Bedding in pines

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
Wamby211
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Bedding in pines

Unread postby Wamby211 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:00 pm

I have read and watched all kinds of info on hunting beds on hills and in marshes but was wondering about how to hunt them in pines. I have always hunted thick pines but this is the first year I actually am going to try and hunt specific beds within pines but not sure how to tell which way the deer will go when they get up. Is it just a guessing game or will they tend to gravitate towards food or something particular?


Tennhunter3
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:12 am

In my time hunting pines.

They leave in direction of food or water. Bow season usually in direction of Acorns or a close water source.

Theirs very little for deer to eat in pines besides green Briar. Their is certain times of the year they hit green Briar hard.

I do like that pines allow a very quiet entry and exit strategy.

Wind can be very predictable as it mostly seems to go one way. The barrier of the outer pines block most of it. Bucks like following pine edges. The issue is the wind often blows down the edges and thermal rises. Making setup extremely difficult to learn.

You usually see fewer deer on your sits at least this has been what I have seen.

Your setup is louder because the bark often comes off even in saddle or stand.

The wind can act strange in pines and be a nightmare to learn a good setup.

You probably will not hear the buck spook if you get too close in mature pines. In thick pines its usually a loud crashing sound.

The slope a buck beds on in pines can be different then that days wind. They do still bed catching the rising thermal and looking downhill.

Plan on the deer making no noise you will need to be very observant to see the deer in some cases.

If you hunt pines try to if possible find a setup tree that isn't a pine tree though this is often hard to do.

Hopefully this helps in some way.
Pines are definitely a challenge to hunt.
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PK_
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby PK_ » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:30 am

Ditches, bowls, creeks, drainages, low spots etc, they like to follow these features in/out of the pines. If you have actual topography, scout it similar to hill country. Find the 5-8 year old plantings. Mature bucks will be buried in the thickest areas like a tick. Specific beds are pretty uncommon IME, usually it’s a little open area within that thick stuff that’s all matted down, browsed with lots of droppings...
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby deer365 » Sun May 10, 2020 3:17 am

What have you guys noticed about mature pines? One piece of public I'm looking at is mature pines and 5-8 yr old cut over. Normally when I encounter pines I target the younger areas with lots of undergrowth but I am yet to find any here. It is timber company land in hill country. There are logging roads all thru the property. In the bottom of the draws and around the smz's are the only areas with hardwoods. I have found a few beds along the transitions from mature pines to hardwoods and from cut over to creek bottom. Every time I drive the roads and walk thru the mature pines I have bumped deer. Where should I focus my efforts? Near the edges and smz's being that there will be more food sources? I just feel with roads everywhere this setup will be what everyone is doing and I'm going to have company, but maybe I'm over thinking things. Any suggestions?
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby ODH » Sun May 10, 2020 5:23 am

Here are some ideas based on what I see in the northeast. Not are pine stands are equal. In tall open pines like a Norway Spruce stand for example bucks are bedding where they have a view, generally up high or on elevated spots in more even areas. In thick stands like jack pines I find them bedding on the outer edge but usually only using these spots when there is another reason for them to be there like late Oct/early Nov when does are bedding in those stands deeper in and bucks are watching the entry/exit trails. Other times of year there are better places for them to bed around here.
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby MichiganMike » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:42 am

Good question! Never really tried pines- kind of wondering myself. Just seems like a tough hunt if a mature buck is bedded in there. Seems like he would have all his senses covered. Maybe setup in a thick transition out of his sight (if its rows of pines) that goes to a food source??? Especially if there is a defined trail to the food source.
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby Chasingdinner » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:25 pm

Regarding bedding, most of the bedding I have seen in pines was on the edges, unless the pines were younger growth and less than about 10-15 feet tall. The sun can still get to the ground in the shorter pines and that will produce a ton of browse/security cover.

Also, a lot of pine plantations I have hunted in the hills usually have some sort of draw, creek bottom, drainage...etc. that are not accessible to the forestry equipment. And that seems to almost always be 1. The hardest part to get into and 2. The only place for miles to find white oaks.
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby Twenty Up » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:03 am

There’s really only 2 times pines will be the premier bedding source for bucks.

First is when they’re young and very thick, think say 4-10 years. Once the pines choke out all the underbrush, they’re useless for deer.
Now when the mature pines get select cut, with briars/poke weed/American beauty berry, Wild raspberry, etc growing under them.. the deer will bed and browse in them all day.

Hunting pines is generally tough because it’s very difficult to read any tracks, it’s usually extremely thick and climbing pine trees isn’t quiet.
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BA-IV
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby BA-IV » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:24 am

Twenty Up wrote:There’s really only 2 times pines will be the premier bedding source for bucks.

First is when they’re young and very thick, think say 4-10 years. Once the pines choke out all the underbrush, they’re useless for deer.
Now when the mature pines get select cut, with briars/poke weed/American beauty berry, Wild raspberry, etc growing under them.. the deer will bed and browse in them all day.

Hunting pines is generally tough because it’s very difficult to read any tracks, it’s usually extremely thick and climbing pine trees isn’t quiet.


Bingo! I’ve also found large tracts of big mature pines to pretty much be the Big Woods of the south without the snow. The deer really don’t have to travel all that much to get what they need, getting what they WANT though is what gets em in trouble.
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Re: Bedding in pines

Unread postby HeadHunting » Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:46 am

Great Information Guys. One of the other members A5BLASTER, also noted on another thread that bucks will find these patches of diversity inside of mature pines. Somewhere where there was either dead fall where the sun has hit the ground, or a slight rise in the terrain with some patch of cover. One of the guys where I hunt has some trail cam action leading up to this season,m where he has a buck that seems to be utilizing this type of setup described by A5BLASTER. I will be doing some scouting in similar terrain this year as these described pine plantation patches of various ages is exactly the type of terrain I hunt. I will keep everyone up of my progress in this terrain to let you know what I learn.
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