deer sleeping patterns

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mike_mc
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deer sleeping patterns

Postby mike_mc » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:27 pm

Googled "deer sleeping patterns". Found this article, copied and pasted a couple paragraphs below. For those of you that have seen deer bedded, is this what you have seen?
http://www.justnorth.com/Articles/tabid ... leep_.aspx

A typical sleeping bout includes 30 seconds to a few minutes of dozing, followed by a brief alert period, and then more dozing followed by an alert period. This cycle often lasts for about 30 minutes. Generally, once per 30 minutes deer will stand and stretch and they may urinate or defecate before laying back down. They may even stand, urinate in their bed and lay back down in it. This 30-minute cycle of rest and standing has also been reported in the literature for axis deer.


Whether dozing or sleeping with eyes open or closed, deer are continually monitoring what is going on around them. Their ears are never lowered, and they can wake up instantly. Dr. Rue feels their ears may even be more important than their nose while they are sleeping. Charlie says bedded deer are very cognizant of what goes on around them with regard to squirrels and turkeys. Their senses are so incredibly keen that they can distinguish between squirrel activity and a snapping branch.


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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby dan » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:04 pm

Sounds fairly accurate... I would think they put there head down for more than 30 seconds, but can't say for sure cause every buck I see bedded always had his head up in the alert position. I am close to bedded bucks a lot, but usually can't see them till they stand or make a short movement.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby headgear » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:01 am

The snapping branch has given me away many times. I've been right on top of deer and making noise but moving slow, one small twig and they realize something large/heavy broke that branch and they either bust out or are on full alert staring you in the face.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby NatureBoy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:41 am

headgear wrote:The snapping branch has given me away many times. I've been right on top of deer and making noise but moving slow, one small twig and they realize something large/heavy broke that branch and they either bust out or are on full alert staring you in the face.

:mrgreen: Yep.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby exojam » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:40 am

Interesting piece, I never knew that is how they slept.

One sentence that caught my attention is italicized below:
“Deer are most active at night. Deer find security at night, when most predators, including humans, are asleep. The deer's cautious nature is apparent when considering deer never sleep in the same bed twice, deterring predators from catching a deer's scent and awaiting for the deer the next night. Deer do not sleep for long periods of time. Rather, they are always alert of their surroundings.”

I thought they (mature bucks since that is usually discussed here) usually only had a few beds they used for sleeping. Am I wrong on this?

Also, for you experienced hunters, have you noticed any type of range that you exceed that will make the deer bolt. What I mean by this is, say you are walking in the woods and make some branches snap that puts the deer on alert. Have you found they will only bolt if you are within 10 yards, 20 yards, etc? I would assume each deer will act different but just wondering if any type of pattern has been seen.

Thanks, James
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby NatureBoy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:17 am

exojam wrote:The deer's cautious nature is apparent when considering deer never sleep in the same bed twice, deterring predators from catching a deer's scent and awaiting for the deer the next night.

James, this is absolutely false information. The same deer may use the same bed day after day for as long as they are not disturbed.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby exojam » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:29 am

NB,

Thank you for the reply.

I thought something seemed strange with that comment. I was trying to back and remember information from Dan’s videos and that line just seemed wrong.

James
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby dan » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:32 am

i DID NOT NOTICE THAT COMMENT 1ST READ... Yep, absolutely false. I have watched the same buck bed in the same spot for days, even weeks straight. And year after year.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby Stump » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:54 am

Interesting info. I didn't know deer slept like that. Kinda sounds nearly like my sleep patterns. haha
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby SaddleMaster » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:30 am

In one paragraph he says "The deer's cautious nature is apparent when considering deer never sleep in the same bed twice, deterring predators from catching a deer's scent and awaiting for the deer the next night."

And then in the next paragraph he says "According to Charlie, they are creatures of habitat and they may bed in the same location day after day and month after month. Dominant bucks have favorite bedding spots, and they’ll even kick subordinate bucks out of a bed."

Obvious contradiction.

