What You Need To Know for Putting Out Minerals for Deer This Summer
Tree stand maintenance, shed hunting, frost seeding, food plots, and then what? This has been the schedule from this point on for about 4-5 months. By the time food plots are planted, hunters can feel a false sense of accomplishment. They feel they can begin to calm down from the mad rush of spring chores and coast it out until deer season. Unfortunately for them there is still one vital piece missing from the checklist…putting out minerals for deer!
Now when it comes to mineral stations there is a misunderstanding that the common sense logic is correct, when in fact it really isn’t. Hunters each and every year will put out mineral stations for deer and miss the true reason for why we put out minerals. This article dives into the why, when, where, and how of mineral stations for deer.
Why and When Do We Put Out Mineral Stations For Deer?
The Science Behind the Need (Or Not) for Deer Minerals | Buck Advisors
(Video) There is a big misunderstanding that minerals equal big antlers, which is not correct! The Buck Advisors’ Weston Schrank reveals the real science and reason for mineral stations for deer!
The fact that putting out mineral bags and blocks for deer to grow bigger antlers is a false assumption. The real reason we put out mineral stations for deer is due to their salt craving for the summer. This craving is present during the entire time plant growth is at its peak in spring and summer with water and potassium content at an all-time high. This also happens to be when bucks are growing antlers, and does are giving birth to fawns and lactating over the summer. This is what creates the misunderstanding, the timing and need for salt in most hunters mind has suggested that deer need minerals, which in turn covers up the true advantage.
So if not for growing bigger antlers and helping fawn development why do we put out mineral stations for deer? The answer to this is our own desire. The desire for us to see velvet bucks can take advantage of the buck’s cravings for salt, revealing the real reason for mineral stations, taking inventory of velvet bucks with trail cameras.
Where and How Many Mineral Stations to Put Out
Deer Mineral Station Placement and Density | Buck Advisors
(Video)- Putting out minerals for deer is critical to start in May and June! Buck Advisor’s Weston Schrank explains exactly how many mineral stations for deer you need and where to place them on your deer hunting property.
One of the most important pieces of information, besides actually putting out mineral stations is, installing them at the correct density and in the right location. So where do you put mineral stations for deer out on your property, and how many do you put out? For this answer we have to touch on the real reason for these mineral sites again, basically to take inventory of velvet bucks.
That word, “inventory” is used only one other time when referring to deer…trail camera surveys. While putting out trail cameras over minerals for deer isn’t necessarily a trail camera survey due to the lack of specific settings, time of year, and applying an equation, it is keeping tabs on all the deer utilizing your property. In order to do this you have to be sure you are placing the minerals and game cameras in the correct locations and density (putting enough sites out to capture all deer on the property).
- Where: throwing out minerals or a block just anywhere will not accomplish anything, you have to think and plan around it. You need to place the minerals and trail cameras in location that deer frequent. For spring and summer this means transition areas between food sources and bedding.
- Density: Again referring to a trail camera survey most recommendations are a mineral station for every 80-100 acres of property, but only you can really tell how many mineral stations and trail camera sites you need. Habitat diversity, topography, cover, and human pressure can all affect deer movement and core areas, ultimately deciding how many mineral stations you should have. If a 50 acre property is separated into 2 different habitat types, and resulting in two different bachelor groups using different sides of the farm, then you need 2 mineral sites. Think back to hunting observations and past trail camera pictures to determine how deer use the property.
Patterning Velvet Bucks with Mineral Stations and Trail Cameras
The ultimate goal of installing mineral stations for deer, is to keep tabs and develop patterns on mature bucks. By putting out these sites in late May and early June, and keeping them running until deer season ( if your state requires minerals to be removed) will create a very detailed history and site map of a given bucks home range and core area. It also helps you create a detailed album of antler growth throughout the summer.
If your deer season is early enough such as Kentucky with an early September opener, you might even be able to kill you hit list buck based solely off of the trail camera data from the mineral station. If your hunting season starts later in the month of October, then you will miss the chance for velvet bucks and summer patterns. Fortunately placing a mineral station and trail camera in the right spot, such as a transition area, funnel, or run between bedding areas and food sources will also be a great spot for the rut cycles. This is where another critical point can be introduced, selecting the right trail camera for the job.
The new Muddy Outdoors trail camera lineup for 2016 should be a consideration for your trail camera over the mineral stations. The Pro-Cam 12 and Pro-Cam 10 are both quality cameras that can be reliable all summer long, all season long, and for multiple years. The cameras have all the required specs and technologies to be a top contender for trail cameras that produce clear images for identifying individual bucks during summer. If you’re looking for new trail cameras this year to put over mineral stations for deer, check out muddy trail cameras.
While your food plots are planted, tree stands are up, and your summer checklist is complete, one vital to-do might be missing. If you have yet to put mineral sites and trail cameras up you are behind. Antlers are growing, bucks are feeding, they are craving salt, and we only have 4-5 months before deer season!