Minerals – Facts vs. Hype
By Don Higgins
The current trend among whitetail hunters to manage properties for better deer hunting is one that I am fully engaged in. My little slice of deer hunting heaven is the recipient of most of my free time and often has my mind working overtime to think of ways to make it just a little bit better than it already is. What new seed can I plant or what can I do to make my property more inviting to whitetails and me a more successful deer hunter?
As I watch this trend make its way through the deer hunting community it almost becomes comical at times. It seems that deer hunters will buy or try anything if they think it will improve their odds of tagging a monster buck. They fall in line like sheep being led to slaughter to hand over their hard earned cash for one over-priced worthless product after another that will never help them or the deer living on their land in any way.
My agricultural background has certainly given me an edge when it comes to separating quality products from over-hyped garbage. As a kid I raised livestock as part of 4-H and FFA projects and in fact have raised various species of livestock all of my life. For the past 15 years I have even raised a small herd of captive whitetails, primarily as a way to learn more about them. With my 50th birthday not too many years away, I have literally spent decades testing various nutritional products and developing feed rations for animals as well as growing a variety of crops and foodplots to feed not only the livestock that I raise but the wildlife that inhabit my property. The over-hyped and often misleading advertising campaigns of some products have literally never run into a tougher customer than me.
My many years of work with captive whitetails have really educated me about various aspects concerning these animals. It has also opened my eyes to the mountain of misinformation about some products being sold to the deer hunting public as well as the large amount of false information about whitetails in general that the majority of deer hunters accept as fact. It would take a book to cover all of these issues so here I am just going to breifly concentrate on one of them; minerals.
I well remember discovering the value of minerals to animal health and production as a young teenager who was striving to grow blue-ribbon winning hogs at the local county fairs. I soaked up every bit of information that I could in my quest to get a leg up on the competition, very similar to the way deer hunters today strive to gain any advantage to help them succeed in their quest to tag monster bucks. Minerals simply provide the needed nutrients for growth and maintenance that an animal cannot readily get in sufficient quantities from their regular diet. There are “macro” minerals which are needed in higher volumes and “micro” minerals which are needed in much smaller quantities. The primary macro-minerals are calcium and phosphorus. Important micro-minerals include selenium, copper, magnesium, zinc and others.
To thrive a whitetail deer needs a diet, including minerals, very similar to that of a dairy cow. A dairy cow is producing milk which is high in calcium and phosphorus while a whitetail buck is growing antlers that require the same minerals. Even a whitetail doe that is producing and raising fawns will need these same minerals in her diet. It is a little more complicated than simply mixing up a batch of the right minerals however. These minerals also need to be in the right ratio to work properly. For example, calcium and phosphorus needs to be in a 2 to 1 ratio. In other words there should be roughly twice as much calcium as phosphorus in a good mineral supplement. The nutritional needs of a whitetail or a dairy cow goes way beyond simply minerals but for this discussion we will just focus on minerals.
Salt is a mineral that is way over used in most mineral mixes marketed to hunters. The reasons are obvious; salt is cheap and deer love it. You can mix salt with just about anything and deer will readily consume it. Don’t get me wrong, salt is an important mineral and should be a part of any mineral product but in much lower doses than is generally the case. Amazingly there is a mineral product marketed to hunters which contains absolutely no phosphorus at all and over 60% salt! Furthermore, this product has a large following of customers who swear that the bucks on their property magically got bigger once they started using this brand of mineral. HOGWASH! I don’t believe that is even possible with that particular product.
I became familiar with Monster Raxx brand mineral quite by accident. Living in Illinois I am not allowed by law to put out minerals so I normally don’t pay any attention to minerals marketed to hunters. I do however feed quality minerals to my captive deer as I strive to maximize their genetic potential. While attending the Iowa Deer Classic last winter I ran into friend Bruce Severson who asked me to take a look at a mineral product that he was working with. I told Bruce that I cannot put out mineral in Illinois but that I would have a look at the product he was raving about and give him my honest opinion. I walked down to the Monster Raxx booth and picked up a bag of their product to read the analysis on the label. I was expecting to find another product loaded with salt and with the other minerals in the wrong proportions along with some hyped up marketing claims. I was shocked to find Monster Raxx actually contained a better analysis than the livestock mineral I was then feeding to my captive whitetails. I was so impressed that I met with the co-owner of Monster Raxx, Tom Lester, and inquired about getting Monster Raxx for feeding to my captive whitetails.
We are now well into the antler growing season and my bucks have been getting Monster Raxx as part of their feed ration for the past several months. I am confident that my bucks are further along in antler growth than they have ever been at this time of year. I fully expect that at least 2 of my bucks will score more than 250” by the end of summer. I will not insult your intelligence and say that this is just because of Monster Raxx as there are other factors at play as well. Even so, I have to believe that Monster Raxx is a factor by providing my deer with the right minerals in the right ratios to allow them to achieve their genetic potential.
Monster Raxx appears to me to be a product being marketed on its own accord, not by hype. The educated consumer who reads the analysis of the bag contents will have a hard time finding a better mineral product on the market. I personally am not aware of any mineral product on the market at this time that even comes close. My agreement to write this endorsement article for Monster Raxx was made because of the quality of the product and the way it is being marketed. The idea of using consumer education to market a product on its own merits instead of using hype or over-paid endorsements is exactly what we use with our company, Real World Wildlife Seed Co. (www.realworldwildlifeseed.com) Today’s deer hunter is becoming more and more informed and educated and knows so much more than they did even a few years ago. I see this as a good thing and one that will allow companies like Monster Raxx to succeed. If providing the whitetails on your hunting property is legal where you hunt, I strongly encourage you to take a long look at Monster Raxx as well as the competition. Look at the amount of salt in the products you are comparing and then look at the level and ratios of calcium and phosphorus. Don’t let a celebrity endorsement talk you into spending your hard earned money on an inferior product; instead just look at the analysis and educate yourself. The choice should then be an easy one.
Monster Raxx Trophy Minerals are made up of high quality minerals and vitamins to maximize your bucks potential.$1599
Monster Raxx Vanilla XXtreme is a highly concentrated oil based attractant and cover spray.Works great anytime using a trail camera and is effective all hunting season.$1399
Monster Raxx Anytime Acorns is an oil based attractant that deer find irresistable and will keep coming back for more.$1399
Monster Raxx Apple Harvest is an oil based attractant that deer find irresistable and will keep coming back for more.$1399
Monster Raxx Whitetail Magnet is a highly concentrated oil based attractant that will pull deer in wherever you use it.$1399
Monster Traxx XXTREME Bear Lure is a highly concentrated oil based attractant bears find irresistible.$1399