Angie and I are borderline fanatics about putting out minerals. We put out Lick Magic Mineral from the Heartland Wildlife Institute (http://www.heartlandwildlifeinstitute.com) all year long. I advise you to read the contents of a mineral product before you buy it. If the product is 50- to 60-percent salt, then you’re buying salt instead of minerals. Too, consider whether the deer actually will take in the minerals you’re putting out. If the minerals don’t taste good to the deer, you’ve wasted your money. That’s why I like these Heartland minerals. They have a high mineral content and have been tested to make sure the deer will take them.
The biggest whitetail we’ve taken with a CVA muzzleloader was a 196-inch whitetail that Angie took. The video of the hunt was on Realtree’s “Monster Bucks” TV show. The buck was 4-1/2-years old, and we had videos of him taken by trail cameras the previous year. When he was a 3-year old, his antlers would score about 150 on Boone & Crockett, but one year later he had almost 200 inches of scorable antler. I think his antlers grew so quickly, because of the minerals he consumed from the property. There’s plenty of corn and soybeans in Indiana where we live, we have annual and perennial food-plot plantings on your land, we feed minerals year-round, and we provide sanctuary for our bucks on the property we hunt.
The minerals we use can be purchased loose in a bag. I take a shovel and break the ground up about 1- to 1-1/2-feet deep. I pour about half a bag of the minerals in the broken-up ground and mix that into the soil. Then I take the other half of the bag and mix it into the same area. When we make a mineral lick, we’ll carry two, 5-gallon containers of water and pour them over the ground where we’ve mixed the minerals. Then we mix up the minerals in the mud. Over the years, we’ve found the deer use these types of mineral licks more frequently than if we just pour the minerals on the ground. We may have as many as eight bucks coming to one mineral lick. By the end of the summer, that mineral lick may be 1-1/2- to 2-feet deep where deer have been pawing the dirt to get to the minerals. I put out a full bag of Lick Magic Mineral in April and then refresh the licks in July.
Once the bucks come out of the velvet, they usually will lose interest in those mineral licks. One of the biggest advantages that the mineral licks provide for us is they give us places where we can put-out trail cameras. We can see the conditions of our bucks and learn the sizes of their antlers as they grow and develop. If you put your cameras up and stay away from the mineral licks except to check the cameras, bucks will come to these mineral licks almost every day. I’ve been using the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD (http://www.bushnell.com/hunting/trail-cameras/trophy-cam/trophy-cam-hd-max) for about 5 years, because these cameras are the only ones I ever have been able to leave outdoors for an entire year with only one set of batteries. They take about 1,000 pictures a week on our animal licks. With other cameras, we probably changed batteries every few weeks and paid $10 or $12 per battery change.
By: Tony Walker who with his wife Angie hosts the “The American Way” TV show (http://www.theamericanwaytv.com) on the Pursuit Channel. Starting July 1 and running through December, you can watch their show on Monday nights at 9:30 pm and on Sunday mornings at 9 am.