Create a Natural “Mineral Site” for Deer

Last Updated on December 10, 2021 by Brian Grossman

There is a lot of buzz this time of year centered around mineral sites. Us deer hunters love to do whatever we can to improve the quality of deer — especially bucks — where we hunt, and mineral sites are relatively easy and inexpensive to create and maintain. Despite their popularity, I have to point out that no scientific research has actually proven that providing supplemental minerals actually improves the quality of bucks or overall herd health. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt anything and in some cases may make up for local mineral deficiencies. Not to mention they are great places to hang a trail camera to monitor deer throughout the spring and summer.

The one major pitfall to mineral sites is they are not legal in every state and in some states the water is a bit murky as to the legality of hunting over or around one. Researchers at Mississippi State University’s Deer Lab may have found a solution to this dilemma — a way to provide deer with all the minerals they need in nutritious and completely legal native forage. And best of all, you only need a handsaw — or better yet a chainsaw — to get started.

As you’ll see in the video below, the researchers cut low-preference trees like winged elm and red maple. The resulting regrowth that sprouted from the stumps contained much higher crude protein levels that the original tree leaves (16 t0 18 percent compared to 9 to 10 percent). Even more notable, however, was the increase in minerals the sprouts contained. The video only specifically looks at phosphorus levels, which quadrupled, but Marcus mentions there were similar increases in other minerals as well. This technique should work on any tree species that resprouts, including sweet gum! This could be a game changer for habitat managers across the country.

Be sure to check out the video below, as Marcus Lashley, Habitat Management Specialist with the MSU Deer Lab, does a great job of explaining the science behind the whole process.


Provide minerals to deer the way Mother Nature intended – thru vegetation. Create “Mineral Stumps” to increase deer nutrition and hunting opportunities. Please watch the video and tune into the next episode of Deer University to learn more.

College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University Mississippi State University Extension Service Mississippi State University Foundation Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Wired To Hunt National Deer Alliance The Quality Deer Management Association White Knuckle Productions WebShow & Podcast The Management Advantage Mossy Oak GameKeepers STIHL Husqvarna

Posted by MSU Deer Lab on Thursday, June 8, 2017

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