WT get the majority of their water from vegetation.
I have a three 15' wide holes that the timber company dug 20+ years ago when they were laying pipes to cross runs. I don't know how deep these three holes are bc I've never seen them dry up. Even when the creek is bone dry, and it's the biggest drainage in twenty miles, the deer still don't hit these holes like you would expect.
I just put out water troughs, right on top of the ground. It was hot and dry, deer took right to 'em. Had to elevate one on a platform to keep the hogs out. I think in a lot of places water may be more of a limiting factor than food.
Deer use water in several forms. In addition to the liquid found on the earth’s surface, whitetail deer can use preformed water and metabolic water. Preformed water is the stuff that is found in the foods that they eat. Metabolic water is produced internally as a result of hydrogen oxidation during an animal’s metabolic processes. Much of the water that whitetail deer need can be found in the food that they eat, most of which is between 50 and 90 percent water. Not much need to go hunting for water. In essence, deer only drink water to supplement the water they extract from their diet.
One study in the Southeastern U.S. suggested that whitetail do not require surface water on a daily basis because of high rainfall, humidity, and the availability of succulent plants — at least most of the year. The study also mentioned that surface water may be important during the summer when rainfall is scarce and the water needs of lactating does are high.
From what I have found, the consensus seems to be that a whitetail deer requires approximately 1 1/2 quarts for every 100 pounds of body weight per day during the winter. This requirement doubles during the summer, with deer needing about 3 quarts for every 100 pounds of body weight. How much do the deer on your property weigh?
The volume of water is even greater for does that are supporting fawns or deer found in more arid regions, such as West or South Texas. Again, this does not mean that a deer will necessarily drink this amount of water, but that they will supplement the preformed and metabolic water taken from their diet with surface water.
It’s thought that during times of drought or pregnancy that surface water is a definite necessity, with whitetail actually ingesting between two to three times as much water as food. Is this the case always? Don’t know. The supplemental feeding of deer with protein pellets is also believed to elevate whitetail deer water requirements.
Deer that do not have access to adequate amounts of water will not forage. This would put a damper on any deer management efforts in a hurry, not to mention the deer hunting, or lack thereof, on a property. Deer that fail to eat do not raise fawns, grow large antlers or live.
As mentioned previously, habitat conditions do come into play. Moisture-rich plants can provide much of the water that deer may need, but not in areas where drought is underway or for whitetail deer living in semi-desert conditions. Although surface water is not as important to whitetails as food or habitat with suitable cover, a lack of available water can prevent animals from using an area in drier climates.
Whitetail are like all living things in that they require water in order to survive. Deer water requirements will vary based on whether they are growing body mass or simply in maintenance mode. The amount required daily varies seasonally although deer will require much more water during the summer, especially does which need more liquid for lactation.
I put 2 Five gallon buckets out last summer during the hot dry part of the summer after watching the deer drink from a bird bath. The deer took right to the water in the buckets so I left them there and still see them use it as a source of water just not as much as during the hot summer days. This is not in an urban setting either , im very rural with large woods around , I would say give it a try , it cant hurt.
Thanks for the responses. My hunting buddies said it was the dumbest thing they ever heard of. But they are old and closed minded....lol
It seems like half the people say it works and half don't. 80% of our lease is pines and not a lot of forage. We have planted lots of food plots and we have feeders and minerals. We do have one creek on one property line (200 acres.)
I though it might help hold more deer if I put in 6 or 7 water holes away from the creek.
I'm not worried about the deer's "need" for water. I know they don't need me to provide water. I was just asking for real life experiences. Wondering if it helps keep deer closer giving them everything they need close.
I put out a couple of black mortar mixing tubs last summer, just put them on top of the ground, deer found them within days, and hit them on a regular basis while it was hot, I've left them there since then, figure they'll get used a lot this next summer .