are less of a problem with the vertical down spout style feeders. Duke traps will be your friend.

We used to feed it on 425 acres and found it worth it.
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Custom Feeders and Fiberglass Blinds

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