I got to see the buck I killed this year bed and sleep the day before I got him. He bedded down about 25 yards away, groomed himself for a while, and then chewed his cud for about 45 minutes. He groomed himself some more and then tucked his head by his belly and closed his eyes. His eyes were closed but his ears kept moving around. He only got to snooze a couple minutes as some turkeys making all kinds of noise came over the ridge top behind him. From my stand I could see that they were turkeys but he couldn't. He jumped up looking that way nervously and was ready to bolt out of there. Once he saw that they were turkeys he just flopped back down. Eventually one of the toms picked me off in the tree and they all ran back over the ridge top and flew off. The buck went over the ridge to see what all the commotion was about which put him downwind of me and he bounded off. Fun morning.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby Stanley » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:47 am

Wildlife biologists often lack in field practical experience. They study from books & penned animals. This sometimes prompts statements that are not accurate in all aspects. Like the deer bed statement. I like to listen to hands on authorities on subjects rather than academic authorities. If I want to know about buck beds I find stuff Dan has said or written. It's better to hang out with people that know more than you. Pick out associates whose hands on whitetail intellect is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction. That is why I hang out on the Beast.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby Uncle Lou » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:08 am

Stanley wrote:Wildlife biologists often lack in field practical experience. They study from books & penned animals. This sometimes prompts statements that are not accurate in all aspects. Like the deer bed statement. I like to listen to hands on authorities on subjects rather than academic authorities. If I want to know about buck beds I find stuff Dan has said or written. It's better to hang out with people that know more than you. Pick out associates whose hands on whitetail intellect is better than yours and you'll drift in that direction. That is why I hang out on the Beast.



Well put. Observations are a key part of the research. I think much of the research that has been done by many of the acedemics has been extremely valuable to our to sport. Just have to be careful when we take that info to the field. And listening to successful hunters observations are probably more useful
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby dan » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:17 am

I had a well known biologist who was doing a study on bears ask me to join him for lunch a couple times. I was fascinated by his research, and what his studies proved / disproved.
The guy new every biological fact about bears, much beyond what I know... However, when it came to things out side of his study areas, I recognized that he said some things that were down right wrong about bears...
As with anybody, or anything... You read or listen with a grain of salt. Take what is useful to you, and discard the rest. Every expert has flaws.
My Dad used to say:
Never believe anything you read, and only 1/2 of what you saw.

Although funny, there seems to be some truth in that statement.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby PK_ » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:39 pm

I have read that deer will actually lay down on their side and stretch out occasionally.

exojam wrote:Also, for you experienced hunters, have you noticed any type of range that you exceed that will make the deer bolt. What I mean by this is, say you are walking in the woods and make some branches snap that puts the deer on alert. Have you found they will only bolt if you are within 10 yards, 20 yards, etc? I would assume each deer will act different but just wondering if any type of pattern has been seen.

Thanks, James


Most big bucks I have come across bedded seemed incredibly arrogant or lazy. They would prefer that you literally almost step on them, twice, before they give up their hiding spot. Many times I do not think the buck would have booted except that I made eye contact.
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Re: deer sleeping patterns

Postby JoeRE » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:08 pm

exojam wrote:
Also, for you experienced hunters, have you noticed any type of range that you exceed that will make the deer bolt. What I mean by this is, say you are walking in the woods and make some branches snap that puts the deer on alert. Have you found they will only bolt if you are within 10 yards, 20 yards, etc? I would assume each deer will act different but just wondering if any type of pattern has been seen.



I have not really seen a correlation...probably depends too much on how exposed the deer is in the first place (that includes anything from if leaves are still on the trees to if it might be windy/snowing/raining. Precipitation in my experience makes most deer stick tighter even when they detect an intruder, I think they stick tighter because their sight/hearing is dulled when moving away from danger in that weather and they don't like that not to mention it is easier to sneak up on them in the first place), like you said how different deer act, how familiar the deer is with hunters and how hunters typically act. I have just about stepped on deer before they took off and had them jump up and run at 200 yards regardless of how loud I was.

Edit: Also, the only deer I have seen with their heads laying on the actual ground were badly hurt/wounded. I have seen bucks and does lay their head back on their flank for short periods of time but I have never seen a healthy deer with its head on the ground...it might happen, just is something I haven't seen!

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