Feeding deer corn or other agricultural products doesn’t help them much in winter because the animals’ digestive systems are accustomed to large volumes of twigs and bark and can’t process such rich food. Worse yet, chronic wasting disease, bovine tuberculosis, and other ailments can be passed along when large numbers of deer concentrate at feed piles.
Here’s one way to put out scattered foods they’re able to digest: Go out after Christmas and cut down a few trees. Red maple, striped maple, aspen, and yellow birch are choice species because their twigs and bark are high in energy. Leave the trees whole but saw off large branches so that no twigs are more than 6 to 8 feet above the ground. Next summer, return and saw the trees into firewood. Trees felled in winter have very little sap, so they cure quickly and burn with maximum heat. –JEROME B. ROBINSON