There are many types of deer licks we as hunters put out for whitetails to consume. Although there are many benefits to gain from the use of deer licks, it is safe to say they can get pretty expensive. Sure, they are worth the added expense, but what if you could save a few bucks? The good news you can if you're willing to try a do-it-yourself approach.
If you were to stop and read the ingredient list on deer licks, chances are you're going to recognize a lot of what you see. In fact, you may even know where to buy those items right off the top of your head. With such easy access to an ingredient list and knowledge of where to obtain them, it only makes sense to give making your own a try.
One of the easier deer licks to make is a molasses lick. This lick has a short list of ingredients that are all very easy to acquire. It can be made on the stovetop in a pot by combining 1 cup of molasses, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 cups of sugar and two table spoons of salt. Stir thoroughly to combine. Water can be added as well as needed but be careful not to thin out the mixture too much. Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. You will need a candy thermometer to ensure you achieve the right temperature which is ideally 280 degrees Fahrenheit (the soft-crack point). Keep in mind that this is very hot and caution should be exercised at all times. Once you achieve this temperature, you can begin cooling your mixture. Be sure to pour it into a greased mold as it cools and insert a means of adhering it to a tree, such as a large, heavy duty screw. After it has dried and hardened, you can free it from the mold and place it in the location of your choosing.
If cooking molasses isn't your thing, you could instead opt for making a molasses drip. This can be done by cutting up apples and mixing them with molasses. This mixture should be placed in a container until you are ready to use it, at which point it will need to be transferred into pantyhose or a sock and hung from a tree branch. Once inside of this material, it will slowly drip to the ground, creating a tasty treat for deer for less expense than you'd be out buying a commercial drip.
Another money saving option is a DIY mineral lick. In order to make your own, you will need (2) 50lb bags of trace mineral salt, (1) 50lb bag of granulized di-calcium phosphate, and (1) 50lb bag of rock salt (used for making ice cream) OR stock salt from the feed store. These three items will need to be combined at a ratio of 1 part rock/stock salt, 1 part granulized di-calcium phosphate, and 2 parts trace minerals. These should be kept separate until time for use at which point they will need to be combined in a large bucket. Once mixed, distribute your final concoction in a hole in the ground and mix it with dirt for deer to find and enjoy.
Since having the benefit of minerals and the like are useful when it comes to growing antlers, why not give creating your own mineral licks a try? When you combine the ability to save money with the ability to give deer a survival and growth advantage, it is tough not to give the DIY method a try. Just be sure to use these lick recipes in accordance with laws and regulations.
Have you ever tried making your own mineral lick? Are there any other methods you prefer? Let us know in the comments!