From the Field

by Ryan Fair  2/11/2024

Every year as the calendar inches closer to spring many outdoorsmen are busting at the seams to head to the woods. We have been couped up inside since the end of deer season resting up for all the spring has to offer. Here at Working Class Hunter, we have a laundry list of thigs to do, shed hunting, chasing the first fish of the year, and of course hunting long beards. While all that is fun there are still some whitetail chores that need to be done this time of year and at the top of that list is getting out our spring mineral sites. We like to get our Trophy Rock mineral sites out as early as possible so the whitetail can reap all the benefits they have to offer. Let’s cover some of the main reasons you should put a mineral site out as well. 

     The first and main reason to put a mineral site out honestly is that it attracts deer. From fawns to bucks you will get several deer to start frequenting your mineral site on a regular basis. This is great for inventorying what bucks made it thru the season and if there are any new bucks in the area. You will also be able to tell how the fawn and doe populations are. Since most does and yearling deer frequent the same areas much of the year this gives you a great way to gauge how much doe management needs done the upcoming season. We put our Tactacam cameras up on mineral sites starting at the beginning of March. It is best to leave your camera on picture mode for the next 4 months with a longer than normal trigger delay. This helps to conserve battery life which helps to keep human pressure out.  Sometime around the beginning of June go back in and freshen up the site which is now bare dirt and swap out batteries and SD cards if needed. Keeping your cameras out is a great way to watch the bucks grow thru out the summer in velvet. It also helps to give you an idea of which buck to start to pattern for the fall.  


      The next reason to put a mineral site out is to help deer replenish all the important minerals they lack after a long winter. Deer will seek out mineral sites that are high in salt content. It doesn’t matter if it’s in powder form, a block form, or a liquid, they crave the salt. In the spring and summer months deer have a sodium deficiency due to the high water and potassium intake as they forage on greens. This is drives them seek out the salt.  

     Another big advantage to a mineral site is how beneficial they are for does during and after pregnancy. It has been proven that does seek out minerals during gestation and lactation. This is because they need high levels of calcium and magnesium up to and when nursing. With the balanced-out diet, proper mineral intake, and good digestive health of your does, it allows them to focus on keeping their fawns as healthy as possible.  


     When it comes to bucks and mineral sites there is always a debate on whether minerals help bucks grow larger antlers. It depends on who you talk to as to the answer you will get, but I will say this. While nothing has been proven yet, there are a few interesting points you should consider. The whitetail buck can store calcium and phosphorus to use later to aid in antler growth. This is important because they have found 11 different minerals compose a whitetail’s antlers. Of those 11 minerals calcium and phosphorus make up almost 1/3 or around 30 percent of those minerals. With those numbers I would like to think easy access to minerals help antler growth in some way. Not only that but just like mentioned above minerals help keep a whitetails diet balanced and promote good digestion. This is important because it has been proven that a healthy buck can focus all his energy on antler growth throughout the summer instead of fighting malnutrition or disease. 


   There are several different ways to put out a mineral site. You can clear out a spot on the ground near a deer path to create one, you can place your liquid mineral or rock on a stump, you can even build a mound with Trophy Rock FOUR65. How you make a site is not as important as having one out that easily accessible to the deer. We personally like to use the Trophy Rock from Redmond Hunt. They are readily available from almost anywhere you can get hunting supplies and they are affordable. They also seem to hold up the best since they are in a rock form, as time passes, the mineral slowly dissolves into the ground or stump. Because of this deer will continue to visit these sites for many years to come. Another great product Redmond offers is their Liquid Trophy Rock this is perfect for hikes deep into a hunting spot. Instead of lugging a 10-pound rock to the timber you can easily strap a few jugs on your pack. It offers the same great benefits of the rock but in a liquid form.