Fish & wildlife officials in many states discourage the public to feed white-tailed deer, which have adaptable digestive systems that allow the animals to process different types of food (eg., bark, branches) that are more available at this time of year.
Bolstering the deer’s food supply with non-winter food when resources seem limited can actually harm them by overloading their digestive system, which contain specific microorganisms that allow them to process woody material. Altering their winter diet can in some cases lead to starvation.
You can help deer and other wildlife by planting a backyard full of native shrubs that will last throughout the year.
Learn more about white-tailed deer: http://dem.ri.gov/wildlife