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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried feeding cotton seed for deer?
We met with the ranch owner that has our lease last week. They own a ton of land and keep a pasture for the family to hunt. They have moved away from protein feed and are mainly feeding cotton seed.
He showed pics of some giant bucks they have on camera.
Our heaviest bucks most years top out at 230-240lbs live weight. They killed a few last year that went 280.

I’m not sure how the cost compares. They run cattle and buy cotton seed by the tractor trailer load as “cattle feed”. I’ve been told that pigs don’t eat it.

Some things you read say not to feed it around the rut rut because it could decrease sperm counts, but I’ve talked to some people that feed it year round with no issues.

Anyone have any experience?
There’s not any cotton grown around here ( south TX), but I would think there are places in Arkansas where cost would be reasonable
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess the deer down there don’t have as many options. The rancher has a big pasture within a mile of us. They’ve got a buck there that looks to score in the 190s on camera this year. The bodies on some of the deer he showed me are unreal. Their 4 yo bucks look like our 6yo bucks.
 

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I guess the deer down there don’t have as many options. The rancher has a big pasture within a mile of us. They’ve got a buck there that looks to score in the 190s on camera this year. The bodies on some of the deer he showed me are unreal. Their 4 yo bucks look like our 6yo bucks.
Everything we studied said it was a good source of protein and we keep several areas full through the growing season never letting them run out. Not sure if it was due to a lot more options of other things to eat so they didn’t eat as much or what. I figure in south Texas it would be a different story than the success we had.
 

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I have been feeding some cow feed that contains cottonseed, corn, soybeans, peanuts, and molasses. The deer love it, but so does everything else in the woods. They eat it better than rice bran but I have noticed they eat it better when it's warmer, when it's real cold they prefer corn. I have heard the same thing about the cottonseed messing up the bucks sperm but I also have read where it is pretty common for ranches in south Texas to feed cottonseed to deer.
 

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I put a 200lb cattle protein tub out at one of my feeders one year. Thing was full of molasses and high in protein.deer wouldnt touch it so i took one of the berry flavored block they like from tractor supply and crushed it up on top of it and quit feeding corn at the feeder. Once they found it they loved it. Deer went through one faster than the cows did. Only did it one summer before i quit messing with them all together. Noticeable weight gain and antler growth that year.
 

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I put a 200lb cattle protein tub out at one of my feeders one year. Thing was full of molasses and high in protein.deer wouldnt touch it so i took one of the berry flavored block they like from tractor supply and crushed it up on top of it and quit feeding corn at the feeder. Once they found it they loved it. Deer went through one faster than the cows did. Only did it one summer before i quit messing with them all together. Noticeable weight gain and antler growth that year.
Was the tub covered or uncovered?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
My understanding while trying to feed it was you have to pull it around July or it will mess the bucks up. Horns never get hard.
Cottonseed has no affect on antler hardening. It can theoretically lower sperm counts due gossypol content, although it’s questionable if a deer would eat enough in a low fence situation to make a difference. Most of the guys I’ve talked to here stop feeding it about a month before the rut, but a few feed it year round and claimed no issues.
 
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