4 STEP MINERAL LICK

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Mennoniteman, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Here's how we often make our new mineral licks, or freshen up an old one. However, I was also curious how everyone else makes their mineral licks, does anybody have any good ideas that we may be missing? Thanks in advance. Allen
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  2. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Step one, first, decide a good spot. Not in a food plot, because nothing will grow there, and future tillage will ruin it. And not close to your hunting stand if you have laws against it. I like a field edge where a wide spot in the tree line creates a cutout. Note; there's an advantage in using the same hole every year, the mineral needed to doctor up an old one is less than a new one.
    Now, dig a bowl shaped hole 6-8 inches deep and 2-3 feet in diameter leaving most of the loose dirt in the hole. Now dump several gallons of water into the hole and mix to bricklaying mortar consistency. More water if it's in dry soil, less in wet soil.[​IMG]
     
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  3. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Step two, pour 10 to 20 pounds of mineral on top of the mud. I like the dirt to have 30-50 percent mineral content. We use several different products, from 50 lb bags of Champions Choice trace mineral at Tractor Supply for $7.99 to a custom blend my feed mill friend makes for three times that much.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  4. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Step three, mix the mineral into the mud to a thorough consistency, leaving a slight depression in the middle to catch rain water. (But you don't want runoff water washing through it)
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Step four, place a 5 pound salt block in the middle, slightly sunk into the mixture. Now very lightly sprinkle an attractant powder over everything. I like a powdered molasses based mixture, with a little powdered vanilla in it. Voila!
    (Add camera=optional, but why wouldn't you?)

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve tried every type of mineral lick out there and made a number of my own. Our deer don’t touch them. I don’t know if it’s because we have pasture all around us and mineral/salt licks are literally in every direction? I finally gave up. I’ve learned I’m in the minority though, most people have great luck with them.
     
  7. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    I have/had a wildlife mineral company. I still have the dot com, bags, labels, etc and should still be making it, but it is a tough market with most buying the brand names. I will tell you part of my mix. You will need trace mineral salt, fine mixing salt, and general mineral(no salt, has extra vitamins and macro vitamins/minerals). For most of you, the mix below will give you enough for several sites at 10lbs per new site and 4-6lb if refreshing one. If you have more sites or just want to make a bunch, double the mix(full value mix in parentheses). I add a few extra things, so I can’t give you everything, but this mix is as good or better than most BOB mineral mixes. Internet mixes call for some di-calcium phosphate, but your trace mineral already has it at the appropriate amount with no extra needed, unless it makes you feel better.

    When designing my mix, we used BOB mineral, internet mineral, and anything else we thought would work. Most of the time, deer will hang out for a few minutes and move on. They tend to hang out for at least 30 minutes or more with this mix, meaning they get more minerals, because it tends to have less salt.

    I provided my minerals analysis (they didn’t test for vitamins like I asked) and Trophy Rocks analysis for comparison.

    25lb(50lb) trace mineral
    12.5lb(25lb) fine salt
    4lb(8lb) general mineral
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps someone.


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  8. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I used to take a 44 lb redmond natural block and drop it on the ground. Repeat every six months or so as it vanished.
     
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  9. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    I’ve done similar to you MM but no more. Last 7 years only these on stumps. Easy. Well used. I have 2 sites on 100 ac. Just dropped new one here this wk. 12$

    [​IMG]


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  10. mattpatt

    mattpatt Well-Known Member

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    Where I’m at in Texas this would be about a 3 foot hole a couple days later. The hogs would root it up.


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  11. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, those lists provide a very helpful analysis, that's some of the inputs that I was interested in. Also, do you have any simple explanation for di-calcium phosphate, I'm trying to understand how and what di-calcium phosphate does in mineral licks, some mixes call for 50% di-calcium phosphate to 50% mixing minerals, why this high rate vs. the very low rate that you and some others mention?
     
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  12. jsasker007

    jsasker007 Active Member

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    I have deer creating a hole right behind my house----they are attracted to water that pumps out of the basket pump in the basement because the water softener drain into the basket and then gets pumped right behind the house. They seem to really like it!
     
  13. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Your water softener is probably pumping some salt out there, and deer like a wet mineral lick. I sometimes splash some water on my mineral licks in dry weather.
     
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  14. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    Di-Cal is a source of calcium and phosphorus for livestock and wildlife. Animals and people need calcium and phosphorus in an approximately 2:1 ratio for it to be “optimum”. We all know Calcium is used for bones and teeth, but so is phosphorus. Cant have one without the other in the appropriate amounts, without issues. Phosphorus also aids in some muscle, nerve, and kidney function. It works together with other minerals to do this. Being Americans, we think that if a little is good, a lot is better.

    As with us, wildlife tends to only use what is needed and excrete the rest in some form or fashion(usually urine). Deer store the calcium and phosphorus in their bones and then their body pulls from this source when needed. Testing has shown that a bucks antlers are secondary to their skeletal system until they have reached maturity and their bones are no longer growing(we all know this… I hope). Once maturity is reached and antler growth kicks off, they lose bone density because the antlers pull the calcium and phosphorus from their bones, if there isn’t a good source of both. Think multi-species foodplots. If your foodplot is lacking nutrients due to your soil or incorrect plants, the deer will gladly use a mineral lick to make up for what is missing, along with the salt for electrolytes. Supplemental feed has a good ratio of the appropriate nutrients too, but our deer still use mineral licks. Our deer will not use a mineral lick that is next to supplemental feed, so we have mineral sites 75-100yds or so down the trail for them to use before or after visiting our feeders.

    Don’t forget about your doe either. They are the start of your herds health and the eating habits they instill in their off spring last their entire life. This includes mineral use and passing those supplements to the fawn via milk and showing them where and how to use a mineral site. To me, they are more important than the bucks.

    Your typical trace mineral has di-cal already in it at the proper ratio and no extra is needed. When we first started making mineral and were testing it, we made several different mixes to see which ones they preferred and especially stayed at for extended periods. We started with your typical internet mix of trace mineral, di-cal, and salt. We figured that taste played as much of a role in getting them to stay, as much as nutritional value. I think salt is the key thing that make the deer use minerals as well as it being the main thing that covers up the taste of them(hold a multivitamin in your mouth for a minute or two). To much salt in the mix and they don’t hang out for as long because they get overloaded on either the electrolytes or just the flavor itself. We didn’t ask them, just our observations. We tinkered and toyed for 2 years before we settled on a final mix. I ended up buying the company and made a few minor changes once it was just me and the deer really showed me that they liked the changes. I don’t know if y’all will see it or not, but I have also noticed less ticks on my deer once I got the correct mineral mixture.

    As we all know, nothing will produce a 160” deer over night, it takes time and age to get our desired results. But, anything I can do to assist them getting there and be healthier while doing it, is a plus.


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  15. gut_pile

    gut_pile Active Member

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    Where are you buying the fine mixing salt and the general mineral?
     
  16. gut_pile

    gut_pile Active Member

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    and if possible, can you provide links?
     
  17. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    Local feed store. CO-OP carries it too. TSC carries the fine salt and trace mineral. They may also have the mineral, but I haven’t seen it at my local ones.


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  18. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been mixing 50/50 cattle mineral (high mag) and Morton salt, both available at our local feed store. I have 8 sites currently, all used heavily.

    [​IMG]


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  19. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Mine is a two step process MM. Buy trace mineral block at the feed store, place it on the ground. 21F75995-F612-4D5E-871A-54B67C6C0E3B.jpeg
     
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  20. TreeDaddy

    TreeDaddy Well-Known Member

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    Don,

    must you make things so difficult?

    bill
     
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