FOOD PLOT PROGRAM
Why plant food plots?
Planting food plots is the single most effective way to attract, grow and keep deer on your property on a year round basis, if you have the food you’ll have the deer. We completed a 5 year radio-collar study on deer and food plots and found some astonishing results. We found that deer that have a relied upon year round food source (food plots) spent 95% of their time within 1/2 mile of that food source and most of that time was actually spent within 1/4 mile, thus proving the effectiveness and importance of planting food plots. This also means that whether you hunt on 40 acres or 4,000 if you can offer a year round, relied upon food source, you’ll hold more deer on your property. We recommend planting 5-10% of your property in food plots, as studies show that is the amount of food it will take to sustain your deer herd for an entire year, with average deer densities. If you have 40 acres…then roughly two-four acres should be planted…if you have 100 acres than 5-10 acres should be planted and so on. Now we realize, not everyone has the equipment or ability to plant that much food, so ANY food is better than no food. If all you can plant is a 1/4 of an acre in front of a tree stand, then absolutely plant it…your deer will thank you for it. You might consider planting a Spring food source in that plot (Red Zone, Trophy Clover, No Sweat) and then re-planting it in the late Summer with a Fall/Winter food source (Honey Hole, Slam Dunk or Lights Out) to keep your deer coming back all year long.
What to plant?
When planting food plots there is a lot to consider and one crucial component is planting food sources for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Although you may only hunt in the Fall, your deer herd needs to eat year round and there are certain food sources they will desire and need depending on the time of the year. Since deer need to consume different nutrients throughout the year we recommend planting 50% of your food plots in year round, long lasting perennials like our Trophy Clover Mix and Mini Max Clover Mix and 50% of your food plots in annual hunt plots (Fall and Winter forage) like Honey Hole, Slam Dunk, Fall/Winter/Spring, Lights Out, Red Zone and No Sweat. This program will offer your deer a year round food source, increase the amount of deer that stay on your property and provide them optimum nutrition. During the Spring and Summer months when bucks are growing antlers, fawns are nursing and does are producing milk deer crave and need high amounts of protein in their diets to maintain their health and to maximize body and antler growth. If a deer can consume a diet of at least 16% protein they can maximize their health, body, bone and antler development. Studies have shown that A 4.5 year old buck fed a 16% protein diet can grow antlers 15-25 inches larger (Boone and Crockett Score) than a 4.5 year old buck fed only a 6% protein diet. It’s science…if you can provide them the nutrition that they need, you can grow Bigger Bucks and Healthier Deer on your property. Therefore, you need to plant food plots high in protein during the Spring and Summer months and we offer three food plot mixes that are high in protein. Two perennial mixes; Trophy Clover Mix (30%+ protein) and Mini Max (20-30% protein) will last 3-6 years and one annual mix, Red Zone (30%+ protein) will provide this crucial Spring, Summer and Fall feed. As the weather turns colder deer will begin to focus their consumption on food sources that have a higher energy content so they can prepare for the breeding season and ultimately survive the winter. Fall Hunt Plots high in energy are not only vital to the health of your herd, but can offer great hunting opportunities in the Fall and Winter. Antler King® Food Plot Mixes such as Honey Hole (turnips and brassicas), Slam Dunk (radishes, peas and brassicas), Lights Out ( oats, turnips, brassicas), Fall/Winter/Spring (fall rye, winter peas) and No Sweat (oats, rye, brassica, clover) can offer your deer herd premium food for the Fall and Winter months. Turnips, radishes and brassica plants will turn sweet after the first hard frost and deer will seek these sweet, energy-filled food sources during the colder weather. Food plot mixes with oats, rye and peas will offer both energy and protein, vital for pre-rut and post-rut deer to sustain their weight and overall health heading into Winter.
How do I plant food plots?
A nice mix of Spring and Summer protein sources and Fall and Winter energy sources will provide deer the nutrition they need to survive and thrive and will keep more deer on your property on a year round basis. If you provide food, water and cover your deer will not have to leave your property.
If you don’t have equipment, don’t be deterred as we offer both perennial and annual mixes that will grow and thrive in a minimum or no till environment. As long as your pH is adequate (5.8-7.0) and the plots receive some rain and sun you can grow food plots virtually anywhere with a little bit of effort. Once you’ve chosen your plot location spray Roundup on the existing vegetation to eliminate competition when you plant your plot. Come back 7-10 days later and if you can, “rough-up” the soil with a steel garden rake for better seed to soil contact. Otherwise, you can broadcast one of our minimum/no till mixes into the dead or dying plants and as they continue to wilt they will act as a mulch for the newly spread seeds. Once it rains, this moisture will push the tiny seeds down to the soil and with a little sun your plot will begin to germinate. Mixes such as No Sweat, Mini Max and Honey Hole are great for minimum and no till situations and just need proper seed to soil contact, rain and sunshine to thrive and grow. The more you can do to create an optimum growing environment (lime, fertilize, till, etc) the more you can expect from your food plot.
