Whitetail 101: Whitetail Deer Water Sources

Section #2: How Whitetail Deer Get Water


This will probably be the shortest section of the guide, as it is the most straightforward.  The last key element for whitetail deer survival outside of food and cover is whitetail deer water sources.  Just like you and I, whitetail deer lose water on a continuous basis.  There are two main sources that replenish a whitetail’s water.  

Water Replenishment Sources:

  1. Drinking out of a pond, lake, creek or stream.  This is probably the first thought that comes to mind when people think about water and deer together.
  2. Water from food sources.  Water content of food sources vary greatly depending on the browse available and the weather patterns.  In times of drought or dry spells, water content of browse can be limited leading deer to drink more out of other water sources.

It is important to remember these sources when searching for mature deer but in a normal year in the Midwest water is readily available.  In more dry climates, this might be the key to locating and harvesting mature whitetails.

Grunt, Snort-Wheeze, and Rattle this to your buddies!

It is important at times after the shot that you know where the water sources are as deer will sometimes head straight to water after an injury. Always know where the water is, in dry climates it is a good idea to place a game camera at the water source and see if it is drawing deer in during shooting light.

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