Deer bedding in big woods

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NatureBoy
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Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby NatureBoy » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:08 am

I'm wondering what you guys have found when it comes to how easily deer abandon their bedding due to human pressure in big woods, areas where food and bedding is abundant. Say they were spooked by a human in their core bedding area once. Would they immediately abandon that location for a while and set up camp elsewhere until bumped again or food changed? Or do they typically tolerate a little more harassment before pulling up and moving out?


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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby magicman54494 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:13 am

Every deer is different. I even know a guy who was successful in jumping a buck from his bed early in the day and waiting and shooting that same buck when he returned later that day.
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby NatureBoy » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:24 am

magicman54494 wrote:Every deer is different.

Amen to that! And when bucks feel secure in an area, it takes a little harassment to get them to move out.

I guess I should have mentioned too that I'm looking for experiences with both bucks and doe families.
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby dan » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:36 am

Magic is right... Its deer specific. Its also dependent on whether you bumped him from a primary bed, or a secondary bed... If its a primary bedding area they will be more likely to return to that bed the next morning, or even a little while later if they think the bump came from a source that was just passing by.
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby NatureBoy » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:52 am

Thanks for both of those posts and that experience of your friend that you shared Magic!
Dan wrote:If its a primary bedding area they will be more likely to return to that bed the next morning

Dan, is this true of both does and bucks, even in the circumstances that I described above? Just want to confirm...
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby dan » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:00 am

Dan, is this true of both does and bucks, even in the circumstances that I described above? Just want to confirm...

Yes... But I think its more true of bucks. I am just basing that on my observations. Bucks seem more likely to return after being bumped, but I have seen does doe it on occasion.
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby NatureBoy » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:49 am

Interesting! Thanks.
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby PredatorTC » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:17 pm

You were asking about the does...this is not exactly a bedding area story but,

This year i was half way up a my tree when two fawns and a doe came through. The fawns got into my shooting lane and were skiddish so they turned around and went back into the swamp with the doe. About an hour later all three of them came back out. They were on pins and needles. But they still insisted on coming by. The doe tried to move quickly through my lane but i shot her anyways.

I just thought i would share because the doe knew it was unsafe but she did it anyways. She had her mind set and it got her killed
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby NatureBoy » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:03 am

PredatorTC wrote:the doe knew it was unsafe but she did it anyways

Very interesting story TC. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby PLB » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:14 am

magicman54494 wrote:Every deer is different. I even know a guy who was successful in jumping a buck from his bed early in the day and waiting and shooting that same buck when he returned later that day.

Sounds like Andrae's bump em and dump em tactic! :D
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:02 am

As someone stated earlier, every buck has different habits and tolerances of human intrusion. In some of the wilderness fringe areas, it seems as though they tolerate more intrusion without abandoning an area than the truly remote bucks. In remote wilderness areas, if you jump them and they scent you the party's over. You will not see the buck's track for almost a week (keep in mind that large predators, lynx, wolves prey on deer heavily in these areas).

In Ontario while utilizing snow to see exactly what happened after a bedded buck was jumped, they circled 90% of the time to catch the scent of the critter that spooked them before departing for far-away areas. If they didn't get the chance to circle and catch scent, it always seemed like you could come back the next day and find the same buck's tracks in the area and possibly a bed nearby.

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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby NatureBoy » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:29 am

Very interesting difference between "wilderness fringe areas" and "remote wilderness areas". I had a feeling this was the case but don't have any experience with remote wilderness area bucks. Thanks for that post PLH!
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:43 am

PLH made a great post on wilderness bucks and their bedding- how they react if they catch your scent whether tracking them or stand hunting/still hunting, etc. I've never seen a buck run harder or longer, looking like he's headed for the next county than those in wilderness areas. They really leave you with the impression that they aren't coming back anytime soon...
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 am

Waterways are a big-woods key!

I would call it a learned or "conditioned" response, but they always seem to cross some type of waterway. This can be a huge life-saver for the wilderness bucks where large felines and canines are abundant, but it can also cause the demise of some of them.
A local wilderness trapper I met regularly finds mature buck carcasses in a few feet of water in remote lakes after the spring thaw. His take is that the bucks are stinky and wore out from being rutted up (they always still have their antlers when found) so they are very easy for a group of canines to find and pursue. Being habituated at crossing large bodies of water to evade predators the majority of the year by swimming across, the bucks take out across the frozen lakes. Not realizing the canines can make it across with no problem, is where the problem starts. The canines catch them on the ice and then drag them down since the wolves/coyotes can move much better with toe-nails that act like little ice-studs. The deer can't get the footing to get away and they are dispatched on the ice. Most critters don't like to feed in the open, so they make the attempt to drag the carcass near shore to feed on it. The ice thaws and whamo! The carcass sinks into the water. Check lake edges in big-woods settings.
I look for water sources in the big-woods and scout the fringes of them. Water is a great gift of life in the wilderness. The north shores green up first, it provides life sustaining water and it provides a security backdrop. Everything a mature buck needs. I routinely find beds near the edges of lakes, rivers and streams. Depending on wind direction, they may bed in various locations around the lake to take advantage of visibility and wind currents to evade predators. Food for thought.
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Re: Deer bedding in big woods

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:19 pm

Great post, PLH. Here is the rack and skull of a wilderness bad boy that may have died just as you described. I found the rack on the edge of a huge beaver pond. Strange find, the rack was upside down and sticking way out of the ground right on the edge of the pond. Notice the stained tips of the G2 and G3 which were sticking down into the ground on this 14 pointer. Gotta love seeing the little G6 sticking up from the chewed off end of the mainbeam! He was just over 24" inside spread.

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