Minerals and Management
Most game managers have probably set up a mineral site at some point but many probably have not. Despite their popularity there are a few things that many people don’t know about mineral sites and how these minerals actually benefit their deer herd.
There are numerous types of minerals that can be placed out. They can be in liquid, granular, and solid form. The granular and liquid forms are usually placed on a stump or log that will absorb the minerals. They can also be poured into the ground if the soil is disturbed. Usually tilling the soil a few inches deep and forming an oval or circle in the soil will do the trick. As for solid mineral blocks such as BioLogic’s BioRock, just clearing the debris from the forest floor will be enough to allow the minerals to leach into the soil. The other minerals offered by BioLogic such as Full Potential are trace minerals that deer cannot obtain naturally, therefore they are much more beneficial than a cattle salt block. When deciding on where to establish a mineral site you should orient it few feet off of a deer trail. They can also be established around field edges and food plots, just inside the cover. These mineral sites are great places to being your trail camera surveys because many deer will regularly visit these sites.
Contrary to popular belief bucks are not the only ones that benefit from mineral sites. While it is common to establish mineral sites in the spring, ideally they should be created in the late winter. This allows the does to take in these nutrients before milk production begins. Milk lactation is the most physiologically demanding state that a deer will go though. A doe will produce quality milk regardless of her nutrient intake, but she may not produce much of it. The minerals enable the does to produce an adequate amount of milk to benefit her fawns after birth. When malnourished or nutritionally lacking, the quantity of milk will be effected not the quality of her milk. Bucks will also benefit from minerals and they will be drawn to them later in the spring. While these trace minerals assist bucks in antler growth they also aid in their skeletal production and will allow them to be in the best shape possible.
From a mature buck roaming your land to an unborn fawn, your whole herd will benefit from the establishment of mineral sites on your property. Even if you haven’t created any mineral stations yet, it’s never too late.
~ Andrew Walters. Mossy Oak PropertiesClick here to return to our blog