Beds....Im confused

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cornfedkiller
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Beds....Im confused

Unread postby cornfedkiller » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:08 am

I went up to my family's land today to pull down some treestands and trailcams. The snow is deep as heck, so we took a few snowmobiles up there and did a little riding around and checked out a few things.

The deer trails that are there are beat down paths cut a foot deep in the snow, which is pretty usual, but the beds I saw are what Im really confused about...It seemed like there were beds (Im assuming doe beds) EVERYWHERE. It seemed to me like they were just in random places, including the middle of the two foodplots. Some of them had like 3 or 4 beds, some had 10 or so. Are these just temporary beds where a few does laid down to rest or something for a little bit?? Like I said, they seemed very random, and just like out in the middle of nowhere..

The next thing Im wondering about it there is one isolated clump of trees just off the driveway, with an alfalfa field around it. Anyways, when Dan marked my aerial photo for possible bedding locations, he put a dot on this spot, so the last time I was there a few weeks ago, I checked it out. I found no less than 35 rubs, but no beds in the snow. Today, I decided Id check the spot out again and see what was there. Today, there were like 15-20 beds in there, including some of them were down to dirt and leaves. Are these again doe beds that they are just using temporarily and a buck may be bedding there earlier in the year (hence the rubs), or would the buck(s) be bedding there now with them as well. Here are pics of what Im talking about (snapped with my cell phone)

In this pic, you can see 3 beds..The one bed thats down to the leaves, and two more to the right (almost touching it)
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This is another bed thats down to the leaves, and there are two more beds near it
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Whats going on, and if all of these beds are temporary, when I do my spring scouting, how do I find PRIMARY beds? How do I know the difference?


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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby Bucky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:37 am

Like I mentioned on a previous post, check back for bedding spots in March/April when some of the snow has cleared. Deer will bed this time of year especially with that much snow in relation to food.

Typically a ring of 3 beds touching each is a doe bedding area. The area that had tons of buck rubs in it likely contains a buck bed(s). Sometimes does will bed in the same vicinity as bucks. But not right on top of each other like the above pic
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magicman54494
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby magicman54494 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:56 am

Bedding will change with time of year and food sources and hunting pressure. I've been seeing the same thing as you right now. I was out about 10 days ago and there were beds right out in the open hardwoods. Common sense says that these are not primary bedding areas that you would hunt in the early season. The trick is to scout and find the beds they were using earlier and that can be hard to do with all the snow. Springtime after the snow melts might be a better time. Big bucks are usually loners and tend to find those out of the way spots. There won't be a lot of beds there. Dan gives great examples in his DVD's of the difference between buck and doe beds. If your hunting this time of year pay attention to the size of the tracks and look for tarsal gland staining in the beds. If the beds are down to bare ground smell the ground for tarsal scent. If the bed is fresh and it's a buck you will smell it.
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goldtip5575
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby goldtip5575 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:13 am

The beds you found in the food plots are probably just where they laid down to rest after eating.You see the same thing shineing in the summer.Alot of times when you shine they are laying in the food source and get up.Only in the winter with snow you just notice the bed.
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby PLB » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:35 am

They will bed close to food this time of year because of deep snow and or cold. They need to conserve energy so when they get up and move they need to make it count. No wasted trips. A lot of these could be used at nighttime also right near the food source. Im seeing the same bedding patterns also. Food sources change a lot during the course of the season as do bedding areas in relation.
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:47 am

I've found that Doe's bed when ever they feel like it, as long as they feel safe. As they start yarding up, due to lack of food and cover, it's usually in the hemlocks (New Hampshire). As the food supply gets low they start stripping the bark for food to fill the void. I've had friends tell me the stripping is "rubs", but once they look closely they agree it's aniamals getting a meal. Many, many beds are usually Doe's, consider the size of the tracks and the stride/width of their steps...

Scouting ASAP after the season usually reveals some pieces to the puzzle that you can likely use next year, if the conditions are similar to your notes from the previous year.

As others mentioned, including the fuzzy guy above(magic ;) ), early spring will be key to focus on set-ups if they prove to be worthy of your scouting. It sure gets your blood pumping!!!
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby adrenalin » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:14 pm

Like Magic said, all you need to do if you are unsure is look at the track made in the bed when the deer stands up. Their is always one good track that will freeze, if it's a buck track you will know it.
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby adrenalin » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:16 pm

Those look to me like all doe beds though. Last night I walked a spot that had about a million rubs in it and tons of beds, but not one buck bed, I think these rubs are from the rut when bucks are in that doe bedding area.
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby dan » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:28 pm

Wow... Looks like your getting some great advice!
Couple things I would add... The beds that are touching could be doe beds as pointed out, but with how close they are, I would checking the tracks and bed sign to see if it was the same deer shifting beds a couple times during the day... If thats the case, could be a buck bed.
My second point is, when your looking at beds and sign like you saw, its a good idea to really take a close look. Most people get excited and quickly look at all the sign rather than slowing down. With a close look you can usually tell some details about the deer useing each bed. A close look at the tracks can be one way to tell gender. another is the pattern in witch they bed. Bucks even when bedding with other deer are loners who worry only about protecting themselves. Does bed as a team with each member having an area to cover. For example, the three beds you found together could be a team of does. If thats true each bed will likely face a different direction. If its bucks they will each face downwind and the track will tell you if it is one deer moving a couple times or 3 deer.
Sometimes you can even see antler marks in the snow at the front of buck beds. My point is, slow down and really take a close look and you will be amazed at what you might learn ;)
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby adrenalin » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:08 pm

Heres some pictures from today and yesterday that are similar to what you are talking about.
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Area all rubbed up but no buck bedding. Their were probably another 30-40 within a 50 yard radius.
Image
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Doe beds If you look at the top of the picture their are 3 more harder to see and another half dozen off to the sides you can't see.
Image
Image
This one just caught my attention now. Looks like their is some blood in the bed.
Image
Could have been from this deer last night sure looked like a buck but no horns.
The picture with the glove in it looked like a doe bed, but had a 3 finger track and about 10 other beds within a 15 yard radius.
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby GBTG » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:12 am

Id be looking for sheds near that last bed.
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Re: Beds....Im confused

Unread postby Swampthing » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:41 am

My guess would be that pic with blood and glove could mabey be a buck bed.He might have just shed.Or that could be from a doe that is spotting just like a woman does.


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