Whitetail Hunting Strategies Near 'Quiet Water'
In the early bow hunting season most hunters key on whitetail deer food sources, setting up close to agricultural fields, food plots, acorn trees and other forage sources. However, another high-percentage hunting strategy is hunting over “quiet water,” meaning small, calm waterholes where deer come to drink.
Consider this: deer must drink regularly, like all animals. Also, a deer’s two main defenses are its nose and its ears.
When a deer goes to drink from “noisy water” (bubbling brooks, creeks and other running water), both these senses are impaired, and deer know that drinking from these water sources diminishes their ability to detect predators lurking nearby. However, when they drink from “quiet water,” they can still hear perfectly, and their sense of smell is only slightly hampered. Thus, deer feel safer at these small, still waterholes, especially those bordered by thick cover.
Accordingly, hunters should scout for such “quiet water” sources and set up stands to watch over them. Or, they can dig small waterholes in the off-season. A small bulldozer or a backhoe will do this work easily. A hole no bigger than a pickup truck and tapered from 4 feet on one end to no depth on the other is a perfect size and design.
Hunt over “quiet water” a couple of hours in the morning and a couple more at dark. Also, hunting is better over waterholes during dry periods, when standing water isn’t readily available. Oftentimes hunting over “quiet water” is a lot more dependable than trying to intercept deer going to or coming from a food source.