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hayesan
07-13-2013, 11:06 PM
I'm conducting an experiment over the next five weeks on using different minerals / attractants. See my blog and also please take my survey to indicate what product you prefer.

Thanks,

Andy

http://allthingswhitetail.com/atw-blog.html

soswine
07-14-2013, 07:24 PM
We use fine stock salt and cattle mineral at an approx 60/40 rate.

Native Hunter
07-14-2013, 07:31 PM
I hope you publish your findings in a thread. I've tried a lot of stuff that deer just seem to ignore. The one thing they wear out is the brown trace mineral blocks like from TS. Mostly salt, so not that beneficial in minerals, but highly attractive. I have had many pics of them biting the edge off the block.

I'm interested in hearing about the BB2 stuff.

bigbuckplotter
07-14-2013, 07:57 PM
I mix my own. I use :
1 part di calcium phosphate
2 parts trace mineral salt
1 part stock salt.

I mix up 15 lbs ate that rate till the deer have destroyed it. I then top the mineral site up adding a little more di calcium phosphate. I continue to do this until I have a full 2 parts of di calcium phosphate. It seems like o ce the deer find it they are hooked. In the spring I would have the same deer visit as many as 6 times per day. It works great.

hayesan
07-14-2013, 09:02 PM
I hope you publish your findings in a thread. I've tried a lot of stuff that deer just seem to ignore. The one thing they wear out is the brown trace mineral blocks like from TS. Mostly salt, so not that beneficial in minerals, but highly attractive. I have had many pics of them biting the edge off the block.

I'm interested in hearing about the BB2 stuff.

I'll post results on both this site and my blog. Right now the survey results to date on what products are preferred is as follows:

Lucky Buck 3 20%
Trophy Rock 7 47%
Big & J BB2 0 0%
Kraze 0 0%
Big Tine 0 0%
Antler King Mega Min. and Attr. 1 7%
BoneDmonium 0 0%
Buck Lunch 0 0%
Heartland W.I. Whitetail Antler Magic 0 0%
H.S. Gorge Attractant 0 0%
Massive Mineral Mix 0 0%
Primos Swamp Donkey 0 0%
Record Rack Mineral 0 0%
Imp. Whitetail 30-06 0 0%
BioLogic Biorock 1 7%
Other 3 20%
Total 15 100%

Thanks,

Andy
allthingswhitetail.com (http://www.allthingswhitetail.com)

dgallow
07-15-2013, 05:24 PM
Put elments in the soil.

Let the soil put elements in the plant.

Let plant diversity feed the deer healthily with no 'products' to buy!

yoderj@cox.net
07-15-2013, 05:48 PM
Put elments in the soil.

Let the soil put elements in the plant.

Let plant diversity feed the deer healthily with no 'products' to buy!

But Doug...That's not a magic bullet?...Can't I just buy something that will magically make my bucks monsters overnight? :rolleyes:

When an industry with a market as large as the mineral supplement industry can't produce a single peer reviewed study demonstrating any health benefit to free ranging deer herd or increase in antler size in free ranging bucks, the word "theater" can be substituted for "experiment".

Just one man's opinion...
...

hayesan
07-15-2013, 07:21 PM
Put elments in the soil.

Let the soil put elements in the plant.

Let plant diversity feed the deer healthily with no 'products' to buy!

I understand the viewpoint you are expression within your text.....please clarify the point of your title.

Thanks,

Andy
allthingswhitetail.com (http://www.allthingswhitetail.com)

gstrom99
07-15-2013, 10:26 PM
Trophy Rock for me. There is now a small pond where the rocks have been. When gone, they're eating the dirt. Last one I put out lasted two weeks. They must be REAL popular, 'cuz when I went to buy more Cabelas and Bass Pro were out, Gander Mtn "could order it" :rolleyes: and I bought the last one (half size) at TSC. I ordered some in to Bas Pro, so I'm good for awhile. I can't/don't hunt over any attractant. They sure love 'em.

yoderj@cox.net
07-15-2013, 10:44 PM
I understand the viewpoint you are expression within your text.....please clarify the point of your title.

Thanks,

Andy
allthingswhitetail.com (http://www.allthingswhitetail.com)

We have found not peer review studies that demonstrate any benefit from mineral supplements for herd health or antler size in free ranging deer. The primary reason is that deer get the minerals they need from the very wide variety of plant life they eat. Different plants have differing abilities to extract different minerals from the soil. While there may be a few individual animals with deficiencies either genetic or disease related, you don't find that with herds below the carrying capacity of the land.

The best bang for your buck for minerals is to do a soil test on your food plots. Apply minerals, primarily N-P-K, followed by whatever trace minerals your soil tests show are needed for your specific crop. Understand the soil and use practices that promote healthy soils. Your crops will be the delivery system for your minerals. In addition to the minerals, they will get the benefit of the protein, carbs, and other nutrients provided by the crop.

In addition, this avoids the potential disease vector risks associated with point source supplements.

I'm not speaking for Doug here. This is my take on minerals. Most folks have heard it before.

