For starters, the deer probably don’t need to be fed. Most does enter the winter season with roughly three months of fat reserves. Muscle mass is not utlilized until fat reserves are consumed. Deer eat very little in winter and can generally get by with a twig here and a bud there, with perhaps a leaf or two thrown in for good measure. In fact, according to Alsheimer, once the thermometer starts reading 15 degrees or less, deer pretty much lay up most of the day (and all night) to conserve energy. Emergency winter feeding often serves to get them out of their natural survival rhythms and exposes them unnecessarily to extreme weather conditions. So what’s a concerned hunter to do?