There’s always something to say about a pioneer. That person, or business, that goes out and blazes a trail for the rest of the world to follow is worth taking note of. Lewis and Clark were pioneers. Jim Bridger was a pioneer. All those folks at Plymouth Rock, too.

The Mighty Deer Lick was also a pioneer, as were the brothers that founded it, Steve and Ted Janke. Their company, aptly named Mighty Deer Lick, Inc., was the first company to commercially market deer feed. Yup, that’s right–even before those folks over at places like Purina got into the business, these brothers from Michigan were busy taking some scientific study and turning it into a great business idea.

The concept is simple: Deer need minerals. Like cows and other creatures, deer eat salt and minerals to keep their body working the way it’s supposed to. And, sometimes, they crave certain minerals because they need them in their body–like during antler production.

Tests have confirmed that minerals ingested by the deer are what helps determine, among other factors, the size, girth and width of an antler spread. Back in 1974, Ted Janke was working on a project for one of his classes and he had come across a study by a professor that indicated that minerals could be given to deer in order to help with antler growth. That paper, it turns out, was only worth a B to the teacher that graded it, but the idea was worth much, much more to Ted and his brother.

The duo started mixing salt with minerals to feed to the deer. That idea then turned into a block, which then transformed from a simple salt-and-mineral block to the Mighty Deer Lick. The Mighty Deer Lick comes in several different flavors, including apple, corn and acorn as well as a sweet block, and the deer just love them. They get the minerals they need from the blocks and proper placement of them can lead deer to and from specific areas, such as away from crops and toward, well, you.

And these aren’t just used during hunting season, either. Throw a block out back and watch the deer come into your yard all year long, or use them to keep your favorite hunting areas full of bucks getting the right mix of minerals for outstanding antler growth.

Though the Mighty Deer Lick originated and is produced in Michigan, that doesn’t mean it’s not available out here in the Northeast. These products can be found at just about any Agway store around you and if they don’t have it on the shelves just ask them to get some in for you.

Frankly, the Mighty Deer Lick is about as good as it gets when it comes to a quality product. It’s durable, stands up to all kinds of weather and the deer love it. What more can you ask for?

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