Feeding white tail deer in the winter.

Is it OK to put out food for the deer in the winter? My grandchild likes to put carrots out in the snow banks and watch them.

Answer: 

We have no laws prohibiting feeding of wildlife though we recommend against it.  Attracting wildlife to one's house usually causes problems.  Deer will begin feeding on shrubbery, defecating on lawns, chasing pets, and attracting predators and spreading diseases and parasites (like ticks and worms) to each other and pets.  Additionally, wildlife does not do very well on new foods and can cause gastrointnestinal distress.  The bacteria in their stomachs that helps digest is very specific to their winter foods.  Also, feeding causes wildlife to lose their fear of humans and become habituated which can lead to aggressive behavior.  So, long story short, we highly recommend against it.  You very likely would call us shortly to ask to move a few deer that have become overly aggressive.

Answered on: 
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 9:24 AM MST