We all know they need it, but do they use it more in the early season or later in the winter or all year about the same?

I was hiking yesterday and found a natural salt lick in an open meadow. I first noticed about 6 cows across this grassy meadow about a half mile looked like they were fighting over one particular piece of dirt. They kept pinning their ears back and kicking at each other. I watched them for about 45 minutes......and while the grass was deep and green eveywhere else, they were content to fight over this dry dirt spot with a big rock in the middle of it. After I went over to investigate, I realized it was a salt lick.....and there were two more about 20 feet apart, all having a big rock in the middle of them, and the dirt either pawed or eaten a good foot or so deep from about 3 feet around the rocks.

My question is they always attract like this to the lick, or is it a particular time of year. Surely hunting pressure will reduce the visits to mostly after dark.

So what you know about these licks?
Yep they are always attracted to them! My dad used to own a ranch and they would get their bulls every year just by watching the salt licks, but beware, its against the law now in most western states to put out salt licks and such intended to be used for hunting purposes. The ones you described seemed to be artificial ones( ranchers) but there are natural salt licks that I do believe is still legal to hunt close to. They have a major problems of outfitters by Yellowstone WY waiting for the big bulls to leave the park to go eat salt and then the outfitters make their hunters shoot them.
So when you go in miles from any road, and find a salt lick in a do you establish if is natural or artificial. This looks like it gets visted every year for several years now...I don't know.....but it looks just like the one in Idaho in the selway a forest ranger pointed me to in a big meadow. I don't plan on hunting this lick, as it is in the wilderness, but the question applies to any licks. There are obviously many natural salt licks in all good elk areas.....or are they natural, and how do you know, short of looking around for empty salt bags? :eek:
I know it sounds strange, but you test to see what kind of salt it is. Sodium Chloride, like we use for table salt and in water softeners is rarely found that far from the oceans except in the areas that used to be oceans. The most common salt found in areas like you are describing is potassium chloride. You are liable to run into that about anywhere. Not long ago, AZGF busted some guys taking rock salt and spreading it out and rubbing into the ground. The critters loved it, but it's illegal as hell. AZGF analyzed the salt and proved it was sodium chloride not potassium chloride. GOTCHA!!

Makes sense Dan.
So what are the rules governing this.....since it is illegal as you say?
I mean, how do they regulate the area around the hunting with a hundred yards?...300 yards? 1000 yards?....surely they don't shut the whole forest down because somebody dropped a bag of salt......

If anybody has the specific rules on this I would like to see it. This particular lick wouldn't be good to hunt anyway as it is along a pack trail and is sure to draw a lot of pressure........being along a pack trail, it may very well be man made....probably some less than honorable outfitter in the area simply dropped his box of table salt he was packing in :rolleyes:
DS, Surely you have seen what whitetails will do to a saltlick?....I have a few on my farm but I have never seen a shooter buck using it :confused: Maybe they do it at night. I put them out just for the heck of it.
It is illegal to use ANY method of baiting here also (including salt) The loophole is that if it a result of agricultural purposes (ie. cattle) then is it is considerd a natural lick.
Yes Josh......the deer back home used the salt, but they had enough naturally in the ground where I was that it wasn't effective to try and use the blocks.
dan55 it is legal to bait in az for deer and elk and javelina. call game and fish if you don't believe me 520-628-5376. salt licks and feeders are allowed just not for predators
The only thing a I would ever consider over a salt lick is photography (after the kill).
Unfortunately out here I have never seen a salt lick and don't think I every would. Here in Western Washington we get way too much rain to serve any purpose of using one. In Eastern I suppose it would be pretty effective though. I don't know if it is legal or not here. That's interesting though.
Welcome Tom...I see that was your first post.

Ray......I'm sure it can be effective, as long as it was in a place not everyone would pressure. The outfitters that packed all that salt into the Thoroughfare would not have wasted their time if it wasn't effective.

I know there are natural salt licks out there, I have seen a couple in Idaho. I was merely wondering how dependant they were on the salt seasonly. Spring-summer-fall-winter.

