Here we are already in the dog days of summer with Fall fast approaching. Welcome back for the August installment of the official Whitetail XTC blog.
This month we continue where we left off in July breaking down “Xtreme Tine Candy” and culminating the professionals involved in the composition of our unique formula in an effort to provide maximum benefit to wild free ranging animals.
The obvious first step in developing any mineral supplement is to understand the functional physiological needs of the animal. This sounds basic enough right? Actually it is a very difficult proposition. There are tremendous variables to consider when evaluating the nutritional requirements of wild deer. The fact remains that the absolute vitamin and mineral requirements of whitetails is as of yet inconclusive despite extensive research and our knowledge of critical needs.
Deer are browsing animals and their diet is estimated to include more than 600 known plant species throughout North America. However the availability of these nutritional sources are as widespread as the whitetails range itself. You have to consider seasonal availability, weather influence over browse growth, varied habitat, human impact on habitat, the sex of the animal, age structure, physiological states such as; fawning, antler development and body growth. The variables detailed here are by no means exhaustive, but you are getting the picture.
To begin and tackle these variables we started with a 30+ year veteran of animal nutrition and a 20 year veteran specializing in ruminant and ungulate digestion. With more than 50 years of combined knowledge and experience on our team we set out on our journey to see if we could create the Xtreme.
Animal Nutritionist: To develop “Xtreme Tine Candy” it was most important to understand the known nutritional needs of whitetails. Understanding critical dietary needs is indispensable in identifying and addressing deficiencies.
Nutrition is defined as the ability of an animal to sustain all of it’s physiological needs through the food it consumes. Nutrition is a combination of dietary requirements: Protein, Energy, Vitamins, Minerals and Water.
Protein: Protein is necessary for normal body function and growth, reproduction, lactation as well as antler development. The protein requirements are varied between individuals, seasons, the sex of the animal and the age of the animal.
Deer have minimal requirements for protein in the winter months as do mature deer that have reached their peak body mass. However, high protein availability in the spring and summer months are crucial for bucks and does alike.
Hardened antler is comprised of about 45% protein, but the requirements of normal bodily needs and growth take precedence over antler development. In areas where protein is limited in the spring and summer months it is likely that bucks will not represent their true antler potential.
Does’ require tremendous amounts of protein during the final trimester of pregnancy and while lactating. Quality milk is comprised of more than 8% protein with the availability of protein rich foods determining quantity and quality. Multiple offspring compound the requirement for abundant protein rich foods.
Energy: Okay, I know what you are thinking and you are correct. Energy is not a nutrient. However, energy is a result of nutrient intake and an essential part of every physiological function of whitetails throughout the year.
Fawning, antler development, evading predators and rut activity is dependant upon energy levels. The larger the animals the greater need for high carbohydrate, fat reserve building, energy producing foods such as corn.
Does will expend about 20% energy birthing and their remaining energies providing for their young. Bucks will expend tremendous amounts of energy during the rut and lose up to 30% of their body mass. The fall is a critical time for deer to build fat reserves before a long winter sets in.
Energy rich foods are the difference between life and death for surviving harsh winter months as fat energy is used to regulate body temperature and maintain basic life functions when quality life sustaining forage is sparse.
Minerals: It seems all the focus on a deers need for minerals in the hunting world is on calcium and phosphorus. This is primarily because these two ingredients are essential for antler development. Calcium and phosphorus are also critical for skeletal development, body growth, lactation and metabolism. Certainly as hunters we at Whitetail XTC understand the infatuation with the dream of 200 inches of bone coming towards our treestands, but there is more to the story.
Hard antler is made up of about 22% Calcium and 11% Phosphorus and this ratio of 2:1 is an important factor for growing maximum potential racks. Nearly 90% of the calcium and phosphorus is contained within the skeletal system which is the bodily priority for these minerals. Reserves of these minerals are later transferred in a type of osteoporosis from the skeletal system for the development of antlers during the spring and summer months.
Minerals are about 5% of a deer’s total body and we have lots to tell you about it, but that is for future blogs. For now we are simply defining nutrition. Stay tuned and follow our blog!
Vitamins: Vitamins are very important nutrients, but are not a limiting factor for wild deer residing in natural habitats. More on this in the future as well.
Water: The most critical of all life sustaining nutritional needs. Deer consume as much as 8 quarts every 24 hours. A quality water source is an essential part of any whitetail habitat as water obtained from browse is insufficient to meet daily needs. Deer will actually reduce their food intake when water availability is limited. Considering all of the nutrient needs we have discussed thus far you can see how this can be detrimental to the health and development of your herd. Deer can survive for extended periods of time with little or no food and only about 3 days without water. A quality water source should be the top priority in your management strategy.
With the expertise and extensive experience of our animal nutritionist we better understand what deer need and can begin to identify and supply deficient resources known throughout the whitetails range.
We wanted to create and produce the best product for our whitetails and if you really study the formulation and ingredients in our product you will soon realize that there is not another product on the market that can rival the Fortification and Quality of “Xtreme Tine Candy.”
One of the unique features to our “Tine Candy” recipe is the fact that we have a high level of organic or chelated trace elements, which are, Copper, Zinc and Manganese and just enough of the inorganic or sulfate and oxide forms to help transport tetrathiomolybdate and other heavy metals out of the deer’s system which can be antagonist to the bio-availability of key nutrients.
Stay tuned, we have a lot more to share…See you in September!