With spring quickly approaching, we must switch our main focus from looking for last years antlers to growing this upcoming years antlers! We all must realize that our deer herds have just gone through a long drawn out winter full of harsh conditions and lack of mineral/nutrient intake. This mineral deficiency can have a negative impact on your number one hitlister or up-and-comer bucks. If these bucks need to focus on keeping their body healthy due to a mineral deficiency, the antlers are the first to go. This same biological process is seen in fish as they age or have a low nutrient diet. When age and/or nutrient reduction are seen, the body processes focus on motor function instead of overall growth.
This spring your deer are going to be searching for the minerals and nutrients they have lost since the previous year's rut. The bucks have been impacted the most due to an intense rut and harsh winter. Most individuals wait to start their mineral sites when antlers have already begun growing, and have developed 25% or more of their total growth. This is a BIG mistake! Your deer are going to need mineral and nutrients prior to growing their antlers if they are going to achieve an optimal growth level. In order to get them to this point, mineral sites should be maintained throughout the winter (minimal amounts typically needed) all the way through spring and the following hunting season. As winter begins to subside and spring shows its face, you will want to increase how much mineral you are putting out. These areas are going to be deer beacons as your herd will be wanting to obtain their essential nutrients/minerals needed for growth. Getting a kick start to the antler growing season will boost your bucks' antler potential.
Not only will your bucks benefit from having additional mineral available, but so will the does of your herd. Remember, without does there will be no bucks for the future. A healthy doe will produce healthy fawns, it's as simple as that. Keeping your does healthy with a source of mineral, especially the minerals/nutrients in the Monster Raxx blend, will help maintain a healthy deer herd all the way from your biggest buck down to the smallest fawn. So now that you know the importance of placing mineral all season long, the other mistake that you must not fall into is just buying any mineral off the shelf. Most minerals on the market are super high in sodium (salt). This mineral may be great for bringing deer into your DLC Covert Scouting Camera locations, but it is doing minimal for the health of your deer herd. Sodium is needed for normal blood flow as it interchanges with potassium in the blood stream. However, not a lot of sodium is needed for this process to work properly. The important minerals (as seen on Monster Raxx's ingredient label above) are calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus comprise of 35% of the total antler growth (Minerals for Whitetails by Brian Murphy QDMA). Now it is not a matter of minerals directly making antlers bigger, but it is that having a proper inflow of these minerals will make your deer herd healthier, thus allowing these bucks to focus on antler growth and less on body maintenance. This spring make sure not to miss this VERY important step of mineral placement. Remember this simple statement, "A healthy herd, is a trophy herd".