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Thread: Ungulates and Water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    4,002

    Ungulates and Water

    You often hear, that Deer, Moose, Elk etcetc must at some time go to water. I've often thought about this and a couple weeks ago think I figured something out ...... Or at least part way.

    Ive often hunted in areas where obvious water to me is non existent. That said, other areas, water can be found easy. In high, dry alpine, or early season in mid mountain forests, water is tough to find for me but maybe easy for ungulates. It's always been my opinion that they don't have to go to water, or at least visable ponds, lakes, creeks rivers or streams, I personally have thought they get a lot of their much needed water from the very plant or vegitation they are consuming. Be it water laying on leaves, from rain or overnight dew. This I thought to be true specially on those dry dry years early season chasing Deer, Goat or Sheep.

    Fast forward to a couple weeks back, while expecting snow and lots of it in late November we were disappointed to again find warm temperatures for our late deer hunts. Rain at 4000-5000 foot elevations. Watching, observing several deer, a few bucks and lots of does, I watched several deer licking themselves all over from their backs to sides to down the entire legs. This while light snow or rain fell upon them. Very interesting indeed. Hence my thought of where they get water, or do they even need it?

    I would be be very interested to know from a Biologists point of view what their take is on this subject.

    What at have you observed, experienced etc etc.

    Ive been at this game for over fifty years now and continue to learn ...... Some things never cease to amaze me with Wildlife and their survival.

    What's your take?

    CT
    Last edited by curly top; 12-06-2017 at 05:00 PM.
    BC's Wildlife belongs to BC Residents .......

    BC WILDLIFE should not be for corporate greed to benefit Foreighn ownership.

    POACHERS are not real HUNTERS as the media posts.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    318

    Re: Ungulates and Water

    I've heard the same thing from biologists years ago. A lot of ungulates water needs are met from the vegetation they consume.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Abby
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    Re: Ungulates and Water

    Get it on the ground, that's when the work starts

  5. #4
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    Oct 2012
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    region 9
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    Re: Ungulates and Water

    From my observations they do get what I would think is the majority of their water needs from the vegetation they eat, but when it's really warm out they still need a water source..

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Re: Ungulates and Water

    Quote Originally Posted by hoochie View Post
    interesting read Hoochie, thanks.
    BC's Wildlife belongs to BC Residents .......

    BC WILDLIFE should not be for corporate greed to benefit Foreighn ownership.

    POACHERS are not real HUNTERS as the media posts.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Langley
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    802

    Re: Ungulates and Water

    I too have seen women licking each other, and yes they were both wet.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    langley
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    636

    Re: Ungulates and Water

    From the linked "buckmanager" article...

    Not much need to go hunting for water. In essence, deer only drink water to supplement the water they extract from their diet.

    It’s thought that during times of drought or pregnancy that surface water is a definite necessity, with whitetail actually ingesting between two to three times as much water as food.
    A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact. -Aldo Leopold




  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vernon BC
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    11,114

    Re: Ungulates and Water

    This summer in the north Okanagan would have been a real test then as there was water sources that I have known for decades that dried up. High elevation ponds that were just dust bowls
    The local speedway that runs up the valley divides good habitat and the creek running in the bottom, would be interesting to know how many more critters were mva victims this summer, if
    I know we had more deer and bear traffic through our yard that could be maybe moving up and down for water, but there are other reasons possible too

    another think to make a guy go 'huh?'
    Never say 'whoa' in the middle of a mud hole.

    Wisdom comes with age, but for some, age just comes alone

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Hope
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    11,133

    Re: Ungulates and Water

    Some deer, and I know blacktails do this quite a bit, are content just to suck a bit of mud. Back on the north island obviously water wasn't overly difficult to find but I've seen spots all mudded up with tracks, no puddles or surface water really just a wet spot and they've been happily sucking on the mud. I've read about this too, mineral deposits etc can be part at least of the reason they do this. Just goes to show though they've got a few methods in their tool kit to get the water they need.
    its gonna take a life time to hunt and fish all this

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