By: Dave Conrad Senior Evaluator

This past season started out slow for me on a couple of my properties. The buck as well as doe sitings were way down this year and it wasn’t getting any better with all the standing crops due to the frequent rain storms. But sometimes a simple change in tactics can make things work. And that happened twice this season. Once in early November when I decided to switch stands because of a wind shift and about two weeks later when I picked up a couple bags of Heartland Whitetail Institute products.

The wind shift episode resulted in a 140 plus inch eight point that was taken from the ground. This you can further read about on entitled, ‘Excitement from the Ground‘.  But what this evaluation entails is how I was able to overcome the ongoing wet and standing crop scenario thanks to the Heartland Wildlife Institute products.

The crop fields, which are mostly corn, surrounding my best hunting property were still too wet for farmers to even think about harvesting. The ridge I was hunting overlooked a heavy 4 acre thicket which adjoined a 30 acre corn field. Continuing around the cornfield was several other small, but very dense Multifloral Rose thickets. Deer hung tight in these areas which were off limits to hunting. I could setup on the ridge and look down into the thickets and see deer moving back and forth between the corn rows during the prime feeding times of the days. The deer were hard pressed to leave these areas and I had to come up with something in order to fill my remaining doe tag.

I received a call from Rich Walton asking me if I wanted to try some products from Heartland Whitetail Institute. He informed me to pick a couple products out and they would get them out to me shortly. I immediately went to the website and started scouring their products. I was amazed as to the breath of products they offer as well as the different range of services.

Heartland Wildlife Institute is an incredible company that has access to the latest in deer browse and feeding technologies. All ingredients are quality tested as well as the best available. Their ingredients are not altered due to changing commodity pricing and that ensures you, the buyer, only the best products available. Heartland’s staff is also available to help you develop and/or improve a complete program that includes all wildlife on your property.

Within a few days a package arrived with a bag of Heartland Whitetail Institute Autumn Addiction and End of the Trail Mix. That afternoon I decided to spread half the Autumn Addiction near an open ridge top about 35 yards from one of my best stands. The other containing, End of the Trail Mix, I deposited 40 yards down another finger off the ridge. The nice thing about the stand is that I could cover both areas from my treestand as long as the wind was out of the southwest.

Three days later with a southwest wind I returned for an evening hunt. Upon sneaking into the area, I checked where I had spread the Autumn Addiction only to discover that literally the entire contents was gone. A quick check of the other site with my binoculars revealed similar results. It was mid afternoon and with three hours of daylight left I decided to see if the culprits would return to the scene of the crime.

Autumn Addiction is a powerful attractant containing soybeans, whole roasted corn, and a supercharged energy nugget. This provides a highly digestible protein which really helps the bucks replace body fat which is lost during the stressful part of the rut. The product comes in a convenient 25 lb. bag which is easy to carry to your site.

End of the Trail Mix also packaged in a 25 lb. bag contains high protein with corn and an energy nugget that are both coated in molasses as well as apple. From the treestand it was hard to tell which area had been hit the hardest.

It didn’t take long for the action to start. Within 20 minutes I had several small and a medium sized buck come from downwind of the Autumn Addiction spot. They came right in and pawed the area in order to scavenge what little amount was left. The larger buck ran the others off and continued to feed. After mopping up what he could he was off down the ridge to try and find a receptive doe. It didn’t take long for another troop of deer to come into the area. Several does appeared from an adjacent area of where the buck had disappeared within 30 minutes. Their reactions were similar as they pawed the area attempting to find what little of the remaining Autumn Addiction was available.

With a doe tag to fill it was as good an opportunity that I would get. One of the does made the mistake of turning broadside. The range was just over 30 yards and as I settled the pin the next thing I knew the arrow was on its way. The white fletching disappeared just behind the front leg and when the doe took off, the fletching from the arrow that was now buried in the ground had changed to the ever telling sign of crimson. Within forty yards the doe had expired leaving the remaining deer wondering what had just happened. However it didn’t take them long to return to the Autumn Addiction to try and finish up what was left.

I stayed in the tree till nightfall and when climbing down could still hear deer around the site. I returned to my truck, drove and retrieved the doe and deposited the remaining bags of both products in the same area. Returning a four days later the area was devastated, covered with hoof prints and there was little sign what so ever of either the Autumn Addiction or End of the Trail. Under close inspection I could even see where the turkey had been scratching to get their fill as well.

Here is the content analysis for Autumn Addiction:

Crude Protein (Min.)15%Crude Fat (Min.)9%Crude Fiber (Max.)8%Calcium (Ca) (Min.)0%Calcium (Ca) (Max.)0.5%Phosphorus (P) (Min.)0.3%Salt (NaCl) (Min.)0%Salt (NaCl) (Max.)0.5%Selenium (Se) (Min.)0.06 ppmCopper (Cu) (Min.)10 ppmVitamin A (Min.)300 IU/lb

End of the Trail Analysis:

Crude Protein (Min.)18%Crude Fat (Min.)12%Crude Fiber (Max.)6%Calcium (Ca) (Min.)0%Calcium (Ca) (Max.)0.5%Phosphorus (P) (Min.)0.3%Salt (NaCl) (Min.)0%Salt (NaCl) (Max.)0.5%Selenium (Se) (Min.)0.06 ppmCopper (Cu) (Min.)15 ppmVitamin A (Min.)200 IU/lb

Conclusion: Heartland Wildlife Institute produces some high quality products and I can tell you first hand that their Autumn Addiction and End of Trail Mix Attractant definitely bring in the deer.

For more go to: Heartland Wildlife Institute