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Wildlife Management and Purina Mills The Perfect Marriage

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know! 

In the case of wildlife management that produces results…well…both the who and the what you know are important.

Purina Mills is the answer, they are the “who you know” and give us the “what you know” for installing and using proper techniques and principles to develop a successful management program.

The “Who You Know”

For over 100 years, Purina Mills, LLC has been America’s Leader in Animal Nutrition. Since 1926, we have been performing animal nutrition research studies at our 1,188-acre LongView Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit,  Missouri. We began conducting research specific to deer in the mid-1950’s, and today over 50 years later, we continue to research, formulate, test and manufacture more groundbreaking products. Our devotion to product excellence and innovation continues today with the nutritional breakthrough called AntlerMax® Technology. [read more]

Purina Mills started doing wildlife nutrition research over 50 years ago and we are committed to helping you manage the habitat and the wildlife on your property.

The “What You Know”

A properly designed and implemented supplemental feeding program will make up the gaps in nutrition that often occur when habitat does not supply all the nutrients needed for healthy and productive deer, elk, game fish and game birds.

Nutrition is one of the major factors affecting productivity of deer and elk, but it is one over which a wildlife manager can exercise considerable control. In order to make nutrition decisions which will result in a healthy, productive deer or elk herd, several factors should be considered: (1) Seasonal forage availability and quality; (2) Physiological state and nutritional requirements; (3) Number and kinds of animal species; (4) Livestock and grazing management practices; and (5) Production goals.  [read more]

Deer & Protein

There is considerable controversy regarding the percentage of dietary protein that deer should have. Many people believe that deer cannot tolerate more than 16% dietary protein and that high-protein diets are wasteful or even toxic. This simply is not true.

Research in South Texas has shown that wild deer diets at certain times of the year can be over 25% protein. Many forbs highly utilized by deer are over 30% protein. Obviously, the wild deer are unharmed by consuming these high-protein plants. Indeed, excellent antler growth years were those with superb spring forage conditions. The resulting antler growth suggests that not only were the deer not harmed by their high-protein diet, they actually utilized the protein to grow bigger antlers, indicating that higher protein is necessary for a buck to achieve his genetic potential for antler growth. [read more]

 Does Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

If only it were that simple! Great nutrition will give your deer the opportunity to maximize their genetic potential for antler growth, but it is just one (albeit an important one) of many factors that affect antler growth. Even assuming that you are providing the best nutrition possible, other things, some within your control and some not, will affect production of trophy racks.

General health greatly influences a variety of factors that affect antler growth, such as feed intake and hormone production. If your deer are laboring under a parasite load (internal or external), clinical or sub-clinical disease challenges, or have been injured, antler growth will be negatively affected no matter how nutritious the feed because nutrition will be siphoned off to deal with these other issues. Good management must go hand-in-hand with nutrition to get optimum results. [read more]

Deer and Self-Guided Nutrition

Many people believe that deer (and other animals) somehow inherently know what they need and how much of it to eat. If you stop to think about it, you’ll quickly realize this does not make sense. If deer automatically knew what they needed, then there would be no need to formulate feeds for them; simply throw all the individual ingredients out there and let the deer “have at it”. However, it is the need for energy and the appeal of palatability that influence what a deer eats. After all, if a deer always knew what and how much to eat, it would never eat too much tasty corn and make itself sick!

Deer, like all ruminant animals, eat to meet their energy needs. The need for energy drives daily intake. If one feed is lower in energy than another, deer will eat more of the low-energy feed in order to meet their demand for calories. Likewise, deer will need less of a higher-quality, higher-energy feed. And because deer eat to meet an energy requirement, the other nutrients (fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals) must be in proportion with the energy amount so that the deer gets what it needs of all nutrients in the amount of feed that it will eat. For instance, a high-energy low-protein feed will not provide enough protein because the deer will eat only until its energy requirement is met. A high-energy, low-fiber feed (such as corn) can actually get your deer in trouble if they eat too much at once. It is important to provide a well-balanced feed that provides all the nutrient classes in proper amounts to meet your animal’s needs without causing problems. [read more]

This is just some of the great information Purina Mills provides, so get educated and implement this knowledge into your program and you will get results.  If you need more help getting your protein feeding program started here are some tips: Protein Feeding; Basics To A Succesful Supplement Feeding Program For Your Whitetail Deer Herd.