Don Higgins
07-15-2013, 10:56 PM
Are you testing for attractiveness to bring deer in to a trail camera or treetstand, or are you testing for what is best for the deer? Some products on your list are mostly salt and pretty much worthless unless you just want to draw deer into them. One of the better mineral products on the market to deer hunters is not on your list - Monster Raxx. It has a pretty good calcium to phosphorus ratio and is not salt heavy.

hayesan
07-16-2013, 12:12 AM
Don - As so many have pointed out, I don't have a scientific method for determining what is best for deer. Hopefully my blog spelled that out, but I'll have to go back and check the details. Therefore, I'm focusing at this point on what is the best attractant to the mineral site (not tree stand), thus the various varieties (products with corn, salt based, etc). My survey list of products preferred is much longer than the products I plan to test this year.

I've read about Moster Raxx and specifically your personal testimony about that product. I would like to try it at some point, but don't know where I can pick it up locally (no distributors listed on their website). Maybe you could give them that constructive feedback to improve product availability on my local market?

Although it was not listed on my blog survey, I do have Monster Raxx link now on my site for others to easily get to and read your testimonial. Hopefully that fact doesn't offend some of my fans. Click on the link below and see Monster Maxx listed along the left column under "Minerals / Supplements / Attractants".

http://allthingswhitetail.com/plot--herd-mgt-links.html

Disclaimer: By listing this link to Monster Maxx, I by no means endorse Monster Maxx or gain any benefit by others purchasing this product. If you visit my web page, click on the Monster Maxx link and purchase their product, you do so at your own risk.
http://www.qdma.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

Thanks,

Andy

Don Higgins
07-16-2013, 11:38 AM
Don - As so many have pointed out, I don't have a scientific method for determining what is best for deer. Hopefully my blog spelled that out, but I'll have to go back and check the details. Therefore, I'm focusing at this point on what is the best attractant to the mineral site (not tree stand), thus the various varieties (products with corn, salt based, etc). My survey list of products preferred is much longer than the products I plan to test this year.

I've read about Moster Raxx and specifically your personal testimony about that product. I would like to try it at some point, but don't know where I can pick it up locally (no distributors listed on their website). Maybe you could give them that constructive feedback to improve product availability on my local market?

Although it was not listed on my blog survey, I do have Monster Raxx link now on my site for others to easily get to and read your testimonial. Hopefully that fact doesn't offend some of my fans. Click on the link below and see Monster Maxx listed along the left column under "Minerals / Supplements / Attractants".

http://allthingswhitetail.com/plot--herd-mgt-links.html

Disclaimer: By listing this link to Monster Maxx, I by no means endorse Monster Maxx or gain any benefit by others purchasing this product. If you visit my web page, click on the Monster Maxx link and purchase their product, you do so at your own risk.
http://www.qdma.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

Thanks,

Andy

Andy, I have not looked at the labels of all the minerals you have listed so I cant speak for everything. I just know that Monster Raxx has a lot better blend of what deer actually "need" than simply a bunch of salt with a little bit of other things as many products are.

I also want to say that I just spent some time on your website and it is a great resource for all of us whitetail land managers. I have it marked for future reference. Thank you for including our tree business as well as Real World Wildlife Seed on your links. It is greatly appreciated. Please let us know if you wish to do any side by side seed tests. We will get you the Real World seed and only expect that you provide honest feedback. Thanks again!:)

dgallow
07-16-2013, 01:41 PM
I understand the viewpoint you are expression within your text.....please clarify the point of your title.

Thanks,

Andy
allthingswhitetail.com (http://www.allthingswhitetail.com)

No clue andy...probably a cut and paste from another simultaneous message. My point....is to look not only the soil but the plant analysis and what the animal requires??...consider what the soils were like 200-500 yrs ago (past mgmt history) and what elements were depleted in the process...then look at the plant diversity/consumption/animal health/condition....to gauge 'avaiable mineral status'.

We have found not peer review studies that demonstrate any benefit from mineral supplements for herd health or antler size in free ranging deer. The primary reason is that deer get the minerals they need from the very wide variety of plant life they eat. Different plants have differing abilities to extract different minerals from the soil. While there may be a few individual animals with deficiencies either genetic or disease related, you don't find that with herds below the carrying capacity of the land.

Correct Jack....the science in no way applies nor characterizes 'livestock or free-ranging ungulate' performance given a diverse plant diet...and it never will IMPO! Why? because the science can only work with and 'measure' a one plant system (monoculture) at a time and the resulting animal response. Meanwhile in the diverse plant system, each animal consumes and tastes plants daily while receiving immediate feedback from what was just consumed....then the animal applies 'past experience' to "pick and choose choose" the next plant to eat. The animal is a hell of a lot better at balancing it's own daily diet via "pick and choose" for long term health/productivity than any ruminant nutritionist could ever dream of doing.

In native lands, I don't worry about soil nutrients.....just burn and thin cull hardwood trees to recycle nutrients....the ground level diverse plant community will uptake those nutrients via diverse rooting systems at different amounts/rates and cycle them much faster than the trees.....the deer "pick and choose" it's diet daily and in a natural manner (balancing nutrient and toxin intakes).

Good soil under tame pasture (or some deer plots) gets amended with appropriate Ca products (Ca and/or Mg), broiler litter ( a decently balanced wide array of soil nutrients), some synthetic fertilizer and feed grade trace element sulfates as needed to balance the soil nutrition. We don't control weeds or brush very often so plant diversity is optimized. The cow and deer take care of themselves daily by "picking and choosing"....healthily under the least stress we can afford them. If we need more plant diversity, then we drill the seed in a timely manner. Environmental changes will bring change in the weed community..,Nature naturally balances the plant community given the opportunity!

