Contributors to this thread:
Have you ever made your own water hole? What have your experiences been? Have you had deer use them consistently?
I dug a small water hole about 12 x 12 and 3-4 feet deep. It’s on the edge of a food plot. I see tracks there a lot and occasionally see deer watering there.
This year in Az I carried a few gallons of water in and cut the tops off then piled rocks around it never had a chance to hunt it though
I have a low area that usually holds water until August, or all year if we have a wetter than normal year. I went in a few years back during a dry year and dug a hole about 15’ x 15’ x 5’ deep. It now holds water all year. The deer use it fairly regularly, but I have several other water sources on, or close to my property. (springs, creek, river). It seems to me that the nastier the water is, the better they like it. I’m not sure if I would put in any more waterholes, because of potential EHD issues (which, fortunately, we haven’t dealt with in my area). In areas of limited access to a water source, it would be an entirely different scenario.
My thought was to dig a 100 gal stock tank into a low spot that collects water and fill it as needed. I am thinking of doing one as an experiment.
They suggest to put a ramp/stick in it for critters to be able to crawl out if they fall in. There are guys advertising tanks specifically made for what you looking at doing, Early Bird. Not sure if they are considerably higher or similar in price to a stock tank.
In Wisconsin this past fall, first week in November, we had freezing temps that froze a lot of standing water. The deer where breaking the ice in our water holes to get to the water. We saw a lot of activity at our water holes. We use stock tanks, hard plastic, 40 gallon I think. We installed 2 last year that were 110 gallons I think, they maybe too deep. We install in shaded areas in funnel, along food plots, between bedding and feeding areas as well. BC
Great gathering place throughout the season. My friend owns 1,800 acres and hired a skid steer guy for two days and they built 6 water holes. A couple are near streams but they still draw the deer all season. C
I dug a hole, dropped an 11 gallon rubbermaid tub in there and no matter how nasty the water gets the deer just love it! One of my best spots to fill a doe tag.
I dug a 16x12 ft hole with my tractor and covered it with a $600 PVC liner and the moose came in and ripped it to shreds and it drained out. WAH
We put two in our property, one when we first bought it into thousand 12 and one just two years ago. All we did was dig in already there depression a little deeper and put a couple thick mats of rubber down. I work with garage doors for a living so at each one we took an old 9 x 7 hail damaged door put it all together and framed it up to catch water to funnel into the hole. Has worked like a charm, we have had deer, turkeys, bears and even the local bobcat use it as there's not much water within a quarter to half mile. We get a lot of usage out of it.
Definitely want to do as T Roy said and always have some sort of a branch or something coming up out for the little critters that get down in and can't get out.
how about a moose ladder?
Great responses! I have a spot in mind for a trial run. Probably put a camera over it and monitor.
Just get a stock tank or two. If it worked I attached a picture of a 40 gallon tank I sunk in the ground down about a foot. When I did it a few years ago we were having a drought and the ground was hard as concrete. I fill it up in the spring then top it off one or two times during the summer if the rains don't. I get a ton of pictures where they come out of the woods to the right and usually get a drink before going out to my food plot.
This is the only one I have but thinking of getting another one or two and putting on my property.
Great Pic!! That is how I figured I would do it. I am going to put one in to start in the next couple of weeks and go from there. Thanks for the info. I am assuming you hunt near the waterhole?
I dug in a low spot and used a cheap plastic kiddie pool. It was like $12. Works like a charm. Rain fills it for me most times but I'll carry water in if I need to. Haven't shot anything right over it but I get done of pics off it. Everything waters there from birds to deer. Most of the deer I see are coming to or from it.
I put an old bathtub under a spring that trickles along. I have pics of every critter. Tough to hunt because of swirling wind in draw.
Is correct regarding the nasty and stinky water.
One time a few years back I had a button buck come to the base of 3 poplar tree's (I was hunting in one of the 3) there was a small pocket where a 4th tree must have died several years before and was no longer there. The button buck drank from this naturally formed pocket / hole.
When I climbed down I saw it was full of old leaves so I decided to take a branch and clean it out. WOW did it ever stink and smell sour.
This said, I did I discover how resourceful deer can be when needing to water. Several years later my son observed the same thing in another area.
Great feedback, thanks everyone!
I dropped a small pre-formed landscape pond in and backpacked 5 gallons jugs of water in to fill it initially, rain took care of the rest. Shot my biggest buck while his head was down getting a drink.
I put a test one in last year and will be putting more in this year. If you use a liner like I did you will want to put dirt on the bottom to muddy up the water.
Also you will want to add sticks so if critters fall in they have a way to get out and not drown and ick up the water.
I really wish I owned this property and could make this little hole better. . . Little work with a skid steer and some bentonite, and I think it would hold water most of the year.
As it is, it is wet weather only, but it sure draws deer. It's like a little hub, even when dry, it sees a lot of deer activity right through or around it
Wow! That is a giant. I was hoping to get one in this weekend but I had to cut my visit short by a day. Either Next weekend or the week after I am going to install one. Thanks for the ideas and pics!!
Bake: Here is the quick work of a skid steer! Deer magnets
A friend in SD had a rather neat design for a waterhole. He's in quite dry country, so water is a big draw. The problem was he wanted it well away from prying eyes and road snipers, but that meant that hauling water into the sanctuary area of his farm to keep the pond fulll was a major hassle
Here's what he did. At the bottom of a long slope, hje dug in a large pre-fab plastic garden pond. That wasn't the best part though. About 100 yards away, he has a field road. By that road, he set one of those big pallet totes. He connected the pond to the tote with 300 feet of pex tube.
In the pond, he plumbed in a float valve from an old toilet, so when the pond gets low, the valve opens and water flows in from the tote at the top of the hill. As long as the water is going down in the tote, he knows the system is working and there's no need to approach the waterhole. Water deliveries to the tote are accomplished with a couple of 55-gallon drums in his truck and a small gas water pump he found on Craigslist.
It's a sweet piece of engineering and every deer within the square mile stops in twice a day.
Wow! He's much smarter than I am. lol
Charlie- While on the subject. What diameter trees did you remove with the skid steer? What type/size was it?
I put in a small damn that catches and holds water Year round. May 30’x20’. Anyway the keep it open in winter? Do not have power available . Every critter loves it when not frozen
Stagnant water collects minerals. That's why animals prefer it sometimes.