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Concern with year-round feeding #7476739 04/03/19 06:03 PM
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I remember when a fellow hunter reported he had seen a coyote sit and watch a feeder as if it was waiting to see what might come to it.

I have to wonder if running a feeder when fawns first begin tagging along with their mother doesn't make it easier for coyotes and other predators to locate and chase them down. If so, it would seem a good move to discontinue feeding until later in the summer when fawns are better able to flee and avoid predators.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 04/03/19 06:05 PM.

Dan

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476743 04/03/19 06:15 PM
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valid point ... I had a big bobcat that did just what you described over a small ~15 acre food plot that I had 3 feeders.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476778 04/03/19 07:15 PM
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You mean like this... Don't know what happened next as it is on 7 minute delay. Bobby hangs around there every once and a while.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Txduckman] #7476789 04/03/19 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Txduckman
You mean like this... Don't know what happened next as it is on 7 minute delay. Bobby hangs around there every once and a while.


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That looks like a fawn that's big enough to have a chance at getting away. My concern is with smaller fawns that have just started to tag along with their mother and will be easy picking for several weeks.

Coyotes and other predators get a lot of fawns without having to patrol deer feeders. I'm thinking feeders just make it that much easier for them when does bring their fawns with them.


Dan

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476795 04/03/19 07:24 PM
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Not worried at all


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476798 04/03/19 07:26 PM
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You could be on to something....but I'm still going to feed year round. Just me.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476800 04/03/19 07:27 PM
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We don't get fawns on cam ever so they are smart enough to not hang at the feeder I guess. Really don't have deer at feeders in spring and summer. Really not worried at all.

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476817 04/03/19 07:41 PM
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If it was a real issue, wouldn't there have been a study done on it by now?


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Herbie Hancock] #7476853 04/03/19 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Herbie Hancock
If it was a real issue, wouldn't there have been a study done on it by now?


Many studies have found that coyotes are bad on fawns, with one such study finding that in areas with healthy coyote populations, more than 80% of fawn mortality is attributable to them.

So if it's common to see predators around feeders, and coyotes take more fawns than any other predator, can we assume they frequent them because they've learned they are good places to catch fawns?

Something else to consider. If feeders do attract predators during the fawning season, it would seem discontinuing their use for a month or two could actually make your property more attractive for deer than your neighbor who keeps feeders going year round. After all, we know that safe cover is one of the three basic elements of good deer habitat, the others being food and water. That brings to mind how watering holes are probably good, opportunistic spots for predators as well.

Granted, there's no stopping coyotes from taking fawns. However, are there things we can do, short of hot lead, to make it harder on them and easier on fawns?

Last edited by Texas Dan; 04/03/19 08:21 PM.

Dan

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Herbie Hancock] #7476883 04/03/19 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Herbie Hancock
If it was a real issue, wouldn't there have been a study done on it by now?

I need some extra money. I think I am going to put in for some Guv. money to do a survey on Fawn survival at feeders. Maybe they will add on a little extra money if I test different feeder types and different feeds. Thanks, I have been looking for a way to make some extra beer money.

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: don k] #7476889 04/03/19 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by don k
Originally Posted by Herbie Hancock
If it was a real issue, wouldn't there have been a study done on it by now?

I need some extra money. I think I am going to put in for some Guv. money to do a survey on Fawn survival at feeders. Maybe they will add on a little extra money if I test different feeder types and different feeds. Thanks, I have been looking for a way to make some extra beer money.


You're welcome.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476942 04/03/19 09:49 PM
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You're on to something there. Get a government grant to do the study. Get feeder manufactures to donate equipment for the study. Get camera manufactures to donate cameras for the study. Get feed companies to donate feed for the study. Get student volunteers to set up feeders and keep them filled. Sit back and laugh, laugh, laugh.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7476975 04/03/19 10:16 PM
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I've got too many mouths to feed already.



Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7477047 04/03/19 11:54 PM
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We do not start feeding until about mid September and stop when the feeders run out in February. Our neighbors to the east and south of us feed year around they also have hog problems to deal with. We rarely see any hogs on our place. The place to the north of us is also mostly pasture and only feeds during deer season. Neither of us have hogs to deal with, even though we have the water, natural food and the cover. We start the feeders, and the deer show up the that day. Both of us tried to feed all year, all we got out of it was hogs and more expense, if I want to hog hunt, I have other options.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: SapperTitan] #7477385 04/04/19 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by SapperTitan
Not worried at all


Originally Posted by Sneaky
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Actually, BBC is pretty damn good

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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7477722 04/04/19 03:35 PM
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By the time a fawn is weaned off of mama it should be able to flee pretty well.
Feeding year round gives does a better chance of birthing stronger fawns and being able to have more milk for them.

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Hunt Dog] #7477926 04/04/19 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunt Dog
By the time a fawn is weaned off of mama it should be able to flee pretty well.
Feeding year round gives does a better chance of birthing stronger fawns and being able to have more milk for them.