Some mineral supplements are fine IMO! Each area will have 1 or more micro-micro elements (say Co, I, Se etc) which can at any time become limiting. The animal needs very little of these and they will again balance intake on their own accord (nutrients vs toxins) via the "pick and choose". There is no real need to 'measure' that, just use some damn common sense! Over millions of years of soil erosion where do the elements not stored by plants wind up? Doh....the damn ocean.....the Big Blue....the water is salty because of the salts which eroded from earth have no further place to go...no more leaching...rocket science isn't it! Na and Cl leave the soil quite easily, so DOH....it's salt water with trace levels of all earth elements!

Logically....simplistically...doesn't it make the most sense to use a mineral supplement of 'oceanic origin'? Move elements judiciously back to earth? Redmond Minerals....old silty sea salt deposit in UTAH USA....make any sense?

Jack....and interesting quote came across the desk-top today..."the best way to think about technology is that it is most successful when it minimizes the required knowledge to do something". I cannot think of a better way of making technology easier than by simply watching/observing/reacting to the diverse plant/animal system as it cycles!

ON PURPOSE....Jack...."pick and choose" was highlighted numerous times in this post for a very good reason.....let's see if the 'build a lick in a bag club' actually produce enough juice to light the bulb! :D

yoderj@cox.net
07-16-2013, 02:08 PM
Doug,

I keep hearing "you can't construct a mineral supplement experiment with free ranging deer". If you have the money that goes into the mineral supplement industry, of course you can.

1) Tranquilize tag and collar a significant number of deer (taking data as you do it).

2) Fit half with dummy collars and the other half with invisible fence collars.

3) Put your mineral lick inside an invisible fence to discourage use by 1/2 the deer.

4) Install black flash camera to monitor use by the remaining deer.

5) At the end, kill them all and extract necropsy data.

6) Post the data on health and antler size from both groups.

Any money the industry spent on this would come back 100 fold in increase sales if the study results showed a significant improvement in the supplemented deer.

You have to ask yourself, why with so much to gain would an industry continue to promote livestock studies instead? Hummm....

I've got no real issue with guys using them, but when it comes to how to get the most herd benefit from limited resources, there are much better ways to spend your money in my opinion.

Thanks,

Jack

hayesan
07-16-2013, 08:04 PM
I appreciate your feedback and hope you understand why I bristled up like a 4.5 year old buck protecting a doe in early Nov. You both have solid points. I'll make sure I qualify future blogs better. All I ask is that when I don't, you kindly let me know.

Thanks,

Andy

Turkeyhunter
07-16-2013, 10:12 PM
Its taken me 4 years to get good mineral sites estabished on our property, now deer visit them daily. Good Luck, great site.

crimson n camo
07-16-2013, 10:49 PM
I've had a really hard time getting deer to use minerals at my house even though there are plenty of deer around. This year however, they've finally starting using one lick like I see other people's being used. Just a guess but I think it may be due to all the rainfall that we've gotten. I think it was BSK that said that deer increase their intake of salt during wetter periods because of the increased moisture in the plants. They use the salt to help get rid of excess fluid. Correct?

dgallow
07-17-2013, 12:36 AM
Who decides what the deer 'really needs'?

How are mineral supplements which the deer 'really need' formulated?

Until humans grow antlers or give birth to fawns neither question can be answered honestly/truly/justly! ;)

Jack Terpack
07-17-2013, 01:56 AM
I have had no response from my local deer to mineral licks of any kind. Over the years, about 25, that I have owned this property I have been running trail cameras almost continuously. The only thing I do now is provide a small amount of protein in the form of Deer Chow. Even that took a while for the deer to accept it.

At first, the deer in this area seemed awful small. Does and fawns looked like runts to me. I came from Western PA. Racks were very scrawny and many were broken apart by sparring.

After about 5 years of constantly providing the protein, I began to notice that my deer appeared to be healthier looking. Racks began to have more mass and were larger.

Then, for about 3 years, I could not do my daily routine of replenishing the coffee can of protein. I quickly noticed a decline in the appearance of the deer. Especially the fawns. I came to the conclusion, might be flawed on my part, that supplementing the diet of the fawns and the pregnant does was more important to the overall herd condition.

All this is very unscientific. It is MY observations. The soil in this area is known for being very poor and I think that is the reason the deer seem stunted. Just 4 miles away, my friend has property which he hunts and his deer consistently are 35 to 50 pounds lighter than any deer harvested on the home front.

I have tried many of the mineral supplements, and have found no value in any of them. At least the Trophy Rocks were used slightly the first time I put them out. I don't bother any more.

yoderj@cox.net
07-17-2013, 08:45 AM
Who decides what the deer 'really needs'?

How are mineral supplements which the deer 'really need' formulated?

Until humans grow antlers or give birth to fawns neither question can be answered honestly/truly/justly! ;)

Actually, I don't think it is that hard to tell what deer as a species need. You simply deprive them of it and watch the effect. This is fairly easy when you can control diet.

The problem is two-fold. Just because deer need a specific vitamin or mineral (just like humans) many folks assume more is better. That is not true. When a body gets an excess, we usually have some very expensive urine. In some cases, a certain levels, it can become toxic.

