False. No comparison between the nutrition from a food plot vs. a bait pile of corn or apples. Aside from energy in carbohydrate form, corn is a fairly poor food stuff for deer....not to mention the threat of rumen acidosis with corn piles. Apple piles can start to ferment, causing gastric issues for deer eating them.
Lactating does and bucks growing antlers benefit greatly from a high protein food source (think clover, soybeans, chicory, rye, even some weeds that grow in food plot openings).
If a hunter does not have the ability to do food plots, a few hours spent with a chainsaw is much, much more beneficial than a bait pile.
Supplemental feeding definitely has its place for those that choose to do it....corn and apples are certainly not great choices. A soybean-based feed would be a better selection - higher protein.
Also, when considering a food plot and a bait pile....food plots can certainly concentrate deer in a certain area (similar to a soybean or alfalfa field), but a bait pile really concentrates deer into one spot. A food plot can be up to a few acres big....a 2-acre plot covers 87,120 square feet, and bait pile covers just a hand full of square footage.
We plant food plots to help multiple critters including deer, not simply for pulling deer in for a close shot - a few quick examples.....
- Clover for rabbits...groundhogs are big fans as well (plus the bunnies love the brush piles created during the clearing of a food plot area)
- Millions of bugs in the clover plots for hen turkeys and their poults - a great high protein food source for mama and chicks (and other birds that feed on insects)
- June Barley seeds for turkeys and turkey poults - turkey poults can fly into roost trees sooner with a high quality food source like this, resulting in less poult mortality
- Rye for early/mid-summer fawning cover
- Clover, rye, barley, oats, beans, peas for spring, summer, fall, and winter deer forage
Over 90% of food plots planted by hunters in PA. are kill plots and no different then using feeders that aren't mechanical or bait piles. The reasons I say this is because unfortunately 90 +% of PA. hunters plant small plots because they don't have enough land available to them to plant enough acres of plots to see any noticeable difference to the health of the herd, antler size or other species of wildlife etc. So the only benefit they are seeing is that it makes it easier to kill deer. And to be honest most hunters (in any state) wouldn't plant food plots if it wasn't for that reason.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm 100% anti baiting due to the increased risk of spreading disease and also the harm it causes our herd by feeding deer during the winter months but other then that, lets stop fibbing to ourselves..... most food plots planted by hunters are no different then putting down feed on the ground when it comes to the health of our herd and other species of wildlife.
How many acres of food plots does someone need to plant to see a noticeable difference of the health etc. of their herd? On average you need to plant 1 acre of YEAR ROUND food plot for every 3 -4 deer that reside in the area depending on the health of the habitat in a particular area. And over 90% of us don't have access to that much tillable ground.