A few weeks ago I decided to work on making a watering hole in a transition area between the Main Plots and East Plots. During the rut when bucks are running non stop, they need a quick drink to stay hydrated. The area we selected is a perfect spot given it is back within the cover at a depth common to buck sneak trails. In addition, the topography formed a natural depression that was more of a muddy bog loaded with clay.
We initially had to cut out all of the saplings and clear the debris in order to get the JD 870 with box blade into the area. The next step was to begin digging down through the mud and clay. This took some time given the clay is difficult to cut into and drag out using the box blade. The hole turned out great being a couple of feet deep and bigger than I expected.
For several weeks the hole remained dry. My initial concern was that I changed the drainage into the area when removing the dirt. I had placed the dirt along an adjacent logging road to fill in the old ruts from 20 years ago. However, my concerns proved to be incorrect when last week our property received 3.5" of rain in one day. Upon returning this weekend, we found the watering hole to be completely full and holding water as designed.
I've seen several pictures online where fellow QDMer's are using a rubber water trough sunk down into the ground. Then water is diverted into the trough. Fortunately I had another option with the land presenting me the right ingredients for a natural watering hole. Before you start digging, look closely to see what your land offers. You may be digging in the wrong spot. Check out the video below to see the results of the project and thanks for visiting. Comment on this post and let me know what you are doing to introduce water sources for your property.
Andy Hayes is a devoted husband and father of 4 kids living in West Central Indiana. Outside of his family, his passion is hunting whitetails. He does not claim to be a professional hunter, but simply wants to share what he learns during his quest to improve whitetail habitat and hunt mature bucks.