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Salt lick

A salt lick is a salt deposit that animals regularly lick. In an ecosystem, salt/mineral licks sometimes occur naturally, providing the sodium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc required in the springtime for bone, muscle and other growth in deer and other wildlife, such as moose, elephants, cattle, woodchucks, domestic sheep, fox squirrels, mountain goats and porcupines. Harsh weather exposes salty mineral deposits that draw animals from miles away for a taste of needed nutrients.



Artificial salt licks

People use salt licks to attract or maintain wildlife, whether it be for viewing, photography or hunting purposes. Many companies now produce salt that includes all the trace minerals and is fairly inexpensive. It comes in either bagged or block form.

The most common method for using bagged salt is as follows:

  • Locate an area near a water source, food plot, game trail or an old stump.
  • Make sure the area is devoid of vegetation and debris. Using a shovel, make a small depression roughly four to six feet in diameter.
  • Spread approximately 25 to 50 pounds of salt/mineral mix on the ground and mix in a small amount of the removed soil. The stump location is ideal because it resembles a naturally formed salt/mineral lick.

For salt blocks, the usual method is to follow the first two steps above, dig an 18" to 20" hole in the middle, drop the block in and cover it with soil.

After several good rains, the mineralized salt dissolves into the surrounding soil. Wildlife find the salt/mineral and begin licking and eating the soil. An artificial salt lick usually lasts from six months to a year.

Salt blocks are also used by farmers for domesticated animals.


In Norse mythology, before the creation of the world, it was the divine cow Audhumla who, through her licking of the cosmic salt ice, gave form to Buri, ancestor of the gods and grandfather of Odin. On the first day as Audhumla licked, Buri's hair appeared from the ice, on the second day his head and on the third his body.[1]


  1. ^ Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

Further reading

  • Kurlansky, Mark (2002). Salt: A World History.Walker and Co. ISBN 0-8027-1373-4.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Salt_lick". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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