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Author Topic: Salt and mule deer  (Read 3908 times)

Offline Ridgerunner

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Salt and mule deer
« on: August 15, 2023, 07:45:41 AM »
From your experience when do deer stop hitting the salt that is often put out with trail cams.  I just picked up a couple more cams but am wondering if it is too late in the year to put salt down and if I should just focus more on trails for this fall.  This is in the cascades.


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Online boneaddict

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2023, 07:47:40 AM »
I don’t think they ever quit hitting salt in the high country.  I don’t run cams, but just my experience on a saddle horse back there.

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2023, 07:56:05 AM »
My experience with mule deer is very eratic compared to moose, elk and whitetail. Usually I see a big drop off in animals when vegetation begins to dry up. Around mid to late July .

Offline Weatherby92

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2023, 07:56:44 AM »
It's been my experience that they really taper of off the salt lick once the antlers growth is done. I still see them in late August and September but not nearly as often as I do in June and July. My observations are mid elevation, 4k feet or so.
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2023, 07:59:57 AM »
Have Run many cams. The big boys will hit it early and then again later in the year. My guess is when going thru on their migration route to their high country summer hiding spot. Then back thru during the rut. I am sure if you didn't spook them out of the summer spot they would be on it. Usually the does, and smaller bucks will be on it most of the time.
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Online pickardjw

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2023, 09:14:11 AM »
The big ones stopped hitting my high country (7k) licks around mid august last year. Mostly got does and smaller bucks after that.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2023, 09:58:35 AM »
Mule deer from what I seen hit it pretty good early on and then very sporadic from July to hard horn. Whitetails and elk will hit it more consistently and not too sure why
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Offline 300rum

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2023, 09:59:24 AM »
They are like any ruminant (animal actually), they will go to salt/mineral when they need it.  Sometimes they need it more than others.  My cows will hit the mineral hard sometimes and then they will leave it alone for awhile.  But, when I pay attention, it is usually an animal or two who is hitting it, not the whole heard at the same time.  It depends on their feed too, if their feed has the right "stuff" they will ignore it, if they are on feed that doesn't have what they need, they will search it out.  They will even search out certain plants that have what they need, deep rooted plants that pull up from deep in the ground as an example.

You will see this contrast much more broad in monoculture where you have one crop.  If you put an animal out on monoculture for long, that animal is eventually going to do poorly, they need a diversity of grass, forbs, etc.

Think of a pregnant women who eats mostly store bought processed foods, they are the ones who eat a whole jar of pickles or rare meat, fruits and vegetables that they wouldn't normally eat.  A healthy woman who eats a mostly home raised diet may not even vary from her diet.       

Offline nwwanderer

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2023, 10:36:45 AM »
Complicated question, generally, as things dry up and later freeze out the deer will seek what they need at your licks

Offline buckcanyonlodge

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2023, 05:13:55 PM »
I watch the mule deer in my yard hit the salt Every Day. I'll let you know when they quit.
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Offline hunter399

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2023, 05:51:17 PM »
I watch the mule deer in my yard hit the salt Every Day. I'll let you know when they quit.
That's funny stuff right there.
I agree with ya.

Just a theory here.
Alot of reason we see them kinda not respond to salt in the fall.
Is just hunting pressure, migration, breeding and all the extra factors that play into the fall season on public land.
This guy will disappear soon,not because he doesn't want salt.
Just hunting pressure will drive him steep and deep.
He is standing over two salt blocks.

My experience is public land only,come September when archery starts they definitely change. :dunno:
Trail cam and salt is pretty much a waste of time.
Unless your willing to setup a winter cam ,or just established site for next year might be something to think on.
I've also seen big ones,4x4 or better ,not really interested in salt.
Ive had spots where they only show up one or two times for the year. All the while all the small ones will show in bachelor groups of 5 or 6 bucks at a time on the daily.
Seen it with WT too.
Sometimes the big boys will stand alone as fall gets closer or all year.
That's just stuff I noticed in my areas.
Of course every spot is different.


« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 04:51:23 PM by hunter399 »
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Offline emac

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2023, 06:43:46 PM »
Usually on my cams the bigger bucks stop hitting it the last week of August and then show back up in November.  A buddy and I just put out 11 cams last weekend,  3 of them being cell cams.  I have gotten more pics off the cell cams then I was expecting this quick but not one critter has stopped at the salt we put out.   They are just walking by.

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Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2023, 12:52:44 PM »
I watch the mule deer in my yard hit the salt Every Day. I'll let you know when they quit.
That's funny stuff right there.
I agree with ya.

Just a theory here.
Alot of reason we see them kinda not respond to salt in the fall.
Is just hunting pressure, migration, breeding and all the extra factors that play into the fall season on public land.
This guy will disappear soon,not because he doesn't want salt.
Just hunting pressure will drive him steep and deep.
He is standing over two salt blocks.

My experience is public land only,come September when archery starts they definitely change. :dunno:
Trail cam and salt is pretty much a waste of time.
Unless your willing to setup a winter cam ,or just established site for next year might be something to think on.
I've also seen big ones,4x4 or better ,not really interested in salt.
Ive had spots where they only show up one or two times for the year. All the while all the small ones will show in bachelor groups of 5 or 6 bucks at a time on the daily.
Seen it with WT too.
Sometimes the big boys will stand alone as fall gets closer or all year.
That's just stuff I noticed in my areas.
Of course every spot is different.

This sums up my observations. Bow Hunting starts the ghosting of good bucks
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Offline Caseknife

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2023, 06:11:07 PM »
My understanding is that the animals crave the salt when their feed has high amounts of water.  The nutrients get washed out of their system with the green feed and they need to replenish.  They tend to not crave the minerals as much when their feed dries out.

Offline Transka

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Re: Salt and mule deer
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2023, 07:20:39 AM »
I have always noticed that Sept is the slow down

 


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