Winter deer feeding has always been a favourite winter pastime, when the deer stick around that is!
In the average winter I’ll have between 7 – 10 deer feeding regularly. My family and I get to watch some great terrific shows out the back window of our house.
One thing I have noticed, over the years, is how territorial and possessive white-tailed deer can be. The does especially!
There is a hierarchy to it and should a fawn from one group feed, or even or walk too close to the doe from the second group, she’ll receive a sharp hoof to the head! The funny part is, all the deer leave and usually bed together in the same area each night…but when it comes to feeding, watch out! Every deer has its place and you will be reminded quickly should you forget!
The Predator Factor
What has been happening in recent years (much to my chagrin) with an influx of coyotes throughout eastern Ontario, winter whitetail patterns have become greatly altered. Some winters I wont have any deer at all, as they are pushed-out completely by marauding coyotes to seek refuge in the upper fields. Take note that the woods around my place is completely private with no hunting allowed.
Besides the main deer feeder you see in the photos, I also disperse feed in the second field; just out of view in top the photo below were I have a second trailcam located. Over past few weeks I’ve captured multiple vids a large female coyote urinating on the feed as if to say; this is MY territory buddy! I will post a video of this territorial behaviour when I get a chance.
(How do I know its a female? That’s simple, she squats when she pees..hehe)
Any deer pushed out of the small woods behind my house usually do ok in the upper fields, so long as they stay one step ahead of predators.
Remains to be seen how many I will have feeding this winter…but they’ll have a snack available should they decide to stop-by.