Creating a Watering Hole for Deer



Spring is giving way into summer! Soon the rain will let up and the dry warm weather will hit, making water a great resource to have in the right location. Join Buck Advisors Weston Schrank as he explains how to create a watering hole for deer on your property.

With the rain still coming in here in May we are going to take advantage and create a watering hole for deer. Now common sense tells you create a watering hole to supply water on dry properties, other reasons are to hunt over these come fall, but that’s not what we are doing here, it does work for those scenarios so by all means listen to the tips and techniques here that we are doing, but we are installing a watering hole here for one reason, social hotspots. Now this is an idea that I really wanted to dive into this season. Here in Indiana we cannot hunt over bait that is mineral, salt lick, feed, or in this case a watering hole or liquid that I have placed into the habitat. So if I’m not hunting over it why put it in?

The real reason for all of my work putting in food plots, hinge cutting, creating bedding areas, defining sanctuaries, placing mineral stations out, putting out mock scrapes is to create social hotspots, because at the end of the day or start of deer season the minerals, water, feed, all of that will be gone, but what will last is the impression it made over the summer. It creates a social hotspot if done right, the traffic, the does, the fawns, the bucks, the scent and the imprint in the deer herd is that this is the place to be, which means a lot for late October and November hunting.

Now first thing you need to determine when creating a watering hole for deer is where to place it, It has to make sense with existing deer movements, bedding areas and food sources. In this case we are placing this watering hold on the edge of a sanctuary or bedding area for deer, but it also is on the way to the One acre clover food plot. Now this corridor of hardwoods is a hotspot we had deer more importantly Oscar and Jax our hit list deer coming through here nonstop scent checking for does, a big part of that was with our mock scrapes, so this year we are going to capitalize on that we are going to install this watering hold to add another element in making this a social hotspot, again even with this watering hole being removed, the impression and memory and movements will last.

Now I got this black livestock tank it’s a 40 gallon tuff tank its rubber, it’s durable, and it’s cheap, I picked it up for $25, but it being shallow and not to big is perfect for this type of use. Now all we are simply doing is digging this in, and setting in the ground, after that we are going to initially fill it up and then of course place a trail camera on it. We have also got a mineral station next to this spot, we have three blocks because we are running a test right now in another video series, but we have water, salt and mineral station, a sanctuary a set travel corridor, and a small food plot. It’s not a destination plot by any means but all this makes it a social hotspot. Deer will transition from the bedding area, to the water, to the food in daylight but will work into the larger Ag fields afterwards. Thus creating a social hotspot and a great place to hunt this fall.

Now the number one tip I can give besides location, and how to create the watering hole is to keep your scent and pressure off of this plot. None of this will work if there is even the slightest amount pressure on the plot. One concern is already the sanctuary but my other concern is keeping myself from checking these cameras too much, and the one time a month I do check the cards, I have to go in quiet and scent free at the noon or middle of the day when deer movement is hopefully not in the area.

Other than that we will keep you updated with this watering hole for deer we will put up the trail camera videos and progress of the area, and we will be hunting this area come fall after we get all the bait and the water out.

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