Waterhole Etiquette?

Don K

Very Active Member
Sep 10, 2011
664
18
Northern Illinois
I have been building WY points with my son to use on a future hunt as we have not hunted antelope yet. Just had a conversation with my mother and my father is very interested in getting a antelope as he has never taken one either. (he hasn't said anything to me yet) So I am thinking of putting him on with us on our application knowing his not having any points will put us back but I would love to have him get a chance at getting a lope.

My son and I can spot and stalk but my father is handicap and cant get around very good. I will have to try to locate a waterhole that I can get him to and this brings me to the thread title, Waterhole Etiquette. With his limitations I cant see us getting him real far off the beaten path.

So what is the etiquette for waterholes?

If there is a blind already set up on a waterhole do you watch to see if anyone is using it and set up your own? I know people put blinds up for the entire season on public land but what does everyone do? Ultimately finding a waterhole with nothing on it would be great but probably not realistic.

If I decide to put him on our application I want to get a idea on how I can handle getting him over water without having a altercation. (I don't want him to feel like he is causing us any problems.)

So any advice on unwritten rules on public land to help me think this out would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

jjenness

Very Active Member
Sep 30, 2011
664
47
Lewistown, MT
I can't imagine finding a water hole that is unoccupied would be as hard as you think, but then again I have been wrong before. Here in MT I often see the water holes closest to the road not get hunted because people seem to like getting farther from the roads. As for etiquette of a blind already being there, I personally move along to the next spot and don't disturb other peoples set up, good luck.
 

Gr8bawana

Veteran member
Aug 14, 2014
2,470
363
Nevada
It seems pretty obvious that if there is already a blind there you need to find another waterhole. That would just be common courtesy among fellow hunters.
:cool:
 

Don K

Very Active Member
Sep 10, 2011
664
18
Northern Illinois
I asked this as I was not sure on how others handle this. What keeps someone from setting up a wood blind and never hunting out of it? Just wondered what others do when they come across this and that's why I ask. (guess it wasn't obvious to me)

Thanks for the PM, and the replies.
 

ssliger

Very Active Member
Mar 9, 2011
901
0
Laramie WY
I think it's a fine line. I here stories from Nevada of hunters putting blinds up a month before the season. It's public land, not first come first serve. I have seen guys put blinds up for all of archery season and only hunt 1 weekend. I say if it's being used move along, if it's not being used go for it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Gr8bawana

Veteran member
Aug 14, 2014
2,470
363
Nevada
I once found a blind someone had built over a waterhole in NV in a place we had been hunting for years. The guy built it during the summer
and left a note inside a baggie telling when he would be coming to hunt that blind. I thought that was a good idea because we were there over a week before he was coming back.
 

micropterus79

Active Member
Jun 19, 2014
220
0
San Tan Valley, AZ
This is a great thread. Being in AZ and knowng how precious water holes are, I guess there is etiquette to consider from both sides. Ssliger put it perfect; it is public land not first come first served but obviously if they are actively hunting out of the blind, move on. But is it really fair to build a more or less premanent blind on a water hole on public land and expect the presence of the blind to be some sign of dibs or ownership?

Also, what if the blind isn't actively being used and you get all set up and then the blind owners show up all the sudden and they get real angry because you are clearly hunting "their" water hole. We have probably all encountered unreasonable people that, on either side of the coin in this situation, would let something like this really ruin two hunts.
 

NVBird'n'Big

Veteran member
May 27, 2011
1,138
0
Reno, NV
If you are building a blind you have to let it sit for a while so the animals get used to it but it obviously opens up for a lot of controversy. I have built a couple of blinds here in NV, I always leave a note in a bottle or plastic bag that is visible to anyone around it informing of the dates I will be using it and my contact information. If someone called me and asked if they could use it the days I am not then I would happily agree. I actually had another hunter call me 3 days before the season using the contact info to tell me that my hole was about to run dry (that was a bummer) which I thought showed a lot of class.

