Minerals during Antler Growth
Clearly minerals are important in antler development. Large quantities of minerals are required for antler growth. Whitetails actually deposit calcium and phosphorous in their skeletons prior to the onset of antler growth and then transfer these minerals during active growth. However, these body sources of calcium and phosphorous provide only a portion of that needed for optimum antler growth. The remainder must come directly from their diet while their antlers are actively growing. During times of peak antler growth, antler demand for minerals forces the thyroid gland to release calcitonin; this hormone allows the deer to “steal” minerals from its internal bone structure. This process is known as “physiological” or “temporary” osteoporosis. Bones such as the ribs and shoulder blades contribute the most to this temporary mineral deficiency, and they may lose as much as 40% of their calcium content while antlers are hardening. However, by September, deer can fully replace the minerals borrowed from their skeleton. Another factor to consider in trace mineral nutrition is bioavailability (how well a mineral is absorbed and utilized in an animal). Therefore, supplementation of these minerals prior to and during antler growth may be beneficial. Deer have the ability to “stockpile” calcium and phosphorous, this is not true for the majority of other minerals found in antlers. Many “trace minerals” such as barium, aluminum, zinc, and strontium are toxic in large quantities and must be excreted from the deer’s body. As a result, these minerals must be consumed in very small quantities (parts per million) on a regular basis. There are numerous benefits of mineral supplementation including increased forage intake, improved forage digestion, and increased reproductive success. Diet provides the greatest proportion of calcium and phosphorus for antler growth and mineralization.
Mineral Composition of Antlers
While antlers are growing they are comprised mostly of proteins (80 percent by weight); whereas, mature (hardened) antlers are comprised of roughly equal amounts of proteins and minerals. Studies have shown that calcium and phosphorus are by far the two most common minerals in deer antlers comprising nearly 30–35 percent of the mature antler by weight. However, they are not the only minerals present. A University of Georgia study (Miller et al. 1985) detected 11 different minerals in the whitetail’s antlers. In addition to calcium (19.01 percent) and phosphorous (10.13 percent), the next two most common elements reported in the Georgia study were magnesium (1.09 percent) and sodium (0.50 percent). Lesser amounts of other minerals were found including potassium, barium, iron, aluminum, zinc, strontium, and manganese.
Shock Effect Mineral is the most advanced and complete mineral formula ever formulated to help maximize your buck’s potential. It contains cheated minerals, vitamins, amino acids, yeast culture and biotin. It was designed for optimum absorption. It was formulated from our 22 years of experience and working with the top whitetail breeders in the country. We used CBC testing (Complete blood Count) to help get the correct combinations and levels. What is CBC testing? The blood was drawn from these giant whitetails during peak antler growth and analyzed to see the actual vitamin and mineral levels found in their blood streams. We then combined that information with best whitetail veterinarian’s recommendations in the country. You can’t mix this in your garage.
It has always amazed me that there are so many supplement companies on the market today in which 99.9% of them have never put their hands on a live whitetail. Alot of them where thrown together by a nutritionist that knows how to balance minerals but knows nothing about whitetail. Most of these company’s products consist mainly of salt. The salt will only attract the deer and it has very little nutritional benefit. Many of these products come with a money back guarantee. The problem is you can’t prove their product didn’t help, it’s all a sales gimmick. If any of those products really worked the breeders would be using them. Nobody has done more scientific testing with proven results than we have. The choice is yours, buy a mineral supplement in a fancy bag that has just been thrown together or try one that is proven to help grow bigger antlers and can be backed up by test results.
Here is a picture of a set of sheds off one of our test animals. In the left picture there are two yearling bucks. The buck in the back is the same deer as the sheds in the right picture. The sheds on the right are his second set of antlers. Yes, he is a two year old. He scored 348” and had 42 score able points. He definitely has superior genetics but without the proper nutrition he would have never looked like this.