Those who rely on hay to feed livestock during the winter should start planning now to protect their crops from deer and elk. During winters with deep snow, deer and elk will look for easy sources of food and unprotected hay stacks are an attractant. If haystacks are poorly protected the animals can quickly get to hay and consume large amounts. For deer, hay is a killer, because their digestive system is not equipped to break it down, so deer can actually die from consuming it. It’s common for deer to die from a malady called acidosis when they eat hay. Elk, however, can safely consume hay, so they’ll always come back for more. If you’d like information about how to protect your hay crop, contact your local Parks and Wildlife service center.