I was talking to a deer biologist the other day about feeding deer and food plots. He said that except for far northern parts of the country, which get deep snow cover,the time the deer need extra or supplemental feed the most is late summer and early fall before the mast crops ripen. This is when the does are carrying big fawns and the bucks are still growing antlers, but most of the natural food supply is mature and low in protein and energy. The deer maybe stressed then by heat, drought,their parasite load is at its highest and till the mast crop comes into play, their food supply is at its lowest nutrient content. I always figured it was late winter, but in late winter the does have weaned their fawns and are early enough in there gestation to not be putting as much energy into pregnancy as in late in their pregnancy, as in late summer, and the bucks have just shed and are just starting to grow antlers. Around here there is quite a lot of winter pasture planted, wheat, rye, oats etc. for cattle and the deer take advantage of it, plus there are lots of food plots planted in the fall with winter forage. So I guess after talk'n with him and think'n about it, he's probably right. I keep my feeders full year round and plant summer and fall food plots and they do seem to hit both the hardest from July till the acorns fall.