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Salt & Mineral Licks for Deer

Hi! I live in a wooded area with quite a few deer. I was wondering if it would be beneficial to the deer to put out a salt and/or mineral lick for them. If so, would it be more beneficial seasonally (winter, for example)? If not, can you please let us know why? We do not want to provide them with something that would be bad for them in the long. Thanks much!

Wildlife Expert - Ken Burton

The prevailing wisdom is that it is NOT a good idea to put out licks or any other attractants for deer (or most other wildlife, for that matter). Deer populations are already considered too high in most areas, and if you live anywhere near anyone else, he most likely will not appreciate deer being drawn to the area. Furthermore, artificial concentrations of wildlife create conditions in which diseases can be spread from one animal to another. It is believed that the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer is being facilitated by artificial licks. Most wildlife is really healthier when forced to survive without help. It's often difficult to resist the temptation, but if the animals' welfare is your primary concern - as it should be - resist!

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