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LonePineOutdoors_AZ

Using salt and cameras to locate a specific buck

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Hi All,

I really appreciated the threads debating types of salt, methods of site prep, and other info.

I am interested if anyone has used 1 or more salt lick sites to aide in locating a specific buck. I found some last season sheds of a buck which I think may still be alive, and I'd like to get to work on proof-of-life.

My main mode of location will be glassing, but I'm limited to weekends, and the occasional long weekend. Being that I'll only get 2-3 weekends a month to get out, I'd like to get some passive location tactics working. While I have ideas on where to set some cameras, what are your thoughts on wether a salt lick or two will help out. 

I have about 5 cameras to spare for this endeavor. 

I've considered that more than 1 new site, and any existing man-made or natural pre-existing sites, may lead to an un-pattern-able buck.  

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Shhhhh, dont say that in public, AZ G&F think that hunting with cameras is unfair advantage.  Live video is already banned.

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I wouldn't use all 5. If your looking for one buck maybe set up 1 camera per canyon or big draw. Set up in a bottom or north facing slope in shade.  Look up old posts by Jason Miller, je has a cam series of videos hes madeon the subject

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 I saw a buck in 2016 and wanted pics of him. I set up 3 salts and 4 cameras in that area. I got him 2 times on a trail leading to water, never on the salt. I have seen him a few other times. He is still there but never has gone to the salt. 

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Get salt up as soon as possible, sometimes it takes time for them to find it. Saddles are good spots because of natural movement through saddles. I  wouldn't put it in a area that would be easily glassable for other people to find. 

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I don't know if this is true or not but I heard you double your chances of finding the buck just by sharing a pic of his anter here on CW.  If it's a set I heard your chances quadruple!!!

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@CatfishKev thanks for pointing me to more info.

@thegunsmith2506 thanks for the anecdote supporting the flip side of the salt coin.

@Shawn I'm having a hard time finding flat spots like saddles or benches that aren't overgrown. What are your thoughts on clearing brush just enough to get a lick and a camera.
@OpticNerd I imagine if I share the unit and GPS coordinates, that might as well guarantee success, right? 😅

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19 minutes ago, LonePineOutdoors_AZ said:

@CatfishKev thanks for pointing me to more info.

@thegunsmith2506 thanks for the anecdote supporting the flip side of the salt coin.

@Shawn I'm having a hard time finding flat spots like saddles or benches that aren't overgrown. What are your thoughts on clearing brush just enough to get a lick and a camera.
@OpticNerd I imagine if I share the unit and GPS coordinates, that might as well guarantee success, right? 😅

A few years ago I set a cam up in a creek bottom just to get pictures of lions, bears and other Critters for fun. Most of the year creek is dry unless there has been a rain within few weeks. I got lucky and got a real nice buck on it. When I went to go set some salt in the area I thought I don't want to put it in the bottom and make it easier for a lion to kill him.  I'm kind of always thinking about where to put the cams/salt lick with less chance's  of an ambush from a lion. I set the cam on a side of a hill about 500 yards above where I got him on the cam and he found that salt right away. It's a really thick Hillside, had a small opening and I put it right in there. He hammered the heck out of the salt for the first year.  Now he's very sporadic because lots of other deer are hammering it now.  He don't like to be around all the other deer. Another thing to think of is if there's cattle in the area cattle will find the salt and very few deer will hit the salt if the cattle are hammering it. Especially a big buck. I have hunted that buck on and off over last 3 years quite a bit between archery and rifle. I still have never laid my eyes on him. He lives in an absolute perfect spot for a buck to get real big.  Very nasty area thick/steep and he is way smarter than I am.

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Look for north facing slopes near where you found the antler. That is most likely his bedding area(s). 
 

find trails leading into /out of bedding area. Try to avoid going deep into the bedding area, especially on the upwind side and during mid day when he might be bedded there. 
 

put your cams out on all the trails you can find. There will likely be a trail near the top of the slope and another near the middle. If you can find where 2 or more intersect even better. 
 

once you get a pic of him put your salt out  near the trail. If there is water nearby all the better. Deer seem to use the salt more regularly if they can drink before or after getting salt. 
 

if you are using salt blocks, you need to either get them out ASAP or bust them up so they leech into the ground faster. I like to use pool salt you can get in 40-50 lb bags then add the blocks as needed to keep it going. Once you have it established 2-3 of the small 5lb blocks per year is good. 
 

the buck likely wont get too interested in your salt until he sheds again and starts to grow velvet antlers but he might get a lick of in once in awhile while hard horned. 

Then hope the cattle dont find your salt. They usually wipe it out quick. 

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I've always heard it's better to buy the loose bags of mineral salt because the cattle wont mess with it.  

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Cattle will still destroy lose grain salt and push out the deer you planned on hunting.  Trust me, wasted a three day pack in to find all this out.   Cattle moved in to my spot three weeks before the opener and I think stayed there for a solid week.  

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42 minutes ago, grey curse said:

Cattle will still destroy lose grain salt and push out the deer you planned on hunting.  Trust me, wasted a three day pack in to find all this out.   Cattle moved in to my spot three weeks before the opener and I think stayed there for a solid week.  

They’ll do that to salt blocks too. Gotta know the pasture rotation.

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