That being said, for me, I do not treat it as claiming a water hole for myself, if I show up in the morning and a guy is sitting across the hole in his own blind I would happily move on. If he was in my blind I may get upset. Not a lot of hunters act the same though, I had a buddy run off a hole by a guy who had a blind set up, we had hunted 3 days on the hole (not in his blind or even near it) and he showed up at 9am one day screaming and cursing at him that it was his hole (the guy was a real Pr#*k). I have also had buddies get their blinds destroyed by other hunters who weren't even trying to hunt the spot.

I think the point is to do your best to find a hole off the beaten path and be respectful of the unwritten laws of hunting etiquette but also never expect to be treated with the same grace. It's a tough situation but if you are forced to hunt that way, being the better person always is a win in my book. The competition in hunting public lands can be cutthroat but it doesn't mean we should treat it as such.
 
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hunt1up

New Member
Aug 23, 2011
45
0
I have been building WY points with my son to use on a future hunt as we have not hunted antelope yet. Just had a conversation with my mother and my father is very interested in getting a antelope as he has never taken one either. (he hasn't said anything to me yet) So I am thinking of putting him on with us on our application knowing his not having any points will put us back but I would love to have him get a chance at getting a lope.

My son and I can spot and stalk but my father is handicap and cant get around very good. I will have to try to locate a waterhole that I can get him to and this brings me to the thread title, Waterhole Etiquette. With his limitations I cant see us getting him real far off the beaten path.

So what is the etiquette for waterholes?

If there is a blind already set up on a waterhole do you watch to see if anyone is using it and set up your own? I know people put blinds up for the entire season on public land but what does everyone do? Ultimately finding a waterhole with nothing on it would be great but probably not realistic.

If I decide to put him on our application I want to get a idea on how I can handle getting him over water without having a altercation. (I don't want him to feel like he is causing us any problems.)

So any advice on unwritten rules on public land to help me think this out would be appreciated.

Thanks
Are you talking archery or rifle?
 

Don K

Very Active Member
Sep 10, 2011
664
18
Northern Illinois
Are you talking archery or rifle?
I was looking at Archery but some points where brought up about water running dry and a gun being able to reach out better.

I like the discussions here and like the ideas of notes and to look for them. I hunt whitetail here at home on public land and it is first come first serve when your hunting. I have gone to places to see a stand hung and find it was rarely hunted. I wanted to have people discuss what they do with blinds on water. Thanks for all the input so far
 

hunt1up

New Member
Aug 23, 2011
45
0
I was looking at Archery but some points where brought up about water running dry and a gun being able to reach out better.

I like the discussions here and like the ideas of notes and to look for them. I hunt whitetail here at home on public land and it is first come first serve when your hunting. I have gone to places to see a stand hung and find it was rarely hunted. I wanted to have people discuss what they do with blinds on water. Thanks for all the input so far
I think you'd find very little pressure during archery and could find water that isn't claimed. You'll find more with gun obviously, lots more. I think you'd find very few people hunting water with a rifle, at least from my experience. If you know antelope are in the area you might just find a good vantage point where you can see/shoot a good distance and sit there. Depending on your unit choice you might not need to sit water, even with a mobility impaired Hunter.
 

Againstthewind

Very Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
973
2
Upton, WY
Good topic to bring up DonK. There was some interesting stuff. here. I haven't ever used a blind because I have the patience of an ADHD eight year old. I guess it makes sense that you have to leave the blind to let the animals adjust, so if the blind was handled the way NVBird'n'Big described, that seems pretty fair. I also agree with hunt1up, for antelope you don't necessarily need to hunt over water to have a good chance at one. Moving along is probably best.
 
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NVBird'n'Big

Veteran member
May 27, 2011
1,138
0
Reno, NV
After spending two summers sweating my butt off in a blind archery hunting I decided it's not for me. I was antsy and bored on top of hot! Spot and stalk all the way for me now, I don't think I was built for blind hunting.