5 year old buck +
There is no scientific evidence that mineral supplements benefit free ranging deer. Most of a deer's diet consists of native plants. Each plant has a different capacity to mine different minerals from different depths from the soil. We just don't see mineral deficiencies in free ranging deer herds. There are always a few individual animals that have specific conditions, either genetic or disease related, that can cause a deficiency, but we don't see it in herds of free ranging deer. All the industry hype studies are done on penned deer with a restricted diet.Great feedback and I understand what yoderjac is saying.
Today I'm only growing perennial clover and frost seeding with weed control in the spring. I am liming and fertilizing due to poor soil conditions.
I agree on long term sustainability with as little effort as possible because I love hunting but it's not a full time hobby. I just enjoy the woods and love seeing a nice buck in the fall.
That is a different way to think about it and probably will help me scale back my long term plans of water, food and minerals for the deer.
Deer use mineral supplements because of salt and sugar. If you remove these, deer won't touch them. The best way to apply minerals are to ensure you have healthy food plots. Whether though natural nutrient cycling with healthy soil or by using commercial fertilizer, the best delivery system for minerals are plants!
So, if you are scaling back, mineral supplements is the first place to start!