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Bedding Area??

Old 07-16-2005, 09:40 AM
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Default Bedding Area??

I've only been Deer Hunting for a few years and I keep seeing every one talking about getting between the 'Bedding' area and where they feed. What exactly is a 'Bedding' area?? I have seen Deer bed in the corn, a fence row, a grass field and in the woods. Just what should I be looking for as a 'Bedding Area?'
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Old 07-16-2005, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: Bedding Area??

It usually refers to an area of thick cover that deer will spend most of the day before venturing out to feed. They may use different bedding areas, depending on the vegetation, huntingpressure and weather. Where I hunt, early in the season, corn fields, grassy marshes, etc. can be legitimate bedding areas. Later in the year, they move into more woody, perminant cover.
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Old 07-16-2005, 12:21 PM
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Default RE: Bedding Area??

I love it also when some folks make it sound as if there is some magical area where all the mature bucks will be laying up for most of the day. Here in the crop rich Midwest a buck may choose to bed where ever he happens to be at when he wants to lay down. It may be in a large CRP field one day, a Cornfield the next, a brushy feenceline the next, atop an Oak ridge the next and so on and so forth. The one thing to remember is that a buck will prefer to find an "area of protection" with very little disturbances most of the time so try to think of the spots in your hunting areas that see the least activity. It may an isolated overgrown pasture of small waterway in the middleof a field of right behind farmer Bob's barn.
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Old 07-16-2005, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: Bedding Area??

Bedding areas are essentially safe areas where the deer feel comfortable and protected from both nature and prey. However as mentioned these change with landscape, seasons, pressure, etc. Basically the thought is always place yourself between a safe area (bedding) and where they ulitimately are going (food or water). This is otherwise known as a transition area. The reason being as the days shorten and the breading habits appear deer in general change their movements but bucks even more so. So it is considered more productive to find a location that deer fell safe travelling during daylight to get to their destination. WhatI look for is natural fall lines that will help force deer to a ceratin mass when transitioning from bed to food or water. Such land masses would be a funnel, draw, saddle, ridgelines, ravines, etcthey are areas where feeder trails channel to one area and then may branch again to the final destinations. The deeper in transition the better from my perspective. This doesn't always mean I am well into the bush but rather areas that offer deer a safe travel way to get to their destinations. So while many food sources have a draw or areas that channel deer movements into them, they are still close to where the deer have to expose themselves...therefor I look for these areas further back in the transition (aka journey). For example one area I hunt is surrounded on three side by bush, it is a large alfalfa field that offers very few spots deer can hide from the road. In this location the deer actually come from 3 different direction to a lone saddle in the north west corner and filter on cutter trails to different points of the field to eventuallyfeed. While it would be closer for those deer to spit straight out of the bush to the field they don't unless it is dark. This saddle is basically a200 longby 100 yard wide low spot that has some small brushbut mostly made up ofgrass, between the wooded areas. I have never seen a deer bed in this area, but they pass through all day long. When I sit on the ridgeline I can not see the field or road...so the deer feel very safe moving here during the daylight.

The best way is via scouting knowing where the deer like to rest and where they like to eat and drink. Once you have this component covered look for areas between these location that offer safety while moving and then check sign to determine the best locations. I always take in account wind direction and find spots that will allow me to hunt on each wind that might be presented. Only when the wind is right do I hunt the spot.
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:23 PM
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Default RE: Bedding Area??

A deer could bed down just about anywhere but they will bed down in certain places more often than others. The most likely places are anywhere they feel safe and secure enough to let their guard down. Cover that is thick and impasible to anything with 2 legs is their favorite but barring that they will bed down where they can get some advance warning of someone aproaching. I can think of 2 specific spots; one is a cedar swamp in the upper peninsula of michigan. It's filled with fallen timber and thick brush and has lots of small dry hills surrounded by muck. A deer could bed down in one of the dry spots and be unseen from 5 feet away and hear the sloshing of feet through wet swamp if anyone tried aproaching them.
Another spot I can think of is on my property in Illinois. It's a small clearing on top of a hill that is carpeted with high prarie grass and surrounded by fields of corn. Deer will put their back to the wind so they can smell anyone aproaching from that direction and face the field so they can see you aproaching that way. There are always several bowls of crushed grass where deer spend the day. The only way to hunt it is with a drive and when we do we always push out a few deer.
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:24 PM
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Default RE: Bedding Area??

I have the exact same problem. I live on a farm in Tennessee and there are many wood lots broken up all over, different agriculutural crops in different places, grown up fields here, pastures there, an its just very hard to find an early season, or a late season bedding area that is used consistantly, and the only areas where it mite be a possibility, is a couple briar patches so thick a cottontail would have trouble navigating it. So its near impossible where i hunt to set up in the very often expressed areas "between feeding and bedding areas" because there are so many possible places for bedding and so many crops an such things, then comes in the factor where how far ur deer heard will travel for food, that is a very prominent factor as well because u might kno the more preferred crop or acorn or beech or w/e but a mile an a half away if the deer care to go that far at dark each nite, then u will have an even bigger problem right there. so i find it very hard to do so, so i give my advice to all that hunt areas such as i do to do ur best and good luck!!!
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:10 PM
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Default RE: Bedding Area??

In my experience it all depends on where you hunt (what part of the country and what type of terrain)because the whole idea of hit them between bed and breakfast is hog wash where i come from. I hunt in New York and Pennsylvaniain big woods with no distinct terrain features of feeding areas except maybesome hardwood mast but that seems to disappear within a week or so depends on how hard it was hit by the deer.

I just try to find the sign, get in quiet and stay all day
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:06 PM
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Default RE: Bedding Area??

Where I hunt there are numerous huge sawbriar thickets. That is where the deer on our lease usually bed at. If you have any really dense thickets on your property, i think it would be best to hunt on the edge that is closest to the deer's food source, whether it be a field, acorns, or some other food source. Good luck.
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