Welcome to TheOhioOutdoors
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Login or sign up today!
Login / Join

DIY Minerals: Part II

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
44,787
226
Appalachia
Better late than never right?!? :smiley_crocodile:

So now that we know why we are using minerals, what they can do for us and our deer herd, and how to make our own mix, it is time to look at the hands-on portion of mineral sites. We will take a look at site selection, preparation, maintenance, and monitoring. I want to reiterate once again, that I am neither a whitetail biologist, nor am I an expert on mineral supplementation. What I am is an educated consumer who has used the internet, and my own personal experiences to create a mineral supplementation plan for my hunting areas that I believe are just as effective as the latest gimmick.

Site Selection

I look for three things when I choose a site. The first thing I consider is location, location, location. I want the site to be near the intersection of several trails, or at very least, two well used travel routes. This ensures that the deer will visit the area several times over the course of time I am supplying minerals. The second factor I consider is I like for my site to be near a water source. Often times after deer visit a mineral site they will head to a nearby water source shortly thereafter to quench their thirst. This mix is very salty, and we all know how the consumption of salty foods can work up a hearty thirst. The last thing, and in my opinion the most important aspect of site selection, is choosing an area that the deer feel secure visiting. Choosing an area in, or near a bedding area, is optimal. If you strive to keep human intrusion at a minimum on your property, then you can really choose a site anywhere you like.


Preparation, Maintenance, and Monitoring

Prior to activating my site, I mix all the ingredients in a wheelbarrow making sure to mix all the ingredients together as thoroughly as I can. Phil Hicks was able to mix his in a concrete mixer and that’s the ticket if you can make it happen!!!

This is the area where I choose to allow the pictures to do the talking. I will quickly touch on each topic and follow that with pictures of my site. Once you choose your site, simply rake away any debris in an area roughly 3-4’ in diameter. After I do this, I use a shovel to trench around the outside of the site. Then I continue using the shovel to break up the ground about 4-6” deep. Once I have done this, I used a garden hoe to break up the dirt clods as fine as possible.

After we have a nice foundation of loose soil roughly 4-6” deep, it is time to mix in our minerals. I start with about 75 pounds, and use a garden rake to mix it in the soil as thoroughly as possible. Once I have done this, I add about ten more pounds to the top of the site and very lightly rake. This process ensures two things: we get our minerals mixed in deep enough to constantly be available, and we have minerals that will be immediately available.

Maintenance is simple. Once we get a few good rains, I visit the site and remove all debris. Then I mix in another 10-15 pounds of my mix. After that, I may add 5-10 pounds of the mix sometime in late July just to freshen things up. But after the second application of our minerals, we really have the recipe for an active mineral site.

Monitor it with your favorite trail cam and you are sure to be in for some great pictures!

Here is my site. You can easily see the watering hole, and the remnant of last year’s site is still visible…



I added some corn for instant attraction and placed my trail camera to the left of the site. I am ready to enjoy a summer of great pictures!



This is the other site I created in Paradise. Right behind the camera is the water hole I created last year. The food plot is to the left of the site and one of the best trails I’ve ever seen is running left to right across the photo…



I have $60 and 40 minutes of my life in these sites. It will help my does produce high-protein milk in order to ensure their fawns grow up as healthy as possible. My bucks will benefit from this site, even if it doesn’t turn him from a 130” to a 170”. And I benefit from this site because I can monitor it to see what bucks I have to hunt, keep detailed records of doe and fawn numbers, and it gives me the peace of mind that I am doing what I can to ensure that my deer herd had every chance to reach their full potential before the hunt begins this fall. And if nothing else, this picture is the reason I will always have mineral licks out!!!

 

RedCloud

Super Moderator
Super Mod
16,831
149
Somewhere OHIO
Great info buddy. I will be getting my hands on these things as soon as I can get a place to store them that isn't so damp.

I will be waiting to see everybody's pics this fall :D.
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
35,274
191
NW Ohio
Thanks again Jesse. I have been chomping at the bit to check my sites I put out on three properties. No sense in it though. With all the rain we have had I might as well just wait for the water to settle and top them all off a bit while monitoring them.
 

Huckleberry Finn

Senior Member
15,973
124
This is the other site I created in Paradise. Right behind the camera is the water hole I created last year. The food plot is to the left of the site and one of the best trails I’ve ever seen is running left to right across the photo…

He ain't lying about that trail!
 

jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
16,501
166
Ohio
It's been a while since this thread was posted up.... any updates or pictures over the mineral site, Jesse?
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
44,787
226
Appalachia
It's been a while since this thread was posted up.... any updates or pictures over the mineral site, Jesse?

The does have been hammering both licks since I put them out, along with the smaller buck. So far, there has been nothing of size to report. I've been leaving the cams for 3 weeks at a time, so I'm due to pull them again this weekend. I'll also be freshening them up. Hopefully, I'll have something good to report next week!
 

jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
16,501
166
Ohio
The does have been hammering both licks since I put them out, along with the smaller buck. So far, there has been nothing of size to report. I've been leaving the cams for 3 weeks at a time, so I'm due to pull them again this weekend. I'll also be freshening them up. Hopefully, I'll have something good to report next week!

Good deal, brother. I am helping my buddy get some mineral sites going this weekend. He's got permission to hunt some of the most prime whitetail real estate in the county, so I'm anxious to see what kind of results he has. He and his father also own a deer farm, so we're going to set up some minerals for the penned deer as well.
 

Curran

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,506
115
Central Ohio
Just refreshed my mind by re-reading these articles. Heading out this weekend to get a new site started up!

Great reads Jesse.
 

Curran

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,506
115
Central Ohio
A write up and pictures from last weekend's outing...

