Providing water for your deer herd during the rut can ensure they’re hydrated and healthy enough to last the winter.
We’re big believers in having several reliable water sources on our deer hunting property. Over the years, through testing our Wild Water watering system, we’ve watched deer visit those watering troughs throughout the season, including big bucks. In drought years, when neighbors’ water sources were drying up, we had plenty to go around.
We’ll even hunt near those water sources, having found that deer will routinely visit them just like they do a food plot. Being able to put water exactly where you want allows you to bring deer into shooting range, especially during the rut. As bucks are chasing does, they’re expending a lot of energy, and they’ll always need water.
The Need for Water
As the rut begins, our minds aren’t necessarily focused on water. The leafy greens from spring are not available, meaning deer won’t get hydrated from their food. And, depending on your location, they may have to find unfrozen sources. While the deer seem only interested in packing on the pounds and will be searching for food high in calories in their free time, they’re also aware of where they can get an easy drink.
A buck during the rut is operating at maximum capacity. He’s tired, hungry and thirsty. In the moment, he couldn’t care less. But, eventually, the hot doe he is chasing will be bred and he’ll be looking to recoup. Having a reliable place for him to drink near his core area will ensure he gets hydrated.
This year, we launched our Wild Water Mineral Supplements that you add to water. It pairs perfectly with our troughs, or can be added to small, natural watering holes. The one-liter pouch will treat 100 gallons of water and keeps your deer hydrated while allowing them to consistently intake the minerals they need to continue growing.
In addition to being beneficial to a deer’s health, the supplements also act as an attractant. Through our own testing, we’ve found that by adding Wild Water Supplements to our favorite watering holes, we were able to lure in more deer to that location and keep them coming back consistently. This was echoed from numerous hunters in the field throughout the course of the year. The deer on their property were consistently visiting water sources infused with Wild Water Supplements, just as they would a food plot.
What makes our supplement addictive is primarily the sodium concentrations. Salt is an important mineral deer need in the summer, but it also adds flavor they can’t resist. There are no flavor additives in our mineral content beyond that. The ingredients also include calcium, manganese, copper and zinc.
The minerals allow a buck to recover from the rigors of the rut, enough to continue chasing does without succumbing to the elements, as can happen when deer are under stress and the weather is harsh. After the rut, the entire herd is looking to replenish what they’ve lost over weeks of constant motion. Bucks are still licking their wounds from fights and recovering from logging long miles every day, so they won’t want to stray far from their home ranges to get what they need. That’s when using watering troughs and Wild Water Supplements, as well as having ample food for them nearby, can really come in handy.
Deer are more likely to consistently visit a trough that’s between their bedding areas and food source. In certain situations, this can be one of the most consistent patterns deer will take during hunting season: bedding to water to food. Again, as Wild Water Supplements act as an attractant, the deer will readily visit these sites, just as they do a food plot.
This fall and winter, don’t neglect those watering holes on your property. If you don’t have any, make a few. Not only will it benefit your deer herd, but you might find that it increases your deer sightings.