Suggesting to deer hunters in Louisiana to stop feeding corn to deer in the Fall would be like telling restaurant owners to stop serving crawfish in the spring. Ain’t gonna happen.
And before you get riled up, I’m not saying hunters shouldn’t feed corn to deer. Corn feeders supply supplemental food to deer and are an excellent way to attract and hold deer in a hunting area. And since the end result of the whole process is eating the deer, I’d much rather have a corn fed deer steak on my plate than one that had been eating briers.
But the growing use of corn may be having a negative effect in some areas. I recently read where the state’s lead deer biologist isn’t a fan of using corn or other supplements to feed and attract deer. Why? The practice tends to concentrate deer, especially younger deer, and makes them more susceptible to predators and to disease.
But an even far more serious consequence that we can all see in the woods today is that it may be helping further unleash a woodland terrorist — growing numbers of wild hogs. It seems like the feral hogs are showing up everywhere, and that includes growing numbers around deer feeders. If you see as many wild hogs on your deer camera photos as you do deer, you’ve got a problem — especially if the pigs weigh more than the deer!
Wild pigs are the new rabbits. They seem to reproduce almost overnight. Sows reach maturity in just six months. There are no natural predators, except for a growing number of farmers who are seeing thousands of dollars worth of their fields torn up daily by roving gangs of wild pigs. The boars are flat out dangerous to the environment and to people in the woods.
Here’s a partial solution if you are having a pig problem associated with your deer feeder: Consider putting up an inexpensive two-foot high fence around the immediate 8-10 foot area of feeding area. Deer can easily jump that. Pigs obviously cannot (Okay, some of the hunters I know couldn’t jump it either). Hey, who told you to think about me?
Another thing that can help is planting more food plots, and spending money on fertilizer for them. That actually helps the deer maintain better health and is just as good an attractant as corn.
As for the debate, I’m staying out of it. But the above information is interesting and I thought I’d share it with you. Be safe out there!