water hole


5 year old buck +
I have a stock pond that gets water from ditch, its stays full all year. I used drainage pipe to make a bridge over the ditch. the stock pond is withing 50 yards of the bridge. Was too cheap and bought 20' lenghts and cut them in half. Erosion caused bridge to get narrower, so bought couplings to extend culverts. Used tractor with front end loader to make ditch deeper and wider so could add lenghts to culverts. It was dry when doing work, but rain made water flow down ditch again making a water hole. Some of the nastiest looking water in the area excavated, low and behold could not believe the deer tracks in the new hole. So much for stock watering pond.
Yep - we can bust our butts at times and the deer simply don't cooperate. How many times you bust hump on food plots and the deer browse on the weeds in the plot? Or try to make a water hole and the deer drink from some random puddle or rut? Sometimes I think they do it just to screw with us! Oh well - you wanted to give the deer a drink - mission accomplished!
I too am a big believer in waterholes. In my case I use 30-50 gallon black tubs from Menards. I get deer, bear, turkey, owls, hawks, coons, etc. visiting daily. Started using them three years ago during which I have tagged out opening bow weekend twice. 172" and 140". Trail cameras help pattern. Wish I had started using water years ago.
this is a facet of the management toolbox I've overlooked. in fact I was talking with my buddy today, and we both agreed that could be what we're missing. lack of summering bucks with plenty of food and cover, no early season buck activity either, strictly rut appearances when they're after the women.

I've got plans to include them in our new woods food plot projects. after reading the last two comments, I think it's a huge swing and a miss for me for busting my tail on plots and tree planting while assuming deer have enough water around. food/cover/water. 66% is barely passing, so I'd give myself that on my management progress grade since I'm missing that last element. thanks for the eye opener and 'aha' moment guys.