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Deer Protein #8478817 12/17/21 09:10 PM
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ctonsmitty Offline OP
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Who can tell success or disappointment in their experience in feeding deer protein? I have been feeding protein since January 2021 and I would generally describe my experience as mostly disappointing. My feeders have panels around them and have a corn feeder in the pen. They eat corn pretty much every single day and a few deer nibble on the protein and most of them ignore it completely. The 1250# All Season feeders are currently filled with 20% Berry Flavored Sportsman Choice. Based on dealer location, I am thinking of switching to Antler Max or West, however, I would travel if someone can convince it is worth it (I am talking about you Double Down)

These are the brands I am interested in discussing

Purina Antler Max---I have read mostly positive reviews (and nearest dealer is 10 miles away)
Lyssy and Eckels--I fed this in the Hill Country and deer hammered it, but closest dealer is 3 hours away
Double Down--The lease I was on for a year used this and we had success. Closest dealer is 45 miles away
Sportsman Choice--I have read good reviews, however, personally disappointed. Can someone convince me to stick with it or is it time to move on?
West Protein---there is a dealer within reasonable driving distance, but I would like to hear others experience

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8478819 12/17/21 09:19 PM
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Can’t go wrong with Antlermax. Deer here prefer it to the feed store stuff.


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Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8478822 12/17/21 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ctonsmitty
Who can tell success or disappointment in their experience in feeding deer protein? I have been feeding protein since January 2021 and I would generally describe my experience as mostly disappointing. My feeders have panels around them and have a corn feeder in the pen. They eat corn pretty much every single day and a few deer nibble on the protein and most of them ignore it completely. The 1250# All Season feeders are currently filled with 20% Berry Flavored Sportsman Choice. Based on dealer location, I am thinking of switching to Antler Max or West, however, I would travel if someone can convince it is worth it (I am talking about you Double Down)

These are the brands I am interested in discussing

Purina Antler Max---I have read mostly positive reviews (and nearest dealer is 10 miles away)
Lyssy and Eckels--I fed this in the Hill Country and deer hammered it, but closest dealer is 3 hours away
Double Down--The lease I was on for a year used this and we had success. Closest dealer is 45 miles away
Sportsman Choice--I have read good reviews, however, personally disappointed. Can someone convince me to stick with it or is it time to move on?
West Protein---there is a dealer within reasonable driving distance, but I would like to hear others experience

My experience is deer will hammer any and all protein I put out, no matter the brand or blend. What county are you located in and what are the range conditions like?

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8478834 12/17/21 09:26 PM
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Freestone County

Any hunters in this area having success with a particular protein brand?

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8478845 12/17/21 09:37 PM
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i have a friend who hunts in freestone co. he uses record rack golden nuggets and they love it

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8478846 12/17/21 09:37 PM
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I certainly favor a blend that is made locally. In my experience the deer like that better than the mass produced bagged branded protein. I fed Rack Plus for a year or so as well as Record Rack and my deer loved the local blend from FMC in Graham. I would ask around and check milling companies in your area for feedback.

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8478906 12/17/21 10:10 PM
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Because of where I am located, I can get L&E, DD, or Antlermax in Pearsall, Dilley, or Hondo. I know the the deer down here will hit any of the 3 really hard when the time comes. Really I prefer L&E because I know they change their recipe a few times a year based on the requirements of the deer in this area. The highest price feed for me is the Purina. The other two are right together in price.

Frio


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Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8478963 12/17/21 11:18 PM
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You have to mix it with corn to get them started eating it. Start at 50 percent and work your way down to just protien

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479273 12/18/21 06:18 AM
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I use the antler max and they eat it good. Now I do mix it with corn and peanuts and my feeder is just a regular gravity boss buck. I know yalls feeders are usually way bigger and mixing may or may not work in it.

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479297 12/18/21 08:49 AM
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DD works very well for me , my lease is in the Childress area and we have both whitetail and Mule deer
i'm the only one on lease feeding DD ( everyone else are buying the cheapest Protein they can find) and i see twice as many deer then anyone else .
Coincidence ? maybe but im a believer right now.
I have noticed if Protein feeder is empty i dont see the numbers of deer , but fill it up and within 2 days they are all over it JMO


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Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479324 12/18/21 12:25 PM
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I had great participation using golden nuggets..I had no luck with DD...For me...I decided to spend my money on corn and use record rack just every once in a while....but you have to feed corn at the rate of protein. Every day ..three times a day. However, I can't say corn does just as good as protein and I can't day it does not.

