Editors Blog

Mineral Sites for Deer: Instant Attraction

Buck at a mineral site

That is some great antler growth for the first week of June! This mature buck quickly found an Antler Builder mineral site.

by Daniel E. Schmidt

Talk about instant success! These photos are just two of more than 700 that Deer & Deer Hunting contributor Cory Johnson capture with his Cuddeback Attack camera over the past two weeks.

Cory is a big-time whitetail fanatic, and he grows some dandy bucks. The secret to his success with this photo site, however, was a new product that he was testing called “Antler Builder” from Nutra Deer.


“I literally could not believe my eyes,” Cory told me when describing his initial reaction to the number of photos he retrieved. “Bucks came out of the woodwork to this spot.”

Mineral licks that deer use

Deer instinctively seek mineral sites in spring and summer. The boost in nutrients aids in body and antler growth.

The bucks in these photos are dandies, no doubt, including one that is likely a 3- or 4-year-old that will eventually have an 18+ inch spread.

Nutra Deer’s Antler builder Deer Mineral Lick is a nutritional balanced and highly attractive blend that should be used as a year-round mineral supplement to ensure maximum antler development. The proven blend of vitamins, essential minerals and micro minerals can increase any bucks antlers size with taller tines and greater mass. It is recommended for free-range deer management (where legal).


Jeff Williams of Outdoor BrandZ Inc. provided these answers to some of the most common questions concerning mineral use for white-tailed deer. Jeff is the one who came up with the formula for Antler Builder product that is being consumed by the deer in the above photographs.

Question: I have used a few different brands of minerals, and have had the same result with all of them, the deer just dont hit! I have had just as much luck with a glorfied mineral lick thats more salt than anything. I just want to know a good mineral for true “outdoor” deer, not in a huge pen. and also would it be more effective to use a feed to mix with the minerals?

Jeff Williams:
No need to mix feed(s) with mineral. You are wasting you money.

Question: Ok. My friend and i lease about 600 acres here in South Carolina. My question is, we are really wanting to put out some sort of minerals in multiple locations this year to help with antler growth. Do we buy a bag of this, pour it out and it last during the growth season? Or is this something we have to apply every week or so?

Jeff Williams:
On 600 acres I would put out 6 deer mineral stations. Make sure these are placed in areas that deer travel through very regularly. Also place them in a location that you can easily monitor them with trail cameras if you so wish.

The rule of thumb on replenishing a mineral lick is….If there is no visible mineral left, it needs replenished. Some of the deer mineral will soak into the ground but you really need to see some at the lick to make sure there is plenty there. The deer activity on each lick will dictate the usage. I would suggest checking every month or so until you see how they are using it. I would also expect to see the highest deer mineral consumption between March and September.

Mineral Supplement for Deer

Antler Builder Deer Mineral

Question: I have a question for you, and others in the south, regarding antler mass.

I am wondering if deer in your area pack on the mass as they mature, like our northern deer do? I know that northern deer are typically heavier weight wise, but it seems that even the largest of the southern bucks do not stack up mass wise to northern bucks?

The supplementing that you do (year round?) obviously is huge, but I supplement seemingly much less than you; and I see great results, whether its from the mineral supplement or not.
Somedays I wonder if northern deer are almost a different breed…
I don’t want it to sound like a bash, or an amateur post, but I see all these thin, tall tined, wide racks on the southern deer whereas the northern bucks tend to be heavy and gnarly.

The complete guide to deer minerals

Learn more about mineral sites with this digital download from Deer & Deer Hunting.

Jeff Williams:
Good Question! Well comparing deer in WI and MN to Deer in the non Ag areas of NE OK is kinda like comparing a orange to a grapefruit. Both look about the same but there are some really HUGE differences in the two…..There are deer in Canada that make our OK deer look like dogs and crazy as it seems our OK deer in NE OK are larger than some in the South and Eastern parts of the country. The age, nutrition and genetics of a buck do matter on mass to some degree, but our deer will never have the mass yours do.

This is a very BIG subject and one that can cause quite a lot of debate but bottom line is the whitetail subspecies look about the same in general but differ a lot in body weights, antler mass and size, fawn weights, etc.

FYI: There are at least 6 different subspecies of whitetail deer in North America that have evolved over time to master the regional climates they must live in. The farther North you go the bigger the deer. THe bigger the body size of the deer is proportional with the antler mass they grow out of their big heads to some degree.

When you feed supplemental protein and mineral you have to:
1) Understand the basic herd anatomy you are dealing with in your geographic region.

2) Only measure your results against deer from the same geographic region.

3) Document the size of the animals regarding body weights and antler sizes from year to year to show a true picture of the supplemental feedings results. The most productive way to accomplish this is if you have some basic understanding of your deer herd before you start your supplemental feeding program.

Everyone has to measure supplemental feeding results against average deer from their geographic area. You can not measure results against freakishly huge deer or below average deer from your area.

I hope I shed some light on the differences between your deer and ours. I wish we naturally had the mass your deer do, but I think they would look very disproportionate with the heads of our 150 lb bucks! I feed protein and mineral to try and turn those skinny wide racks to more massive racks!