Ani-Logics Outdoors


whitetail-deer-at-mineral-site Knowing what time of year that deer will utilize mineral and feed sites can help you maximize their benefits by making them available to deer when they actually use them. So, when is that time exactly? The answer depends on several variables which include but are not limited to: the time of spring green-up, available food sources, rainfall (or lack thereof), and reproductive status of deer using them.

As a biologist, Im often asked “When should I put out my mineral?” I like to tell people that mineral usage typically tracks alongside the growing season. For example, in Minnesota, spring green-up usually occurs around mid-April and I tend to see the highest use of mineral sites from that time until about late-August. In southern states the green-up happens sooner, therefor mineral site utilization occurs earlier as well. To ensure that the mineral is available to deer when they use it the most, I like to have the mineral in place before green-up occurs but don’t worry if you get it out later. When I am starting a new site in Minnesota, I wait until the frost is out of the soil to establish it because I like to incorporate the mineral into the topsoil.

Another item important to the effectiveness of mineral sites is their longevity. The main factor in the longevity of your mineral site is the soil type. Sandy soils leach minerals very quickly and clay soils tend to hold minerals longer. If you live in an area with sandy soils, all is not lost. You can either add clay to the soil to help minerals bind or you can reapply minerals more often. On our research property in Nebraska, the soil is a clay loam and I replenish those sites about once every month using 1 bag of Mineral Dirt 180™. 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. If there hasn’t been rain in an area for an extended period, I sometimes freshen up a site using a 5-gallon bucket of water filled halfway just to keep the soil moist. I like to place minerals in areas where deer typically travel so they are not wasting energy in order to utilize a mineral site.

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In the late summer and early fall, deer are less reliant on green vegetation and they make the switch to grains and acorns as their main food source, which decreases mineral site usage. The best part about that time of year is that hunting season is underway or right around the corner, and that happens to be the best time of year to use our Braggin’ Rights Deer Attractants. A great aspect of our deer attractant is that it’s a fully fortified ration so that as mineral site usage declines, the attractant can step right in and your deer will stay healthy and well-fed. I put 2 bags of Braggin’ Rights® out in front of a trail camera which helps me inventory the herd and compile a list of shooter bucks.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>