For all the information on wildlife management and proper feeds and strategies we suggest – Wildlife Innovation Through Education: Purina Mills

Click here for: Purina Mills feeds and product information or All Seasons Feeders.

Be safe this hunting season, to help you do that here are some Hunting safety tips.

What does Hunting Season mean to you? It’s not just a regulated time to hunt! Read This: Hunting Season, When Life Long Memories Are Made.

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Categories: Hunting & Wildlife

In The Field

February 6, 2010 2 comments

You see it, snap a picture, send it to The Backfill, we post it.

We want cool, interesting, intriguing, or funny pictures of construction or landscaping equipment, hunting/wildlife, or random “can’t believe i saw that” pictures.  You get moved to the top of the list and pretty much guaranteed a post if it is a product we carry.  (Aztec Rental equipment, Ferris, Snapper, Stihl, Echo, All Seasons Feeders,  Purina Mills Feed) 

Send pictures to thebackfill@aztecrentalcenters.com

In The Field Submissions [can you top them?]

Categories: In The Field

Protein Feeding; Basics To A Successful Supplement Feeding Program For Your Whitetail Deer Herd

February 4, 2010 63 comments

The time is now to get your feeding program up and running. Right now your deer herd needs you more than at any other time of the year. This time of year whitetail bucks are trying to recuperate from post rut and winter stress. Food sources are now vastly reduced and the deer are in dire need of some quality nutrition.  Most bucks have probably lost up to 30% of their body weight and are desperately trying to regain their body weight they have lost. This is where a quality feeding program can really have an impact on your herd. Whitetail’s grow their entire set of antlers from start to finish in just 128 short days. Yes, it takes a yearling spike the same amount of days to grow his set as it does a 200” B&C. Mother Nature dictates that the whitetail bucks antlers comes second and the body comes first. This means that if the body is lacking what it needs in nutrition then the antlers comes second from a nutrition standpoint. This is why feeding protein post rut can be so beneficial for antler growth as it can help jump-start the body’s recovery from winter and post rut stress and ensure that they are in the best possible condition on day one of antler growth.

It is important to remember that protein pellets are a supplement and not a magic bean. It will not make a genetically poor deer a genetically superior deer. However, protein feed will help even out the peaks of nutritional stress. When rainfall is good and there are plenty of forbs and brows you will notice a major decline in protein consumption as the preferred forbs and brows become available.  When the rains do not come and forage and brows are stressed protein consumption will increase as the deer will become more dependant of the supplement.

On average you can expect to see a 5-7 lb. increase in body weight the first year of feeding followed by a higher fawn survival rate the second year and finally a noticeable difference in antler size the third year.

Here are some helpful tips to get your feeding program started:

  • Feed protein pellets with a free choice feeder. (You want protein to be accessible 24 hours a day.)
  • When choosing a location for your feeder, choose a location close to cover and when possible close to water. Also, choose a secluded spot.  You want them to feel safe and comfortable at all times when at the feeding station.
  • Start off mixing protein pellets 50/50 with corn. You will have to train your deer to eat the pellets as it foreign to them. Gradually reduce the corn ratio until you are feeding 100% protein.
  • Feed AntlerMax 20%  from January – August and AntlerMax 16% from September – December.
  • Calcium and phosphorus are very important. Pick a feed offering effective amounts of each and as close as 2:1 as possible.


Protein Feed

Now your next question should be what protein feed should I use.  Why would you not want to use the feed put out by the leader in deer nutrition research for over half a century.  Purina Mills has spent more time and money on research than any of its competitors. During this time Purnia Mills has devoleped one of the leading supplements on the market, Antlermax Protein feed.

What is Antlermax?

