Land Beyond the Cameras

Hunting on Deer Trail & other sounds besides Animal Questions

In Minnesota you cannot hunt on private land without permission. We have five acres the cams are toward the back of our land (see map). On the other side of our road is another road with houses, many times the deer bed down between the houses. On the other side of the power line is Potlatch, County Land, and Anderson Brothers (Gravel Pit). There is a lot of open land around ours. Some places give permission to hunt, and the County & State land are open. We also have a lot of lakes around us, so besides in the early sping when we get to hear a lot of Loons towards fall we sometimes hear duck hunters. We also have Camp Ripley a military base, the north end is about a mile or so away across the Crow Wing River not seen on the map. BIR (race track) & North Central Speedway are N & S on 371, and some weekends can hear the cars. There is also a train up on hwy 210 about 2 miles away (not on map) that you can hear when it is calm or the wind is right, if you hear it in the fall listen closely for the coyotes, they often howl right along with it. Our next door neighbor raises hunting dogs, they have a very nice garage, with kennels equipped with doggie doors. Not sure how they do it but they can get them doors to popping sometimes. And they love to bark, when the owner lets them. Sometimes he trains them with blanks. From time to time we hear snowmobiles and four wheelers out on the Power line. With all the land around us we hear everything from bombs going off to Geese flying from one watering place to the next. Hope this helps to answer some of the questions you may have about what you heard on the Trail! Happy listening & Have a great day!

P.S. If you hear an echo sound it is because you only need to have the sound working for one cam. We use the same mic for all three cams. Sometimes the crows come in and take the fox food, so we have been playing sounds on the computer to scare them away. We also often hear a crow that barks like a dog & a Cat bird that sounds like a cat and sometimes kittens!

Mineral Pits, Salt Blocks & Food Plots

I looked up some information on the subject today, and thought I would post some of it that sounded interesting about the deer and animals on the trail, as I have noticed that the rabbits, not only like the clover but they are sometimes in the mineral pit also, and read that many animals can benifit from a food plot, mineral pit as all animals need salt & minerals. The clover that is grown in the summer sounds like it is the best thing for the deer, that I have read so far, they canít digest like dried hay and stuff very good. Will keep looking if anyone finds more info feel free to post it. Thanks!

Minerals - Salt blocks have been used for years to attract deer due to the fact that it is cheap and sodium is often lacking in the deerís natural diet, and therefore, deer are attracted to the sodium found in salt. Salt contributes very little to antler growth or lactation. What deer really need are the proper amounts and integration of macro minerals, trace minerals and vitamins that play a much more active role in antler growth, lactation and health than does salt.

If your goal is to provide a food source for deer to promote antler growth, lactation and to draw deer to a certain area you should plant a food source designed specifically for deer. This food source must be consistently high in nutrients and high in digestibility especially during the spring and summer.

A typical trace mineralized salt block provides only a fraction of an animals trace mineral needs and does not provide the major mineral (except sodium and chloride) and vitamin needs. Most trace mineralized salt blocks contain 95 percent or more salt and contain only a ďtraceĒ of minerals.

Minerals are inorganic elements that are needed by all animals to remain healthy and productive. Some minerals are essential components of bone, teeth, blood cells, vitamins, hormones and amino acids. Minerals that are required in larger amounts are referred to as major minerals. These are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and sulfur. Minerals required in smaller amounts are called trace minerals. Some trace minerals are copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, cobalt, iodine and iron. A mature animal consuming the recommended amount of a typical trace mineralized salt block would only receive a small portion of its trace mineral requirements and none of its major mineral needs.

Plants contain sufficient levels of some of the minerals and vitamins required, but many areas of the country may be deficient or low in certain minerals, so that plants that grow in those areas will also be deficient. Grass tends to be deficient in the major minerals, sodium and phosphorus, and in the trace minerals of zinc, copper and selenium. But a good source of vitamin E.

It is apparent that proper mineral and vitamin supplementation may require more than just a trace mineralized salt block. It is important to provide a well-balanced mineral supplement containing all essential minerals. Supplements could also contain yeast culture, organic trace minerals and biotin.