One can think of minerals like engine oil. It doesn’t fuel your car, but it won't run long without any. A little too much may not hurt, but doesn't help. Significantly too much can be a problem.

Nature has a way of achieving the right levels. The system is elastic. The body can restrict certain functions to make minerals more available for other more important functions at certain times. Nature also has a way of providing the foods with appropriate levels of specific minerals and the animal and instinct to seek out such foods when they are needed.

The real question becomes, when do levels of specific minerals in free ranging deer become a limiting factor in their health or in reaching their potential. The answer is just about never. Unless there is something wrong with your car, you will always run out of gas before you run out of oil. With deer, each time they stop for gas (food) they top of the oil if needed (minerals).

You always have a few cars with oil leaks and you will always have some deer (and humans) with either genetic or disease related vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Maybe mineral supplements help a few individual in a herd but do nothing for the herd. Whether they even help individuals is in question. In many cases, a particular vitamin or mineral cannot even be used or absorbed by itself and is only made available to the body in combination with others.

It is one thing to manipulate the habitat on a macro level providing more or better gas. It is quite another to try to control deer on a micro level.

My old boss had an expression that comes to mind when I think of mineral supplements: "Polishing turds". You can polish it all you want but in the end, it is still a turd.

SteveBartylla
07-17-2013, 02:16 PM
I was telling Dgallow about a natural mineral site I found on one of my properties and couldn't figure out how to attach it to a PM. So, I'll just post it here...It's 100% natural, nothing added. I put the young man in the pic to show how deep it is. The basketball sized holes in the back are from deer pawing to get at the minerals in the soils. I suspect deer have been working this spot since before I was born. Unless the area is developed, I suspect they'll continue using it well after I'm gone.

yoderj@cox.net
07-17-2013, 02:27 PM
Steve,

My guess is that there is only one mineral there that deer are pawing for...salt. Not saying there aren't others there, just that salt is generally present when you see deer pawing in soil.

That is sure a pretty picture and there are many places where natural mineral licks occur.

Jack

SteveBartylla
07-17-2013, 02:36 PM
Steve,

My guess is that there is only one mineral there that deer are pawing for...salt. Not saying there aren't others there, just that salt is generally present when you see deer pawing in soil.

That is sure a pretty picture and there are many places where natural mineral licks occur.

Jack

I've seen a decent number over the years, just never found one myself that was as big as that.

One thing I was surprised at is there used to be an active oil lease on this property. When it was active, the deer actually licked the oil seepages around the pumps. That surprised me.

Don Higgins
07-17-2013, 04:43 PM
Who decides what the deer 'really needs'?

How are mineral supplements which the deer 'really need' formulated?

Until humans grow antlers or give birth to fawns neither question can be answered honestly/truly/justly! ;)

Research has shown that deer perform best when calcium and phosphorus is in a 2-1 ratio. The same is true of a dairy cow; many livestock feed companies make a "2-1 dairy mineral" mix which simply means that the calcium and phosphorus is in a 2-1 ratio. Many years ago I read a research paper by a noted whitetail biologist (I wish I could remember which one as I would like to give them credit) who stated that when feeding deer think in terms of feeding a dairy cow. They need a very similar diet, including their mineral needs.

I always look at the calcium phosphorus ratios when looking at minerals marketed to deer hunters and very seldom do any of them come close to a 2-1 ratio of calcium - phosphorus. I am amazed when deer hunters swear that "brand x" mineral grows bigger bucks on their property and the mineral they tout has an extremely high percentage of salt and is missing phosphorus altogether. In fact, two of the most popular minerals marketed to deer hunters have terrible analysis's .... and yet hunters buy pallets of those buckets and boulders! :rolleyes: ;)

yoderj@cox.net
07-17-2013, 05:40 PM
Research has shown that deer perform best when calcium and phosphorus is in a 2-1 ratio. The same is true of a dairy cow; many livestock feed companies make a "2-1 dairy mineral" mix which simply means that the calcium and phosphorus is in a 2-1 ratio. Many years ago I read a research paper by a noted whitetail biologist (I wish I could remember which one as I would like to give them credit) who stated that when feeding deer think in terms of feeding a dairy cow. They need a very similar diet, including their mineral needs.

I always look at the calcium phosphorus ratios when looking at minerals marketed to deer hunters and very seldom do any of them come close to a 2-1 ratio of calcium - phosphorus. I am amazed when deer hunters swear that "brand x" mineral grows bigger bucks on their property and the mineral they tout has an extremely high percentage of salt and is missing phosphorus altogether. In fact, two of the most popular minerals marketed to deer hunters have terrible analysis's .... and yet hunters buy pallets of those buckets and boulders! :rolleyes: ;)

The problem with that is that all those studies are done on penned animals with controlled diets. The extrapolation to mineral supplements for free ranging deer is meaningless.

For example, let's say a deer does best when it ingests a 2-1 ratio. Given that deer get both calcium and phosphorus from all the plants they eat in a free ranging environment, what ratio should a mineral supplement have to achieve a 2-1 ratio? Is more better?

Using penned animal studies to tout mineral supplementation for free ranging deer is like saying: "I've proven humans need water and without it they will die” Therefore: "If I drop a human in the middle of the ocean he will thrive!"

