Deer and Minerals
KNOW YOUR DIRT! Have you ever wondered why deer were in one place but not the other even when the layout of the land was similar along with the same amount of vegetation or less? Or why deer seem to like to rut in a particular spot year after year regardless of vegetation? Well, I can answer that question, it’s because of natural mineral in the rock. The desert is full of mineral deposits in specific areas. Deer love and depend on them during pregnancy, the rut, and dry years when there is excessive stress on the body. I have seen a buck leave his doe in the middle of the day and run a mile to eat rocks. You’ll want to pay attention and look for mineral deposits or areas where water has pooled throughout the years past at the base of mountains. You will notice that after a pool goes dry deer will continue to dig in the dirt even if there is standing water close by and this is because they are after the mineral that was left behind. If you’re a person that likes to sit and wait for game to come to you, then I can tell you this is better than sitting in a puddle of water especially if there has been rainfall and there is moisture in the dirt. Even if you have other hunting styles, keying in on these areas will drastically improve your chances.
WRITE IT DOWN! I spoke earlier of a database, and I’ve been using this practice since 2003. Every time I go into the field I write down what I saw or what I didn’t see in a diary when I get home. Let’s face it, most of us live busy lives, and a lot goes on in a year or two, and we tend to forget things. (IT HAPPENS) I like to record sightings, location, temperature, cloud cover, time & date, moon phase, pressure, and on a yearly platform, I record the (ENSO) phase. This along with my saved doppler images helps me pattern deer that otherwise can’t be patterned. I like to keep track of deer that are living and deer that have died and in what year they died. This helps me keep a better eye on the gene pool and what years have potential to produce significant bucks due to the quality of the years the fawns were born in and which bucks potentially sired them. Every piece of the puzzle adds up and if you are consistent and disciplined in your practice it becomes very easy to keep up with and you will eventually unlock every secret your area is hiding. (Keep in mind that these tips are for deer that live off the land and not the local farmer).