Purina Mills® AntlerMax® Energy Technology is a highly researched patented energy technology that enhances the body condition of deer so they can reach their full potential for body size, health and maximum antler growth. There is a patented Energy Nugget inside the pellet for top body conditioning that contains an exclusive blend of 5 vegetable oil sources. It has the ideal ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids for top immune function, shiny coat and healthy skin. An optimum ratio of energy sources (fat, fiber and starch) for balanced rumen bacterial populations and optimal digestion

AntlerMax® Technology provides top buck health, allowing each animal to reach its full genetic potential for antler growth, while lowering mortality rates during the rut. Delivers top doe health, resulting in increased milk production, milk quality and overall fertility. Builds strong healthy fawns for lower mortality.

How AntlerMax® Technology Works:

  • PATENTED PROTEINS – In deer, most proteins break down in the rumen (pre-stomach), decreasing their ability to support antler growth. But patented AntlerMax® Technology in new Deer Chow® naturally protects these high-quality proteins from rumen breakdown. Once protected, these proteins are digested by the deer in the stomach and small intestines instead of the rumen. The result – HUGE antlers much FASTER.

 

  • PROPRIETARY TRACE MINERALS – Optimal antler growth and overall deer health require a proper blend of minerals. That’s why we’ve done extensive studies to determine exact mineral requirements for growing antlers at various stages of development. AntlerMax® goes beyond protein technology to also include exact proprietary types and ratios of trace minerals necessary for building optimal antler density and strength. Plus, Purina Mills® Deer Chow® diets are formulated regionally to adjust for mineral variations in soil and vegetation. This exacting approach allows us to meet the specific needs of deer and elk in every region of the country.

 

Purina Mills puts out many products with the Antlermax Technology.  The most common are the 20% Antlermax Deer Chow and the 20% Antlermax water shield protein feed.

Antlermax Deer 20:  A 20%-protein pelleted ration designed to enhance the deer’s natural forage diet.  Formulated with patented AntlerMax® Technology.

Antlermax Watershield 20: Same 20%-protein pelleted ration has the Antlermax Deer 20, but is protected by exclusive WaterShield™ Technology which makes the pellet resistant to moisture, reducing waste and labor associated with water damage.

Benefits of both products:

  • Improves antler size and mass and improves body condition.
  • Optimum reproductive performance and strong healthy fawns.
  • Proprietary AntlerMax® Mineral – optimal antler growth, density and strength.
  • Highly palatable – strong proprietary flavor attracts deer and elk.
  • To be fed free-choice with adequate forage or quality hay.
  • Feed from February through August.


Protein Feeders

Hunters today have more options to choose from then ever. First you will need to decide if you want to feed from a gravity flow free choice feeder or from a timed restricted type feeder. The free choice gravity type feeder is clearly the best choice as it gives your herd 24-hour access to protein. The deer will soon learn that the feed is there waiting for them and is available any time of day.  However, free choice feeders will be very vulnerable to raccoons, birds and all other non-targeted animals.  Timed feeders do have one major advantage over free choice feeders in that they are more cost-effective then the free choice feeders as there will be a significant decline in wasted feed from non-targeted animals due to the  feed being accessible only certain times of the day.

When deciding how many feeders are needed for your property remember first that there are  many factors such as: acreage, high fence, low fence, budget  and expectations that will make the number of feeders vary from ranch to ranch. But, a good rule of thumb would be one feeder for every 350 acres.  If you could have a protein station every 50 acres by all means do it, but in most cases that is just not feasible.

With the wildlife management and hunting industry growing every year, there are tons of feeders available in the market today.  Choosing a brand can almost be as if you are deciding on a automobile brand.  The feeders that we have used for years and have been around since the beginning of the hunting industry boom is All Seasons Feeders.

 

All Seasons Wildlife Feeders are built to hold up to the harshest environments Mother Nature has to offer. Our exclusive designs are made to deliver feed to target animals, while reducing waste to varmints and weather. All Seasons Feeders has the specific feeder to fit your needs.

With many options from styles and sizes All Seasons Feeders has the right feeder for your program. 

[All Seasons Feeders]
[Purina Mills Feeds]

Categories: Hunting & Wildlife