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Fatalities Associated With Large Round Hay Bales -- Minnesota, 1994-1996

He estimates there are or coming in nightly to the ranch headquarters, north of Lehr, N. Another herd of or so earlier had settled a mile or two to the northeast. On the evergreens, they're eating some of the needles off. The winters have been pretty good for the past 10 years, but the last two have been difficult, says Cleo, whose lives in Wishek, N. We have more grass left than a lot of people have, but they can't get at it. Game and Fish guys say it's a lot easier for the deer to come in here and get a free meal.

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The Boschees generally have encouraged wildlife over the years and have won numerous awards for it. The ranch sprawls across some 10, acres. Their cows produce calves that they background-feed and sell into the "natural" market. The Boschees farming is mostly for cattle feed -- oats, corn, alfalfa and barley.

This time of year, they keep their cows on one lot, the steers and heifers in other separate lots. In a tough winter like this one, however, it's thosebales that the deer are after, and they've had about as much as they'd like of the deer this winter. It's not so much what they eat, but what they damage. They get on top, and they urinate on it, and defecate on it, and pretty soon, the cows don't want it. The Boschees put up about 4, to 5, bales in a year.

About 1, of those are alfalfa this year -- 1, bales of first-cutting, of second-cutting and about of third-cutting. Another or are oat and barley hay.

North Dakota Beef and Sheep Report — Publications

The rest are upland and CRP hay. They get on top of it, and it's net-wrapped and everything. They can still get on the ends of the bale and kind of stick their heads in. The Boschees usually take care of their own problems, but about six weeks ago, they called the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to ask for some help. On Feb. Problems like the Boschees' are impressive, but not uncommon, and the department does its best to respond.

Relative to last year, the number of complaints is "well down," Kading says. This year, we didn't start receiving depradation problem complaints until after Christmas. In fact, complaints so far in the winter of to '10 are to date compared with in to ' This year's levels are one-tenth of the complaint levels in to '97, when the previous tough winter and flood season occurred.

Generally, the deer population is down in a lot of areas in the state but that varies by location, Kading says. Deer might move into an area and camp out for a winter, but other times, they might pick up and move to the other side of a county. Or they might stay there," he says.

This year, there have been more complaints in the southeast and south-central parts of the state, Kading says. In the wide-open Coteau areas in the central part of the state, there often isn't much habitat. Farmstead areas afford some protection -- and sometimes easy pickings -- for feed supplies that are intended for livestock. Some have suggested we shoot them, but if we went around shooting animals every time they're in the wrong spot, that wouldn't be popular. They'll just stand there, not moving, as if to say, 'Good luck.

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The department sometimes gets called from frustrated landowners, asking the department to come out and shoot the deer, but that's not popular. The sooner we get after it, the better, before the deer start knocking over bales and chewing them up. The state's strategy in dealing with deer depradation starts with managing the hunting season -- changing the number of deer tags available for either does or bucks in a particular unit.

That is a kind of formula, based on aerial winter aerial surveys on established "monitoring blocks" as well as hunter harvest by unit and license type, hunter observation surveys of deer sighted per hour of effort, and deer-. Also, the agency monitors staff input on deer depredation and other public feedback, among other things. Deer concentrations vary within a hunting unit depend on the habitat factors, such as rivers, woodlands, cattail marshes, pastures, CRP and cropland, the land use and access by hunters,.

The state program "requires our staff to respond back to complaints within 24 hours and conduct an on-site investigation within 48 hours," Kading says. Some don't mind to We try to strike a balance between what landowners want and what hunters want," he says. Evaluating landowner wishes is an ongoing process. Each district has a district manager, who is in contact with landowners. There are advisory boards that meet with state game managers every spring and fall.

There are way too few deer," he says. Another big piece is the depradation program, involving big game only and primarily deer. This winter, the department has responded to about people with regard to deer depredation. In the bulk of those cases, the department has come out and wrapped the bales with black, temporary snow fencing. Hay waste was times less in the tapered-cone feeders when dense alfalfa-grass hay was fed but not different for feeding method when poorly tied oat hay was fed.

An economic model analysis of the three methods accounting for hay consumption, equipment costs and labor showed that feeding with the tapered-cone round bale feeder was the most economical for feeding cowherds of head.

University of Arkansas Extension workers conducted a case study comparing four hay-feeding methods using lactating beef cows over a two-year period. In Year 1, round bales ground in a vertical grinder-mixer and fed in tire feeders was compared to round bales fed unprotected on the ground; in Year 2, round bales unrolled and fed on the ground were compared to round bases fed in open ring feeders.

An economic analysis of the results for a head cowherd suggested the ring feeder method was more economical than feeding hay unprotected or processed with a grinder-mixer. The need for a larger tractor to operate the grinder-mixer made this method the most costly. Michigan State University beef researchers compared alfalfa and orchardgrass hay waste from four round-bale feeder designs using 1,lb.

The bale feeder designs and percent hay waste were:. More aggressive behavior was observed in cows feeding from the cradle feeder than the other feeder types and was correlated with greater hay wastage.


Deer defense: State steps in when depradation is too much

This presumably was due to a lack of partitions to prevent cows from interacting with one another while feeding. Cattle feeders will realize the greatest return from implants when cattle receive their first implant at processing. New Mexico State University researchers studied delayed implanting in Angus-cross feedlot heifers weighing an average of lbs.

Three implant regimes were compared:.