Rack ’em & Stack ’em

29 July

…on the wall!


If you haven’t got your licks out yet for the upcoming season, you’re running behind.  Proper licks do a lot more than just draw deer into your area during the hunting season.  Good licks contain vitamins and minerals essential to wildlife’s growth and need to be out all year and especially in spring and summer.

Deer need lots of minerals and vitamins for rack growth and strengthening.  Nursing deer also need large amounts of nutrients in the milk to pass along to fawns for health and future growth.  Having these supplements in your licks not only attracts deer but also nourishes them.

One of the best mixes I make myself is 1-part stock salt, 1-part dicalcium phosphate, & 2-parts trace mineral salt.  I buy all these ingredients from a farm/feed store and purchase them in 50 lb bags.  I mix the 200 lbs together in a wheel barrow with a shovel and then divide it evenly into four 5gallon buckets yielding approximately 50lbs of mix per lick.  I will occasionally buy and mix in bags of Rut ‘N Apples to give it a sweet taste and smell, and always do this for new licks.  I then find a location to place the lick based on proximity of stands, location on the property, and available camera mounting structures.  I dig a small whole and pour 80% of the mix in.  I then lightly place the loose soil that I dug up back on top.  I do this lightly as to allow the deer to find it in the soil easier and to dig it up.  I then scatter the remaining 20% on top to increase the awareness of the lick.  After licks have been used for years, these steps become less critical as they will develop a pond and you just pour the mix in.  The purpose of the stock salt is to attract the deer and keep them coming back for the salty taste.  The dicalcium phosphate gives them the calcium they need for hardening the rack and for bone strengthening and structure in fawns.  And last but definitely not least the trace mineral salt provides the minerals to promote rack growth.

For a quick lick I use a product called Buck Jam Apple by Evolved Habitats.  I buy 50lb trace mineral blocks and then use the Buck Jam to give a sweet coating and attractant to the block.  Often times the trace mineral alone won’t attract deer like salt or other sweeteners, so the Buck Jam adds the extra addiction to get the deer to use the blocks and consume the mineral and promote rack growth.

Regardless of your choice of minerals, salts, or supplements, GET THEM OUT NOW.  You can thank me later.