Get ready now for hunting season, which actually began as last deer season ended. The sportsmen who will take turkeys this spring and next and big deer in the fall and winter of 2009 already have started working to grow those animals now. The men and the women who get their longbeards and wide-racked bucks realize they need to work their lands now, manipulate the habitat, replant green fields and select the fruit and nut trees they’ll need to plant in the fall of 2009.
Just like you can’t raise prize-winning cattle by only feeding and medicating them 3 months out of the year, you can’t produce trophy bucks and large numbers of beards and spurs, if you don’t manage your wildlife each month of the year. We’ve talked with wildlife biologist Rodney Dyer of Deatsville, Alabama, Hunter’s Specialties.
At this time of year in the spring, many hunters and landowners will put-out minerals and salt licks for deer. However, Dyer considers minerals only a partial solution for producing bigger and better quality deer. “I suggest using one Hunter’s Specialties’ Vita-Rack 26, a mineral-and-vitamin supplement site, for every 60 acres of land,” advises Dyer. “Vita-Rack contains both vitamins and minerals. As deer grow antlers, they pull vitamins and minerals from their bones. So, by providing a vitamin and a mineral supplement, you’ll help the bucks replace the vitamins and the minerals in their bones that they’ve utilized for growing antlers.”
A vitamin-mineral supplement not only helps the bucks grow but also provides a good nutritional program for the does and their fawns. “By putting out a vitamin and a mineral supplement every 60 days, you’ll have a healthier deer herd with bigger body weights and heavier antlers,” Dyer explains.
Dyer recommends creating vitamin-and-mineral supplement sites in somewhat-secluded areas near cover, since deer prefer to feed in concealed regions. Then they don’t feel threatened with their heads down, while pawing and licking the vitamins and the minerals out of the ground. “I’ve seen some mineral sites where the deer have dug so deep into the ground that the hole will hold a Volkswagen,” Dyer says. “Now’s a great time to begin creating vitamin-and-mineral licks for your deer.”
Turkeys Like Freshly-Plowed Earth:
“I don’t know why turkeys like to walk in freshly-plowed fields,” Dyer says. “Perhaps the loose dirt just feels good under their feet.” In April, plow some of your green fields, and prepare the ground for a summer planting of products like Vita-Rack’s Summer Blend, which contains peas, beans, sorghum and sunflowers that produce tons of forage for deer and turkey.
But before you plant, Dyer recommends you use a herbicide like Round-Up to kill the weeds. Next, wait 10 days, disc-up the ground, wait 2 days, fertilize the ground, disc-in the fertilizer, and then plant the Vita-Rack Summer Mix in early summer. “Vita-Rack Summer Blend will provide plenty of food for your deer and turkeys until the first frost,” reports Dyer.
Too, don’t forget Hunter’s Specialties’ latest product, Vita-Rack Moisture Trap, which maximizes moisture retention, increases germination and stimulates growth. A 2-1/2-pound bag of Moisture Trap will cover 1/2-acre of land and can last in the soil for up to 12 months. You’ll be amazed at what this product can do for your soil in your green fields. This month, besides turkey hunting, mow your green fields, put out vitamin and mineral mixes, kill the grass around your fruit and nut trees, and prepare the ground for planting new green fields to be planted with Hunter’s Specialties Vita-Rack Summer Blend.