Hot Summer Management Tips: Cottonseed Anyone?
June 6, 2017

Hot Summer Management Tips: Cottonseed Anyone?

by Luke Murray

With half of the year nearly gone and summer rapidly approaching, it’s becoming increasingly important to plan for the best season of the year; whitetail season of course.


  • The summer sun does more than burn your skin. The harsh elements can take a toll on your equipment with the constant flux between hot and cold, wet and dry. If you haven’t done so already, it would be a good idea to pull the batteries from your feeders and store them in a cool place for the remainder of the summer. An icebox in the garage is always a good spot.
  • For you folks who are a little old school and still use plywood deer blinds, now is an ideal time for a little TLC on the old green box. Replace screws, patch holes, replace cracked windows, seal any leaks, and make sure your blind is safe and secure for the upcoming season.

Land Management:

  • For box blinds, the summer months are a good time to evaluate your lines-of-sight. Make sure you do some brush clearing to maximize visibility for the upcoming season. Clearing out brush at the wood lines or cutting senderos through your thickets will allow you the best use of your blind’s location, and give you opportunities to lay eyes on game that may be lurking just beyond the clearing.

Protein Feeder

Summer Feeding:

Hopefully by now – if you’re using them – you have food plots in the ground. As a rule, corn does very little for deer in the summer. Having corn in an area will allow for deer to make themselves familiar with that location for the coming months. If you really want to keep the whitetail coming back to your feeders, provide them with some quality sustenance – preferably some that we call “cool feeds” that won’t have them running for water between mouthfuls. An ideal example is cottonseed, a protein source that is highly digestible for whitetails.

Cottonseed Feeder

  • For folks interested in using cottonseed, you can manufacture a ground feeder using t-posts and bull wire or 2-inch chicken wire (each at 36 inches high). Drive three t-posts into the ground in a triangular fashion, just large enough for you to make a 16-inch to 18-inch diameter cylinder with the wire of your choice. Fasten the wire to the t-posts and fill your new feeder with cottonseed.
  • If your whitetails share their pasture with livestock, it would be in your best interest to put an adequate pen around your cottonseed feeder, or place it in an existing pen with enough space for the deer to effectively maneuver in and out as they please. Cattle and sheep are very fond of cottonseed, as are hogs, so it’s best to keep them at a distance to allow your deer the full right to your cottonseed.
  • PRO-TIP: It takes a little time for deer to get used to eating cottonseed on a regular basis. It’s advised that you place your cottonseed feeder in close proximity to other protein or corn feeders, something to keep them coming back and will allow the whitetail time to acclimate themselves to the idea of the cottonseed being there as a regular food source.

For those of you simply looking for a good summer blend to fill your gravity or rotary feeders, try this out:

Summer Protein Blend:

  • 1/3 Black-eyed Peas
  • 1/3 Corn
  • 1/3 Protein (12% – 16% Crude Protein)

This blend is ideal for summer for the fact that it is comprised of two-thirds cool feed (peas and corn) that will keep the deer around the feeder longer without having to go find water. You’re looking at two-thirds protein in this blend (peas and pellets) with the addition of the corn as a sugar to keep the deer interested.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you get your summer management plan on track. Be sure to send us some tips of your own if you have practices that have worked well for you. And remember, if the kids are interested in some extracurricular hunting practice, a deer feeder after 10 p.m. is an ideal place to bag a couple big raccoons.





TTHA has been Texans number one source for all hunting and outdoor related news since 1975.


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