The question isn't "What do deer need?" The question is "What do deer need beyond what they already get?"

SteveBartylla
07-17-2013, 06:15 PM
The question isn't "What do deer need?" The question is "What do deer need beyond what they already get?"

Agreed, but that's impossible to quantify for most people from one free range property to the next. Because of that, doesn't it make sense to provide a mineral/vitamin supplement that offers a bit of everything they could use/possibly need? Conversely, if one does, doesn't it stand to reason that the deer will benefit from this?

forgive me for playing devil's advocate here. Frankly, I try to mostly steer clear of mineral/vitamin supplement debates, as I believe that the overwhelming majority of those on the market are merely geared to draw deer, not to improve their health in any way, despite their marketing claims to the contrary. It also bugs me to no end that some whom I otherwise respect happily take marketing dollars to promote some of the very worst of these products as helping deer, when they know full well that nothing good comes from salt contents in that high a dosage.

bigbuckplotter
07-17-2013, 08:09 PM
[QUOTE=SteveBartylla;610645]Agreed, but that's impossible to quantify for most people from one free range property to the next. Because of that, doesn't it make sense to provide a mineral/vitamin supplement that offers a bit of everything they could use/possibly need? Conversely, if one does, doesn't it stand to reason that the deer will benefit from this?
[QUOTE]

From my experience on my property I notice the deer use the mineral hard in the winter. Once the spring growth starts they tend to stay away from it. Come mid summer when fresh new growth begins to get harder to find the deer once again start to visit the mineral. Knowing this I would say the plants at full green up provide all the necessary minerals the deer need to grow and be healthy. By providing them with minerals it gives them a chance to supplement when they feel it is necessary. That's why I prefer to make my own mineral mix. I lower the amount of attractant (salt) and use more of the not so great tasting minerals.
My 0.02

yoderj@cox.net
07-17-2013, 09:51 PM
Agreed, but that's impossible to quantify for most people from one free range property to the next. Because of that, doesn't it make sense to provide a mineral/vitamin supplement that offers a bit of everything they could use/possibly need? Conversely, if one does, doesn't it stand to reason that the deer will benefit from this?

forgive me for playing devil's advocate here. Frankly, I try to mostly steer clear of mineral/vitamin supplement debates, as I believe that the overwhelming majority of those on the market are merely geared to draw deer, not to improve their health in any way, despite their marketing claims to the contrary. It also bugs me to no end that some whom I otherwise respect happily take marketing dollars to promote some of the very worst of these products as helping deer, when they know full well that nothing good comes from salt contents in that high a dosage.

I think the answer is yes! It makes perfect sense to try things that might work with no scientific data to support it if you have an unlimited budget. For those of us doing QDM on a limited budget, it is important to apply the limited funds efficiently. I doubt that many of us have implemented all the things that have sound evidence behind them. However, once you've done that, experimenting with things that we think might work is reasonable.

Actually, I think salt is the key. Since I don't believe there is any health or antler growth benefit for the herd (except perhaps for a few animals that might have a genetic or disease related deficiency), using salt provides the attractant effect and can be had for almost nothing if that is what you want to do.

If you want to see how much your deer need mineral supplements, try putting some out with zero salt content and document how much use it gets.

By the way, I see playing devil's advocate as a good thing. Keep it up. The best way for me to learn is to express a point of view based on what I've learned and have others come at it from a different direction and challenge it. I've changed my mind on quite a few topics this way.

foodplotdude
07-17-2013, 10:49 PM
I cannot say that with the tons of mineral I have put out over the years has boosted the antler size or health of deer that ingest it. But I cannot prove that it does not work either and I last I heard that was QDMA's stance on it too.

For many, many years I have heard biologists tell us that "A buck will make its biggest jump in antler size from year 3 to year 4." And that is because the first 3 years of its life, minerals ingested(from all sources) are used to build its skeletal system. The skeletal system remains the same from this point until it dies. No need to mention any names but I had dinner with 3 of the top wildlife biologists 6 years ago at the QDMA National Convention and all agreed on this "time line." We had a very thorough conversation about minerals and all said, prove they dont work!

So if deer are pulling in minerals by ingesting plants what makes us think the minerals we offer them(whether in food or in a hole) are not helpful?? Is there any proof they are merely processed and out their back door without any benefit at all?

I would like to think that when they ingest the high trace minerals I provide in my own deer feed and my mineral holes are doing something. But if that something is purely putting every buck on my farm in front of my cameras 24/7 all summer so I dont have to trod all over the place looking for them...... I will take it!

Proving they dont work is going to be harder to prove than they do work.

Just my opinions........

qdmstudent
07-17-2013, 11:10 PM
I always find these discussions on mineral supplementation entertaining. The debate is not whether mineral supplementation works or not - of course it works!! Multiple studies in penned populations show it does. The real question is whether mineral supplementation works for free-range whitetails. I realize many people have made this distinction in their posts, however I think it needs to be clarified that obviously mineral supplementation works. Now, as to the question of whether it works on your property, for the deer YOU hunt, the answer (most likely) is yes. However.... can this benefit be measured?? Answer that and you can retire. The issue is a matter of how a study of supplements for free range animals would need to be powered - my guess is that you would have to have a huge sample size to uncover what is likely a small POPULATION benefit.

