The Rifle Opener is over 5 months away for me, but deer season is never wholly out of my mind.
We were down at camp this past weekend. Doing a whole bunch of stuff.
The salt licks needed to be refreshed. When I left at the end of Turkey Season, the fields were still a bit mushy for travel with the truck. I was back this weekend with 100 lbs of mixing salt. I'm down to two licks. It was amazing how much the deer had been hitting the licks already. One had dug an 18 inch hole, looking for a pocket of salt. I've been refreshing these licks now for 12 years. There is now enough salt in the ground that getting there first thing in March is no longer a necessity. In fact, I may skip a year at one of the sites and just see how it goes.
My method is to dig a trench about a spade length's depth and then pour in a bag of granules or pellets-- whatever's cheapest. I then chop up the spoil and put it back in, mixing in a bit of salt on top. I don't use exposed blocks. Burying the salt, makes the salt permeate the ground and in this causes the deer to work harder. They don't gorge on it as a result, and they also get some soil mixed in to add a bit of trace mineral.
So shaman, what happened to that fancy antler-recipe? Yes, I know, I used to recommend using di-calcium phospate, but I found that it was not as tasty for the deer. Pure NaCl does the job of habituating the does to a given area. Once I have the does squared away, the bucks come along.