Planning Deer Mineral Placement and Density

JEREMY FLINN

05/27/2016

Putting out minerals for deer is critical to start in May! Join Weston Schrank as he explains exactly how many mineral stations for deer you need and where to place them on your deer hunting property.

Now here, we have already got our food plots in, I hope you do as well, but the next critical thing on our and your list should be getting mineral stations out. Why? Well we all know deer crave what mineral stations offer from I’d say March through September, but what they are really craving is the salt content of that mineral station. Why? This green growth and plenty or rain may supply a lot of food in the form of plant growth but it also provides a lot of metabolized water in the deer’s diet, making them crave a balance, and they need salt for that. So with that being said it is a critical time to get your mineral stations up for deer and running. This also happens to provide a perfect situation to put out new trail cameras out.

Now placing these mineral stations for deer in the right location is nearly just as important as actually setting them out. You want every deer utilizing the property to be able to find and access the station. Not so much because they need the mineral, the minerals here that deer get from these stations are minimal at best, they don’t effect antler growth like you think, they do give deer slight micro nutrients that might not be found in their diet but they are mainly coming for the salt here. With that being cleared up in our last episode, the most important thing we are doing is censuring the property all summer long before deer season. That’s why we need to make sure we are putting one out where every deer on the property can and will access it. While this isn’t necessarily a trail camera survey we are treating it like one in terms of density and placement.

Now we’ve got my computer here and google earth up and we are going to select exactly where we want to put the mineral stations up. You just don’t want to pick a random spot and place these anywhere on the property, you want to place them strategically again to survey every deer, but also attract them to some spots you would like them to be familiar with. This includes food plots, watering holes for deer, runs, staging areas to large Ag fields, anywhere like I said deer are at, and you want them to be. Now this idea of getting the deer familiar with the areas will tie into some our videos later down the road dealing with social hotspots, but the point I want to put in your head now is putting these mineral stations out where you want deer to be social and remember it until fall. While the mineral stations, watering holes, feeding stations, all this goes away before the season, the experiences and social area , scent, and traffic will continue which will come into play in October and November. But enough on that lets get back to the maps, like I said we will dive into that later in the summer.

How Many Mineral Stations for Deer Should You Put Out?

Now I have marked everything from our stands to our food plots and some major runs on the property, our bedding areas, and sanctuaries. Now here you can see that we have 70 acres, it’s a small property but we have a small dry creek bed running through the middle of the property with some topography around it, it’s not dry now obviously with the rain, but it does seem to separate the property as far as deer use goes, this January we selected two sites, one on either side of this creek bed for our trail camera survey. And what we found was that we had two different sets of bucks using the sides of the property. My hit list bucks Oscar and Dallas utilized one side of the property, that is where I had both of my encounters with Oscar at and where I eventually killed Dallas out of my buck this past year.

That is the south end of the property,  this year’s hit list buck Jax a 4 year old, if he returns will be on this side of the creek, the north side over next to the food plots. So by placing 2 mineral stations on either side of the property we should effectively be able to survey the area if the separation continues this year. Now this is against some advice of some experts normally saying 1 per 80-100 acres or more…and that is true for a lot of expansive properties, but when you’re like me studying every move of the deer across this property and you have a small property with rich habitat diversity from cedars thickets, to young cedars, to sumac stands, to hardwoods, to oak flats, grass bedding areas, open fields, and food plots, you have to go with a higher density of cameras.

Where You Should Put Mineral Stations for Deer on Your Property

So some advice for placing minerals on your property, put mineral stations where you know deer will frequent, again in order to take a census of all the bucks using your property and the bachelor groups that are on your property for the summer. Get your trail cameras out over these minerals set them on picture, or video whatever you prefer and start building a history and knowledge of the deer and there behaviors now before deer season.
When we get our cameras in we are going to set out these stations, but with a little well known trick of the industry, that makes these mineral stations a little better for small property deer hunting, public land hunting, or hunting where minerals are under regulations in the state. Basically what you need to do to a mineral site to make it legal and completely eliminate any chance that you are baiting on your property as deer season comes in. Keep updated and look out for part 2 of mineral stations for deer soon.

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