But I'm not hunting a population. I hunt a very few select mature bucks each season. If any of these bucks spends 50% of their time on my property however (as many old homebody bucks will) then yes, they likely are deriving benefit from a supplementation program. Measuring this benefit in an individual deer is impossible of course. Ultimately, there are many things which are far more important to manage than minerals when it comes to antler size - Age being by far the most important

Don Higgins
07-17-2013, 11:27 PM
The problem with that is that all those studies are done on penned animals with controlled diets. The extrapolation to mineral supplements for free ranging deer is meaningless.

For example, let's say a deer does best when it ingests a 2-1 ratio. Given that deer get both calcium and phosphorus from all the plants they eat in a free ranging environment, what ratio should a mineral supplement have to achieve a 2-1 ratio? Is more better?

Using penned animal studies to tout mineral supplementation for free ranging deer is like saying: "I've proven humans need water and without it they will die” Therefore: "If I drop a human in the middle of the ocean he will thrive!"

The question isn't "What do deer need?" The question is "What do deer need beyond what they already get?"

Deer, just like livestock, crave the nutrients that they lack/need and thus consume them. If a dairy cow is lacking mineral in her diet she walks over to the mineral block and licks up what she craves, same with a deer if the mineral is available to do so. A whitetail deer is a whitetail deer no matter which side of the fence it is on.

dgallow
07-18-2013, 01:27 AM
Research has shown that deer perform best when calcium and phosphorus is in a 2-1 ratio. The same is true of a dairy cow; many livestock feed companies make a "2-1 dairy mineral" mix which simply means that the calcium and phosphorus is in a 2-1 ratio. Many years ago I read a research paper by a noted whitetail biologist (I wish I could remember which one as I would like to give them credit) who stated that when feeding deer think in terms of feeding a dairy cow. They need a very similar diet, including their mineral needs.

I always look at the calcium phosphorus ratios when looking at minerals marketed to deer hunters and very seldom do any of them come close to a 2-1 ratio of calcium - phosphorus. I am amazed when deer hunters swear that "brand x" mineral grows bigger bucks on their property and the mineral they tout has an extremely high percentage of salt and is missing phosphorus altogether. In fact, two of the most popular minerals marketed to deer hunters have terrible analysis's .... and yet hunters buy pallets of those buckets and boulders! :rolleyes: ;)

So the researchers know more about what is better for the deer than the deer knows what is better for itself? And this means the free ranging animal will consume freely 2:1? BS

Ca and P remain relatively static in the body fluids...if you think about long term animal health and longevity it makes sense. Supplies for each element are derived from either feed digestion or bone mineralization. All under endocrine control and tissue nutrient demand....it goes back to that feed back thing mentioned earlier. It doesn't matter what is fed unless the animal is CONFINED with FEW CHOICES!
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6133674

When you confine an animal there is no way to mimic the diet offered by a diverse plant community and the animal opportunity to select a diet on his own accord is nullified....the opportunity for the animal to determine the balance of production vs longevity vs health is upset. Man 'pre-programs' animal production in confinement which is not a natural event the animal will chose....animals optimize production not maximize production given the goal of longevity and health...environment quality (native + ag) overall is the ceiling over production. Thus, animal requirements from penned animals are meaningless for the free-ranging animal given a diverse diet! IF you want to read applicable research IMO, then read Fred Provenza....he has done more research in diet/plant selection than anyone in the US....some deer/elk studies. Here is an example to show how sheep can choose among Ca, P and Na to balance their needs...again the animal makes it's best choice not the manager....I don't think sheep would upset C P balance to that degree in nature...man did that for the study!
http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/86/3/738.full.pdf

The clover and beans we grow contain 2:1 Ca:P (posted here before 2012) and Osage Orange leaves contain 4.5% Ca per Noble Foundation (it is thought deer consume these late summer to replenish Ca P Mg immobilized from bone earlier in summer). Wild deer eat so many things figuring out 'true balance' is impossible.

So I don't need a mineral supplement...true? Correct, because accepting soil pH as myth allows us to put proper Ca, P, etc in the soil and have that mineralology manifest in the plant....plants differ in mineral uptake....when plant diversity is high both deer and cattle balance their diet...we don't have to do that for them...they do an excellent job by themselves. That has been an extreme hurdle for me to overcome given my background.

Don, I have been a ruminant nutritionist for 25 years....working both in research and private commercial herds....been down many paths. You are still in diapers with the thought process of transferring research to free-range...it is honestly a waste of time to do so. You obviously didn't learn to 'watch the cow, the manure pile, and the forage' put the science aside and manage a beef cow herd naturally via diverse grazing. There is a very big difference between 'pick and choose' free-range and confined animals/feeding! If I can afford any advice after 25 yrs in this science....I will tell you as I do many cattle producers 'off official record'...forget the science as it sells a lot of snake-oil. Watch the animal, the manure pile, the forage base and make the management decision! Deer turds will present a challenge but I'll bet it can be done!

