Mineral Station Success

19 May

 This picture is 100% staged.

This picture is 100% staged.


As most of you know my son was born on the 26th of last month, so I’m blaming him for not getting my trail cameras and mineral stations out until this past weekend. Usually they would have been soaking for about a month and I would already have a good idea of what deer are in the area. Oh well, it’s only May after all and I tend to overdo it sometimes.

I don’t know about you, but I love checking my trail cameras throughout the summer months, it’s better than Christmas. There’s something exciting about watching the bucks on your property blossom into the unique creatures they truly are. I anticipate the moment when I realize that my #1 hit-list buck from last year made it through the winter and will be back too chase again the upcoming season. Plus, I like to show my daughter and wife the pictures of the fawns to show them that I’m not all about the kill, although I spend most of my days imagining slipping one of my broadheads behind the shoulder of their father.

Like I’ve mention in previous blogs, I use mineral for one reason and one reason only… to get deer in front of my trail cameras.  Because I don’t own my own property I don’t have the ability to leave mineral out all year long, per most mineral companies recommendations. Plus, I can’t afford it. If the mineral that I do use benefits the heard health and grows MASSIVE RACKS in the process, that’s awesome. Mineral stations, for me, are a tool I use to take inventory of the deer I will be hunting in the fall.


My Stic-N-Pic and Covert lying in wait.

My Stic-N-Pic and Covert lying in wait.


Mineral Station Tips:

Direction – Avoid pictures that are blown out by he sun by facing your trail cameras to the north or south. This will prevent you from having to squint or zoom in on a picture of what could be target deer when the sun is low in the eastern or western sky.

Wind – Nothing pisses me off more than 1000 pictures of wind. Make sure you avoid this by clearing out the area in front of the trail camera of grass and low hanging limbs with weed killer or a rake to prevent false triggers. If not, you stand the chance of draining your battery life and missing the perfect set of pictures.

Distance – Have you ever had those pictures where all you see is an eyeball or brow tine? I sure have. Before you take your trail camera in to the field mount it is your back yard and walk in front of it a couple times. This will allow to you to find the perfect to place your mineral station. Remember, the goal is to see their characteristics to determine if they are mature, not too see the tick family living in their hide. Having the mineral station too far away not only means you will have trouble recognizing the deer, but just more brush you will have to trim between the mineral and the camera.

Easy Access – I like to put a majority of my mineral stations either on the field edge or just inside the timber line. I like to have them as hidden as possible to prevent “hillbilly posing”. The perfect scenario is being able to drive right up to the camera, switch put the card, and get out of the area with as little intrusion as possible. FREE TIP: If you can leave your truck running while checking your cards, the deer seem to be more comfortable with a running vehicle as opposed to a single person stomping through the weeds.

Double check your state regulations before creating a mineral station. Iowa, for example, allows mineral, but you can’t over it or hunt on a trail leading directly to the location. There are several states that do not allow mineral.

Good luck and remember to send me your #velvetrut pictures as you get them and I will post them on the 9FC social media pages.

As always, thanks for reading,
Dan (DFW)


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The trifecta!


2 Responses to “Mineral Station Success”

  1. Charles Crowe June 10, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Great article and advice! Our mineral stations on our property in Ohio are set up for the exact same reasons, inventory being the most important. Setting the camera up is critical, too close and you don’t see much other than bam…the deer right there not knowing where it even came from. Too far and it’s hard to determine who is who at times.

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