Cater to Nutrition Needs and Bump Antler Growth, Here’s How
Few trophy bucks are harvested by accident and this time of year is the time to take specific steps to create your best deer season ever. You can still boost antler growth for this fall, as well as put the local herd on a healthier plan for the future.
Deer go where they like to go. Create an area that will attract deer day after day, an area they will want to visit often.
Boost Nutrition and Bump Antler Growth
Nutrition is critical to deer and like most adults, a whitetail deer has a normal diet that typically lacks the proper mineral content to maximize growth potential. Although some hunters often focus just on antler growth, a proper vitamin and mineral supplementation will also support lactating doe’s as well as bucks growing antlers. A healthier and stronger deer can better fight off disease, harsh weather, and predators.
“I am so passionate about whitetail deer hunting that I moved from New Jersey to Southern Iowa just so I could grow and hunt bigger deer,” says Randy Ferman, owner of Extreme Hunting Solutions, the company behind many innovative deer hunting products suited specifically for hunters and whitetail deer.
“Hunters and fishers are the two most gullible outdoor groups and I was tired of getting smoke and mirror products instead of products that do what they say they do, so I decided to do it myself,” Ferman says.
1 – Feed Mineral Supplements
Where allowed by state law (check your regulations), mineral supplements can really make a giant difference in deer health. Mineral supplements can be misleading and Ferman quickly points out the difference between “ingredients” and “guaranteed analysis.” Guaranteed analysis means that the percentages of nutrients stated are the minimum that are in the product, whereas with Ingredients you don’t know how much are in the product. A pinch of selenium means it’s in there, but how much? One crushed acorn means the bag contains “acorn.” One of the most important things a hunter needs to know is a deer can only absorb 34%-40% sodium (salt), “so any more than that is used as filler which leaves less room for the important nutrients.”
Ferman says. “We lowered our salt content to 13% which leaves more room for the important vitamins and minerals that contribute to growing larger racks and helping the total health of the deer herd. We also addressed the way a deer’s system absorbs vitamins and minerals. Human blood pressure medicines use a vasodilator to open up “enlarge” the blood vessels and arteries for better absorption of all nutrients. Our minerals use the same principle. This process increases blood flow and distributes the nutrients throughout the deer’s body faster and allows for better absorption. I have been managing my farm for the last four years with this method and we are getting bucks with bigger bases and significantly more mass.”
Mineral supplements should be fed year round, yet it’s not too late to give local antlers a boost and help lactating does boost their health. Ferman is proud of his formula and its packaging which allows hunters to make informed decisions. Big Buck Mineral Formula from Extreme Hunting Solutions lists the guaranteed analysis of 16 vitamins and minerals. Additionally these minerals include Vasodilator technology, which is worth repeating, has the effect of enlarging blood vessels and arteries which allows for maximum absorption of all ingested vitamins and minerals. The deer will hit it hard and Ferman recommends having at least two sites per 100 acres, 40 pounds per spot and refill as needed.
2 – Establish a Mineral Site
A mineral site not only boosts the health of your deer, but attracts them to specific locations where they can be imaged with trail cameras. This way you can evaluate the growth of emerging antlers, check for fawn mortality, and get an overall snapshot of deer health. By late summer, if you are seeing adult does with one or no fawns, you may have a predator problem as most mature females produce twin offspring.
Before selecting a mineral site, consider the prevailing wind direction, approach routes, and deer traffic just as you would when hanging a deer stand. Avoid field edges and wide open woodlots as these locations are most likely visited at night. A concealed, brushy area between bedding and feeding area will allow wary bucks to sneak in and access the minerals more frequently.
When placing your trail cameras, be sure that you have the correct angle so that you don’t get feet or antler tips. Ferman also invented The Wedge which takes the guesswork out of positioning cameras. Instead of using a twig that will roll and rot, these inexpensive wedges allow for precise camera aiming.
*It’s a good idea to protect your land, big bucks and healthy herd so intruders don’t reap the rewards of your efforts. Extreme Hunting Solutions also offer a “No Trespassing” sign with a camera clearly and boldly displayed on the sign to further deter poachers and trespassers.
3 – Choose an Appropriate Mineral Product for your Site
Depending on terrain, foliage, time of year, state regulations and so on, you’ll need to choose a product that works best for your situation.
Ferman likes to post a Big Buck Stick N Lick Deer Pop which screws into a tree or any wood surface above ground where wild turkeys won’t eat it. Their patented Weather Shield prevents water from dissolving the minerals giving you months of attraction and deer enrichment. “It takes a lot more to lick something than to eat something,” Ferman laughs. Additionally, these ultra portable mineral stations are ideal for placing nutrition in very remote locations and since they last for months you won’t have to worry about replenishing them as often.
If baiting is legal in your state, mix your corn or soybeans with Kandy Korn, which is like putting caramel on popcorn for children. Deer love it just as much and the aroma will draw them in from a distance. It’s also packed with protein which will keep your herd healthy.
With just minimal effort, you can have bigger bucks and a healthier herd this season and for many seasons to come. Check out Extreme Hunting Solutions here: https://www.extremehuntingsolutions.com/
Good luck in the upcoming season!