Where Should I Locate Small Ponds?

By GrowingDeer,

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Dr. Woods,

Over the past year or two I have thought about making a small watering hole on our property.  I found a spot where I might be able to put one in but I am not sure what to look for.  What I was going to try and do was put it near a drainage ditch.  We had some large pipes given to us, and I was hoping to use one of those to divert some of the water into the watering hole.  I had also thought about putting it back in the woods a bit, but then I would have no way for it to fill up besides by rainfall.

Another question I had is what kind of fertilizer do you put on clover, and when should you apply it?



I much prefer hunting near ponds in cover versus in open areas.   Deer are usually more likely to use ponds located in cover during daylight.  It doesn’t take a large watershed to fill and maintain a pond designed to provide water for wildlife.  I’ve found ponds with a 15’ or so diameter and a depth of three feet on the deep end will hold enough water to not evaporate dry during most droughts.  I prefer my ponds located where they will be in the shade during the afternoon.  If the soil at the site where you wish to create the pond will not hold water (have enough clay content), then it will be necessary to add clay.  I usually purchase Bentonite from a local farm store for this purpose.  Bentonite is a type of clay that expands several times when wet and helps to seal the pond.

I always base fertilizer recommendations on a soil analysis from a good lab.  Clover is a legume so it requires very little nitrogen.  Clover will last much longer and be more palatable to deer if it has ample nutrients available.  Be sure and add plenty of phosphorous and potassium and the necessary trace minerals such as boron.  Many agricultural stores sell a 6-24-24 blend of fertilizer that can be used to add the proper amount of phosphorous and potassium to legumes such as clover.

Growing Deer together,