Some may have mistaken the focus of my question. The intent wasn't to question complete, year round feeding but only if there could be benefits in not feeding during the late Spring and early Summer months (May-June) when fawns are most vulnerable to predators. With natural browse now being widely available and feeders turned off, does and their fawns would revert to a more scattered behavior, making it at least somewhat harder for predators to run across them. With feeders in place, predators need only set their daily behavior clocks, just as deer do, and be there to eat at roughly the same time every day. Anyone who has ever hog hunted a feeder during the off season knows full well how unpressured deer show up like clockwork.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 04/04/19 07:15 PM.

Dan

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7478156 04/04/19 11:55 PM
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Have been advised by my area biologist in Dickens county that fawn mortality is 50% from yotes. I run 2 feeders year round for supplement and hog hunting. I never see a young fawn at the feeders. At about age 6 plus months there at feeders

Last edited by Flashprism; 04/04/19 11:56 PM.
Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7478364 04/05/19 04:49 AM
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Agree on the hogs, but we still feed year round. I hardly ever see any small fawns on camera at feeders. I think Momma knows not to bring them around until they can handle themselves. We dont have many coyotes though, so I guess it wouldn't matter if they did bring them to feeders. Never been a problem.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7478394 04/05/19 10:15 AM
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I built a hanging pipe feeder and hung it from a tree a couple of weeks ago. Cam showed nothing but coons cleaning it out. I didn't think they could get to it but they are good at making a living. On the plus side, I got a pic of the biggest coyote I've ever seen.


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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7478592 04/05/19 02:16 PM
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I won't criticize anyone but I feed year around. I put out a lot of corn..this helps as most hunters quite feeding in February. Food is hard to come by after the freezes so the deer come to my pen. I have as many as twenty bucks in a 100ft by 200ft. pen with three feeders. No hogs, no cows, no coyotes, and not many bobcats. If I do have a cat mostly they are after the birds...mostly doves and mockingbirds. The only draw back is usually all bucks and no does so I have to feed does outside the pen which will attract hogs so I use corn very sparingly. When I get too many hogs I don't feed for a while and they will leave. Then I start back throwing about 7 lb.s of corn and work from this amount. Good Luck

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7478634 04/05/19 02:48 PM
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I will address the issue of possibly loosing fawns due to feeding year around. During fawning season the does will go to a "fawning ground" that they will use each year. These fawning areas will usually be family does and yearlings...at my place there is usually three or four does together. I have a young heard due to over harvesting around my area which usually means only a couple of fawns in group. Yes I see coyotes in my pictures but by counting the fawns I don't see many losses to predators. However, if a fawn is born to a yearling it generally can't make it just for the simple fact the mother is young and may not be able to protect the baby. Almost all the fawns I get on camera survive. However, I don't have but a 65% fawn crop. This is because of a young doe heard. When does get older, say about three and older they will begin to have twins and triplets. This is when you have to be careful of over population ...getting over a 100% fawn numbers. Thus having to trim down the doe numbers. It's like you have to put on the gas when you have high doe numbers and off the gas when ya have low numbers. Now, how do ya know when ya have low numbers? You count them using trail cameras using a viable process. I use my own process as I have been counting deer for ten years now and have picked up knowledge each year and still learning. To make sure, sometimes I have counted deer on my place as many as three times. You will be surprised how accurate counting deer by cameras will show. Bottom line is feed year around and having a pen helps and you will be glad you did. Your choice of bucks will increase...year after year!

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: fishbait] #7478646 04/05/19 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fishbait
I will address the issue of possibly loosing fawns due to feeding year around. During fawning season the does will go to a "fawning ground" that they will use each year. These fawning areas will usually be family does and yearlings...at my place there is usually three or four does together. I have a young heard due to over harvesting around my area which usually means only a couple of fawns in group. Yes I see coyotes in my pictures but by counting the fawns I don't see many losses to predators. However, if a fawn is born to a yearling it generally can't make it just for the simple fact the mother is young and may not be able to protect the baby. Almost all the fawns I get on camera survive. However, I don't have but a 65% fawn crop. This is because of a young doe heard. When does get older, say about three and older they will begin to have twins and triplets. This is when you have to be careful of over population ...getting over a 100% fawn numbers. Thus having to trim down the doe numbers. It's like you have to put on the gas when you have high doe numbers and off the gas when ya have low numbers. Now, how do ya know when ya have low numbers? You count them using trail cameras using a viable process. I use my own process as I have been counting deer for ten years now and have picked up knowledge each year and still learning. To make sure, sometimes I have counted deer on my place as many as three times. You will be surprised how accurate counting deer by cameras will show. Bottom line is feed year around and having a pen helps and you will be glad you did. Your choice of bucks will increase...year after year!


Thanks for the response.

So then, your observations have led you to the conclusion that fawns will usually remain in the area where they were born until they have at least some ability to elude predators, correct? If so, then placing feeders in areas away from fawning areas would seem to be a good move. But then, does may be smart enough to choose fawning areas away from feeders.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 04/05/19 03:00 PM.

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Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: Texas Dan] #7478678 04/05/19 03:34 PM
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I never heard of a fawning area.

Re: Concern with year-round feeding [Re: don k] #7478762 04/05/19 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by don k
I never heard of a fawning area.


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