Mature buck bedding areas

Do you have an interesting field note, photo or observation to share? We want to hear from you!
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:19 am

Mature buck bedding areas

Postby RubyCreekHunter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:20 pm

I`ve read alot about finding where the deer are bedding...and i`ve come to the conclusion(after reading the posts below from the QDFM forum) that they(bedding areas) can be...anywhere!!
 Anyway, i thought these were pretty interesting. The first guy gives some pretty sound advice(sounds good anyway) and then someone else replies with pics that prove his theory. I`ve attached the pics...i never would have guessed.[:-]

  #1   [/align]Image Yesterday, 08:53 PM [/align]

Don Higgins Image
vbmenu_register("postmenu_264301", true);
[/align]Fork Horns[/align]

Join Date: Dec 2009[/align]Location: Illinois[/align]Posts: 69 [/align][/align][/align]

Image The Key to Mature bucks [/align][hr]

At the urging of some of you through posts and private messages, I am starting this thread to explain my approach to hunting mature bucks on my property. I believe in what I am saying completely because I have seen the results firsthand. This would likely be an extremely long post so I am going to make it several posts instead and put out a little at a time. I know I get bored reading extremely long posts so I wont put you through that.

Let me start by saying right here from the start that I am only targeting mature bucks that are at least 4 1/2 yrs old. They are a different species from other deer. Keep this in mind when you read what I have to say. I am not talking about younger deer in any of my posts but I see so many younger bucks and other deer that it is unreal. The problem for most guys will be in letting younger bucks walk while waiting for the older ones. A 3 1/2 yr old buck can be aweful tempting and honestly we all need to shoot a couple of those before rasing the bar.

A few years ago I wrote an article titled "Giant Steps to Giant Bucks". In it I detailed how over a 30+ year whitetail hunting career, there were only 2 times when I learned something that instantly made my hunting success take a major leap forward. There are lots of little things we pick up that when compounded together make us better hunters but this article was about those 2 things that each by themself instantly made me a much better hunter. One of those was learning to USE the wind. This was taught to me by a successful veteran hunter when I was about 20 years old and instantly made me more successful. I wont get into the details of that one as it is off topic and a story in itself. The other giant step I took was when I realized that EVERY mature buck has a sanctuary. He would never have made it to "mature" status had he not found a safe place to spend the majority of his daylight hours. Think about that last sentence for a bit. If you have a big mature buck in your neighborhood he DOES HAVE A SANCTUARY. If you want to kill him you need to find it. A sanctuary does not have to be huge or even contain thick cover but it MUST be free of human disturbances. A mature buck values seclusion over anything else. Your foodplots and other habitat projects mean nothing to a mature buck if he doesnt feel safe there. I long ago realized that my hunting success was dependent on mature buck sanctuaries. I could either find the ones that exist or I could create them IF I had total control of a property. On properties that I own or control, I do everything possible to create large sanctuary areas.

I have read with some amazement the posts on this site where others have disagreed with my approach saying that bigger sanctuaries will allow bucks to move about without exposing themselves. Exactly! and this encourages them to be on their feet more during daylight hours and when they get near the edge of the sanctuary or just outside it, they are vulnerable to a smart hunters efforts to kill them. How many nay-sayers wouldnt jump at the chance to hunt a property that bordered a large game refuge such as a state park? Most hunters would dream of hunting inside the state park and in doing so would only quickly educate the deer and soon be hunting a proeprty that is no better than any other in the area. A smart hunter targeting mature bucks would realize the park is actually a blessing and use his bordering property in ways to lure the bucks from their sanctuary. When you create a large sanctuary in the heart of your propetty you actually take things to an even higher degree as you can now hunt the total perimeter of a bucks safe zone. What could be better than that? By the way, most of the sanctuaries that hold mature bucks dont have any sort of specially created deer beds or any other efforts targeted to keep them there. It is the freedom of human disturbances and hunting pressure that attracts the mature bucks to these locations. I have seen mature bucks make sanctuaries in all sorts of various cover. One of the craziest was right behind an old ladys barn in some short foxtail. The only tree around was a volunteer scrub growing out of the barns foundation, yet this ole buck was bedding within 10 feet of the barn in that foxtail. Notice, there was no high spot to keep the buck dry, no overhead cover, no ability to sit in the bed and watch other deer or a feeding area or doe beds or whatever. What that spot did offer was seclusion as the elderly lady never got to that part of her proeprty, at least not very often, and nobody else dreamed of looking for a mature buck (or any deer) there. It really is as simple as providing seclusion and I dont feel that can be done on a property being hunted with small scattered bedding areas.

This concept is so simple yet it requires more dicipline than most landowner/hunters can muster. I am considering another magazine article along the lines of my "Giant Steps to Giant Bucks" article, but this one will be on the most common mistakes I see when I visit other folks properties. The biggest mistake I see is sanctuaries that are too small or none at all. I firmly believe that one that is too small is as bad as not having one. It will never accomplish the desired result and is a waste of time when the target animal is a mature whitetail buck.

I will leave it here for now for everyone to consider the importance of a sanctuary over simply making beds. Later I will detail what I have done with my property and keys for setting up sanctuaries on any property. What I have done on my place, I still find unbelievable and it just keeps getting better.[/align]__________________
[font="comic sans ms"]"[size=2]As hunters we should be judged more by what we choose not to shoot rather than by what we do shoot."[/font][/size] [/align]


  #10[/size]11   [/align]Image Today, 12:33 PM [/align]

qdmohio Image
vbmenu_register("postmenu_264466", true);
[/align]Ol' Mossy Horns[/align]

Join Date: Jul 2006[/align]Location: SE Ohio[/align]Posts: 713 [/align][/align][/align]

Image [/align][hr]

Don, I am no expert by any means and am in the "early" stages of trying to improve the sanctuary habitat on my property. To back up what you're saying with regards to mature bucks wanting SECLUSION above all else, I recently saw some trail camera photos of a wild, mature Ohio buck (not my photos) coming in and out of a hole in the side of an old barn. It was clear he was spending some time bedding in there. Probably the last place most folks would think of looking for a buck's bedding area....which is probably why he was bedding there! Obviously the camera owner saw something that tipped him off and he placed the camera there and got some fantastic photos. Here are those pics I found, they were at


Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:19 am

RE: Mature buck bedding areas

Postby RubyCreekHunter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:25 pm

Here`s another great mature buck bedding area..

Return to Deer Browse

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests