CUTTING EDGE Helped Kentucky Man's Son Shoot 170-inch Monster

By Charles Niquette

About five years ago, I bought a small farm in central Kentucky to create a place where my son and I could hunt and have a reasonable chance of consistently killing trophy bucks. Of course, the lay of the land and the fact the land is surrounded on three sides by a nature sanctuary helps tremendously.
First, I put in Imperial Whitetail Clover food plots on a friend’s recommendation. The deer loved it. I also experimented with Alfa-Rack and Chicory Plus and have had great success. It seems you can’t go wrong with any Whitetail Institute products. Another essential part of my deer management is to provide choice minerals year-round. For this, I use the Institute’s Cutting Edge products. I’ve been providing essential minerals for a couple of years, and there is a marked difference in the overall health of the herd and antler mass of bucks. Cutting Edge enhances a deer’s natural diet all year. Initiate is started in late winter and is used until things green up. It contains a combination of protein, energy, minerals and vitamins. The next stage is Optimize, which is used in spring and summer. The final stage uses Sustain in fall and early winter. It helps bucks get through the rut and cold-weather months. It's formulated to help reduce lost body weight and help the overall health of all deer.

A neighboring farmer stopped me recently, and we chatted a while. He asked if I had seen any big deer, and I told him what I had been seeing— especially a particularly big buck I caught on one of my trail cameras. He pointed to his 40-acre alfalfa field, which goes to my fence. He said that before I bought the place, he would routinely have as many as 40 deer in his alfalfa almost any night. “I don’t know what you're doing back there, but I haven’t seen many deer at all since you started planting whatever it is you’re growing,” he said.

My 15-year-old son, Mason, hunted this year during Kentucky's youth deer season. It had been two years since he saw a shooter, and he was disappointed the first morning because he saw nothing but does and young bucks. He has been well schooled in aging deer on the hoof and can quickly determine whether a buck is mature. Saturday evening, right at sunset, a shot came from his direction, and I heard the "thwack" of a solid hit. (I was bow-hunting on another part of the farm.) Soon, my phone rang.

“I got one!” Mason said excitedly. He sure did. The massive brute scored 170-1/8 and weighed about 250 pounds before being field-dressed. I don't know who was more proud, father or son. I asked Mason how long he took to decide whether to shoot. “Less than 10 seconds," he replied. "But after I killed him, my legs got all rubbery, and I was afraid to climb down out of the stand. I was so excited and at the same time worried that he would jump up and run away. But he just stayed there. He never took a step after I fired the rifle.”

I think Mason will be a life-long hunter. I just hope he gets to see another deer as good as that one. Incidentally, the buck Mason killed was the one I had seen on the trail camera earlier in the fall.

Cutting Edge mineral products really made a difference with our deer. I have been feeding them for two years and have really noticed a change in the quality of the antlers. My farm is only 141 acres, but because I have a sanctuary around me, and have been using food plots and Cutting Edge, my son shot a huge deer. My food plots and Cutting Edge mineral locations really pull deer in and make them happy to stay.