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479332 12/18/21 12:37 PM
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As an attractant, peanut based protein is tough to heat.

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479363 12/18/21 02:03 PM
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I have used Double Down and the deer ate it but can no longer purchase locally. I use Record Rack now, and they like it as well.

This is a purdy article on supplemental feeding.



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Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479372 12/18/21 02:33 PM
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I fed several different brands of deer pellets over the past 31 yrs now...from Cargil(Acco, Record Rack, Sportsman's Choice), Behrend's, Purina, L&E(Lyssy & Eckels), Moorman's, Livengood.... Years ago there was a huge difference in quality of deer feeds. Today, not so much. Most MFG mills will have a deer nutritionist on staff or consults with one. Prices of feed varies with ingredient base and then mineral, trace mineral and vitamin packages. You get what you pay for...most of the time. Regional mills can make a feed specific for your area which is a huge benefit and it will come at a cheaper cost to you. Once deer are started on pellets they will seek them out most months except during the rut to second rut or in colder temps. They will prefer corn at those times in most of Texas IME...not saying they won't eat pellets at all. Picking the right area to feed is key IME. Leases vary and feeding closer to bedding cover is key...buck spring/summer bedding for high consumption. You put feeders next to good bedding cover and you will always have more deer no matter what brand of protein you feed. Put that feeder between key bedding and water or have water at the feeder location and you will have way more traffic than someone who is missing one or both of those factors. Feeders on the edge or just inside cover are going to get more use in some areas. Predators and hog traffic can also hurt feeder traffic. My best results have come from 2 brands of feed: Lyssy & Eckels and Purina. If I had to choose one, then it would be L&E for price and high quality of pellets due to the results it produces. They do research locally and then adjust feeds accordingly. I have never had an issue with the amount of deer per feeder anywhere I fed either feed...the only issue would be to much feed consumption in stress periods...... cry The results was always great.


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Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479445 12/18/21 04:28 PM
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This is some VERY useful information and good thread

How long can protein stay in a feeder until it becomes stale and deer will not eat it? ***the protein remains dry

When I set up my feeders in Jan/Feb 2021, I went 50/50 corn protein mix. I continued this until summer 2021 and then went straight protein, however, when I added more I did not need to. Again, the only activity is every now and then the deer will nibble at it, but by no means are they consistently utilizing the protein feeders. Since it has been July since I last added protein, is this protein still good or do I need to dump it (feed the hogs) and start with fresh protein?

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479449 12/18/21 04:38 PM
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How long feed will stay palatable is going to depend on the humidity, rain and overall temps in your area. If the feed is not flowing daily it will start to sweat and cause condensation under the lid of the feeder. This happens when feed does not flow and in an unvented feeder. Moist air, rain, high temps in daytime to low temps at night cause issues. When feed does not flow daily...heat builds up inside the feeder, condensation forms under the lid(from moisture in the pellet or in corn) and then rains down on the pellets. This cause mold and ruins the feed. All pellets are manufactured with a moisture(%) content in the pellet. I would open the lid and check for mold. If it is there then dump the feed and start fresh. If the feed is still good then mix in some corn. I never advise filling a feeder completely full when trying to start deer on feed. I usually only start with one bag of corn and one bag of protein. I even put one or two bags of corn in the feeder first if the deer have never seen a protein feeder. Then once eating from the feeder mix corn and protein 50/50. Then lower the corn and add more protein once consumption is better. Never fill the feeder till you think they can empty it in 4-6 weeks.


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Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479450 12/18/21 04:41 PM
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I use ADM Rack Plus, it's what I can get locally. I've fed Red Chain (there orginal blend) and was not pleased with results. Switched to L&E for a while but it was hard to get and a bit of a drive. Switched to Rack Plus and results are about the same as the L&E I was feeding. This is my 21st year feeding protein.


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Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8479678 12/18/21 08:59 PM
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Using DD this year and they hammer it nonstop

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8480490 12/19/21 06:39 PM
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We're in Freestone County, basically between Fairfield and Teague, and feed the Sportsman's Choice Antler Plus 16% year around. The deer hammer it from late winter until mid-Sept, then lay off of it thru deer season. We buy from Capps there in Fairfield. What's in our feeders now has been there since before deer season, and over the last couple of weeks they are slowly ramping back up their consumption of it. Just had to refill one feeder two weeks ago, another is about dry as of this morning that was filled in Oct (letting it run dry so I can relocate it).

