Spring is a perfect time to rejuvenate mineral supplement sites, because does are lactating, feeding newborn fawns, and bucks are growing their latest set of battle gear. Existing mineral stations that receive heavy usage should be maintained and grounded in the same places from year after year. But for landowners picking out new sites or landowners beginning a mineral-supplementation program, obvious places might not get usage as expected. For best results, mineral sites should be tested with small contributions before pouring the foundation.
Throughout the year, deer move between various habitats depending on food and resource availability. The places they frequent during hunting season are not always preferred habitats in spring and summer. While mineral sites are important, the majority of the herd may not locate them when it matters most.
Long after mating season ends and cold winters subside, deer gather in groups and find the best food sources in places generally near fresh water sources. Heavily used trails near spring/summer food sources and near solid water sources are fantastic places to establish a new mineral source.
However, spring is fawning season and does will make sure they have good fawning habitat around the time they begin dropping fawns. These are usually old fields, brushy areas or places where fawns can be left by their mothers in hiding while collecting food. Rarely will does get out of earshot of their bedded fawns. Having a water source nearby makes a place great to establish a mineral site that will be used regularly.
Establishing new mineral sites is not as easy as establishing feeding centers during deer season. Deer will come to a fresh pile of corn or sweet potatoes, no matter where it’s located, but mineral sites lack the aromatic qualities to bring deer in from afar like food sources.
Hunters need to start with several small piles of minerals along trails in multiple spots in the same general area. Sometimes, a mineral station along one trail will get traffic every few hours, while minerals 100 yards away never receive a visit from a deer.
Hunters can use trail cameras to monitor daily usage or just check by track sign around the site. The most- critical portion is to make sure sites stay equipped with fresh minerals. When a group of deer find it, don’t let it run out.
Year after year, these mineral stations can provide good, season-long benefits. It’s best to keep these mineral stations stocked up from year to year because there aren’t really any times when deer don’t need the extra mineral supplements.