Whitetail Deer: Establish Mineral Sites Now for Better Scouting

minerallick

The deer are on the minerals and we’ve got a couple of thousand trail cam shots to prove it. Establishing mineral licks has become de rigueur for deer managers these days, and in the past month or so, our email inbox has been overflowing with trail cam pics of deer on minerals. We’ve been seeing more cute little fawns with their moms than we care to mention. But now, bucks in velvet are starting to show up. Tis the season—and if you’re not running mineral in front of a trail cam, you’re missing an opportunity to get a good look at what’s going on in the woods.

Scores of prepared mineral mixes are available from Cabela’s, Bass Pro, and Tractor Supply, and dozens of home brewed recipes are available on line. Most include a blend of Dicalcium Phosphate, trace mineral salt (loose), and stock salt. The mixtures are dumped on the ground, the salt attracts the deer, the deer eat the salt, and all the minerals ultimately produce better antler growth and healthier fawns. Or so they’re supposed to.

I can’t personally attest to the bigger antler/healthier fawns theory, but the deer sure use it. So now is the time to establish your mineral sites if you haven’t done so already. Of course, check your state’s regulations on the use of deer attractants before adding the salt. But when used in conjunction with trail cameras, licks are an excellent way to get a better handle on the quantity and quality of whitetails in your hunting area.