Minerals are vital for many functions. The most recognizable being antler growth and lactation. The hardened antler is approximately 55% mineral. In most soils and forages, however, many minerals are deficient. Creating a mineral lick will not only help optimize antler growth and lactation, but will also draw deer to the area as they crave the minerals found at the lick site.

The supplements that the deer need are calcium and phosphate, with vitamins A, D, and E.

This mixture will give the deer the nutrients they need during the antler growing season. The only problem is they donít like it and they wonít eat it, so you have to add other ingredients to the mixture to get the deer to consume it.

There are many good mixes out on the market; they all have basically the same stuff in them. Find a low spot near a good deer travel route and work up the soil, then mix the supplement with the soil. After itís mixed pour a bucket of water over it. This saturates the mixture.

The deer will eat both the mix and the soil, after a few weeks the deer will have a hole dug trying to get every bit. You should start one in April, redo it in July, and then again in October. If you want bigger, healthier deer make a Mineral Lick.

Homemade Deer Lick - A simple and relatively inexpensive mineral lick or mineral pit can be made by mixing together equal parts of Arm and Hammer washing soda, salt and dicalcium phosphate. The salt can be purchased at a local grocery store and the Washing Soda and Dicalcium phosphate from a local feed store. Once mixed, simply dig a pit on your property and place the mixture into it, lightly water the mixture if you wish to form mud. To help get the deer onto the lick faster, we have often covered the mix in molasses, the sweetness and scent brings the deer in quickly. Once the lick is established, it is only necessary to ad more minerals once or twice a year.

Deer salt/mineral licks - Dig a small pit about 6◊6 gradually going deeper as you get to the middle, go to 1 ft deep at the middle. Install tarp in bottom of pit, using the dirt you dug out. Gradually mix in salt/minerals with dirt as you fill the pit back up, top it off with lots of salt/minerals. If water is convenient flood the area real good and make a nice mud hole, this will give the salt/minerals a head start. You may need to change your tarps at least every three years, as the salt will eat away at the tarp and in turn will not serve the purpose of holding the water. Note that these artificial salt/mineral licks must be done in early spring, as this is the time the deer will be seeking these licks to get the calcium they crave in the spring.

Deers & Stumps - Deers love molasses, crave minerals, and enjoy gnawing stumps. They will paw, gnaw, and lick some stumps right out of the ground. You can put the above mix on the top of a stump and it will soak into the stump, penetrating the decaying wood particles. When activated by morning dew or rainfall, the mineral vapors and the aroma of sweet molasses fill the air, inviting those big bucks out to devour the stump. Once found, the site becomes a source of beneficial minerals for the deer and will aid in patterning their movements.

Chicory - Is perennial herb forage and is highly nutritional for the summer and fall feeding. An excellent forage for deer and withstands heavy grazing. Chicory has a deep taproot and is very drought resistant and is high in mineral as well as protein content. Plant rate at 5-7 lb. per acre. Great for deer habitat when mixed with legumes and grasses. Use to attract deer as well as other wildlife.

Deer cannot digest grasses as well as other animals such as cattle, and are mainly consumed when the grass is very young. Alfalfa and clover are utilized by deer in most cases more than any other agricultural crop. Hays are grown for large ruminants such as beef cattle or dairy cattle. Because cattle have a large rumen, they are able to better utilize mature forages as compared to deer, which have smaller rumens and are less able to digest mature forages. For instance, deer will consume leaves from these forages and not the stems due to the fact that the stems have a low digestibility. What this all means is that deer utilize these agricultural legumes usually only when they are young. Like soybean plants, as the plants mature consumption decreases due to the decrease in digestibility. Most agricultural plantings are designed for agricultural purposes, not for feeding deer.

Other feed: The deer mainly have whole & cracked corn, they also eat the sunflower seeds, that the birds, squirrels and other small animals eat. We also bring out bread and put Sweet feed a mineral poweder on the seed that someone sent us to try and they like that also. We put out smaller seeds like millet etc for the birds & squirrels, the deer often eat that also.

In the summer we put out apples, hazzle nuts, fruit as grapes etc for the deer, raccoon and other animals. We have been putting out meat, chicken, turkey, baccon fat for the fox. The crow and some other birds like that also. Along with suet blocks which many of the animals and the woodpeckers eat.