How to find Bedding areas

Tracks, Rubs, Scrapes, Trails, Etc.
dchervenka
 
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How to find Bedding areas

Postby dchervenka » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:09 pm

I'm a newbie here, but hoping to pick some brains. Everybody says or writes: You have to find the bedding areas, the feeding areas and then hunt between them. Sounds simple enough, but I have a problem understanding buck bedding habits. How does one know when you found a bedding area? What features tell you that you have found a buck bedding area? How big is a bedding area. Does a buck use the same bedding area everyday or do they use a different one each day? Now that it is almost time to do some spring scouting I was hopig some of you could help point me in the right direction. I hunt the farmland of eastern WI. Thanks in advance.

coach
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby coach » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:26 pm

First...Welcome to a Forum where your opinions always counts
 
Bedding area are different from one bush to another.  This time of the year when there's
snow is the best time to find them.  Put yourself as a deer.  You want to lay down and
get some shut eyes or rest for a little bit.   Where would you go....to be protected from snow, rain, trouble, predators, easy wait out...ect.
 
Usually, on the edge of a swamp is good. Top of a ridge. Thickets.  Places where its thick bush, but they can see, smell, or hear danger approaching.  The best way is to walk the bush....and learn.
If theres snow...look for oval melts.  Once you find a few of them....you've found a bedding spot.
 
On my property where I hunt....there is approx. 50 swamps, 2 creeks and 2 miles of lakeshore.
bedding area are all over.  We never know where the big one sleeps....  But they are there somewhere.
 
Good luck.
Cheers
Ottawa, Ontario

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby Everyday Hunter » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:13 pm

Welcome to the D&DH forums, dchervenka. Don't stay a "newbie" for long

Coach is right. And now is the best time to find those bedding areas. You should be able to find some feeding areas, and simply backtrack the deer to their bedding areas from there. Start with cornfields and oak stands that produced acorns last fall.

One reason that antlers are often found in bedding areas is that when deer stand up they will often shake themselves like a dog. If the antler has loosened while they were at rest, it may come flying off when they shake.

Consistent bedding areas + consistent feeding areas = finding shed antlers. Find the bedding areas now and you may find shed antlers. Find shed antlers and you know certain bucks made it through the season and the winter. Put those bedding areas into your strategy in the fall.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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Goose
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby Goose » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:21 am

Welcome to the Forums!
Check out the WI threads as well and join the discussions.
 
As stated every area will consist of different bedding areas.
 
To be general thick areas are great bedding areas.
 
Doe groups will normally bed together throughout most of the year. With these type of doe groups you will find multiple beds in close proximity and you should be able to notice the different sizes of beds indicating does and fawns.
Young conifer stands or cedar pockets are good areas for bedding.
In the winter the thick conifer stands can be up to 15-20 degrees warmer than open areas making it prime bedding area.
 
Bucks especially older bucks will normally bed by themselves in a area by themselves. Ridge tops, points on ridges, and briar patches are good areas to start looking.
Bucks like to bed high with their back to the wind. This way they can detect danger on their backside with their noses and they can use their eyes to watch below them.
From what I have noticed bucks will have different areas they prefer and use them to their advantage with different winds.
If you find a bunch of rubs and beds in the same area I think you can make the assumption that you've found a bucks bedding area.
This fall we had a buck that we figured was bedding in a marsh pocket but we did not know where so this winter I went in there and along the river(another great bedding area) there was alot of rubs and different beds (all the same size) with not a whole lot of traffic. You could tell that one deer was coming into that area and laying in different spots. So I feel pretty confident that this was the area he used during the fall and will keep that in mind next year.
If that buck got killed or whatever I feel that another buck will probably use that same area.
 
During the winter south facing ridges are a great are for bedding because they can use the sun to warm them.
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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reeper0697
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby reeper0697 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:36 am

Some good responses. I have always noticed (in the winter) that the majority of beds I find are in cedars and are usually in the same spot year after year.
 
A question I have always wondered is will deer use the same bedding areas all year long? or does it change with the availability of food? I know geographics such as ridges and swamps stay the same where it is said deer like to bed. So I was always curious of this.
Put me on a mountain, way back in the backwoods
Put me on a lake with biggin' on the line
Put me around a campfire cookin' something I just cleaned

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Goose
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby Goose » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:45 am

I would say they move throughout the year.
That buck I was talking about earlier used several different areas throughout the fall. These areas where 50 acres or more apart.
I think they change sometimes daily depending on the wind and weather.
Don't know for sure these are just my experiences.
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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reeper0697
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby reeper0697 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:51 am

Thanks Goose,
 
I have read that they have different bedding areas for wind direction and what not. I always wondered if some of the cedar ridges I have found beds in during winter would still be used during the summer or not. Looks like Im going to have to grab my sleeping bag and find out first hand![:D]
Put me on a mountain, way back in the backwoods
Put me on a lake with biggin' on the line
Put me around a campfire cookin' something I just cleaned

northernVT
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby northernVT » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:06 am

Great discussion guys. I guess I always just assumed that deer used their winter yards more often for bedding areas this time of year and more open areas in the warmer months. I know during the hunting season, they go for the thickest stuff around due to the pressure, but before hunting, I have seen them bedding in hardwoods as well. Guess this is my next research! Have to get out there and see if I can't track something in the snow!

dchervenka
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby dchervenka » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:24 am

Thanks Guys, great info.

Demoderby4
 
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RE: How to find Bedding areas

Postby Demoderby4 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:28 am

I was just contemplating this question myself recently, i have always been able to find trails, food sources, rub lines and primary scrapes but bedding area's have always eluded me, as immature (hunting wise) as it may sound, i know following trails going from feeding areas would make the most sense, but i typically get side tracked on a fresh rub or scrape  when doing so, and my mind forgets about the trail and i immediately to to find the rest of the rub line or scrapes, which i know are hit or miss in most cases, when bedding area's would make more consistent sightings, im glad i came across this post, great info guys, and there is a good chapter in a Steve Bartylla book "Advanced Stand Hunting Tactics" about bedding area's. I have learned a lot from it, and this post helped a lot.
Matt Cain
SE MI

Them Darned ol' deer.

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