Deer Beds

Your place to discuss ways the habitats for deer can be improved!
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby SwampLife » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:10 am

i have hunted/discovered several man made buck beds, tho they were not built for that purpose.

first off, IMO no living creature will ignore a place that provides protection from elements/predators.

4 particular instances come to mind for me.

1st, an old barn on a farm i hunt in Pa. the grass is mowed around the barn. but right against the barn was all tall grass/weeds/saplings of a width of about 5'. the yard on 3 sides was surrounded by a briar patch with the driveway splitting the middle of it and the fourth is a crop field. The bucks would bed right against the barn on the north side during the summer (im guessing to get out of the sun) and would face the driveway. they would get up and run the second your tires hit the gravel of the driveway off the blacktop. During the winter they would bed (after hunting pressure let up) on the south or on the east side of the barn, (im guessing to soak up the morning sun and to be sheltered from the ever-constant west wind.) I have never seen does bed against the barn, which i find odd. it is always a single or multiple mature bucks, or mature buck(s) with bachelor young bucks, but never just young bucks.

2nd is in very close proximity to the same barn. about 100 yard inside of the briar patch. One cold clear day of rifle season I was trying to push the thicket when i noticed that i jumped a nice buck about 75 yards in front of me, that never offered a clean shot of course. when i got close to where i saw him get up from, i noticed a huge old tractor tire. guess what was in the middle of the tire... along with some still steamy fresh droppings, yes, a bed. There was a good amount of older droppings within a few yards of the tire which suggests only one thing to me.

3rd was a very steep thick hillside. One day it was really cold and a stiff wind. about 3/4 the way to the top was on old foundation. About 5' high block walls on all four sides with a wide doorway size opening to the east. As we came to the side of the foundation we heard something and a nice buck went running out of he opening of the foundation. we took a look inside and sure enough there were fresh and older beds where this and possibly other deer were using this structure as a hiding/bedding place probably to stay out of the harsh west wind, the same way they would use a null, a fallen tree or a steep ridge as a wind break.

4th was in northern FL. an abandoned construction site in a rural area. this was a large subdivision that was bordered by only small strips of brush and timber. it was a neighborhood about 300-500 acres of partially built houses. being the young lad that i was i was actually cruising this area looking for secluded streets to race around on with my car, but when i saw an outstanding rub on a sapling growing in one of the overgrown yards of a house, i got out to investigate. I found several sets of tracks and one set of nice buck tracks. I tracked the buck right into one of the homes, and found lots of droppings in there. I didnt get to see the buck but i know he was spending time inside those unfinished houses.

I have thoughts and suggestions on making buck beds but i dont have time right now and this post turned out to be too long for most people to read anyways, so i will post more when i sign back on later.

o and thanks to the others posting good info in this thread. interesting topic.
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby shaman » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:08 am

Hinge cutting will help encourage deer bedding in wooded areas.

If you want to improve an open area for deer bedding, the best method I've found is plowing. You just plow up a patch and let it go.  I found this out by accident.  I had the farmer that does my hay plow up a stretch of pasture  in preparation for doing a food plot, but one thing led to another and the job never got finished.  The plot went 5 years without having anything done to it.  The deer loved it.

The plowing exposed mineral soil and broke the stranglehold that the fescue had on the pasture.  Lots of forbs grew in and within a year or so I had tall stuff  established.  There were deer beds everywhere. 

The other thing that will produce deer beds is edge feathering.  Where I've let fencelines go fallow, the young cedars quickly establish themselves.  The deer bed next to them.
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby impeach O » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:01 pm

I have taken Tony LaPratts boot camp 3 years ago and also paid him to come to my property and devolop a habitat management plan. in may I will be attending his boot camp again. If you own land in one of the states he gos to or can attend his boot camp you will learn techniques that will revolutionize your hunting and habitat management. The guy is a genious when it comes to whitetail!!! I cant say enough about him and his methods!!!!!!!! and yes you can build beds for the deer, sex speciffic. I have done it on my land and I can tell you it works. he has 7 speciffic aspects of deer beds that you need to follow to encourage them to use your beds. log onto his web sight think of it manipulating where the deer bed, my success has doubled. he also teaches how to deter the deer from bedding where you dont want to in order to use yours. just to mention one subject, there is an incerdible wealth of info in the weekend boot camp!!!!!
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RE: Deer Beds

Postby scottflesher » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:20 am

Ranwin makes an excellent point on the second post. We did the same thing on our property and while we occasionally enter the area we cut, we always see a ton of deer sign and usually jump up deer.


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