Q: Is Winchester’s 260-grain sabot 20-gauge slug load effective on whitetails at 100 yards? If not, what is its maximum effective range?
**A: **It’s more powerful than the .44 Remington Magnum round, which has long worked very well on woods-range whitetails when fired out of a carbine or rifle. The Winchester 20-gauge load’s effective range is mostly limited by its arched trajectory. Sighted dead-on at 100 yards, it will land about 5 inches below point of aim at 150 yards–still in a deer’s chest with a center hold, but with little margin for error. I’d limit shots to under 150 yards.
**Q: **A couple old-timers I know say they’ve made deer licks by soaking rock salt and packing it into a can with a little bit of corn or beans. They bury the can flush with the ground, strategically in the woods. Is it safe and healthy for the deer? If it’s okay, what do you recommend adding to it for a good odor or nutritional base? For somebody on a tight budget it seems like it could do wonders.
**A: **Deer (and most other wild mammals) are always attracted to salt, since they don’t get much in their natural diets. Don’t worry, they won’t eat too much of it–and their sensitive noses will pick up the odor if you place the soaked salt anywhere near a natural deer trail.
As for adding nutrition, whole books have been written about the subject. If you don’t want to buy a book, there are probably dozens of Web sites just aching to sell you nutritional additives guaranteed to grow Boone and Crockett antlers on 2-year-old bucks.
You should also be very aware that “salting” is considered baiting almost anywhere, and baiting deer is against the law in many (but by no means all) states. Make sure it’s legal before you try it.