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Deer Blocks

Deaner

Member
My wife and I just purchased a small parcel of land in NE Iowa. Eventualy over the next couple years I want to clear out some trees in the middle and have a food plot for Deer and Turkeys. Till that happens I was thinking about putting out Deer Mineral Blocks. I was just wondering if anyone has ever put out Deer blocks and what their thoughts are on using them. Is there any brand that is better then others?
Thank you
 

Daver

PMA Member
Forget the blocks, most of them are more of a salt based attractant than a true nutritional supplement. Besides, blocks will break down relatively quickly as the temperature warms and the rains come, etc.

I have been using Vita-Rack from Hunter's Specialties. It is specifically blended for deer with 26 vital nutrients and will aid a number of factors, not just enhanced antler growth, although there is nothing wrong with enhanced antler growth.
 

Deaner

Member
Thanks Daver. I was wondering how I was going to deal with the rain hitting it. I don't really want to put a covered feeder or anything like that out there. But that is food for thought about the Vita-Rack. How often do they go through it and what is the actual cost for it? Thanks again!
 

Shredder

Life Member
I put out a block in later winter in the snow and never once saw a track going to it...despite the corn I was feeding closeby......I would not waste your $$$ on a block.
 

bjkpharmd

New Member
Shredder,
I'd trust your opinion on this further than anyone, you put a block out & although they didn't hit it- you must think that there is something to it as far as nutrition goes that it would help if you found one they would use. (?) I'd always thought that the midwest had fertile soil & enough browse, mast, & crop that they didn't need extra mineral.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
The deer sure seem to like the mineral blocks I put out for our horses. I put one of these mineral blocks out for the sole use of deer, and they ate a two foot deep hole in the ground when the block was gone. It was a salt/mineral block, so it could have been the salt that brought them to it. I put out one of the "deer blocks" that they sell at the hardware stores, and the deer basically neglected it.
 

Deaner

Member
Thank you everyone for your inputs! I was seriously thinking about putting out Deer Block (I think by Purina) that I saw at the feed store. But it is looking by all the replies that maybe that's not the way to go. Are regular mineral blocks safe? I suppose they would be cuz Lord knows cows aren't the only animals licking them out in the field. I guess I am just trying to find something to help the deer until when/if I ever do get a food plot going. Thanks everyone!
 

Shredder

Life Member
Pharmer, I put ot a protein block that is supposed to be a protein supplement during hard times. It also has a lot of molasses in it to serve as the attractant, plus some corn, trace minerals, macrominerals..... I was feeding shell corn about 15 yards away and had the block on the upwind side of the trail so they would smell it....no luck. The tree rats had some benefit to it though. Here in the midwest, the majority of the deers minerals are provided in the forage and soil they consume but nearly all ruminants are slightly deficient in sodium...that is why salt licks work so well. My goal with the block was not so much a supplementation but where I had it placed. It was intended to draw the deer close enogh to smell or eat and have the woven wire knock the racks off shedding bucks. 140 acres, winter deer sign everywhere, i mean everywhere, and all I found was a year old shed??????? I guess the bucks must have been off in a remote location using another feed source.
 

Fishbonker

Life Member
I started with Antler King mineral supplement in a bag. Just poured it on the ground in a pile, came back a few weeks later and it was gone, along with all the dirt that was underneath the pile. The deer dug a crater. I bought another bag, put it in the same hole, and it lasted a couple of months. Seems the deer like to lick the dirt as much as the mineral. I compared ingrediants between Antler King and regular livestock mineral. The only big difference that I could see was the amount of copper was less in the livestock mix. There was a warning on Antler King not to feed it to sheep. I put a fresh pile out again this spring but it hasn't been hit nearly as hard as in the past years. Could be due to the heavy hunting pressure around my place last fall, as well as the high traffic counts in front of my house.

Anyway, I have found bags or "loose" minerals work well and they like cheaper livestock mineral as well as the very expensive Antler King. I don't have any way of gauging whhich is more benefical for deer/antler growth, special mixes or the cheaper livestock minerals. I literally have a 3X3 crater where they dig it out of the soil.

FWIW

The 'Bonker
 

Ogz

Life Member
The mineral, block or loose, actually "soaks" into the soil with the addition of moisture. When they dig up the ground they are getting the minerals out, much like a natural lick. We freshen ours up annually and have some dug out areas that you could almost park a car in. As for the fall in use that you have noticed, deer need different nutrition at different times of the year. I would expect the use to pick up with fawns hitting the ground and antler growth picking up.
 
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