Life is tough for big game during the winter, but according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife feeding those animals can make them sick and kill them. The digestive systems of deer, elk and moose are specialized for natural food sources, not the common types of feed we give to livestock and pets. When big game eat food not suited to their systems, especially during the winter, they can develop digestive problems that will kill them within a few days. Here’s what happens: As fall begins, the digestive systems of big game animals change so that they can efficiently digest vegetation that is naturally dried out and low in nutritional value-such as leaves, twigs and grasses. When they eat nutrient-dense food such as corn or alfalfa, their digestive systems produce high amounts of acid which causes them to become dangerously dehydrated. Another problem with feeding is that it causes numerous animals to congregate in one area. That creates a perfect environment for disease transmission, plus animals that bunch up can also be vulnerable to mountain lions or other predators. Every year about this time, Colorado’s wildlife officers see evidence throughout the state that people are feeding big game animals. Feeding big game is illegal. If you suspect that big game animals are being fed, contact the nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or call Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648.