Deer mineral stations improve the health of your deer herd, they are cheap and easy to make, and they help you find big bucks to hunt.
Follow these five easy steps for creating your deer mineral station and you may be surprised at what you find lurking on your hunting grounds.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
To get started you’ll need a garden rake, a trail camera with fresh batteries and an empty SD card, and some deer mineral. You can mix your own by using 40% trace mineral salt, 50% di-calcium phosphate, and 10% dried molasses. These items should all be available at your local farm store or co-op. If you are strapped for time you can purchase a pre-blended mix like the one shown in the picture.
Step 2: Select a Site
Locate your deer mineral station in an area deer travel through that also allows easy access with a truck or ATV. Place your deer mineral in a well-drained location so that when the deer start digging for the minerals you don’t end up with a pond.
Step 3: Prep the Area
Start by raking away all the fallen leaves, sticks, and rocks in a 3-foot by 3-foot area. Once you’ve removed the ground litter, loosen the soil to a depth of 3-4 inches. Your prepared site should look something like this.
Step 4: Add Your Deer Mineral
Pour 15-20 pounds of deer mineral over your prepared site, then use your rake to mix it with the soil.
Step 5: Place Your Trail Camera
Place your trail camera 10-15 yards away from your deer mineral site and set the delay between pictures to a minimum of one minute. Deer tend to hang out at mineral sites for a long time and a longer delay between shots will limit the number of pictures you have to sift through to find your target buck.
Face your camera to the north or south so early morning and late evening pictures won’t be washed out by the sun.
Here are a couple of pictures taken at the deer mineral site shown above. Keep in mind that these photos were taken in north-central Pennsylvania, one of the worst areas in the country for finding mature and big-racked bucks.
Oh yeah, deer aren’t the only critters that may come into your mineral station.
If you want to improve your chances of scoring on a big buck this fall, get out now and set up a deer mineral station.
All photos via Micah Sargent