Don Higgins
07-18-2013, 08:35 AM
So the researchers know more about what is better for the deer than the deer knows what is better for itself? And this means the free ranging animal will consume freely 2:1? BS

Ca and P remain relatively static in the body fluids...if you think about long term animal health and longevity it makes sense. Supplies for each element are derived from either feed digestion or bone mineralization. All under endocrine control and tissue nutrient demand....it goes back to that feed back thing mentioned earlier. It doesn't matter what is fed unless the animal is CONFINED with FEW CHOICES!
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6133674

When you confine an animal there is no way to mimic the diet offered by a diverse plant community and the animal opportunity to select a diet on his own accord is nullified....the opportunity for the animal to determine the balance of production vs longevity vs health is upset. Man 'pre-programs' animal production in confinement which is not a natural event the animal will chose....animals optimize production not maximize production given the goal of longevity and health...environment quality (native + ag) overall is the ceiling over production. Thus, animal requirements from penned animals are meaningless for the free-ranging animal given a diverse diet! IF you want to read applicable research IMO, then read Fred Provenza....he has done more research in diet/plant selection than anyone in the US....some deer/elk studies. Here is an example to show how sheep can choose among Ca, P and Na to balance their needs...again the animal makes it's best choice not the manager....I don't think sheep would upset C P balance to that degree in nature...man did that for the study!
http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/86/3/738.full.pdf

The clover and beans we grow contain 2:1 Ca:P (posted here before 2012) and Osage Orange leaves contain 4.5% Ca per Noble Foundation (it is thought deer consume these late summer to replenish Ca P Mg immobilized from bone earlier in summer). Wild deer eat so many things figuring out 'true balance' is impossible.

So I don't need a mineral supplement...true? Correct, because accepting soil pH as myth allows us to put proper Ca, P, etc in the soil and have that mineralology manifest in the plant....plants differ in mineral uptake....when plant diversity is high both deer and cattle balance their diet...we don't have to do that for them...they do an excellent job by themselves. That has been an extreme hurdle for me to overcome given my background.

Don, I have been a ruminant nutritionist for 25 years....working both in research and private commercial herds....been down many paths. You are still in diapers with the thought process of transferring research to free-range...it is honestly a waste of time to do so. You obviously didn't learn to 'watch the cow, the manure pile, and the forage' put the science aside and manage a beef cow herd naturally via diverse grazing. There is a very big difference between 'pick and choose' free-range and confined animals/feeding! If I can afford any advice after 25 yrs in this science....I will tell you as I do many cattle producers 'off official record'...forget the science as it sells a lot of snake-oil. Watch the animal, the manure pile, the forage base and make the management decision! Deer turds will present a challenge but I'll bet it can be done!

yes Doug you are just awesome and your agenda very clear. Follow my every post and try to discredit everything I say or everything related to me. Nothing I post has any value and you know more about every aspect of every subject. You are an awesome asset to all of mankind.:rolleyes:

yoderj@cox.net
07-18-2013, 10:06 AM
Deer, just like livestock, crave the nutrients that they lack/need and thus consume them. If a dairy cow is lacking mineral in her diet she walks over to the mineral block and licks up what she craves, same with a deer if the mineral is available to do so. A whitetail deer is a whitetail deer no matter which side of the fence it is on.

If that is the case, market a mineral block with zero salt, not lower salt....See how much use it gets...Near zero!

Don Higgins
07-18-2013, 10:22 AM
If that is the case, market a mineral block with zero salt, not lower salt....See how much use it gets...Near zero!

using your logic, just use 100% salt and forget any minerals at all. :rolleyes:

yoderj@cox.net
07-18-2013, 12:19 PM
using your logic, just use 100% salt and forget any minerals at all. :rolleyes:

You are right! Most people use minerals for one of two reasons or a combination of both: Attraction and because they think they will produce bigger antlers or healthier deer.

I'm saying that if your objective is attraction, 100% salt works and is inexpensive. If you want to throw a few $ at some dical and trace to add to the salt, fine. It is very little cost and may benefit a few individual animals that are deficient due to a genetic or disease issue.

Paying significant money with the hope of larger antlers or a healthier herd to buy some magic commercial formula of minerals for deer when that money could likely be spent on proven aspects of QDM will hurt your overall results.

If you are contending that an animal will use a mineral block because it needs the minerals, remove the salt and see what happens. It won't be used. So either your hypothesis is wrong or they don't need the mineral supplementation.

I think that your hypothesis is correct. They will seek out what they need, but free ranging deer will do so through the plants they eat, not by licking a mineral block with no salt in it.

Don Higgins
07-18-2013, 01:45 PM
You are right! Most people use minerals for one of two reasons or a combination of both: Attraction and because they think they will produce bigger antlers or healthier deer.

I'm saying that if your objective is attraction, 100% salt works and is inexpensive. If you want to throw a few $ at some dical and trace to add to the salt, fine. It is very little cost and may benefit a few individual animals that are deficient due to a genetic or disease issue.

Paying significant money with the hope of larger antlers or a healthier herd to buy some magic commercial formula of minerals for deer when that money could likely be spent on proven aspects of QDM will hurt your overall results.

If you are contending that an animal will use a mineral block because it needs the minerals, remove the salt and see what happens. It won't be used. So either your hypothesis is wrong or they don't need the mineral supplementation.

I think that your hypothesis is correct. They will seek out what they need, but free ranging deer will do so through the plants they eat, not by licking a mineral block with no salt in it.

