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Deer Feed

Deer Feed

Summer Deer Feed and Deer Mineral Site Tips

In Michael Waddell’s own words…“What you put into it, you can take away from it”. This saying has been heard time and time again and can apply to all aspects of life including deer hunting. For the hunter’s that are not already under the impression that now, the off-season, is the time to start preparing for deer season these tips might spark some inspiration to visit your hunting property with specific goals in mind. The end of spring and beginning of summer are often the months of new life, from turkey poults to deer fawns, and yes, especially your deer food plots! Now is the time to start working towards deer season with one goal above all else. This goal is to increase the attraction of your hunting property! Habitat health, deer herd health, and the hunting property’s success are all amplified when establishing more attraction. How does a hunter increase his or her hunting property’s attraction? You have arrived at a place with the right answers!

Attraction for Your Hunting Property

Increasing the attraction on your hunting property can come from a variety of chores. Yes, chores! But these, unlike the “honey do’s” are fun…unless you enjoy mowing the grass, folding laundry, and cleaning the gutters?

Deer chores to increase attraction often come in the form of installing kill plots and destination food plots, working to promote deer cover, timber and habitat management, filling waterholes for deer, promoting a supplemental deer feed program, and putting out mineral sites for deer. Late spring, early summer is the perfect time to start two of these deer chores…putting out summer deer feed, and deer minerals.

What You Need to Know on Summer Deer Feeding and Minerals

Supplemental deer feeding and deer minerals go hand in hand this time of year but should be understood as two entirely separate attractions.

Deer Minerals

It is important to be realistic when creating a deer mineral site. Don’t expect to pour out deer minerals and watch an average size buck on your property to suddenly sprout a 150-inch set of antlers. To see an increase in a buck’s antlers and body size, you must manage their age, nutrition, and genetics. We have no control over the genetics but the other two facets we can easily manipulate. The common understanding is that minerals may help in antler development for bucks and lactation needs for does, but has yet to be proven to make a significantly noticed difference like supplemental feed can.

As Michael Waddell explains…”you’re not going to change the world when putting the minerals out,…even if I am not promoting antler growth significantly, I am benefiting from putting the mineral stations out where deer are coming in regularly, especially when it is legal to hunt those baited areas later in the year!”

This explanation perfectly clarifies the benefits of putting minerals out, as not necessarily for antler growth and for does lactating, but as an attraction on your hunting property! If you are in a state where baiting is legal, then using deer minerals such as Big and J Meltdown™ or Legit® that focuses on attraction, could directly correlate to success later down the road. If baiting is restricted then you at least are increasing deer traffic where you want during the off-season, which sticks with the herd moving into deer season.

Deer Feed

Unlike deer minerals, deer feed, and supplemental feeding programs for deer do make a significant difference. Nutrition is one of the key factors when determining antler development and a high protein deer feed with other nutrients during the spring and summer months can absolutely create a difference on your hunting property!

COMPONENT MIN MAX
Crude Protein 18.0% –                 –               –
Crude Fat 8.0% –                 –               –
Crude Fiber –                 –              – 7.0%
Calcium 0.8% 1.3%
Phosphorus 0.7% –                 –               –
Salt 0.25% 0.50%
Sodium –                 –               – 0.50%

Summer deer feeding minerals

Ensuring your deer herd is nutritionally well off is far better to leave in the hands of habitat management and food plots as they already achieve maximum nutrition from these sources. However, in high deer density areas, or on highly managed hunting property’s optimizing antler growth, supplemental feeding is absolutely a good investment.

If you are wondering “can a supplemental feeding program increase the size and score of the bucks on my property?”  The answer is most definitely yes it can. Studies have shown that bucks fed a 16% crude protein diet grew antlers that scored 20 inches higher Boone and Crockett, than did bucks fed 8% crude protein (Hamel et al. 1989)” – MSU Deer Lab. Getting the right type of feed for the right part of the year, with a sound strategy is a great recipe for a supplemental feed program. Click Here…

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