The Uncommonly Beautiful Truth About Deer Drinking Water: Learn About Their Precious Habit

Although they require free water from all sources, deer usually get what they need from preformed water in their food. The deer will stop, bend down like Bambi, and drink free water whenever it’s available. However, they drink the most from permanent water sources, especially during long dry spells. They gain a considerable amount of water from their food, but they supplement their water requirement with preformed sources.

Deer and water

Deer And Water

Deer can survive without water for a long time. However, they must have access to water to replace that loss by drinking and sweating. Deer can survive for a few hours without water, but they are much more limited. Habitat and availability Deer can only drink up to their nostrils. Deer tend to travel the most during the heat of the day, and there is a good chance that their water sources are in the shade or a stand of trees. A good winter food source is an open water source that can provide a fresh source of water. Deer will even drink up to 5 gallons per day, equivalent to a small swimming pool’s water. Deer will move and stay in a location for a couple of weeks, but they will move on if the water source dries up.

What do deer drink

What do deer drink

Deer do not prefer drinking water over food; they have less water in their bones. The excess water is left in their bones and blood. On a rainy day, when their body temperature is lowered, they drink water more than when they have a high body temperature. Deer have been observed drinking water in all temperatures, night or day. Humidity is an important part of the body’s water requirement. On a warm day with high humidity, they drink more water, and on a rainy day, when the humidity level is low, they drink less. This is also true of other animals. When deer are thirsty, they drink less water. This is because their brain uses the last drop of water to sense thirst, and the brain does not recognize that the animal has already had a drink.

How do deer get water?

How do deer get water?

Every time a deer drinks, it can draw up to 3 gallons of water in its stomach at a rate of one ounce per second. If a deer takes a big drink, it will empty its stomach of all its food at once, leaving very little left in its stomach to process the fluid. If a deer doesn’t drink water, it can die. As a deer has to keep moving to find water, it has to drink to maintain its hydration. If it stops drinking, it will die of thirst, so you want to keep it on the move.

Where do they drink from?

Where do they drink from?

Deer can drink from a wide variety of water sources and in amounts. Like most wildlife, they are a regionalist species. Most will drink from any source that can sustain their body. One of their most common drinking sites is permanent streams, ponds, and puddles. But they don’t drink just any water; they seek the cleanest and healthiest water sources. The largest fountains they drink from are the Great Lakes and the waters of rivers and streams in the southern United States. The mountain river has an average flow of 125 gallons per second. That’s a lot of drinking water. It’s clear, cold, and naturally treated, so it provides a perfect environment for bacteria and pollutants to dissolve.

Why do deer drink so much?

Why do deer drink so much?

Deer water drinking results from being in a state of mild dehydration. Plant water is highly alkaline, so an acidic or neutral environment in order to survive will have a different metabolic pattern. When animals have little to no water to drink, they are forced to go to water sources that are more alkaline than necessary. The good news is, the water comes from alpine lakes and streams that can be neutralized when these animals have had access to it before. Disease-causing bacteria are not present in or around these water sources so that deer can drink with impunity.

Tips for watering deer

  • One of the most important things is water for any living organism.
  • Deer lose water through urine, droppings, and while panting in the warmer months. As the temperature rises, the need for water increases. Whitetails need about two to three quarts of water per day per 100 pounds of body weight.
  • In order to attract deer to your property, provide them with plenty of water.
  • You need to find a source of fresh water for your deer.
  • If the water source is too close to their living quarters, the deer will not use it.
  • If the water source is not fresh enough, the deer will not use it.
  • They drink water to maintain their water balance
  • They drink water from the rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds
  • They can’t drink saltwater because it will make them dehydrated
  • They can get enough water from plants and vegetation.

What you should not do when watering deer

If a drop of water drops onto a deer’s nose or mouth, it will find it. These drops are the only signs of thirst. The deer will suck the water from the ground, troughs, and even from the trees. So never give deer that drink out of the flowing streams or wet ground. They are desperate. If the water is deep and hard to pull up, then they will run around and try to chew it up. They will never drink water in such places! 

Water hole Deer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. My deer won’t drink from the sources I provide. Why? 

A: Deer can become conditioned to the taste and appearance of certain sources. Once they are habituated to a particular source, they will ignore the same source when offered for drinking.

2. Is it okay for deer to drink water? 

It is okay for deer to drink water. Deer in the U.S. rarely ingest harmful bacteria or parasites that cause diseases.

3. The deer drink more water when it is available.

Deer have a well-developed sense of taste and smell. This means they will avoid drinking a water source if they know a toxic organism can cause a problem for them. However, it is best to see the area’s water quality before allowing your deer to drink. Deer might drink more water when the weather is warm. Colder weather reduces the rate of drinking for deer. Water consumption decreases when temperatures fall below 40 F. A deer’s drinking instinct is the same at any temperature. As the temperature drops, the deer instinctively shift their energy toward eating and drinking.


Deer are one of the most misunderstood, underestimated animals in the world. They have a place in the world, just like all other wildlife. They don’t have to be shot. They’re the perfect things to help the ecosystem. Give deer water. This will help us save wildlife.