I am in the process of two experiments I got off the supposed deer expert Ficuccia in his seminar at the Rockland show.
One is to pick a particular white oak tree and fertilize it. It is to be done in the spring and fall. The idea is that the tree with more nutrients will produce more, larger & better tasting acorns than the surrounding trees. I purchased fertilizer spikes and put the spikes around the drip line of a tree during turkey season. I plan to do the same tree again in the fall. Supposedly it will not make a difference for a year or two. The beauty of it is, if it works, that you can do it on public land and other hunters will not notice unless they are super good at scouting.
The second experiment is with the Deer Caine Black Magic. I made a mineral lick with this stuff in the spring and have been replenishing it every few weeks. I will continue to deposit the minerals at least until muzzleloader season. The lick is 60yards below one of my favorite muzzle loader spots. This Black Magic stuff has a sweet odor that is supposed to attract the deer. Based on this smell I think it will just as likely attract bears. The first time I deposited it I spilled a bunch of it in my backpack. I was watching behind me on the way out expecting a bear to pick up the scent.
JerseyJim I have fertilized the oaks where I hunt and boy does it make a difference. I also do it to natureal browes ( honeysuckels, persimons, sumac, ect: )fertilize everything the deer eat is the best way to keep the herd healthy.
I just got back from my fertilzed white oak tree and Black Magic mineral lick. Not looking good.
I put the spikes in again today,but I think I picked the wrong tree to fertilize. I can't expect results from the fertilization untl next year, However, my tree has no acorns at all. A tree about 60yds away has plenty. The difference is that my tree has the root system intertwined with other trees while the tree with acorns has no other trees within the drip line.
I have also been putting out Black Magic since the spring. I do the every 3-4 weeks. Everytime I go I see deer in the area, but there is no indication they are visiting the lick. I will find out for sure opening day.
Deer use the mineral licks in the early spring. Mineral licks are not a reliable way to attract deer. They are more for supplement then bait.
I have a couple around and yes, on WMA. I photo these areas in the spring. I have one that is as deep as my thigh and about as round as a truck hood. By fall the leaves are in it and unless you know what it is you would think it's an old rotten stump hole.
Before I would fert. anything I would do a soil test to make sure what nutrients the desired species needs, and how much.
One if it doesnt need it your just contributing to leaching of nitrates and phosphates into the enviroment. Second diferent analysis on fertilizer is designed for specific species, and particular areas.