Cutting trees also immediately makes food and cover available to whitetails. Drop a 12-inch maple, poplar, oak, ash or similar hardwood and see how long it takes the deer to find it and start feeding on the tender branch tips. They will generally browse up and down the full length of the tree, nipping off the first two or three inches of any branch they can reach. This is pretty good stuff for winter whitetails that may have been winter stressed for the past 30 to 60 days. The branch tips should now be swollen with next spring's leaf buds that will be ready to pop sometime in April or May. Leaf buds typically contain six to eight percent protein, a welcome treat to winter stressed whitetails.