We run frankenstein home-built 55gal feeders, which are a chore to keep filled in spring and summer. And since we have neighors with cows that like to roam our place from time to time, we had to pen our protein feeders to keep them from draining them. I built a 50'x50' pen with three strings of barb wire, top strand is about 3' tall with a few low spots to make access easier, I also raised, and lowered, the middle wire in a few spots to make crawling through the fence easier on the deer. We have deer that prefer to jump in/out, some prefer to go thru the fence. But they don't seem like being in a pen bothers them one bit. This spring I plan on running a 32" tall field fence around the pen to keep the pigs out, we'll see how the deer like that. Currently there are 2 protein feeders in the pen, with a third to be moved into it soon. The closest corn feeder to the pen is over 100yds away and we do not hunt over the protein, fyi.

Location of the feeders can be key, as is access to water. We have no shortage of water on our place, and have found a central location in the property that the deer like, so we're concentrating all feeders to it. Initially we had one set up in a place the deer just didn't like for some reason. They refused to eat from it while hammering one not far away. We moved the one and they began using it just as much as the others.

As for results, we've noticed a definite improvement in the overall health of the herd for sure. Not that we had sickly deer before or anything. But our deer all have noticeable bellies on them now. We notice fawns seeming to gain size at a faster rate than before. Antler growth seems to have improved somewhat over the course of a given summer as well, mainly mass, but nothing miraculous. We've seen and killed deer before feeding protein that were just as big as deer we see now, but we see more deer of that quality since we added protein to the feed program. For us feeding protein is two-fold, it seems to be beneficial to the deer, and it helps maintain the wildlife tax exemption on the property which is a significant annual savings.


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Re: Deer Protein [Re: stxranchman] #8480539 12/19/21 07:13 PM
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[quote=stxranchman]: Lyssy & Eckels and Purina. If I had to choose one, then it would be L&E for price and high quality of pellets due to the results it produces. /quote]

When I fed it was Purina and or Lyssy & Eckels. I had storage for 21 tons of bulk. Lyssy & Eckels gave a better ratio of what worked in the areas I was feeding. The only company I wouldn't buy from again (even bagged protein) is Alderman Cave up in Winters. They sent me what was essentially a semi load of "fines" and then came down took it back without tarping it and returned about half of what I had to pay for the 21 tons because most of the fines blew out on the way back to Winters.

It was semi decent protein when I did feed it, but given my druthers I'd go Lyssy & Eckels if I did it again. Your mileage may vary.

Re: Deer Protein [Re: psycho0819] #8480625 12/19/21 08:36 PM
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Im due South of you between Dew and Teague. I too currently purchase protein at Capps. I will say this, we are doing our part in not killing young bucks. We won't shoot a buck with large potential until he is 5.5+, so we may never kill a large buck in Freestone County, but I can tell you I have a stud 4.5 year old who will push 155-160" next year (if he makes it) We had a 6.5 year old on camera for several weeks back in Oct/Nov who was in the mid-high 140s, but we have not seen him in over a month, so he may be dead.

We won't hesitate to take out a 4.5 year old with no potential and we won't shoot anything 3.5 and younger.

If we can spread the word about proper deer management, we can all hunt some good bucks. The potential is there, it is just going to take patience from our community

We have all of our feeders penned with usually 8 hog panels
We also plant both summer and fall plots

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8482194 12/21/21 02:08 AM
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I have very good luck with DD, my deer love it

Re: Deer Protein [Re: ctonsmitty] #8498031 01/07/22 11:10 PM
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10 feeders on 3500 acres. Switched exclusively to Anltermax several years ago. Local feedstore made a deal with Purina to drop off my feed as they passed through Cisco. Thanks to that deal, J&L is now moving a lot of Antlermax in the area and it saves me 100 miles. Ten years later, the results have been outstanding
Coming from a rancher's perspective ,I approach this a bit different. If I take care of my does, the horns will follow but it doesn't happen overnight. There's several good feeds available but you have to have a long-term commentment or you're just tossing money in the air. I see folks filling a protein feeder, then letting is set empty for a couple of months before refilling. Yikes! Cost too much.

Good lease management ain't cheap. grin


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