To help you establish the most successful food plot program available we’ve created an easy to follow “7 Easy Steps to Planting Food Plots”, DVD, Video and Brochure that can be found on our website. You can check out the 15 minute video and brochure by following this link: Food Plots in 7 Easy Steps
Why do deer need minerals?
Providing your deer herd the proper vitamins, minerals and nutrients on a year round basis can not only produce larger antlers but it can have a positive impact on your whole deer family. The right minerals in the right proportion are important for increasing body weight, antler size, milk production, immune system health and disease prevention. While Mother Nature provides minerals in the soil and through plants that deer will consume, many positive results can be obtained by providing additional mineral supplements to your deer herd. Providing supplemental mineral sources like Antler King® Trophy Deer Mineral is important for the whole deer family especially younger deer that have not reached full maturity. As a young deer consumes minerals they are stored within the skeletal system allowing it to continue to grow. It is only when there is a surplus of minerals that they will be “transferred” from the skeletal system into antler growth. A mature buck, with a completely developed skeletal system doesn’t need as much of a mineral surplus to maximize their antler growth as a young immature buck does, because much of their mineral intake is still being used to support it’s skeletal growth. When choosing a mineral supplement make sure it contains highly-digestable chelated minerals, like Antler King® Trophy Deer Mineral so deer can easily digest and store these important minerals in their skeletal system and antlers.
Although deer will consume minerals on a year round basis, the largest consumption will occur from March through September as antlers are growing, fawns are nursing and does are producing milk. It is during this time that it is extremely important to offer mineral supplements on your property. To provide enough minerals for your whole deer family we recommend at least one mineral site per 40 acres of property. Mineral sites are best established near watering holes, food sources or frequently traveled deer trails allowing deer safe and easy access to these valuable minerals. Consumption of minerals is different than consumption of grain or corn. One deer will consume anywhere from 1-5 oz. per day, so if you pour out a bag of Trophy Deer Mineral and a bag of Apple Burst Deer Mineral per site you will want to replenish it every 3-4 weeks.
As we mentioned, deer will consume minerals that Mother Nature provides through plants, water and soil and these minerals are digested and then stored on the deer’s skeletal system. It is only when a deer is able to consume a surplus of minerals that they are allocated towards antler growth. There are two types of minerals that deer need to consume to maximize body and antler growth and sustain optimum health; Macro Minerals (Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium etc.) and Micro or Trace Minerals (Copper, Iron, Selenium, Manganese, etc.) Deer will consume and require more Macro minerals and far less Micro minerals to achieve maximum growth and optimum health.
What kind of minerals do they need?
There are many different types of minerals, vitamins and nutrients that deer need to survive, remain healthy and maximize their genetic potential and it is important to find a well rounded mineral to provide all of these for them. While a growing antler is comprised mostly of protein (see food plot and feeding program for protein options) a hardened antler actually contains a more equal amount of protein and minerals and as much as 35% of the hardened antler is comprised of Calcium and Phosphorus, the two most important minerals in antler growth. Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium are the three most common minerals in an antler, so when choosing a mineral, make sure you’re using a complete mineral that offers all of the various minerals important for antler growth, like Antler King® Trophy Deer Mineral. Minerals work like spokes on the wheel of a bicycle, if a spoke gets “out of whack” the tire wobbles. A good example is the way Calcium and Phosphorus interact. Before any Calcium can be transformed into antler growth enough Phosphorus needs to be present in a deer’s diet AND before these two can interact, enough Vitamin D has to be present. Calcium and Phosphorus are not the only minerals important for a deer’s body and antlers…Trophy Deer Mineral has 27 different minerals and vitamins and each serves a very important purpose in it’s exact proportion. The Macro Minerals; Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, etc. will generally promote body and antler growth and improved digestion, while the Trace minerals like Copper, Zinc, Selenium, etc. will promote immune system health and help deer fight off disease and infection. We’ve also included a special yeast culture in our Trophy Deer Mineral which will aid in digestion and feed efficiency allowing deer to more easily break down and digest the grains, browse and “feedstuffs” they consume and more efficiently use it in body and antler growth. Today, there are many “deer minerals” on the market that have a high level of salt and perhaps a significant level of Calcium but low or virtually no Phosphorus. Calcium and salt are very inexpensive whereas Phosphorus is the most expensive element in a bag of mineral. Look for a balanced deer mineral that has been Specifically Designed for deer and elk. Make sure it contains Calcium and Phosphorus along with other major minerals such as Sulfur, Magnesium, Potassium, and all trace minerals including Zinc, Copper, Selenium, and Vitamins A, D, and E. We do use Sodium in all of our mineral supplements as a transporter of important minerals and vitamins, as straight mineral can have a bitter taste. While too much Sodium can be the limiting factor in antler and body growth, just the right amount can positively benefit a deer in the Spring and Summer as deer may have a slight Sodium deficiency during these months.
What products should I use?
We offer three mineral products that will help increase antler and body growth, milk production, immune system health and help fight off disease and infection.
