It isn’t so far from the hockey arena to a treestand for whitetails. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but brothers Casey and Chris Keefer have made that leap and they have done so in dramatic fashion—with a successful television show and product line. Their 5-year-old show “BackCountry Quest” appears on the Sportsman Channel while the Ignite deer feeding system has already grown some excellent deer.
“We want ‘bone’ on our bucks as much as the next trophy bowhunter,” says Casey Keefer, “but our feed system is about so much more than just increasing antler size. It’s about more than bringing deer into bow range. It’s about maintaining the health of your deer herd 365 days a year. If you have a healthy deer herd, the local genetic potential will speak for itself in rack size.”
The Keefer brother’s company is called Rack One but the deer feed/attractant system is named Ignite—as in, ignite the potential—and it is the only one of its kind because it has been designed to give whitetails all the nutrition they need to stay healthy, as individuals and as a herd.
By using the Ignite System, your customers benefit year after year—and deer benefit year-round. “You don’t grow big deer by buying one 5-pound bag once a year and pouring it on the ground in a shooting lane,” Casey argues. “Like any good thing, building your herd takes year-round effort.”
Rack One’s Ignite System works as a series of deer health, antler growth, and buck attractant products. It is like a set of booster shots that maintain year-round health and happiness and yes, it can be poured out on the ground or else distributed by a feeder. Ignite Overload ($30/25 pounds) is the “Condition Phase” of the Ignite feed system. The Keefer brothers figure that after a season of fighting, chasing, and breeding a whitetail’s body has been pushed to its limit. To recoup strength and make it through the winter, deer consume as many calories as they can while burning as little as possible. Overload contains everything they need to get back into shape. This means less stress trying to survive and healthier bodies come antler-growing season.
The year-round basis of the Ignite System, Overload works in any type feeder. While it may crust over if it gets damp, it won’t grow mold. It doesn’t need to be mixed with corn, but a hunter may do so if desired. “Overload conditions the herd,” says Casey Keefer. “This phase targets the health of herds as a whole, not just the bucks.”
In pellet form, Overload gives deer a high caloric intake. The guaranteed analysis (by percent) is protein 20.0, lysine 1.1, fat 3.0 and fiber 14.0 (maximum) with significant amounts of calcium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc. Ignite X-Cellerator Mineral ($15/5 pounds) is the “Grow Phase.” It is designed for the April-November season when bucks are adding antler and does are giving birth and recovering their body weight.
Unlike some mineral attractants which may be as much as 98-percent salt, X-Cellerator’s salt content is only 48-52 percent. Guaranteed analysis includes, by percent as a minimum: calcium 10-12, phosphorous 48-52, manganese 2.5, potassium 0.5 and significant additions of sulfur, copper, selenium, zinc, manganese, iodine, cobalt and Vitamins A, D3 and E.
Casey says he’s often asked how many mineral sites to put in a hunting area. “As many as you want,” he says, “but if you need a number, one pit per 75 acres will attract deer. They like feeling safe when they’re feeding, so find a concealed area with fresh water nearby. Zero in on a spot that’s 10-15 feet off of an active trail and use a rake to clear foliage and loosen the soil. Pour Xcellerator on the loosened soil and then refresh sites once a month. Whitetails can find many of the vitamins and nutrients they need in their natural surroundings, but that doesn’t always mean they can find them in the time frames and quantities that their bodies require.”
Ignite Chaos ($20/5.5 pounds) is the “Scout Phase.” It should be used during the scouting season from May-January.
Brother Chris says Chaos is more than 20-percent protein and 8-percent fat with a maximum of 7-percent fiber. It is definitely an attractant that can be used year-round.
It’s fun to use a trail camera to see what happens,” Casey says, balancing his sales pitch with the humor that makes his television show such a hit, “just don’t place the attractant too close to the camera or all you’ll get is eyeballs and noses. It’s like dangling a ham sandwich in front of a hobo.”
Acorn Crush ($18/5.5 pounds) & Rut Fuel ($25/6 pounds) can be used in the “Hunt Phase.” They are “seriously good stuff” in the September-February period when adult deer are primarily interested in sex but will happily stop for an easy, concentrated meal. Acorn Crush and Rut Fuel are guaranteed 17-percent protein and 6-percent fat with a maximum of 12-percent fiber.
But why should a retailer be interested in Rack One’s Ignite System of deer feed and attractant when a customer can buy online at the Rack One site?
“Easy,” answers Casey. “We give dealers a 365-day-a-year product. It is something that can turn in September or April. Plus, online we sell at the peak MSRP. There’s no tax, but there’s no discount, either.”
Ignite is not “deer bait,” Casey says. You have to sell your customers on herd health and making a commitment to a process. Ignite feed was developed by two guys who have been bowhunting most of their lives. “We know what it takes to harvest a trophy, how hard a bowhunter has to work. Our job is to make that effort more productive.”
The Keefer brothers’ television show, “BackCountry Quest,” allows the two to travel and hunt across North America and to teach the excitement of bowhunting. “Our show is addictive and intense,” Casey says. “It’s the best big-game hunting show on television. We want viewers to feel like they’re on a Back Country Quest of their own.”
Casey and Chris Keefer—two brothers, one quest—star in Backcountry Quest TV www.backcountryquest.com on the Sportsmen Channel and can be reached via BackCountry Quest TV on Facebook.com. They also own Rack One Whitetail System www.huntrack1.com and can be followed on Rack 1 on Facebook.com. The home office is 7756 Arcari Trail, Grayling, MI 49738 (800) 723-2445.