Deer Supplements
Trophy Antlers?

Are whitetail deer supplements a magical block or powder that will turn all of our spikes into trophy bucks? Unfortunately they aren't but there are mineral supplements on the market that will help ensure that the deer on your property get the minerals needed to produce a healthy deer herd.

We have used the whitetails desire for salt ever since we saw the big holes that deer would dig around a salt lick. We have sought to use this desire that whitetails have for salt and minerals to both attract them and give them some added nutrition.

We can never know for sure in a free ranging herd how much our deer supplements may be helping the whitetail population but the agricultural industry and we humans ourselves have used supplements for years. After all I take a vitamin/mineral supplement each day myself.

As far as attracting deer, I still have not seen these products bring them running either. Regardless, the large holes in the ground are a testament that they get used and if we can slip in some bonus nutrients along with the salt then I’m all for it. I don't think that they are a magic bullet that will turn all of your bucks into trophies with large antlers, but it is just one piece of the management puzzle.

The whitetails desire to use the mineral licks does show us that there is some need. Unlike humans who would like to live on junk food, animals usually are attracted to what is most nutritious for them.

Mineral supplements can be considered a vital part of your deer management plan. Over the years we have tried a few different products including white salt blocks, trace mineral salt blocks, bags of minerals from Tractor Supply, Whitetail Institute 30-06 (the same people that make Imperial Whitetail Clover), Deer Cane, Mossy Oak Biologic Full Potential, Antler King and Hunter’s Specialties Vita Rack minerals. Which one of these performed the best I do not know but the holes keep getting deeper no matter what I put out. Remember deer will dig a hole if only salt is put out.

It is my opinion that I will stick with mineral supplements made specifically for whitetail deer. The salt blocks made for livestock do not have the quantities of minerals needed by deer. Nutritional specialists have found that calcium and phosphorus account for 33 percent of hardened antler and that antlers are about 55 percent mineral. Does also require higher amounts of minerals for milk production and several other minerals are needed in a deer’s diet as well.

Whitetail deer supplements may not be the magic bullet but minerals are necessary for healthy deer.

I have replenished our mineral sites again this spring with the Whitetail Institute's 30-06 vitamin and mineral supplement.

Oldhouse salt lick photo

This is one of our mineral sites that we've replenished for several years.

Button Buck at Mineral Lick

Young buck at our other mineral lick in March 2005.

Photo of salt lick

Another view of salt lick that young buck is visiting.

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