I personally think the time and energy someone would go to to distribute salt back in.......they could have used less energy in hunting an elk without to mention the ethical and legal ramifications.
If Tom in AZ is the Tom I think it is, welcome. Nice to see you around again. If not, welcome anyway.

As for baiting, I am not sure that I agree with you. A quick look throught the hunt regs shows on page 44, "No person shall knowingly use any substance as bait at any time to attract or take bear". That's the only one I can find right off, but I'll check with game and fish.

Well, I checked and Tom's right. It is legal to bait deer and elk in Arizona. So, I asked, why were these two guys busted for spreading rock salt in the ground?

Then the guy on the other end of the phone says, "First, they were on private land and were doing it without the owners permission. Second, they were cited for polluting. (Spreading rock salt in the quantities that they did prevented anything from growning in that area for some years. Not enough rain to wash it away.) Thirdly, they were cited for littering. So, the key is you can bait for deer and elk, just don't do it in such a manner as to harm the land. Don't do it on private land without permission, and don't leave the evidence laying around after you leave.
If you want to use something, maybe a little garlic salt, some sage, and butter buds all mixed with fresh alfalfa and you should be ready start cooking as soon and the butchering is done..... :cool:
If you want to use something, maybe a little garlic salt, some sage, and butter buds all mixed with fresh alfalfa and you should be ready start cooking as soon and the butchering is done.....

Now that sounds like a great plan Dan :cool:
NO() I'm ()ondering...... If I shoot a elk or DEER and I didn't put out a "LICK" and there is one around that the Gish 'n SHAME are ()atching..... , ()ould I have to fight it in court ()ith them ?!?~~

Fish 'n Shame al()ays makes you Guilty Having to prove yourself not.... Uhhhhh Lemme stop there :rolleyes:
Moosie..I'm sure it's different from state to state as with most laws....but most states have a set, 300yards, 1000yards, etc..that you can hunt within a contaminated area, such as illegal baiting.

As with had to wait two weeks after turning bait in a dove field under before hunting that field. But the one thing that stands out with all the different rules I remember is......ignorance or not knowing is no defense........meaning yes, your ass would be busted. Sucks I know, but just think, if all you had to do is say you didn't do it and you didn't know, then everyone one do it and say they had no clue ;)

I personally think that the one I found is probably man made....its rifght off of a trail.......but it has obviously been there a very long time. It would be hard to know from a hunter's perspective wether he has found a man-made or natural looks natural, and if not for the trail right there, I would have been pretty sure it was.
I hear ya DS. I think if a person were to spend as much time thinking of ways to hunt hard and effective he would be just as effective and more so in the long run. Man I sure would hate to spend all my time looking over my shoulder wondering if someone was watching. So many of us think the grass is always greener on the other side but that is not always the case! Hard work with a little savy has always been the key for me.
My elk will not eat salt from a block until it has melted into the ground. Had a friend here that was "busted" last year for hunting dove over a baited area. [He did later get it dismissed]. He was hunting on a pond over a mile from a deer feeder and the overly zealous warden said he was hunting in a baited area. He first told my friend it didn't matter if he was in a 50k acre pasture and there was a deer feeder in it, that he was in a baited area. His boss diasgreed and my bud got off. Ol Bob

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 08-13-2002 14:06: Message edited by: BbarC ]</font>
Well, there you go with that hard work stuff again. Hunt hard....I've tried that..a lot of times. I've hunted across canyons and over hills and all over like that. I'd rather be lucky.

Funny thing is the harder I hunt, the luckier I get......

I guess that says something, huh?

I don't usually post on here because most of you guys know more about hunting than I do. I really like the rifle threads and the reloading threads on this site most of all because there is alot of great info out there. I just happened to be surfing the elk threads lately because I have an archery bull tag in 23 south for the early rut hunt 9/20 to 10/3 if anybody has any info on that unit that would be great you can email me on my link. I am scouting this wknd up there
Hey tom welcome to hunttalk...... You dont need to know anything to post here I maen look at all these guys :D and the owner Moosie well thats another story......

Cool tag for a great unit... Lots of bulls in the lower elevations.. Have you been up there yet?

Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping Systems

Forum statistics

Latest member