PUBLIC LAND BOWHUNTERS
Welcome to the PUBLIC LAND BOWHUNTERS forum.

On behalf of public land bowhunters, throughout our great nation, I work on this forum almost daily. I am striving to make this forum the very best all public land, bowhunting forum on the internet.

Look around, see if THIS FORUM is something YOU want to be a part of. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free, so join our forum today! All the best.-
Dave Mullins Forum Creator/Admin/Mod

Locating a Deer's Bedding Area

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Locating a Deer's Bedding Area

Post by NanookOdaNorth on Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:05 pm

There was a post about identifying bedding areas earlier this week that had quite a bit of interest from readers, so I decided to reach into my journals and find an area that I spent quite a bit of time scouting late winter 2011. I was scouting in late winter for 2 reasons. First, I had snow that helped me track deer into areas where they felt comfortable and moved through very frequently. Second, as the weather warms in late winter/early spring the deer begin to shed their winter coats thus leaving telltale sign that you cannot find at any other time of the year!

I selected the area based on a prevalent west wind. This was along a north/south running ridge that had a small point jutting out to the east above a thick swamp. I felt deer would bed on that little point where the west wind would approach them from the rear as they watched the ridge below them for danger coming from the swamp. At the sign of danger, deer could make a few quick hops and be over the ridge with the wind in their faces, or if they smelled danger coming from the rear, it would be just a quick dodge into the swamp where trekking was slippery at best for predators trying to keep up with a bounding deer.

There was a parking area and a cut corn field to the east of the swamp and plenty of deer sign along the east edge of the swamp. Many hunters were hunting the edge of the swamp near the corn because the sign there was "very good looking". Rubs and scrapes were literally everywhere and it seemed appropriate that a hunter could expect the deer to be bedding in the swamp. However, deer cannot see far in that swamp and thus must rely heavily on their senses of smell and hearing. Some deer do that, but I expected the deer would be bedding on that ridge on the far side of the swamp and not coming down until after dark. Conversations with the local hunters confirmed this for me as few of them had actually seen a deer before it was too dark to shoot.

I scouted the area when we had snow, and then waited for the snow to melt to go in and prepare my stand site for the archery season that was six months away! Thus, my photographs of the area will not show snow, but in fact, will look similar to how they appear during the fall hunting seasons. All locations were dutifully recorded in my GPS so that I could return to them without marking trails for everybody else to follow. Remember, scouting is hard work so keep your landmarks to yourself so that a lazy hunter doesn't follow you to your honey hole!

This first picture is of the buck's actual bedding area. He's got a little bit of cover behind him in the form of laying down trees and the area in front of him is open so he can see. A west wind will notify him of any intruders sneaking up on him from the rear. He probably approaches the bed from the east, directly into the wind so he can smell if danger is near his bed and so when he beds he can watch his back trail!


This picture shows the actual bed, he's shedding his winter coat now, so there will be hair in the bed if he has been here recently. There is hair here, can you see it?


This is the buck's view from the bed! He can see pretty far and is watching for movement.


I picked out a tree that was just out of sight and marked it on my GPS. I carried a picture of that tree with me so it was easy to identify on fall hunts. All shooting lanes were cleared that day and I did not return till I was ready to hunt that spot on a west wind after deer sign was showing up heavy along that cornfield on the east end of the swamp. The sign on the east edge of the swamp and in the corn field told me that the buck would probably be there on the west wind. I was right, but they turned out to be a spike and a four pointer both times that I hunted that tree. A buck must have 3 points on one side to be legal in my part of Pennsylvania. I only hunted there twice because I had numerous other beds located for various wind directions. This way I always have a fresh area to hunt for almost any wind direction!

Here is a picture of the tree that was just out of sight of the buck's bed that I hunted out of.


Here is some buck sign that showed up within range of that tree the following fall!



Another sign that you may be near a buck bedding area. Clumped turds! He will "hold it" while he is bedded, thus it gets packed in his colon. Any other time the deer will just let fly and the "raisinets" will be spread out where ever he lets them fly!


My plan is to always know where the bucks are spending the majority of their time, the beds! Find them in late winter/early spring and then stay away from those areas until you're ready to hunt! If the wind is right and sign is showing up in the feeding areas nearby, then he should be there when you sneak in to hunt him the first time!

Good luck!
Brian

PS - this year's buck came from a piece of private property that I couldn't access to scout but it was very similar to the area I just described. All I did was locate the area on a map and then wait for him to cross the boundary line onto the public land! After you get pretty good at locating the areas that deer prefer to bed in you will be able to locate them on the map, as well!
This year's buck!

_________________
I let them get close enough so they can hear what I'm thinking about before I shoot!
avatar
NanookOdaNorth
STATE REP/FOUNDING MEMBER
STATE REP/FOUNDING MEMBER

Posts : 202
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 49
Location : Bucks County, PA

http://www.ShopBuckClark.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Locating a Deer's Bedding Area

Post by Cbigbear on Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:55 pm

Great post. One thing I'll add if you don't mind, deer also have the advantage of rising thermals in the hills. They bed with the wind to their back for scent, but also have thermals bring the scent up to them.

Hunting these beds is real tricky due to access. I'd love to hear how you access your hill beds Nan if you have time.

_________________

_________________
Public Land Bowhunters: Mississippi Chapter Representative..
avatar
Cbigbear
STATE REP/FOUNDING MEMBER
STATE REP/FOUNDING MEMBER

Posts : 401
Join date : 2011-12-17
Age : 38
Location : Louisiana

Back to top Go down

Re: Locating a Deer's Bedding Area

Post by NanookOdaNorth on Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:48 pm

Thanks C! Thermals can definitely affect the way a game plan is created. The bed in the pictures was impossible to hunt in the morning because the feed area was too close to the only parking area (without walking a mile around). Approaching the bed in the early afternoon had to be done from the side, coming from directly downhill was a poor idea because the thermals would be bringing my scent directly to the deer, unless I accessed the area just before dark when the thermals were reversing and moving from the beds to the feed area. I always moved in from alongside the hill and approached my tree from the north so the deer wouldn't detect me. These deer walked down from their beds and turned along the side hill just before it became too steep to walk straight down. That is the area I always look for in hilly or mountainous terrain. If I hunt downhill from the bed, I will probably be busted! So I always follow the trail from the bed to where they turn alongside the hill so they can easily angle downward to the feed area. Hunt a short distance after the trail turns alongside the hill and you should be okay, too.

_________________
I let them get close enough so they can hear what I'm thinking about before I shoot!
avatar
NanookOdaNorth
STATE REP/FOUNDING MEMBER
STATE REP/FOUNDING MEMBER

Posts : 202
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 49
Location : Bucks County, PA

http://www.ShopBuckClark.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Locating a Deer's Bedding Area

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum