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Old Jan 18th 2021, 09:54 PM   #1
 
  Jan 2021
  Florida
Feeding deer

Hello!
Lately Iíve been visiting a little public nature reserve near my house, and today I saw a family of deer who were all looking very malnourished. There were two does, two fawns and I also saw a stag. The does were looking okay, but the fawns were looking somewhat skinny (one more so than the other). The stag was the worst of all, he was so skinny I could see his bones, and he had hairless patches all over his body. Iím not sure if this is due to malnourishment during winter time, or due to some other condition (keep in mind I live in Florida so winters arenít extremely harsh here). What I was wondering was whether I could get some feed and spread it through the area, so that maybe thatíll help them bulk up. It makes me really sad to see them like this and I wanted to know if I could do something to help.
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Old Jan 19th 2021, 03:21 PM   #2
 
  Jan 2021
  UT
I personally don't think you should interfere/intervene - you've said yourself that winters aren't extremely harsh where you are; the fact that this one, particular family of deer you've seen doesn't seem to be thriving means that they should be left to whatever happens to them - either they'll make it to spring, or they won't. If they don't, they weren't suited for their environment.

I've only ever fed wild deer once (winter of '16), and that was because local veterinarians were telling people to do so due to unusual weather pattern (deep snow from early winter melted in a brief warm-period, then the immediate return to sub-freezing temps caused a thick layer of ice; local livestock were fine, because they were on hay and-or grain, but all of the deer weren't able to get to the grass and shrubs.)
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