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John O

How often do coues deer drink water?

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Guest borderboy

Never hung out by waterholes. One season I hunted the Half Moon. I did see deer and chased a buck farther than I expected to go. I ended up walking down to a road after dark and walking back to my truck. It was a few miles. Near the mouth of a canyon I was almost run over by deer. There were many deer. I realized there were a lot more deer there than I had seen. I think the hunting pressure kept them away during the day. I usually find a place that has water though.

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Deer (both whitetails and mule deer) will drink every day if water is available, and will travel relatively long distances outside their normal home range to water. We had one radio-collared Coues doe that lived in an area with three dirt tanks. She would water every day in the middle of the day and usually one more time when just becoming active an hour or so before daylight. When the tanks went dry, she made a daily trip of a little over three miles one-way to water at a windmill located well outside her normal home range.

 

I have done a lot of pre-season scouting in preparation for the arrival of guest hunters over the last 15 years, and the one constant is that deer (both whitetails and mule deer) will almost always go to water as they leave their morning bedding sites around mid-day and look for a shady place to spend the afternoon. Mule deer tend to water again as they become active just before dark, but whitetails are not as regular about this evening watering routine.

 

Both species need water daily once most of the vegetation has matured and gone dormant. They do get some moisture from whatever succulents may be available, as well as dew when it occurs, but they have to have some free water to keep the yeasty beasties in their rumens happy. What most folks don't realize is that there are sources of water and moisture almost year round in seeps, small hidden springs and subirrigated sites that provide metabolic water, as well as some free water that will do to tide the critters over for a day or so if they can't get to a tank, a well or a windmill. This is the problem with sitting on a dirt tank or a windmill--if they know you are there (or even suspect it), they almost always have other options that will keep them hydrated for a day or two.

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From running trail cams on several known water sources last year, I figured out that there had to be other sources of water. Most of us focus on the tanks and springs that are marked on maps. The area I was scouting held a good number of Coues deer that we would see, but rarely did they water at the tanks or springs, where I had cams. Neither did the 217" non typical Muley that we were after. By moving our cameras to travel areas (saddles and trails) we started getting a lot of pictures of deer that we weren't seeing on the waterholes. After spending 2 years moving cams we located a seep that came to the surface when a large tree blew over. The water, barely a trickle, was in in the hole that the tree roots created when it fell. We hung a camera at the seep and there were tons of pics 2 weeks later, of both Coues deer and the big buck we were after. Even after the monsoons came, that big buck was watering at his little seep regularly. The coues deer were less reliable but still came by occasionally. My point is, there is more water in the hills than most of us realize and finding the isolated spots that aren't widely known is where most of the deer water in my opinion.

 

Kevin

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well this is an old thread but finally read it.

 

what i noticed last year during my hunt (whitetail) it was a little warm (heat wave) we somehow got up on this hill that was covered in cactus and loose rock. while we are trying to get down. we kept an eye on the water hole. within 2 hours 11 different deer hit the water hole 2pm-4pm. they would make there way down from draws from all differnet directions mostly doe's . . .watched two younger bucks work there way down for 1 hour before dark (spike and fork)

 

I like october hunt cause deer are still moving to water a lot more than the winter months. The bigger deer tend to water at night just because they are smart and maybe had some close calls before ;) the moon and hunting pressure will determine when they water . . . . and if i don't get one i look forward to the archery rut hunt :D

 

summer months they water 2-3 days.

winter months they water 3-4 days.

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how often do you drink water? everytime you get thirsty. same for deer. there ain't no set time or schedule. it all depends on the weather, the amount of water in the feed, availability, individual preference, and whether or not they're thirsty. Lark.

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how often do you drink water? everytime you get thirsty. same for deer. there ain't no set time or schedule. it all depends on the weather, the amount of water in the feed, availability, individual preference, and whether or not they're thirsty. Lark.

 

Cept I don't walk 3 miles for any of my drinks lark you gotta admit those critters do what they gotta do to survive, me I just go to the Dr. Pepper vendor :blink:

 

Really good info Ben, thanks.......

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Talking to a cattleman he stated the Deer body was too big to not have water and the moisture in grazing was not enough being that deer are cud chewers. Over the years I have found many tiny seeps and deer can smell them out when needed. Deer find the water that is available when it rains this is what determines how far a deer will travel for water. On four legs a mile means 5 minutes of walking!

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