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#3290078 - 07/13/13 06:37 AM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: BHC]
Deck78
6 Point


Registered: 10/07/10
Posts: 766
Loc: hipster hollow

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These days in Williamson 3 of the properties surrounding your lease probably have feeders and custom dug lakes so the property owners can feed and water their "pet" deer. It's getting harder to hunt the petting zoo \:\)
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#3290089 - 07/13/13 07:10 AM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: BHC]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65979
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BHC
I agree with Daveb, they may not need it but everything wants what it can't have! Propertys with no water, I believe making a small pond in a high traffic area can be an awesome spot esp early season..! Deer don't need salt to survive or corn or acorns but that doesn't mean they don't want it...


That was actually the point I was trying to make. Often I see posts listing the "critical needs of deer," and the list usually goes 1) food, 2) cover, 3) water. Personally, I wouldn't put free-standing water as a critical or even an important need. Now "need" and "attractant" are two different things. Certainly water acts as an attractant, especially in the early fall, which are usually our driest months.

But one word of caution. Although I've not seen any studies confirming my suspicions, a strong trend I have noted each time we have an EHD outbreak is: standing water = a lot of dead deer. Only tumbling water sources = far less dead deer. The midge that spreads EHD breeds in the mud of stagnant water. The properties I monitor that had ponds and small waterholes as a water source experienced massive die-offs. The properties with only rocky, tumbling creeks experienced very little die-off. This trend has been so strong through the last two big die-offs (2001 and 2007) that when clients ask about creating small waterholes on their property, I tell them I don't recommend it, for this very reason.
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#3290107 - 07/13/13 07:38 AM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: BSK]
Deck78
6 Point


Registered: 10/07/10
Posts: 766
Loc: hipster hollow

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^ good point! No reason to chance a healthy deer population with something that might otherwise be prevented
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#3290235 - 07/13/13 10:31 AM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: Deck78]
Recoil
4 Point


Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 431
Loc: Williamson County

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Great info.
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#3290237 - 07/13/13 10:35 AM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: Deck78]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 18623
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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I've hunted over some of the only available standing water sources in the areas I hunted on several occasions and I've yet to see a deer come to drink. Sometimes the ground would be littered with tracks and still no deer. I have seen deer stop and drink out of puddles after a rain but hunting a water source (even in hot, dry periods) has been a total bust. I'm inclined to believe they drink at night but get most of the moisture they require from their food.
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#3290835 - 07/14/13 06:51 AM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: BHC]
jar
4 Point


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 328
Loc: tn, rutherford county

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Ive got pics last week of several deer drinking out of a blue plastic kiddie pool that I put by my salt last summer when it got so dry. Last summer they seemed to only look at the pool and not drink at all this year after it sat there for a year I have pics of them drinking every time I check my camera.
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#3290843 - 07/14/13 07:10 AM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: jar]
jar
4 Point


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 328
Loc: tn, rutherford county

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#3291123 - 07/14/13 03:25 PM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: jar]
fishboy1
16 Point


Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10574
Loc: Warren Co

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Each property is unique but here is my .02

Hunters spend way too much time and money trying to get the deer to do what they want them to do, rather than learn what the deer are doing on their individual properties.

I think in many if not most cases, hunters would be better off spending less trying to manipulate the deer, and spending more on gas to go scout, or hunt.

One property we hunt has hundreds of acres of high quality agriculture on the river, oak and persimmons on the ridges, minerals and water in several locations. The deer have everything they need, yet one guy insists on planting food plots every fall and wonders why he rarely sees big bucks around the food plots. Through lots of hard work and time on the ground and in a tree, I have figured out 2 big buck "hot spots". There is nothing I could do to manipulate those deer. They do exactly what they want, when they want. Its on me to put in the time under perfect conditions to try and get one.

Conditions are perfect about 2x a season and IF I am lucky (last year) one of those days will be just before or during the rut. Hunt those spots when conditions are wrong and you can forget it.
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#3291428 - 07/14/13 08:32 PM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: Mike Belt]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
I've hunted over some of the only available standing water sources in the areas I hunted on several occasions and I've yet to see a deer come to drink. Sometimes the ground would be littered with tracks and still no deer. I have seen deer stop and drink out of puddles after a rain but hunting a water source (even in hot, dry periods) has been a total bust. I'm inclined to believe they drink at night but get most of the moisture they require from their food.


Hunted a lot of water holes completely full of tracks, too. Done it on especially hot days and, you are correct: deer sightings are few and far between. I haven't given up on them and will continue to hunt them under the right conditions, but it sure can be tough. Mid bow season, for that matter, is tough. When there is mast everywhere and it is hot, water can still be a good option for that time of year.

Last season, I had some migraine problems one weekend and had to sleep in. I hunted 10 to mid afternoon shifts one 2 consecutive 90+ degree days over water holes. I saw deer, as many as 10 does moving midday. The water seemed to attract them near as some even bedded for awhile, but none of them drank. Tough, but better than many other options.
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#3291569 - 07/14/13 10:19 PM Re: Anyone ever bring water to attract deer [Re: pressfit]
pressfit
10 Point


Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 3283
Loc: Giles Co. Tn

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 Originally Posted By: pressfit
I dont think I have ever seen a deer take a drink of water.. i'm sure they do..... just never seen it..

I'll swanny... coming home from church this evening and I saw a doe up to her belly in the middle of a pond and a nice nice buck standing on the side taking a drink.... right after a downpour..LOL
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