SUMMER TIME FEEDING BY: TRACY BREEN
If you haven’t put a scouting camera out yet, don’t wait any longer! According to Jim Ward from Jim Ward’s Whitetail Academy, now is the best time of year to put a camera out if you want to see bucks growing their horns. “Typically, bucks have more antler growth during June than any other month of the year. As a result, if your camera takes a picture one day of a buck and you get a picture of the same buck a week later, you will probably notice a difference in antler growth.
Since June is when bucks grow the most antler, it is also a great time to have feed out there to give them the nutrients they need to grow a large rack. “I put out of lot of different minerals and attractants on my property during the summer to provide plenty of food for the deer to eat. I use a variety of brands including Lucky Buck Mineral Acorn Rage, Whitetail Institute and other products. Many hunters put minerals out during the hunting season to hunt over but the best time to have these products out is when bucks are growing antlers and does are supplying milk for fawns,” Ward explained.
If you want to put in food plots, June is a great time to prepare the land for a food plot even you don’t intend to plant until later in the year because soil tests need to done, round up needs to be sprayed and the ground will need to be tilled. The longer you wait to get started, the better chance there is you will either be too late or you will be scrambling around at the last minute.
Providing deer with the right nutrition is critical when going into fall and winter so if you are a procrastinator, consider putting in an annual that can grow quickly in almost any conditions. Whitetail Institute has Secret Spot and other companies make similar seed blends that don’t require much ground preparation and grow quickly, giving deer the nutrients they need as they head into winter.
Managing and killing big bucks on your own land is a lot of work. Hopefully by providing plenty of minerals and food, the payoff will be a big buck on the ground in the fall. Until then, get your cameras out and put some mineral on the ground in front of it so you can get an inventory of the bucks in your area.