Hair in beds timeframe.

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Browndawg80
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Hair in beds timeframe.

Unread postby Browndawg80 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:59 am

How long do you guys think hairs will last in a bed? I’m assuming the timeframe might be different depending on the habitat where you’re finding the beds? Reason I ask is that I was out scouting today on an oxbow down near a creek and I found what I believe to be a buck bed. I could see the shape of a large deers body pretty plainly and I had rubs on 2 different trees each not more than 5-10’ feet away and there were also some pellets in the bed. However even after I got down on my knees and scoured the ground I was unable to locate a single hair. When I scout for beds in hill country I feel like I find hair in them 90% of the time. I actually looked down at the ground on my way in today and spotted a random white hair right smack dab in the middle of the walking trail so I know my eyes are good enough to spot them. The area I was scouting today was pretty wet overall due to rain and being down low but the “bed” was elevated enough that the deer wouldn’t have been laying in water. I’ve got another spot I hunt with a patch of cattails that’s maybe 2 acres and full of beds and when I last scouted it this past October I was finding hairs in the beds. Is it possible that the freezing/ thawing and overall wetter conditions down low could cause the hairs to float away or something? Or do you think it’s more plausible that the sign I was finding today was from last fall? I was seeing fresh tracks all throughout the area today which makes it even more confusing.


KLEMZ
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Re: Hair in beds timeframe.

Unread postby KLEMZ » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:00 pm

I would suspect that the creek bottom bed floods from time to time. This would erase all ground sign pre-flood. These areas are especially difficult to read in my opinion.

You don't mention what part of the country you hunt, but in my experience in Wisconsin, I can find up to three years worth of deer hair evidence in a suspected bed. What I mean is, as you dig through the leaf litter you will find layers of decaying leaf matter from previous years. You can easily tell the difference from last falls leaves vs older leaves. Underneath each layer the hairs will look a bit different. It's an archeological dig.

Often, I will find a suspected bed and find no white belly hairs on top of the matted vegetation. But if I carefully sift down into the leaf layers I will find a degraded, brown, brittle hair. A hair that was white 2 years ago. Bingo! Multi year use on the bed!
Browndawg80
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Re: Hair in beds timeframe.

Unread postby Browndawg80 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:17 pm

Thanks for the reply.

FWIW I was in southeastern Ohio. The bed was not more than 20’ from a creek so I would absolutely think that it floods from time to time especially this time of year with snow melt and all the rain we’ve had lately.

Interesting that you can go back and find old hairs 3 years later. I just discovered the HB last year so I’m relatively new to this style of hunting. I spend a lot of time lurking on this site but that’s a first for me. Next time I go scouting and find some beds I’ll definitely be digging down into the leaf litter to see what I can find. :L:
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Dewey
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Re: Hair in beds timeframe.

Unread postby Dewey » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:20 pm

I have also found hair from multiple years when digging down into a bed. If it’s used often there should be plenty of evidence even in areas that occasionally get flooded.

We’re quickly coming up on the period where deer start shedding winter coats so some beds will suddenly show huge amounts of hair. This takes a lot of the guesswork away and makes it so much easier. It might not always tell you where they were bedded in fall but will tell you where they are now. The key is trying to decipher if they are primary beds that are used year round. Those are the beds I’m constantly searching for.


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