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creating quality deer bedding

Old 02-20-2008, 01:47 PM
Fork Horn
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Location: Kansas
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Default creating quality deer bedding

i would like to hear anyones take on creating deer bedding as a long term effect.

It is my personal belief that good quality deer bedding is far more important than creating deer food plots. bedding areas are very diverse from high ground in the swamp to evergreen side hills. I would like to create some new bedding areas, what kind of bushes, weeds/grasses, or trees would you use. also I know terrain means a lot to where the deer will bed, on the side of hills seems to be a deer favorite so would you not only place trees but would you strategically place them through out the diverse terrain.

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Old 02-20-2008, 06:29 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

Not sure about creating bedding areas, you MIGHT wanna focus on creating a sanctuary instead. A sanctuary can double as a bedding area as well. I recommend cutting less-desireable trees, and in about 5 years those locations sshould regenerate some primetime thick cover. In a perfect world-- thick cover up to 6 ft. high and unable to see 60 yards through the brush. This enables the deer to feed, bed, and feel safe all in one. You may (or may not) be able hunt the area but one thing for sure is that you will definitely hold more deer in your area. Esp. bucks.
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:01 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

The second part of your signature cracks me up, vmartin.

What part of KS are you trying to get these established in? ...and upland or bottomland?
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:20 PM
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

To create good deer bedding area there needs to be tall vegetation, so first you need to find an area with this capability, if this area is undisturbed then is should provide a good bedding area as long as it isclose to a food and/or water source. One thing that needs to be monitored is trees as they will cause shading, nutrient and water loss that can lead to less ground cover and density.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:27 AM
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding


A forum you might want to visit for creating bedding & travel areas would be:

When you enter the forums go down to: Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting. In this column you will see a forum for: Whitetail Deer Habitat. Click on this forum & do a search on bedding or creating buck bedding and should bring up threads on this. Some great ideas & advise on the do's & donts in creating bedding areas.

If you are unable to find the previous threads, post your question, and I'm sure some of the regulars will guide you to these threads.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:39 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

Yes, true deer bedding is probably one of the most limiting factors in the Midwest, and it is where they spend most of their daytime activity. Of course everyone sees them bed in everything to the woods to leftover bean fields. Deer are very adaptable, as proven by their wide range of habitat. Here in the Midwest though originally they would bed in the Native grasses and eat in the woods. With todays farming practices they know bed in the woods, and eat where the praries use to be. Of course they started the CRP programs and originally didn't think of the effects to wildlife, and planted shortter grasses like timothy. Now that is starting to change and they are looking for some to be in the NWSG, still they are still only focusing on a species that is hurting now quail (at least here in Illinois).

Now, if you want to build it think back to what your area was like before farming and where the deer would bed then, mainly the prairies, and rebuild them on your property. The deer still have it programed in the skulls to gravitate to those areas. Now that will start pulling them out of the woods for bedding purposes and makesome of your hunting easier.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:46 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

thanks for all of your responses so far. i can't agree with you more rocknchair. that is the best trick up my sleeve that i learned last year. i have a small piece of land right next to a 1 mile piece of timber that is leased out by a group. they overlooked my piece that buts up to theirs, they put food plots, stands, and i am sure everything else out. the key to my land is i have a rule that nobody ever goes near the hill that buts up to their land.all i have is a2-3 acre hilltop with aevergreens and sumac bedding area, which is a great combination of bedding. most of the deer were spending all their daylight hours on my 2 acre spot and would regularly walk around during odd hours of the day through the my land. i shot a 15 pt double main beam buck off of this spot this year and had a chance at 3 others that were bigger (150"+) than my buck. we estimate that the spot beds 20+ deer. it amazes me how little visual hunting value my land holds but how much it produces every year. also on that little spot we found a 98-3/4" single side rack at the bottom of the hill.

usfwc: the areas i am starting to create bedding range from hilltops to river bottoms in north central Kansas. my favorate spot is by far the willows, but those don't need any more help bedding wise, the only problem with those is that the deer eat themselves out of house and home through out the winter being that there is such a high consintration of deer.

i am going to have to check out that forum and see what they have to say lyndon46.

thanks all
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

One solution is to let nature take its course. One of our places burned on November,2005. It was a fast moving fire driven by 50 mph winds. It killed about 1/3 of the mature oak trees.Now there is oak brush 6-8 feet tall around the dead trees.The placehas 40 acres ofbig bluestem grass:It is 5-7' tall this year. Deer often bedin the grass under a cedar tree. We sometimes cut and bale the grassbut wealwaysleave big patches for game cover.There is alsoabig greenbrier andscrub oakthicket that the deer bed and hang out in. That thicket is adjacent to twoshallowravines that the deer travel in.We never go there.There are always8-10 deer on that 80 acre place. Many more pile in when hunting season starts. We do have somegame plots planted in oats: The deer are hitting them hard now.

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Old 02-22-2008, 04:04 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

If you have any openings you might want to look at Native grass or switch grass,also be sure and check with your NRCS as they may have a program to pay for it.I am also in kansas and have planted lots of trees,shrubs and NWSG.It takes time but gets better every year.Check out qdma.com
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:05 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: creating quality deer bedding

Over the years - I've noticed on our property that that as old fields/pasture became brushy young woodlands - the deer would tend to bed near what I call "lone pines" or "pine clusters". We did not plant any of them, they just occured naturally as the land went through succession. How many times have you found deer beds under pine trees, especially when there are not many of them around?

So part of our management has been to enhance these "lone Pine" bedding areas, and plant some new ones.

Pines higher on a hillside seem to be better than lower.

Here are some young spruce from a couple weeks ago - that I planted 5-6 years ago - they are starting to look attractive as bedding areas now - In a couple more years - I'll bet on their productivity.

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