With the spring "green up" encroaching a little bit earlier than normal this year, I've really been wanting to get out and walk the entire "G" farm and neighboring field. Not only to see if I can get lucky and stumble upon a shed or two, but more importantly, I wanted to really spend some time stomping through the portions of the woods that I left mostly undisturbed last season. The other part of my mission was to get a mineral site or two established, not only to help provide some extra nutrition to the local herd that uses the property, but to also help add some extra attraction or holding power to the property.

With only a few hours available on a Saturday afternoon to get everything done that I wanted to do, I set out with my buddy Adam to walk some miles. From a big picture scouting perspective, what I took away was that last season I hunted good areas in general. However, there are better spots within the core of the property that need attention. The majority of the woods are somewhat "open" in their feel, with pockets of "thicker" edges at the far south east corner, as well as along the eastern edge of the creek that meanders along the western edge of the woods. These areas contained higher concentrations of sign (well used trails, rubs, etc.) which makes sense seeing as deer typically as edge related critters.

Later that night I looked back upon the day, and made some additional notes on the aerial map of the property to help me remember where I want to prepare some stand sites in the coming summer months. Not too much has changed form my initial map markings of prospective stand sites when I first gained access to the property last summer, but with bow hunting being a game of details, those initial first impression stand sites just need some further refinement. So, from a scouting perspective, that mission was accomplished.

Next on the agenda was establishing a mineral site or two, depending on the results from the scouting venture. The mineral mixture I used was a blend of a few products that were picked up at the local feed store, and should be enough to last at least a season or two. My buddy Jesse has an absolutely great write up on the "why's" & "how to's" of minerals, with the specific mixture that I used is in his article on TheOhioOutdoors.com http://www.theohiooutdoors.com/showthread.php?2921-DIY-Minerals-Part-1

After picking up the secret ingredients, I set to mixing up a few buckets worth in order to get the new sites established. Using an empty coffee canister as my measuring cup I poured out the equal parts called for in Jesse's recipe.



Then I simply poured the minerals from one 5 gallon bucket to an empty bucket, doing this back & forth several times until they were pretty well equally distributed.





After walking around and analyzing everything a bit more, it was decided that I would start off with two mineral sites at opposite ends of the woods. Viewing the sites from the aerial map, the distance doesn't look too far apart from one another, but from a two legs on the ground vantage point they sure are. The first site selected was at the far south east corner of the woods. There is actually a small 5 acres square extending off of the main block that extends outward like an "L" and touches the north west corner of the neighboring property. This formation funnels the deer movement from one block of woods to the other, and the amount of heavily used trails & clusters of rubbed up trees made establishing a site towards the "G" farm woods a optimal choice for allowing the deer to find and establish the new site.

Mineral site to be established at the base of the fallen tree pictured towards the center left below.



Minerals poured onto the stump, then using a hatchet to hack up the stump & mix the minerals into the wood and surrounding ground.



Moving along and up to the second site, I decided to put this one where there was more sign during the season. The highest concentration of scrapes was within this corner, as well as along the entire western edge of the field. The largest scrape within the woods stayed active from probably mid October through early December. The far western edge has an outside corner that is about 2/3 of the way up the block of woods. The ground here is one of the higher points of the property, contains a decently used trail following between the edge of the woods and the creek winding through. We'll see what happens I guess...

Using another downed & decomposing tree just a yard or so off of the main trail.



All mixed in and ready for consumption.



I'll be able to check in on the progress of these sites later in April when back out at the property to try chasing some spring turkeys. Hopefully we'll have some signs of the deer starting to use the sites, and if I'm even luckier maybe a punched turkey tag.
 
Last edited:

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
44,787
226
Appalachia
Went back to old faithful this weekend and got her fired back up...





Cleaned up and ready for business!!!



Added a little corn for attraction and a double cam setup for a side-by-side comparison. The SpyPoint IR-6 is doing battled with the DLC Covert NV3.0...



I cleared a little more brush while I was in there so the deer could monitor the bottom a little easier while they were in there...

 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
44,787
226
Appalachia
I just realized you posted that his year Sean. Great read and pics man! I sure hope things go well for you. We have the exact same brands of materials in ours, so we'll get a good comparison as to how the mix works in different areas. I will say this, the di-cal was $41 down here and that is nearly double what it was the first year I made this mix...
 

RedCloud

Super Moderator
Super Mod
16,831
149
Somewhere OHIO
Welcome aboard the TOO train BB. Hope you stick around and share a few stories and pics with us.

Checked my mineral site and cams last Monday and found the deer are really hammering them this past 2 weeks. With the bucks growing new bone and the doe about to pop they sure do like the extra minerals. Can't wait until after work tomorrow so I can go check cams again and see the bucks progress and see my big doe I think is carrying twins.
 

motorbreaker

*Supporting Member I*
1,545
63
North of Toledo
PICT0058.jpgPICT0086.jpgPICT0026.jpgBig 9.jpgI've been doing mineral licks sites for 4 years now. I'm realy starting to see the resaults of what minerals can do for the deer herd.
I hardly see a 1 1/2 year old buck that dosent have 8 points anymore, And 2 1/2 year old bucks are sporting 120 inch racks or better.
This was not the norm 4 years ago when i quit useing salt blocks.
I think alot of hunters under estimate the importance of lick sites. I put a site for every 30 to40 acres, And have a camera on every site
at certin times of the year. And we rarley see bucks that we dont have a pic of at a lick site. Almost never.

I've been useing lucky buck, And 30-06, And always a trophy rock. I would like to try the diy this year, And save a ton of loote.

Jesse, You talk of trace minerals, do you add them to your mix? Thanks for the info
 

Attachments

  • PICT0033.jpg
    PICT0033.jpg
    204.4 KB · Views: 179