Characteristics of mineral licks used by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were examined in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota in May 1992. Concentrations of sodium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, chloride and magnesium, and soil texture, organic matter and pH for licks and nonlick soils were compared. Black Hills lick and nonlick samples also were compared to 67 other North American licks characterized by Jones and Hanson (1985). Degree of use (high or low), and vegetative and topographic characteristics also were determined. Use of mineral licks by deer was highest in spring and early summer; mineral licks were not used by deer in winter. Mostly adult females, and on a few occasions fawns visited licks. Soil texture was finer and organic matter was lower (P < 0.05) in lick than nonlick soils. Soil pH, soluble salts, sodium and nitrate nitrogen were higher (P < 0.05) in lick than in nonlick soils. Chloride was the only mineral that differed (P = 0.03) between high-use and low-use licks but was not considered important in lick selection. Sodium was the primary mineral sought by white-tailed deer using mineral licks.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Characteristics of mineral licks used by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)|
|Series title||American Midland Naturalist|
|Publisher||The University of Notre Dame|
|Contributing office(s)||Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center|