Your post is full of information that I agree with except for one exception - I am certain that deer (and probably most other wildlife) will seek out and consume minerals without salt. I will again refer back to my experiences with captive deer. A fawn will in fact consume dirt at a very early age, probably before consuming plant material, and if one is raised in a confined situation placing a pan of dirt with it is important for bowel health. I also suspect that some natural wildlife mineral licks contain little or no salt, although salt is certainly a major attractant and found in most licks.

yoderj@cox.net
07-18-2013, 06:53 PM
Your post is full of information that I agree with except for one exception - I am certain that deer (and probably most other wildlife) will seek out and consume minerals without salt. I will again refer back to my experiences with captive deer. A fawn will in fact consume dirt at a very early age, probably before consuming plant material, and if one is raised in a confined situation placing a pan of dirt with it is important for bowel health. I also suspect that some natural wildlife mineral licks contain little or no salt, although salt is certainly a major attractant and found in most licks.

Don,

Then you have found the perfect answer. Develop and market a mineral block with no salt or other attractant in it. If you are correct, deer will seek it out and get the mineral supplement they need...even if they need zero.

And by the way, I think you are right and deer will seek out what they need. I think you will find a few animals that are deficient due to genetic or disease conditions will use it. While the salt content at natural licks is probably far less than commercial licks, it is not likely zero is is like the primary attractant for healthy deer.

As far as fawns eating dirt, it likely has far more to do with establishing gut flora than mineral needs.

The Bottom Line:

Mineral supplement for free ranging deer is something that has not been established in the science and men of good conviction can argue both sides based on anecdotal evidence and extrapolation. My personal philosophy is put your money into what is backed by science first. If you have money left over after you've done everything else on your property, go ahead and try something you think might work.

Don Higgins
07-18-2013, 06:58 PM
Jack, I think we are pretty much on the same page in regards to mineral/salt.:)

hayesan
07-18-2013, 10:29 PM
Early in this thread someone requested that I post results on my blog (http://allthingswhitetail.com/atw-blog.html) and also here. Results are as follows to date:

Lucky Buck: 4 responses 13%
Trophy Rock 16 responses 52%
Big & J BB2 1 response 3%
Kraze 0 responses 0%
Big Tine 0 responses 0%
Antler King Mega Min. 1 response 3%
BoneDmonium 0 responses 0%
Buck Lunch 0 responses 0%
W.I. Whitetail Antler Magic 0 responses 0%
H.S. Gorge Attractant 0 responses 0%
Massive Mineral Mix 0 responses 0%
Primos Swamp Donkey 0 responses 0%
Record Rack Mineral 0 responses 0%
Imp. Whitetail 30-06 3 responses 10%
BioLogic Biorock 2 responses 6%
Other 4 responses 13%
Total 31 responses 100%

Regardless of the interesting discussions, ingredients of these various products and their ability to attract or benefit deer, the overriding majority of visitors to my site seem to prefer Trophy Rock.

hoyt63
07-18-2013, 10:35 PM
The Monster Raxx boyz arent gonna be happy..lol.

soswine
07-18-2013, 10:35 PM
Guess I will give my take...

Several folks posted about little to no use of mineral sites. Others, myself included see periods of heavy use. In part I agree with jack, the best use of funds would be geared toward improving soils and the resulting food grown there. Doug's point about pick and choose is spot on IMO though. It takes a bunch of time and money to significantly improve soil unless you are blessed to have great soil to start with. In the interim, I feel like salt/mineral licks definitely benefit our free ranging herd. If they didn't need or want what is available to them they won't use it as some have seen and where they do, they will visit until they no longer are drawn there. Does usage mean I am going to grow monster bucks, obviously not. But to say you can't help your local herds health, I think is short sighted. Considering I can mix up a couple hundred pounds for roughly $65 it seems kinda silly to not make it available if and when the deer decide they need a little shot.

MO Bowhunter
07-18-2013, 10:38 PM
I put out my first trophy rock a few days ago and had my first ever pics of a black bear this morning. Coincidence, I don't think so.:D

yoderj@cox.net
07-18-2013, 11:06 PM
Early in this thread someone requested that I post results on my blog (http://allthingswhitetail.com/atw-blog.html) and also here. Results are as follows to date:

Lucky Buck: 4 responses 13%
Trophy Rock 16 responses 52%
Big & J BB2 1 response 3%
Kraze 0 responses 0%
Big Tine 0 responses 0%
Antler King Mega Min. 1 response 3%
BoneDmonium 0 responses 0%
Buck Lunch 0 responses 0%
W.I. Whitetail Antler Magic 0 responses 0%
H.S. Gorge Attractant 0 responses 0%
Massive Mineral Mix 0 responses 0%
Primos Swamp Donkey 0 responses 0%
Record Rack Mineral 0 responses 0%
Imp. Whitetail 30-06 3 responses 10%
BioLogic Biorock 2 responses 6%
Other 4 responses 13%
Total 31 responses 100%

Regardless of the interesting discussions, ingredients of these various products and their ability to attract or benefit deer, the overriding majority of visitors to my site seem to prefer Trophy Rock.

You might want to look into statistical significance....

hayesan
07-18-2013, 11:09 PM
Results are as follows......TO DATE.:D

I realize I need more data. Hopefully more visit and respond.

yoderj@cox.net
07-18-2013, 11:13 PM
Results are as follows......TO DATE.:D

I realize I need more data. Hopefully more visit and respond.

Let us know if/when they become statistically significant...