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Winter Feeding May Harm Whitetails

You may think that leaving feed out for deer helps them survive a tough Wisconsin winter, but the state’s DNR says it may actually do more harm than good. Officials say feeding deer draws them out of their natural winter habitats, which offer the best food and shelter to allow them to conserve energy. It can also spread disease more quickly and cause digestive issues in the deer. Although feeding deer for both hunting and non-hunting purposes is legal in Marinette County, DNR guidelines state no more than two gallons of feed may be placed at any residence regardless of property size, and it may not be further than 50 yards from the residence or within 100 yards of a roadway with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour or more. Rather than feed deer during the winter, residents are encouraged to create and improve habitats in the warmers months that give the animals the resources they’ll need come winter. That includes planting crabapple and aspen trees for natural food sources and evergreens for winter cover.

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