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need advice on deer nutrition

Old 02-07-2015, 05:22 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default need advice on deer nutrition

so with my bucks starting to shed I figure its time to start thinking about some antler enhancing feed. Been searching the internet for the last hour but theres like a million companies with a million different products and different blends of minerals and nutrients. Are the all pretty much the same? What should I be feeding them to allow for best possible rack development?
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:15 PM
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Good quality feed will generally improve antler growth. A poorly nourished deer probably won't produce much of a rack. New antlers are mostly calcium. Make sure your deer get plenty of calcium in their diet.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:15 AM
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From waht I have gathered it is very difficult to "enhance" antler size unless the deer are kept under controlled conditions. Having said this, doesn't hurt to provide the deer with additional nutrition. One thing I have tried is creating a mineral lick area and keeping it loaded up. From info I got from several diffent ag university web sites I decided to mix table salt, dicalcium phosphate and high calcium "dairy" minerals. I mix these by weight at about 1 to 1 to 1, and put around 100# or so in the lick area 3-4 times an off season. Deer love the mix and it is a fraction of the cost of most commercial mix that promise massie antlers come fall.

If you are going to try a summer food plot, and it may be too far north for this crop to work, you might want to try Sunn Hemp. I was talked into trying it by a local county ag extension agent. I planted about 6 acres last summer. Deer love it, but could not browse it down because it grows rapidly and apparently I planted enough acreage to keep them from overwhelming the crop as they had done with the10-12 acres of iron clay peas, forage soy beans, etc. that I had tried off and on for many years. Look up the info. It might work up that way too.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:02 AM
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I use trophy rocks (which are very quickly destroyed). Where I hunt is surrounded by corn and bean fields so a food plot wont really do me any good. So I turn to minerals and salts to attract them and it does this very well. Between the trophy rock, deer cane products, and Record Rack (BioLogic) Golden Deer Nuggets, I usually don't have any trouble bringing them in and over the last 2-3 years I have noticed a lot of change/growth as to what I was seeing before I started adding to their diets! Give it a shot! fairly cheap route to go and still pretty successful for me!
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojotex View Post
From waht I have gathered it is very difficult to "enhance" antler size unless the deer are kept under controlled conditions.
i have been seeing really big Deer on camera since season ended. One walked out last night that looked like a damn horse through my binoculars even though it was almost dark and he was 600 yards out. They got that way without us taking a strict QDMA approach and spending tons of money of food plots and supplements. That being said if they got to be nice 8-10 pointers by 3.5 or even 2.5 then clearly the genes are there. I just want to give them a little extra boost that might make the difference between "Just another nice Deer" and "Holy **** that thing is going on my wall!"

Originally Posted by Outdoor Addiction View Post
I use trophy rocks (which are very quickly destroyed).
where do you usually put them? I have tried some cheaper blocks from my local hunting store just to see if they would work before buying nicer stuff. The deer never seemed to use them. I tried putting them on stumps like they packaging said. Tried raking out a spot and hoeing it a few inches deep like the packing said. Even just said hell with it and dumped 2 of them next to a corn pile. The things looked like they werent touched all season. I think they finally just washed away from rain because even after they were gone didnt look like a deer was hoofing at them.

Last edited by X_Rayted35; 02-17-2015 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by X_Rayted35 View Post
i have been seeing really big Deer on camera since season ended. One walked out last night that looked like a damn horse through my binoculars even though it was almost dark and he was 600 yards out. They got that way without us taking a strict QDMA approach and spending tons of money of food plots and supplements. That being said if they got to be nice 8-10 pointers by 3.5 or even 2.5 then clearly the genes are there. I just want to give them a little extra boost that might make the difference between "Just another nice Deer" and "Holy **** that thing is going on my wall!"



where do you usually put them? I have tried some cheaper blocks from my local hunting store just to see if they would work before buying nicer stuff. The deer never seemed to use them. I tried putting them on stumps like they packaging said. Tried raking out a spot and hoeing it a few inches deep like the packing said. Even just said hell with it and dumped 2 of them next to a corn pile. The things looked like they werent touched all season. I think they finally just washed away from rain because even after they were gone didnt look like a deer was hoofing at them.
I always clear a 4x4ish spot to the dirt and drop it there. Early spring to late summer is when I've found best to use them. I never do anything special with them just basically drop them in the dirt!
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:27 PM
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Checkout the new product developed by doctors that has studied and broken down what and how much antlers are made of. Been using it for couple years. I know the guys.

Originally Posted by X_Rayted35 View Post
so with my bucks starting to shed I figure its time to start thinking about some antler enhancing feed. Been searching the internet for the last hour but theres like a million companies with a million different products and different blends of minerals and nutrients. Are the all pretty much the same? What should I be feeding them to allow for best possible rack development?
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:22 AM
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Read the label on the "Trophy Rock" ..... the "Sea Salt" ... better known as NaCl (i.e plain white, table salt) content is between 91% and 95% of the weight of the "rock". The remainder are trace minerals, some as low as to have to be stated in ppm (parts per million) rather than percentage by weight because the amout is practically miniscule.

I am not knocking a product here. No doubt deer will come to the Rock and use it. I am of the opinion that there are better values. For about $.20/pound to $.25/pound (rather than $.00+/pound for the Rock) you can formulate a great mix that deer absoultely pound and is good for them ... 50# of trace mineral salt + 50# of di-calcium phosphate + 50# of high calcium content dairy cattle supplemental minerals. All of this is available at any decently stocked farm supply store.

I have used a mix identical or very similar to this for decades. I do not have photos avaiable to back up this result statement ... but trust me, deer in SE Alabama kill this mix. Some of the long time areas where I first started putting this out have been dug out so deeply that small deer will disapear in the pit that has been dug. On one hillside location, the deer have dug an "overhang" that is 3' or more deep into the hillside and 6'-8' in diameter.

put out aobut 1500-2000 pounds of this every off season on the 3150 acres where I hunt. I will not claim that one of the end results is "monster" racks. But for sure the deer are using these licks and getting some nitrition due to the calcium and phosphate that have been included. The NaCl is of very little nutritional value, but does serve to bring the deer to the lick. Use Trophy Rock if that's what you like to use, but for my money I'll stick with this mix.
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