Bringing water to the antelope?

Kiddross

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Jun 28, 2019
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So I drew an Oregon archery antelope tag this year. We are a little under two months away from the hunt.

I did my first scouting this past weekend and results were dismal. My unit is smack dab in Oregon's worst region for this year's droute.

All the water holes I had marked that historically have water on low water years are already bone dry and we are hardly into July. One of the areas I really wanted to work out was dry but I did find a nice billy. That tells me he may be traveling a ways for water or there is a source that I cannot find.

This got me thinking...

Have any of you ever hauled in water for antelope? Basically a man made water hole ? This area is off the beaten path but I can get to it in the truck. My thought was to utilize a 50 gallon barrel gravity feeding to a small cattle bowl with a float. This would keep evaporation to a minimum. Plus this country is broken up with some areas of junipers I could put it in that may help give some shade as well.

It's a crazy idea but I don't see why it wouldn't work? If they are in the area I imagine they would find it in a month to month and a half's time.

Just curious if any of you have tried anything similar when water is scarce. Unfortunately my scouting time is limited so I wonder...am I better off spending my time trying to find water and hoping it is still there in a month and a half or make my own water and spend my time making sure it is full.





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BuzzH

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I read an article a long time ago about a guy filling a waterhole (via a large tank in his truck) to keep a B&C pronghorn hitting the water.

No reason it shouldn't work as long as you keep the source full all the time and the pronghorn using it.
 
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Kiddross

Kiddross

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I'd make sure it's legal. As far as finding it, most animals can smell water. Should work and I'm sure the critters will appreciate it
I'll check into it but I believe it would be. Oregon has no laws about baiting (for now) for big game aside from bears.

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huntngolf

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It’s a good idea but I think you’ll need a much larger tank than 50 gals. That will get used up really quickly and you’ll be traveling there a bunch to refill it
 
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Kiddross

Kiddross

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It’s a good idea but I think you’ll need a much larger tank than 50 gals. That will get used up really quickly and you’ll be traveling there a bunch to refill it
huntngolf,

Do you say this due to evaporation or just the amount of water a lope will drink? I do not think I will be fighting cattle in this area. It is void of elk. May hold a deer or two but I don't imagine seeing any so I would plan on only antelope hitting the water. My thought was to use a small cattle bowl with a float to keep evaporation to a minimum. It is a good thought though. If I had say eight to a dozen antelope consistently drinking from it I wonder if it would last 2 weeks?
 

Laramie

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During dry periods when feed is below 40% moisture content, antelope will drink approximately 2.8L of water (.75 gallons) per day. Your 50 gallons, assuming minimal to no evaporation, will last one antelope about 2 months. However, water consumption needs drop off significantly as moisture in feed increases. If the area gets rain, they simply won't need to drink as much. If it stays dry, my guess is you will run out of water in less than 30 days assuming some evaporation and some usage by other animals like deer, rodents, birds, coyotes, etc.
 

freddyG

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The problem you will have is that every critter in the county will come to your water. I have a water trough out for the chickens in the yard(20 gallons), and in really dry years that thing gets emptied in about a day or two. Every bird, skunk, coon, etc will come and have a grand old time.
 

Coveyleader

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It can work, but you need to get in in asap. I've had mixed results with a setup years ago. I actually shot the buck coming to a dried up waterhole. Two weeks prior it looked like africa around that hole. Hundreds of antelope were using it, opening day the hole was dry and I tried hauling water and put it in bins, they never drank from it. I just killed the buck coming in to dirt.

I know scouting can be time consuming, but if you saw a buck, a nice one, he's watering some place. On a year like this, if you can find "Where some place is" you will be in for a ride!
 

huntngolf

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huntngolf,

Do you say this due to evaporation or just the amount of water a lope will drink? I do not think I will be fighting cattle in this area. It is void of elk. May hold a deer or two but I don't imagine seeing any so I would plan on only antelope hitting the water. My thought was to use a small cattle bowl with a float to keep evaporation to a minimum. It is a good thought though. If I had say eight to a dozen antelope consistently drinking from it I wonder if it would last 2 weeks?
I think evaporation will be worse than you think even if it is in the shade. And like others have said, all sorts of birds and smaller critters will visit it which will use up water as well. If you get 10 days out of that 50 gallons I would be surprised. But I could easily be wrong. Looking forward to hearing results if you do this
 

Rich M

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We were talking about stuff like this for mule deer and someone brought up the baiting question. Is it considered baiting?

50-gallons won't likely be enough. Evaporation but you'll have other critters hitting it too.

If you found a buck, there is gonna be water within a mile or two of where he's at. Maybe find that and pack a shovel to keep it producing?
 

