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How To Use The Licking Branch

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Choosing A Location

Food plots, logging roads, field edges, & heavily traveled deer trails are all great options. If you are using the Licking Branch as a hunting aid, place the base where you would like a deer to stop for a shot and serve as a yardage making reference. If your goal is more to inventory your herd, install the base in a heavily traveled area.

Watch the full installation video

Each location is somewhat unique. This video demonstrates how to set up your Licking Branch in a very common scenario, but feel free to experiment based on your surroundings.

Watch Video

Step 1:
Select & Install A BRANCH OR VINE

When it comes to selecting a branch to use, different areas, tree types, and individual deer's preference are all variables to consider. As always, don't be afraid to experiment. It is recommended to start with a species of tree that you find rubbed or have seen as a natural licking branch in your area. The Licking Branch is most effective when the branch/sapling is balanced, so it is not leaning too far in one direction. A sapling is best as it naturally does this while it grows. When cutting a branch/sapling, you may have to trim leaves or branches on either side in order to balance the branch. Make sure the branch is also not too top heavy. You don't need a large Licking Branch to get interaction from big deer.

Step 2:
INSTALLING YOUR HODAG LICKING BRANCH FlexPlate™

The specific height you anchor your FlexPlate to the tree at will depend on the stick, branch, or vine you chose to use. In most cases, your FlexPlate will be between 4 and 5 feet off the ground. Keep in mind that terrain and elevation will dictate changes to the height necessary for installation. In the end, the goal is to have your HODAG Licking Branch at a mature deer's eye level, or slightly above. To attach the FlexPlate to the tree, use the provided washer head screws. The FlexPlate has a pattern of 5 pre-drilled holes that will allow you to anchor to the tree in a variety of configurations. As an alternative to screws, you may use a one inch nylon ratchet strap to securely strap the FlexPlate to the tree by threading the strap through the two side slots on the plate.

Step 3:
Scenting The Branch or Vine

Use the dripper to apply AllSeason™ Scent to the leaves and branches. This will help stimulate the deer to interact with the branch, leaving their own scent. This is what helps get your licking branch started. Be sure to cover all areas of the branch. After a week or so the leaves will dry out and fall off – don’t worry, that is ok.

Quick Tip #1
Placing Your Trail Camera

For those who want to use this device as a scouting tool as well, it works great to place a trail camera 15’-30’ from the Licking Stick for best results. Please share your videos, pictures & best practices with us!

Quick Tip #2
CREATING A MOCK SCRAPE

In addition to scenting your licking branch or vine, we recommend creating a mock scrape underneath your setup as an additional means of gathering the deer's attention. The smell of freshly disturbed dirt combined with the visual change is likely to stimulate curiosity and encourage the deer to investigate and interact, leaving their scent behind.

Quick Tip #3
Refreshing Your Licking Branch

Once deer start using the Licking Branch they will provide their own "Scents" to your branch or vine. From time to time, reapply Scent to your branch/vine to keep the deer interest high.

Still Not Getting Interaction?

On occasion you may have a Licking Branch that is not being used. When that occurs, try a new branch, or change the location and put a fresh coating of AllSeason™ Scent on the new branch or both.