Minerals work together like spokes on the wheel of a bicycle tire. 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 or bone development, enough phosphorus needs to be present in a deer’s diet AND before these two can interact, enough vitamin D has to be present in the deer’s diet. 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. It should contain less than 30% salt and at least 6% 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.
I know you suggest planting 5-10% of your property in food plots, but I cannot. I will only have a total of around 1% and it will be in a couple of smaller plots that will each be about ½ to ¾ of an acre each. Historically, the deer have my plots pretty well eating by early fall. Is there anything I can do?
When you are limited in acreage that you can plant, then you must really work on maximizing the tons of forage you can produce on each of your plots. Here is what you can do to MAXIMIZE tons of forage. 1. Check your pH and apply enough lime to bring the pH up to a 7.0. When you do, you will get 100% usage of the fertilizer you have put down for the plants. 2. Properly till up the soil by loosening up the top 6-8 inches of top soil. By doing this, you will allow more plants to germinate and develop a strong vigorous root system. 3. Use Antler King’s PLOT MAX prior to planting AND again in the late summer. This will “condition” the soil by raising the pH , increasing organic matter , and aerating the soil. 4. Use Antler King’s JOLT FOLIAR FERTILIZER anytime after the plants in the plot are at least 3 inches tall. We suggest applying JOLT every 3-4 weeks and apply it right up until the first frost. In one test last summer, we were achieving 6 inches more growth on RED ZONE 3 weeks after we applied the 1st application of JOLT. 6 inches more growth over an acre is a lot of additional forage! JOLT is so economical and easy to apply. I don’t have to worry if it is going to rain as I would have to when using granular fertilizer, I just spray every 3-4 weeks and this application will “feed” the plants with nutrient rich food and allow them to produce more forage!