Depending on the geographical area, water may be a major factor in an elk’s daily life, or it may have very little impact. In the parched Southwest, an elk’s life literally revolves around water. There may be water holes only every 15 miles, so any elk in the area will know where these waterholes are located and be sure to visit one every day.
In the Southwest, a waterhole may be a natural seep, or it may be a rancher’s stock watering tank. However, conservation groups, such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, have begun an ambitious program of constructing manmade waterholes (called guzzlers) in areas where no water exists.
In the Rocky Mountains and Coastal Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, water is everywhere, and an elk needs to walk only a few minutes to get a drink.