Rack Buck Bits

Volume 3, Issue 1

February 2000

Happy 2000!!!

     Welcome and happy new century.  I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday season.  I hope the new century brings you much joy and prosperity (and a few Boone & Crockett bucks.)

            I want to welcome a terrific new addition to our Rack Buck Bits newsletter — Ben Koerth from the Institute for White-tailed Deer Management and Research. Ben and Dr. James C. Kroll have done fantastic, and much needed, research on nutritional requirements and management of whitetail deer.

            Ben has written an excellent article on the backside that you won’t want to miss.  Dr. Kroll and Ben also have a marvelous selection of books on management of food plots and producing and harvesting trophy whitetails as well.

            You can either call 800-403-3793 or visit their website at http://www.sfasu.edu/forestry/faculty/kroll/deer.html .  You can also get there from the link on our own web site at www.rackbuck.com.

            We appreciate all the email we have been receiving.   If you appreciate Ben’s great article, please let him know. His email address is bkoerth@sfasu.edu.

            If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to call Don, Mike or Jeff.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Reorder Super Juice™!

If you haven’t already done so, please check your inventory of Super Juice™.   Spring will be here soon.  Your systems need the added punch from the Super Juice™ so that they can provide the bucks with much needed protein.  The quicker they get enough protein and nutrients to recover from the rut, the quicker they can apply the additional protein to their growing antlers.   Your unborn fawns will thank you too, when their mothers are feeding on the nutrient-rich honeysuckle!

 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show - February 5 - 13, 2000

Look for us in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at the World’s Largest Outdoor Show — the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.  The show begins February 5 and runs through the 13th. 

We will be at Booth 3619.

       The show is well worth the trip, but be sure to plan for more than one day, because you can’t see it all in one!

                Stop by and see us.  We would love to visit with you and answer any questions you may have.


“Growing trophy deer doesn’t happen overnight; however, with a little patience, we are sure you will be pleased with the success you will achieve from the Rack Buck Deer Management, Inc.
Complete System.™

Mail Order Kits

 Order your patented Complete System kit today!  The kits will come directly to your door, via UPS, ready to install.  All the ingredients are numbered for trouble-free installation.  There is also a short instructional video available that shows you how to install a kit and tips for making it grow quickly and become a protein-producing machine!

      When the kit arrives, it will contain a pre-addressed postcard for obtaining plants free of charge.  The plants will be shipped directly from the nursery when you are ready for them.  So, even if you can’t get your system installed for a few days, you won’t have to worry about keeping plants alive.  Install the system, water the system, and have the plants delivered later.  You can then plant the young honeysuckle and you are ready to go!

      Make sure you order several kits.  The kits are 10’ long.  You can install them individually or hook two together.  Each kit will include the postcard that will get you six honeysuckle plants from the nursery.   These plants are specially selected for quick growth and vigor.

      You MUST cover the system with some sort of cage.  We have experimented with several different options over the years.  We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.  The best thing we can recommend is the cage that was designed exactly for these systems.  Because of shipping weight, we cannot ship wire to you, but we can ship the frame which is the most important part.  You can then buy 2 x 4 wire at most any hardware or farm store.  These frames will come with instructions on how to cut the wire and assemble the entire cage.

      You can print an order form off our web site at www.rackbuck.com/purchasing.htm, or  give us a call and we’ll send you one in the mail.

      We are truly excited about what this kit will do for your deer management goals.   Order your today!

A Dead Horse

            When you find yourself sitting astride a dead horse, your first course of action should be to get off. It does no good to blame the person who sold you the horse, or appoint a committee to study if the horse is really dead. If he's dead, get off! The same can be said for deer management where you hunt. If you’re trying to ride a dead horse, your forward progress is going to be severely challenged.

                If you’re not paying close attention to the nutritional quality of your deer habitat, your deer management will be like riding a dead horse. Remember where you read it. The three keys to growing bigger deer are: 1. nutrition, 2. Nutrition, 3. NUTRITION!

                Whitetails normally experience two nutritional stress periods during the year. The first stress period most people recognize is late winter. It’s cold, deciduous trees have lost their leaves, acorns are depleted, and spring greenup is yet to occur. In other words, there is sparingly little for deer to eat.  The second, though less recognized, stress period is the hot, dry part of summer. Unfortunately, during that time we are all too often concentrating on other things. The kids are on vacation from school, water sports are in and hunting season is in the distant future. Outside of daydreaming about big bucks each month when the magazines hit the mailbox, maybe the last thing you think about is deer nutrition.  However, for the serious deer hunter and manager, this is exactly the time to be concerned.

                Summer is the time when most native plants have ceased growing in response to high temperatures, low rainfall and because of their normal growth habit. Basically, there are two types of plant growth habits.  These are called determinant and indeterminant. The most common growth form is determinant where there is a distinct growing season, usually in the spring concurrent with adequate rainfall. After the initial growth phase, the plants quickly mature and become less palatable. As the fiber content of these plants increase with maturity, they become less nutritious. Thus, deer will use them less.

                A few plants, Japanese honeysuckle for example, have what is called an indeterminant growth form. This type of plant puts on new growth throughout the growing season whenever there are favorable weather and rainfall conditions. These types of plants are ideal for deer management because high quality forage can be produced throughout the year.

                What makes summer so nutritionally stressful? Just think about what is going on with the deer. Not only is summer the growing season for plants, this is the growing season for deer. Fawns are growing and being weaned and does are having to produce milk to raise the fawns in addition to meeting their own dietary needs. This places an incredible nutritional demand on the does.

                Weaned fawns have the highest nutritional requirement of all. Fawns exhibit a cyclic growth pattern with the most rapid increase in weight and size during their first summer. This peak in nutritional requirement coincides with late summer, a time that is typically nutritionally deficit.

                On the other hand, older bucks probably have the easiest time in summer. There are no lactation demands and body growth is limited. However, don’t be misled into believing high quality nutrition is less meaningful. An important aspect of summer is bucks are growing the antlers we covet so much later in the year. We know that antler growth is secondary to body growth. This means if nutrients are in short supply, antler growth will be compromised. Adequate nutrition to produce quality headgear must be available during the entire growing season.

                Despite the ad copy you may read, there are no magic beans! Habitat management and planting food plots is plain hard work with little glory involved. Don’t expect great results with little input. However, providing high quality nutrition on a sustained basis is the cornerstone of deer management and the results can be well worth the work involved.


Ben Koerth
Research Associate
Institute for White-tailed Deer Management and Research


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The Complete System

Micronutrient Treatment for
Plants On Which Deer Feed

22915 County Hwy 7, Pittsfield, IL 62363
(217) 285-9700