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Redmond Hunt Deer Mineral and Attractant Schedule 

Mineral supplementation is an important part of hunting and deer management practices–and so is following a deer mineral and attractant schedule. We want to provide deer with the minerals they need, when they need them, while also attracting deer to our mineral sites.  

But white-tail nutrition and mineral requirements are complex. They vary depending on season of the year, whether deer are male or female, a fawn, yearling, or adult. And the way deer use minerals also directly correlates to what vegetation they’re eating, what stage that vegetation is in, and the physiological phase deer are experiencing.  

Sounds complicated, right? It can be. The simpler question is, what Redmond supplements should you use at your mineral site through the four seasons to best serve your herd and hunting practices? 

We’ve broken it down by life phases white-tail experience, what forage they have available by season, and which Redmond Hunt product you should put out to fill in mineral gaps and follow a deer mineral and attractant schedule. Let’s dive in. 

Trophy Rock and Cherry Bomb deer mineral needs graph..Spring

Knowing what deer eat in spring helps you adjust your deer mineral and attractant schedule.

Spring is the most abundant season for white-tails, with a rich variety of lush green forage.

Spring is a time of recovery for white-tails both from the fall rut and the stresses of winter. It’s also a time when deer in all life phases are actively growing. This means their need for nutrition, including minerals, is high. 

Bucks are beginning to grow new antlers in spring, with racks adding as much as 3/4 of an inch per week for yearlings and 1 1/2 inches per week for adults during peak growth months of April, May, and June. (1) 

Does are also supporting fetuses and preparing for fawning season, with most fawns dropping sometime between late April and early July and a few as late as August.  

Available/Preferred Forage 

Spring is the most abundant season as far as variety and quantity of forage. White-tails’ first choice for food is elm twigs, clover and soybean leaves, and lush green forbs canvassing forest floors. Later in spring they’ll eat browse from blackberry shrubs, smooth sumac shrubs, and greenbrier vines.(2)  

Deer Mineral Supplementation 

Deer actively seek minerals in spring. They crave and require sodium as water content and potassium soars in succulent green vegetation. Bucks and does also need calcium and phosphorous to support antler and fetal growth, respectively, and for does to prepare for nursing. This is a great time of year to set up a mineral site to supplement your herd’s needs. 

Redmond Hunt product tip: Use Trophy Rock and/or Trophy Rock Four65 at your mineral site during spring. Both have 60+ essential minerals to cover every mineral deer require, but Trophy Rock comes in a solid rock and Four65 is crushed into loose pellets.  

Don’t have a mineral site set up yet?  No problem. Check out this article, How to Create a Successful Mineral Site, for five easy steps to establish one. 

Summer   

Soybean food plot for deer.

White-tails prefer forbs, native browse, corn and soybeans during summer.

Moving into the summer months, bucks are still growing antlers and will continue to until around mid-August. Once growth stops, racks begin to harden and velvet starts to dry.  

Most does have recovered from fawning by mid-summer and are now using much of their energy and nutrients to nurse new fawns. In fact, nursing does use and lose more nutrients and energy than any other class of deer. (3) 

Available/Preferred Forage 

Forbs and native browse are white-tails go-to forage during summer. This makes up nearly 70 percent of their diet. They also prefer agricultural or food plot crops like corn and soybeans over grasses.  

As summer wanes into August, lignin in plants increases, (2) making them stiff, woody, and less tasty. Vegetation also doesn’t have as much Brix, or sugar content, which deer crave. And soybean leaves, a staple during summer, has now dried and turned yellow and unappetizing. That means from late August to the first of October a lull occurs where deer aren’t finding quality vegetation unless you’ve planted specific food plots for them. 

Deer Mineral Supplementation 

Deer’s mineral demand is at its peak from June through mid-August. This is in large part because of the dense water content in vegetation, demanding milk production in does, and antler growth in bucks. By September, however, drying vegetation and slowing physiological processes are decreasing deer’s need for minerals.  

Redmond Hunt product tip: Use Continue using Trophy Rock and/or Four65 at your mineral site through mid-August. Begin introducing Cherry Bomb around July 4 (or 60 days before your hunting season begins) to help deer get used to the product and know where it is. Cherry Bomb is our super long-range attractant with great-tasting protein ingredients and added vitamins and minerals to both attract and nourish deer. 

Fall 

Hard and soft mast white-tail deer eat in fall.

Hard and soft mast like apples and acorns become a staple for deer during fall.

As fall arrives, does stop nursing their fawns and bucks are no longer growing antlers, allowing both to build up fat reserves and prepare for the coming winter. By early September bucks have scraped the velvet from their racks and are ready for the rut, which peaks in early November in the Midwest and later in southern regions. During this time, both does and bucks are actively moving about and more likely to be seen. 

Available/Preferred Forage 

Fall is the time when tasty soft and hard mast (fruit from trees) like apples, blackberries, and acorns begin to drop. Acorns particularly are a staple food for white-tailed deer. They’ll also eat dried soybeans, wheat and turnips from food plots, if available, as well as native forbs.  

Deer Mineral Supplementation 

A deer’s need and desire for minerals dives in the fall. Deer aren’t growing, does aren’t nursing or pregnant, and bucks are abandoning food and mineral sources to chase receptive does during the rut. Not to mention, white-tails typically have an abundant store of preferable mast to munch on. An attractant will definitely be needed to lure deer into mineral sites during fall hunting months. 

Redmond Hunt product tip:  By the first of September until the end of the hunting season, you should be fully using Cherry Bomb attractant at your mineral site. It can be mixed 50/50 with corn for increased nutrition and attracting power.  

Need to cover your tracks while scouting and hunting? Check out our Cherry Bomb Spray. It attracts deer while masking your scent in the field. 

Winter 

White-tail deer eat native browse in winter.

Remnants from agriculture crops and native browse make up a huge part of a deer’s diet in winter.

Winter is a season for white-tailed deer to simply survive. They’re experiencing post-rut stress, scarce forage, and extreme weather conditions with cold, snow, and ice. Physiologically, bucks will shed their antlers between January and March, and pregnant does are again supporting growing fetuses. 

Available/Preferred Forage 

Remnants from agriculture crops and native browse make up a huge part of a deer’s diet throughout winter, (3) as well as leftover hard and soft mast. Food plot crops, like corn or a brassica blend, can also play a key role in supplementing nutrition and getting deer through the winter. 

Deer Mineral Supplementation 

By mid-December white-tails start to use minerals again and will gradually build up their use through March. Minerals are needed to help recover from the rut, lessen effects from winter stress and scarce vegetation, and provide additional support for pregnant does. 

Redmond Hunt product tip: We encourage using Cherry Bomb through the hunting season and post-rut. December is especially a great month to continue use, as deer are putting weight back on and eating a lot. By mid-January, Cherry Bomb attractant should be put away and Trophy Rock and/or Four65 are once again the main mineral sources at your site as deer slowly ramp up mineral use.  

Conclusion 

By knowing what dear eat, when, and what phase of life they experience by season, you can better know what minerals your herd needs and wants. Following our Redmond Hunt deer mineral and attractant schedule will help you best utilize your mineral site, supplement your herd, and attract deer to your property every month of the year. 

Redmond Hunt deer mineral and attractant schedule.

Sources

  1. https://www.msudeer.msstate.edu/growth-cycle.php
  2. https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g9487
  3. https://www.northamericanwhitetail.com/editorial/whitetail-nutrition-calendar/263409
  4. https://wildlifeleadershipacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/9.-White-Tailed-Deer-Nutrition-HuntingPA.com_.pdf

 

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