A very simple but favorite management chore of mine in the spring is establishing new mineral sites. Deer minerals included in feed can help spur antler growth. Deer prefer mineral sites that are in cover as opposed to out in the open. I then placed cameras at each one of the sites to monitor usage. But anywhere you make a new lick, deer will find it rather quickly. Over the years, with the use of thousands of trail camera photos and a lot of trial and error, I have figured out a few factors that influence mineral consumption both positively and negatively. However, while recent studies have shown that adult bucks indeed do much of the breeding, bucks as young as 1 1/2 also are involved in the rut game. Antler King Apple Burst Mineral Block. Also, the use of a foreign object, the plastic feeding pan, could have decreased usage even though I did not start the test until the deer were regularly using the site with the feeding pan in place. As most hunters are aware, deer are attracted to salt and mineral blocks. WATCH: 3 Things You’re Doing Wrong with Your Mineral Sites. Replace as needed. 14 of the 22 states that allow deer baiting allow it state wide while the remaining 8 only allow the practice in specific parts. I have found that mineral sites located in sandy areas are utilized less than mineral sites in heavier soils. Then there are commercial based food attractants. Deer are very finicky when it comes to eating, especially when it is supplemental products offered to wild deer. Most hunters know that the deer need more salt and will put out salt licks and cattle mineral blocks. This would equate to a .21 ounce-per-head-per-day intake. We normally begin lining these sites with minerals sometime in May, and the deer visit them immediately. If there hasn’t been rain in an area for an extended period, I sometimes freshen up a site using a 5 gallon bucket … Logan discusses why mineral and salt licks are beneficial to the health of the deer herd. For best results, place on ground and cover with a thin layer of dirt and leaves. Trophy Rock has 60+ trace minerals is almost the exact same concentration as found in mammal’s blood. The product you choose needs to have calcium and phosphorus, in as larg… I began the project by placing black plastic feeding pans at my oldest and most frequented deer mineral sites. Now, back to the 18 percent protein. For instance, did the cameras trigger each time a deer was using the site? Block. Late summer is also a great time for minerals as the bucks are finishing out their racks. Research shows blocks tend to be the least effective way for deer to get supplemental minerals. A salt block can be purchased from a feed supply store and set out specifically to attract deer. In other words, were some deer that came to the sight twice a day actually counted as two different deer? Discussion Tub/Bucket: First, you can simply place your mineral in a shallow bucket or tub. For example, research has shown that a buck needs about an 18 percent protein diet during the antler-growing cycle to maximize antler growth. What Does the Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act Entail? Salt Blocks. A trail camera is probably the single best advancement for preseason scouting for whitetails. WATCH: Where to Place Minerals for the Best Results. Set up two blocks between the bedding and feeding areas. Minerals like BioRock or Full Draw Block are always beneficial for deer, but the most activity around minerals is in late winter through  the beginning spring when deer are trying to put on weight and recover from the winter. Wild berry and molasses flavoring for superior palatability. Locating the Buck's Master Bedroom Because of that, many hunters easily see the connection between deer and salt and start buying cattle mineral blocks for deer. Factors Affecting Mineral Intake 93 ($2.19/Piece) These blocks also act as a source of added nutrition in areas where food sources are scarce. I am just a very avid deer hunter who has put in hundreds if not thousands of hours learning and studying deer minerals and nutrition and how they affect deer. About 1 strategically placed mineral site for every 100 acres is about right. The salt needs to be placed in an area frequented by deer and left in place without moving it until the deer find it, which can take anywhere from hours to days. It’s best to keep your mineral sites stocked from about February through July. Most of the time trail cameras are used at food sources to get pictures of deer. Please check with your state's regulations to be sure but these are the most current we are aware of. Have you ever traveled through western Kansas? I may forget the details of taking those two gobblers, but I’ll never forget the experience of being with those two men. It is a mineral salt in the form of a block. However, the formula I used for this mineral is a fairly standard formula used in many deer mineral products. Along those same lines, deer will more readily utilize minerals that are ground applied than offered in a man-made feeder. I’ve taken a countless number of outdoor writers turkey hunting for Mossy Oak. Of course, we now know the Earth isn’t flat, but it wasn’t a popular belief until science and ocean navigation proved it. So when I am creating new sites, I try several locations and replenish the ones that receive continued use while abandoning the sites with little or no use. Put the first block on or near a heavy trail then set the second block 50 yards DOWNWIND of the trail. Also, slightly burying the pan helped to ensure the mineral would not be spilled. For several years now, I have been formulating free choice minerals for wild deer. Because intake is typically relative to body weight, one would think that if a cow weighing 1,400 pounds was eating 2 to 4 ounces of mineral, then a deer weighing 200 pounds should eat only between 0.28 to 0.57 ounces, not 1 to 2 ounces. It is fortified with key vitamins and organic trace minerals. Also, fawns will learn mineral site areas from their mothers and will return to sites even after they are weaned. This would equate to an average ounce-per-head-per-day intake of .29 ounces. It’s best to put your minerals out near bedding and feeding areas, locations where the deer will find and use it. Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois shares one of his Duck Camp Dinners using duck breasts and boar bacon. Most folks would simply look at the tag and see that one product is 28 percent and the other 22 percent and just assume that the deer is getting more protein from the 28 percent protein product. You can easily purchase these from a large variety at most hunting specialty stores, or even some local feed shops. After all, it sure looks that way. I struggled with that, because many cattle minerals have a known intake consumption of 2 to 4 ounces per head per day. Along those same lines, deer will more readily utilize minerals that are ground applied than offered in a man-made feeder. Cider and apple salt blocks can also be effective for luring in deer already in the area. 4.3 out of 5 stars 521 $10.99 $ 10 . This will allow the salt to receive rainfall and blend in with the surrounding land. For example, for many years, it was commonly accepted that adult bucks did all or most of the breeding. Although this method can be effective, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind. It does not require any special preparation to use the attractant. Keep the bucks in your neck of the woods looking majestic and healthy with these dietary supplements. In my experience, the best mineral sites are in the shade, in areas where the soil can stay moist, but not directly in a waterway or drainage. The bucks on this farm know where the licks are and have been hitting them regularly for years. Granular minerals seem to work better than blocks, as most of the usage of blocks occurs in the surrounding dirt as the minerals leach into the soil. While I could identify many of the deer that used the sight daily, some did not use the site each day, and some could not be definitely identified as a daily user. The third site on Farm C was discarded due to a camera failure. Also there are a lot of mineral deprived areas, where adding a mineral block, or loose minerals as bait can really bring in the deer. Place blocks 15-20 feet apart to discourage fighting. This final and vital piece of the puzzle is daily intake. Feral hogs can cause significant damage to your crops, habitat and waterways. Deer rarely require a high volume of minerals but do require a lot of different trace minerals. If you use mineral blocks, as I do, clear a spot down to the soil and place the mineral block in the middle of it. The amount of mineral that remained in the feeding pan was 3.6 pounds or 57.75 ounces. I buried them partially in the ground in an attempt to minimize the negative effect of using a container versus the normal method of direct ground application. These bans are precautionary steps the DNR took after deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease were found both in the wild and on deer farms. To give the lick a quick start, or as an additional attractant, you can spread a few handful of grain or chopped apples around the mineral block. Attraction to salt is caused by the balance of potassium and sodium in the deer’s body. When we talk to Cranky about turkey hunting, he always says, “Turkey hunting comes hard to me.”. So a product that is very high in salt will likely have less total consumption than a product lower in salt. Even taking all of this into consideration, I believe that, at the very least, the results strongly suggest that the intake of free choice minerals is substantially lower than 1 to 2 ounces per head per day. At least eight were using the site each day,  including three yearling does, two adult does, two yearling bucks and one 3-year-old buck. We congratulate them on this prestigious honor. If you stand in the middle of Highway 400 just west of Dodge City and look out at the horizon, you can get a good understanding of why people once thought the Earth was flat. Ted Nugent is the real deal. The Importance of Knowing Intake However, there must be enough salt in the product for the deer to be attracted to it. Refreshing old mineral sites or creating new ones is also a good family and kid friendly management activity. But this does not guarantee that deer will use the site. Increased aggression by certain deer (usually adult does) that “guard” the site will decrease the number of deer utilizing that particular location. This past summer, I was developing a new deer mineral product and was constantly frustrated by the fact that I really didn’t know what expected intake would be. “Where salt licks or mineral blocks are put out, obviously deer congregate, and that is bad enough,” Wolfgang explained. I have even found myself in the past few years putting out mineral rocks and supplements in urban landscapes and backyard woodlots just to see what deer frequent the area even though I have no intention of hunting there. Creating new mineral sites can be especially exciting when you have a new piece of ground to investigate and see what deer are living there and what the potential of the area is. 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