Chucklehead

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Dec 21, 2015
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IBC totes are cheap used. 25-75 bucks in most cases round here. They hold 275 gallons and fit in the back of a pickup. They can be stacked on top of eachother as well. It'd be a good cheap way of increasing capacity and making fewer trips.
 

Maverick1

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Jun 1, 2013
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Ballpark, water is about 8.33 pounds per gallon. Be sure to include that into your logistics!
 

JeffP_Or

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PDX
The regional BLM office had guzzlers throughout an area I hunted Pronghorn in Oregon - they were filling them from water trucks during dry year. I spoke with a few other hunters who found the guzzlers by scouting the watering trucks as they went from guzzler to guzzler....it should work but I would think you would need to be vigilant and pick up the supply as the original hole dried out.
I would say put a shroud around it to drain any captured rain but then you'd be on the verge of a built structure and dealing with the time limits by law. You should also consider an escape ramp [even rock steps] so that anything smaller that might step into the basin can get back out without drowning.
I can further add based on scouting some Pronghorn hunts in Oregon as well as chasing coyotes in the same areas - my scouting trips this time of year were always disappointing; so keep that in mind and don't be discouraged. I saw way more animals by the end of July and early August. So I agree, if you found one now, he is probably watering somewhere local.
BTW - good luck with your hunt!
 

nphunter

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Jul 27, 2016
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901
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Oregon
So I drew an Oregon archery antelope tag this year. We are a little under two months away from the hunt.

I did my first scouting this past weekend and results were dismal. My unit is smack dab in Oregon's worst region for this year's droute.

All the water holes I had marked that historically have water on low water years are already bone dry and we are hardly into July. One of the areas I really wanted to work out was dry but I did find a nice billy. That tells me he may be traveling a ways for water or there is a source that I cannot find.

This got me thinking...

Have any of you ever hauled in water for antelope? Basically a man made water hole ? This area is off the beaten path but I can get to it in the truck. My thought was to utilize a 50 gallon barrel gravity feeding to a small cattle bowl with a float. This would keep evaporation to a minimum. Plus this country is broken up with some areas of junipers I could put it in that may help give some shade as well.

It's a crazy idea but I don't see why it wouldn't work? If they are in the area I imagine they would find it in a month to month and a half's time.

Just curious if any of you have tried anything similar when water is scarce. Unfortunately my scouting time is limited so I wonder...am I better off spending my time trying to find water and hoping it is still there in a month and a half or make my own water and spend my time making sure it is full.





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This isn’t the first drought we’ve had, there’s water somewhere and that’s where the antelope will be. I would try to find it, i don’t really see how you would get 50 gallons anywhere besides right next to a road without doing a bunch of illegal traveling cross country which would be a pretty big fire hazard this time of year. If it’s next to the road you will either have others hunting your water jug or running antelope off.
 
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Kiddross

Kiddross

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This isn’t the first drought we’ve had, there’s water somewhere and that’s where the antelope will be. I would try to find it, i don’t really see how you would get 50 gallons anywhere besides right next to a road without doing a bunch of illegal traveling cross country which would be a pretty big fire hazard this time of year. If it’s next to the road you will either have others hunting your water jug or running antelope off.
This is not necessarily true. I understand the consequences of illegal cross country travel and am not "That guy". I understand the fire hazard that would accompany that and would not jeopardize the area nor my freedom or bank account.

The spot I am thinking is a very lightly used road that dead ends at a dried up water hole. This area holds antelope but not as much as others. I do not believe it gets much pressure. There is a big bunch of junipers a few hundred yards from this hole. If I was to do this I would carry in the empty 50 gal barrel and bowl. I have a few 5 gallon military thick rubber water bladders that I would fill and pack in via pack frame to the barrel. It would take me 4-5 trips hauling that water in via manual labor.

I agree that finding where they are watering is the best option. I honestly do not know where they could be getting water aside from the private roughly 3 miles as a crow flies. I wish I had time to spend weeks scouting but between work and a young family at home it is just not in the cards.
 
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Kiddross

Kiddross

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Heading east here in a few hours to set up a "water hole" I think I'll have good enough service for a trail cam so I'll post up if anything happens to use it.

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huntngolf

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Apr 11, 2020
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Good luck, I'm honestly interested to see how this turns out. Are you sticking with your original plan of 50 gallon tank?
 
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Kiddross

Kiddross

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Picked a spot about 150 yards from a dead end road that we could safety drive to due to Fire danger. Takes about an hour to get to off pavement so it is pretty secluded. You cannot see my set up from the road and have to climb a little elevation over a boulder patch to get to it so I feel pretty good about it.

I bumped a little bunch about half a mile from the spot so that's a good sign. Plus the trail cam picked up signal so time will tell!



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