Brownville Food Pantry For Deer Opens For 13th Season-And You Can Watch Them Eat
Deer in the Brownville will eat well again this winter, thanks to one local family who has been helping animals survive the harsh Maine winters for over a decade.
Richard McMahon set been feeding deer for almost 30 years.
"I used to be a hunter. But now I'd rather feed 'em than eat 'em,"
Staring in Medford, McMahon took up the deer feeding mantle when he moved to Brownville, and the local man who had been feeding them around the Brownville Junction area passed away.
"It took them a little while to go from where he was feedin' em at Brownville Junction to my place in Brownville."
He set up the Brownville Food Pantry for deer over ten years ago, and today was the opening day of Season 13 for McMahon. He put the food out at 9 AM and said while he didn't see many deer today, he knows it's only a matter of time before they show up.
"It will take a couple of weeks to get going but they will come."
According to the Facebook Page, Brownville's Food Pantry For Deer, McMahon has made some serious upgrades this year.
"Silo is up, Oatmobile is equipped, troughs are set, and cameras are tuned up."
The addition to a new PTZ camera, which can be focused and moved around, and a new 4K camera, will help the Pantry's 45,000 followers from 199 different countries get a better view of the feeding crew.
You can pop on at any time and check out the Livestream of the deer eating the food.
Or you can check them out on their YouTube channel, where you choose from multiple camera angles that they have set up to watch the feedings.
Another game-changer this year has been the addition of a silo, so he can buy the oat in bulk, rather than 50lb bags.
McMahon says he goes through about 4-5 tons of grain a month. Last year, he went through 25 tons for the year and expects that to go up by at least 2 tons this year.
"We save about $100/per ton buying in bulk rather than bags."
The installation of the silo means that not only is it easier to store the oats, but it's easier for McMahon to load them as well, not having to deal with the large 50lb bags by himself.
"I just drive my truck under it and push a button."
The oats are delivered by a company out of Houlton.
McMahon says that most of the expenses are covered by donations that come in from all around the world.
If you'd like to make a donation towards the cost of oats for the deer this winter, they have set up a gofundme account for expenses.
The Brownville Food Pantry for Deer will stay open, feeding the animals till April.
The folks who run the pantry say that at its peak sometimes, there can be anywhere between 100 and 200 deer who come to feed along with dozens of wild turkeys.
McMahon says the satisfaction of seeing multiple generations of deer, year after year, that keeps him motivated to do this labor of love.
"I get to see the same deer, year after year, and then they bring their babies...and they're all healthy."
They have a safe place with plenty of cover and food and they're safe from predators. I like to see the fat deer."