Here we are at almost forty days over one hundred degrees, and more than that since substantial rain. I’ve been getting a surprising number of trail cam pics so far this summer. My pea and bean field is doing awesome considering the conditions. But in the last couple of weeks, my cameras have been sleeping most of the time. Today I went out and did a little investigating. The main spring on the property has all but dried up. Only a trickle remains. Most of it is evaporating I think. The best water sources are on the neighboring properties. Obviously they have relocated elsewhere for now. A deer gets most of it’s water from succulent plant matter. During a severe drought, that is hard to come by. The native browse is dried up and unpalatable in most cases. The diet of the whitetail consists of around 80 percent native browse in most areas. We just don’t have that right now. An old Scottish proverb sums it up best.
“We’ll never know the worth of water until the well goes dry.”
The point is this, without fresh water you will not hold deer on your property on a regular basis. Don’t worry too much if you don’t have a dozer handy. You can create your own watering holes with as little as a shovel, a roll of plastic and a lot of sweat. Yes it is a lot of work. Isn’t your wildlife worth it?
Pick a spot that is shaded all day if you can. Dig a hole until you can’t dig anymore. Then double it. 18 inches to 2 feet deep is plenty. Then line your hole with plastic. It is best to do this before a rain unless you love carrying buckets. You can get pretty creative if you have access to a backhoe or a skid steer. Place your holes next to bedding areas and food sources. I have also found that several small ‘pots’ are better than one large one. You can even split a plastic barrel down the middle and bury it. Place several on your property and all the critters will thank you. Right now I wish I had more on a certain hotspot of my own.