TROPHY DEER MINERAL was our first product 27 years ago, is the #1 selling mineral supplement in America since that time and offers the most complete mineral supplement on the market. It contains 27 different antler building minerals, vitamins and additives along with a special yeast culture which allows the deer to better utilize and easily absorb the minerals and vitamins. The result is more minerals into antler and body development. Trophy Deer Mineral is available in 20 lb. bags and is best used when poured on the ground near a deer trail. Although we suggest a year round mineral program greatest consumption is from February to September
POWER RACK – Antler King has researched deer nutrition for 27 years and in the past couple of years, research has pointed to the vast importance of certain special trace minerals that will greatly enhance overall health and antler growth. Power Rack Deer Mineral has a special Antler King® flavoring for long range attraction and is loaded with these SPECIAL trace minerals and in the proper proportion to help maximize body and antler growth and help fight off disease like EHD and CWD. Power Rack Deer Mineral may be used as the sole source of your mineral feeding program or for MAXIMUM ANTLER GROWTH, mix one bag of Power Rack with one bag of Trophy Deer Mineral.
APPLE BURST DEER MINERAL combines extreme long distance attraction with premium nutrition to create a complete mineral supplement that is a “game changer”. With over 25 years of science and research on deer and deer nutrition we brought to market our newest mineral supplement, Apple Burst Deer Mineral. Apple Burst Deer Mineral offers the intense aroma of apples for long range attraction and the sweet taste of apples for daily consumption that will have deer coming back day after day to fulfill their mineral needs. It contains all the necessary Major minerals and is Mega fortified with specific trace minerals necessary for antler growth and improved overall health. Apple Burst Mineral is not only an important mineral supplement for deer, but it is a long range attractant that can be used in front of your trail cameras or tree stands to grow ’em big and bring ’em in close. It can be the sole source of your mineral feeding program or it can be combined with Trophy Deer Mineral for maximum results.
Deer have varying nutritional needs throughout the year. The Antler King ® Program is designed to meet these needs in the most economical way. Bucks and Does have a high demand for protein, minerals, and vitamins from February through August, for antler growth and milk production. From September through January, both bucks and does have a lesser requirement for protein, minerals, and vitamins, but a greater demand for energy.
Whether you’re feeding one or one thousand animals, Antler King has a program for you. Our three step approach is perfect for people feeding deer in their backyard, the individual who is supplemental feeding to produce quality whitetails on his/her land or for the Deer Rancher.
The Antler King ® Program for Deer will meet the varying nutritional requirements for deer.
Corn has been used extensively in feeding deer because it is a good source of energy and is almost always cheaper per ton than a commercially manufactured supplement. This use of corn has resulted in a continuing problem with grain engorgement. Grain engorgement is caused by the rapid intake of a large amount of corn or other grain sources over a short period of time. The grain is rapidly fermented which causes a rapid drop in rumen pH. This damages the rumen wall and may actually lower blood pH causing metabolic acidosis. A severe diarrhea can develop and death is often the result. It is NOT recommended to feed corn as the SOLE source of grain!
Antler King’s ® Deer Irresistible is the answer! Antler King’s ® Deer Irresistible is designed to supplement corn. Antler King’s ® Deer Irresistible contains a highly concentrated yeast culture as well as Vitamin E and Selenium to help deer in several ways. The Concentrated Yeast Culture will increase feed efficiency by helping the deer break down corn, browse, and all other feedstuffs. The Vitamin E and Selenium will aid the deer’s immune system by helping them deal with stressful periods such as harsh winters, droughts, and post rut stress.
For just pennies a day, Antler King’s ® Deer Irresistible when mixed with corn will benefit deer, giving you bigger and healthier deer!
For better results use Antler King’s ® Hi Protein Big Buck Block alone or used in conjunction with corn supplemented with Antler King’s ® Deer Irresistible. Antler King’s ® Hi Protein Big Buck Block is totally different than other other “Deer Blocks” being marketed today. Antler King’s ® Hi Protein Big Buck Block is made up of highly digestible grain and protein sources and minimal amounts of Salt and Molasses. Antler King’s ® Hi Protein Big Buck Block is an 18% protein block and through research, it is known that a buck needs a 16% protein diet as early as February 1st in order to obtain maximum antler growth.
For the ultimate feeding program use Antler King’s ® Deer/Elk Pellets for maximum results. The feeding program is as follows:
- Feb 1st – Aug 31st: 100% Antler King ® Deer/Elk Pellets.
- Sept 1st – Jan 31st: 50% Antler King ® Deer/Elk Pellets and 50% Corn and Oats.
Antler King Deer/Elk Pellets are a premium protein pellet with a locked-in formula ensuring each pellet has the guaranteed ingredients for maximum antler growth, body growth, development of fawns and maintenance for does. The 18.5% protein pellet, chelated highly digestible minerals, important vitamins and special yeast culture offers the most complete pelleted grain ration available and the perfect supplemental feed to maximize the health and genetic potential of your herd.
For deer in enclosures, also offer:
- A source of clean water.
- Hay along with Antler King ® Deer/Elk Pellets.
- Fawns should be fed Antler King ® Deer/Elk Pellets for their first year.