The Dirt on Minerals

by Bob Warden

I hope your hunting season went well, and your freezer is full of venison and your mind full of memories. My season was successful and I have plenty of bologna, chip, and hot dogs to get us through the year.

Now we start the real work to help our deer herd make it through the winter and into the spring, antler growing and fawning seasons. As soon as possible, if you are on private land, you need to start replenishing what the deer have lost through the breeding season and the cold winter months. By this, I mean helping them replenish fat reserves, vitamins, and minerals. I am big on deer nutrition for the health of the herd and for antler growth.

Through the winter, where it is legal, I use a grain-based product, Maxi-1 (15 percent protein) by WYLD Mineral products. Please do not use just corn. Deer need a variety of things, and only feeding them corn does not give them the protein they need. Corn is just a carbohydrate, and too much corn can actually change a deer’s digestive process. They can starve with a full stomach of corn. If you research it on the Internet, you will see what I mean.

As you can tell by my nickname, “Mineral Bob,” my big thing is getting the right minerals in my deer. You can do this year round but it is highly important from March through September. During these months, as things green-up, deer eat a lot of vegetation that is high in water and potassium, which will make them urinate more and in the process, they lose high amounts of salt, calcium, and phosphorus. By just putting out a salt block, the deer will be attracted to it, but will miss the two main minerals they need: calcium and phosphorus. These minerals will help in milk and fawn production, muscle development, and antler growth. So, use the salt as the attractant (this time of year deer crave salt) to get the deer to take in the other essential minerals for overall health.

Look at the labels on the product you use, choose as close to 30 percent total calcium and phosphorus as possible, with calcium being close to twice the amount of phosphorus. The amount of salt in your product is a well-debated topic. I use WYLD Minerals Orchard blend, which is 47 percent salt, 15 percent calcium, and 9.5 percent phosphorus, along with other trace minerals.

One thing to remember is that the closer you are to the ocean, the less salt the deer need.

Emmitsburg’s Green Efforts Paying Off

James Rada, Jr.

The Town of Emmitsburg recently replaced its street lights with LED lights. The result is that the cost to run those lights has dropped by nearly two-thirds.

This is just one of the ways that the town’s efforts to go green—while reducing costs and maintaining the quality of life in town—have paid off.

Last year, the town signed a resolution to participate in the Sustainable Maryland Certified Municipal program.

“It’s a state program with the University of Maryland Environmental Center that puts together a series of tasks or projects that lead toward the better use of community resources,” said Jerry Muir, who is coordinating the town’s certification efforts.

To become certified “Sustainable,” a municipality must accrue 150 points from a project list. According to a memo to the town from Muir, “These include, in general groupings, Local Food initiatives such as the Farmers Market; Energy Efficiency such as establishing a carbon footprint; Community Wellness programs; Green Business recognition; Land Use Planning and Conservation; Pet Waste disposal and education programs; Environmental Conservation Programs such as Tree City, Watershed Protection, etc.” There are dozens of projects a town can choose from to accumulate enough points.  

Emmitsburg had already been doing some of the potential tasks, such as having a farmer’s market and community gardens. Seeking the certification has pushed the town to look for new ways to become green. One such innovation was that the town built a solar energy field to provide it with 100-percent renewable energy.

“The long-term benefit is a better use of resources, and the town becomes a lot more environmentally aware,” Muir said.

He also added that should environmental grants become available in the future, the certification will help in winning them.

In Frederick County, Frederick City is already certified and Brunswick is working towards that goal.

“In the next few months, we should have enough points to be certified,” Muir said.

The last thing that Muir expects to be needed to accumulate enough points for certification is for the town to send out an energy survey. Once that is complete and the points added to Emmitsburg’s tally, certification can be made.

“The Mayor and Town Council have made an environmental commitment to become as environmentally efficient as can be,” Muir said.

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