Artificial mineral or salt blocks are a simple way to draw deer into an area. Salts and other minerals exist naturally where deer frequent, but adding an increased source will ensure that the deer stick around all year. These blocks also act as a source of added nutrition in areas where food sources are scarce. Materials to make artificial mineral blocks are inexpensive, easy to find and require little in the way of preparation.
Purchase the urea and mineral salts from an agricultural store. Urea is an inorganic fertilizer that will act as a source of nitrogen for the deer. Mineral salts are a source of vitamins A, D and E that will help with the formation of a deer's antlers. Molasses can be found at most dry goods stores and cement is available at hardware stores.
Dissolve 1 kg of urea into 1 kg of molasses in a large saucepan. Along with being a source of minerals and vitamins, the molasses' sweet taste acts as an attractant for deer. If you can't find any molasses or prefer to not use it, you can replace it with an equal portion of water.
Mix 1 kg of salt with 0.5 kg of cement powder in a large bucket. Add roughly 6.5 kg of bran into the mixture; use a spoon to combine all of the ingredients together.
Add the urea mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir them together until they form a thick paste. It may be necessary to add some water to this mixture in order to get the right consistency. Add the water slowly, stirring each time, in order to ensure that you don't put too much in. There should be enough water to adhere all of the ingredients together, but not so much that the water causes it to become liquefied.
Pour the mixture into large baking pans that have been lined with plastic wrap or bags. Several layers of plastic wrap may be necessary; the wrapping must be strong enough to remove the solid block from the baking pan without ripping.
Leave the boxes to dry for at least two weeks. This gives the cement a chance to harden all the way through and will keep the blocks from breaking apart once removed from the baking pans. Use the outer edges of the plastic wrap to carefully remove the mineral block from the baking pan.
Items you will need
- Mineral salt
- Large saucepan
- Large baking pans
- Plastic wrap
- This type of mineral block is best used near a water source since it can be harmful for the deer if they consume too much of the urea at one time.
- deer image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com