How To Make A Salt Lick for Deer

On our hunting property, we like to do all we can to keep the deer around and help them grow bigger and fuller. One of the things we like to do is give the deer something they’ll come back for every day. That ingredient is salt. We have been making our own salt licks and mineral licks for years so I wanted to share our recipe on how to make your own salt lick attractant.

The ingredients

You can buy the following items from your local feed store, Rural King, Southern States, Tractor Supply, etc. 

  • 1 part Di-Calcium Phosphate
    • This is used as a feed additive for cattle, horses, goats, and swine. Comes in a 50 lb bag for around $30. 
  • 2 parts Trace mineral salt
    • This helps promote digestion and growth. Comes in a 50 lb bag for under $10. 
  • 1 part Stock salt
    • Just ice cream salt. Comes in a 50 lb bag for under $10. 

Our recommendations

These are the items we use year-round – two come from Amazon.

Di-Calcium Phosphate

Crazy as it sounds – there’s no great online option for this that we’ve found. Our local Tractor Supply usually has it in stock, though – the brand we get is Sprout and runs ~$26

Trace Mineral Salt

North American Salt Salt 41004 Trace Mineral Bag Silver Salt Pet Supplement, 50-Pound
  • 50 Lb. Trace Mineral Bag Of Salt
  • Contains The 6 Core Micro Minerals: Zinc, Manganese, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine and Iron
  • All 6 Elements Are Required For Basic Animal Health
  • Formulated For All Classes Of Beef and Dairy Cattle, Pigs and Horses
  • Contains The 6 Core Micro Minerals: Zinc, Manganese, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine and Iron

Salt Stock

North American Salt Salt 41018 Fine Stock Silver Salt Pet Supplement, 50-Pound
  • 50 Lb. Fine Stock Ag Salt
  • Contains The Anti-caking Agent Yps
  • Is Used As Both Mixing Salt and Stock Salt
  • For All Classes Of Beef and Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Pigs and Horses
  • Purity Levels For Fine Stock Is Guaranteed To 95-percent

Making the salt lick

Once you have all your ingredients purchased, do the following:

  1.  Mix all minerals together in a large bucket.
  2. Find a spot where deer frequently walk and dig a hole about 8 inches deep. 
  3.  Pour the bucket of the mineral mixture into the hole. If you have an old tree stump pour it all around it too.
  4.  Place your trail camera next to your mixture hole and watch for deer.

Hope this helps you save a few bucks. With the 50 lb bags, you will have enough to create salt licks in different locations on your property (ideally near a food plot to keep that deer herd growing while you wait for hunting season to start.)

FAQs about Salt Lick for Deer

What type of salt should be used to make a salt lick for deer?

The best type of salt to use for a salt lick for deer is Himalayan pink salt or mineralized sea salt, as they are the most natural and mineral-rich salts available.

How much salt is needed for an effective deer salt lick?

Generally, around one pound of salt per 10 square feet should be enough to make an effective deer salt lick.

Are there any minerals or other ingredients that should be added to the mix when making a salt lick for deer?

Yes, adding minerals such as calcium carbonate or trace minerals like selenium can help attract more deer to the area and make the lick even more appealing to them.

Is it necessary to package the salt lick in some sort of container or can it simply be placed on the ground?

It is not necessary to package the salt in any container, but it may be beneficial if you want to contain the mess and keep animals from carrying away chunks of it.

Where is the best place to set up a salt lick for deer?

Setting up a deer lick near water sources and travel corridors between food sources is ideal, as this will increase its chances of being found by passing deer herds.

How often should the salt lick be replenished or replaced?

Depending on how much traffic the area gets from wildlife, it may need to be replenished every few weeks or every couple months in order for it to remain effective as an attractant.

Are there any additional steps one can take to attract more deer to use a homemade salt lick?

To further encourage usage of your homemade deer lick, try adding scented substances like molasses or coconut oil around it which will help entice more curious noses its way!

Don’t want to DIY?

If you decide you just want to buy a few small blocks instead of making your own deer lick, we highly recommend these from American Stockman: 

North American Salt 90013 Trace Mineral Brick Pet Nutritional Supplement, 4-Pound
  • 4 Lb. Trace Mineral Brick
  • Contains 6 Core Micro-minerals Required For Animal Health
  • Minerals Include Zinc, Manganese, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine and Iron
  • For All Classes Of Breed and Dairy Cattle, Pigs and Horses
  • Major Health Problems Can Arise Without This Product

About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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