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Deer eating dirt
Just figured that I would share this and see if many others had similar experiences. I have had a stand in this area for area for around 9 years. There is a pile of dirt that I am fairly confident was a root ball from a tree that blew over but the tree stem seems to be long gone. This year I noticed that a lot of deer are eating the dirt in the pile. Family groups have stopped while I have been on stand and have taken turns eating the dirt. I think that the deer started doing this a year or two ago but it was very minimal until this year. By how fast the pile is disappearing it is being used a lot. Amazingly I have a mineral lick about 10 feet away on the downhill side that is seeing some use but nothing compared to this dirt pile. Clearly there is something in the dirt that the deer like but I have never placed anything there. Anyone else seeing something like this happening?
Must be some sort of mineral or salt there. I have heard of people using salt to corrode a stump. Maybe that's what it is.
Several years ago I had set a salt block on a small stump in my back yard. I was amazed that once the block was gone how the deer basically dug a hole around the stump licking the dirt. They pretty well took care of the stump too. Looked a lot like your picture.
What is interesting is that I have owned this piece for close to 25 years and I did not put anything there that I remember. I have hunted the stand for years before the deer started eating the dirt. I think that there was something there for a long time and they just found it and uncovered it. A few years ago I recall a fawn started eating some of the vegetation off of the pile and that seemed to be the start. Now it is very active, and I am thinking of moving my minerals over to it but I do not want to screw it up either.
I had a stand about 400 yards from this one that had a dead tree standing near it. One season deer started licking the dirt or eating something at the base of the tree in just one location. I figured that some fungus or something washed off of the tree into the soil, I was not able to find an attractant. The deer would walk by the area, smell something and stop.
Although in recent years we have learned a lot about deer, in the great scheme of things, we still don’t know everything and probably won’t ever.
You might take a sample and find an Ag Extension or Soil Conseevarion Service office and have it tested. Obviously something in there that they like a LOT. Figure it out don't tell anyone, and start selling whatever mineral concoction it is.
I know of an area where deer eat the dirt, and it's a sizeable spot. At least as big as my living room. Maybe they still do, I haven't been there for years. But there used to be an old sawmill in that spot a few generations ago. The dirt there is almost black, the darkest I've seen. I've heard of a few other places where deer eat the dirt as well.
Beat me to it Jaquomo... soil test could tell what's in that soil. Interesting none the less.
Every mineral block that I throw out for my horses results in a 2 foot deep crater by the time they are done with it. If I don't throw out a new block for a while, they'll continue to eat the dirt from the previous one. I've never understood how their digestive systems can handle that, but they do.
I know of a natural mineral lick in a wilderness area on a steep ridge that's never had anything deposited there, where deer and elk eat the dirt.
The bigest licks i ever saw in high country were ones Mt Goat and Sheep use. Seen them so large you could vlimb in them. Sheep and goat love all kine of mineral. Seen sheep strip gypsum board and eat it as high as they could reach.
Deer will eat dirt to get at minerals sure.
Man I saw it in Ohio this yr scouting in the late summer around a old oil well rig …10 million tracks beat all I had ever seen I wish I knew how to post a video I took of it on here
Deer will eat the dirt where salt has been. They eat it right down and make a big hole. Pour a bag of Black Magic on the ground and the deer will start eating the dirt. Bucks, does and fawns all eat it.
Go old school and save your self a few bucks.....taste the dirt and see if it is salty.
That first picture was a deer eating acorns, this one is deer eating Black Magic dirt.
I dozed a small pond about 60 yards x 40 yards ten years ago. I failed to capture all the run off with the angle of the dam. Occasionally on a dry year it dries up and I notice the deer have dug around, apparently eating a mineral leached to the top.