Supplement a deer's diet with protein and minerals this spring and summer for maximum antler growth.
Deer antlers are amazing. Each year, they are cast off and the growing process starts all over again. By fall, they have matured into hardened masses, which denotes a buck’s maturity and social status. How do they do it?
The size of buck’s rack is dependent on age, genetics and diet. The easiest of those variables a deer manager can control is diet. To help bucks produce bigger racks this summer, provide them with protein and minerals in large quantities. This not only helps with antler growth during the spring and summer, but it also helps does that are raising fawns and the overall health of the deer herd.
Benefits of Supplements
While antlers are growing, they’re comprised mainly of calcium and phosphorous. There are lesser quantities present of potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Providing bucks with high levels of calcium and phosphorous can jumpstart antler growth. These minerals are beneficial for pregnant does, and aid in milk production, metabolism and bone growth. They’re also key to fawn and yearling skeletal development. A deer’s plant-rich diet in the summer means they’re well-hydrated, but are lacking sodium – another mineral that’s important to whitetail health.
Mineral and Supplement Types
Hunters have three forms of minerals available to them, which include liquid, granular and block. Liquid supplements seep into the soil quickly, but don’t last long. Blocks are longer lasting, though will start to wear down as they are exposed to rainfall. Granular supplements can be loaded into feeders, as well as mixed with corn. At the Banks family farm, we use granular mineral and protein blends of feed in our deer feeders during the offseason. We like to use a blend specifically formulated for antler development.
The Cutting Edge line of supplements from Whitetail Institute is great for using with a gravity-fed deer feeder. The three blends – Initiate, Optimize and Sustain – deliver the exact vitamins, minerals and protein the deer need during each phase of the antler growing season. Combine this with ease of maintaining deer feed sites when using a Banks Outdoors Feedbank, and implementing a mineral supplement program into your overall deer management plan is simple.
The beauty of a Feedbank is its well-contained poly-construction, which can handle any high-octane formula, whether it’s store-bought products or a homemade mineral/protein concoction. Also, with the design of the single post system, no legs extend past the feed ports. Bucks won’t hit or damage their antlers during the growing season.
If you hunt in a drought stricken area, our Wild Water system, which features a mineral additive and watering containers, will keep them hydrated while supplying them with nutrients. Providing deer with supplements is the best way to ensure they’re getting exactly the nutrition they need. By doing so, you’ll see healthier and bigger deer from your hunting blind this fall.