Bedding in wide open timber

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
Bio1
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:44 am
Status: Offline

Bedding in wide open timber

Unread postby Bio1 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:47 pm

Scouted some timber today that is really rugged with steep draws dropping down into a big bottom. Walked the crest of the ridges overlooking the bottoms and found quite a few beds right on the edges of the rim. I also found quite a few rubs although most weren’t of any size with the largest about wrist sized. Not anything I’d normally get too excited about. However, from soaking a cam all season about 1/3 of a mile from here I know there are a few really good bucks in the area and they appeared to be coming from the direction I scouted. Trouble is the timber is so open I have a hard time convincing myself that any self respecting buck of any size would bed in these locations because it is so open. However, sitting in the beds themselves gives a commanding view of the bottom and I wouldn’t think much would get by without getting noticed. This whole area is mature timber surrounded by ag that just doesn’t have much in the way of thickets that I’d typically focus on.

Anyone have experience with wide open timber like this? It is difficult to access and I saw no hunter sign to speak of. If I hadn’t gotten those pics I’d not even consider it but those big guys have to be somewhere...

Thanks,

Bio1


User avatar
brancher147
500 Club
Posts: 842
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:46 am
Location: West Virginia
Status: Offline

Re: Bedding in wide open timber

Unread postby brancher147 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:39 pm

I hunt a lot of wide open steep National Forest land. Big bucks will bed in it and are actually extremely hard to hunt because they use the openness to their advantage-as you mentioned looking from the beds. They will watch access even in remote low pressure areas. And they will bed around other deer and use them to sound the alarm. I see them bedding upper 1/3 military crest as expected but without thickets they will bed against really big trees or behind downed trees. Even a mildly thicker area will be used for bedding compared to wide open timber. They also will bed in the steep draws where wind swirls and they can watch access and use terrain to hide instead of thick. I have also seen them bedding in boulders or behind boulders and they use the boulders for cover instead of thick brush.
Some do. Some don't. I just might...
Bio1
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:44 am
Status: Offline

Re: Bedding in wide open timber

Unread postby Bio1 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:59 am

brancher147 wrote:I hunt a lot of wide open steep National Forest land. Big bucks will bed in it and are actually extremely hard to hunt because they use the openness to their advantage-as you mentioned looking from the beds. They will watch access even in remote low pressure areas. And they will bed around other deer and use them to sound the alarm. I see them bedding upper 1/3 military crest as expected but without thickets they will bed against really big trees or behind downed trees. Even a mildly thicker area will be used for bedding compared to wide open timber. They also will bed in the steep draws where wind swirls and they can watch access and use terrain to hide instead of thick. I have also seen them bedding in boulders or behind boulders and they use the boulders for cover instead of thick brush.



Brancher - thx for the response - do you notice any appreciable big sign around these beds? I saw quite a few scrapes in close proximity to the beds but was disappointed in the rub sizes. I may just be expecting too much in these open woods as there weren’t any species I normally associate with big rubs like sassafras and cedar. The decent rub I saw was tall, though. The total numbers of rubs were high but just small. The bedding does seem pretty bulletproof, though.

I did check around every big downed tree I saw and didn’t notice much in the way of bedding. It is steep enough in there that a 1/3 of the way down is damn near close to a shear drop - the beds I saw were right on the crest where it drops. The bucks I had on camera are likely 4.5+ year old bucks.

Thanks
User avatar
brancher147
500 Club
Posts: 842
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:46 am
Location: West Virginia
Status: Offline

Re: Bedding in wide open timber

Unread postby brancher147 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:56 am

As you mentioned a lot of times in big open woods there are not good trees to rub. Where I see those big rubs are down in the bottoms where there is cedar or dogwood or red maple. I see a lot of big rubs in open timber on striped maple but it doesn’t take a big buck to rub a big striped maple. If you found high rubs then that’s probably the best indicator you can find. But it varies. I hunt areas with more scrapes than rubs and vice versa. Another thing I have noticed is the big bucks don’t tolerate much pressure in the open timber. Spook them once or twice near bedding and they are gone.
Some do. Some don't. I just might...
User avatar
cspot
500 Club
Posts: 1121
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:13 pm
Location: Western PA
Status: Offline

Re: Bedding in wide open timber

Unread postby cspot » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:16 am

brancher147 wrote:I hunt a lot of wide open steep National Forest land. Big bucks will bed in it and are actually extremely hard to hunt because they use the openness to their advantage-as you mentioned looking from the beds. They will watch access even in remote low pressure areas. And they will bed around other deer and use them to sound the alarm. I see them bedding upper 1/3 military crest as expected but without thickets they will bed against really big trees or behind downed trees. Even a mildly thicker area will be used for bedding compared to wide open timber. They also will bed in the steep draws where wind swirls and they can watch access and use terrain to hide instead of thick. I have also seen them bedding in boulders or behind boulders and they use the boulders for cover instead of thick brush.


This is what I have noticed as well.
User avatar
cspot
500 Club
Posts: 1121
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:13 pm
Location: Western PA
Status: Offline

Re: Bedding in wide open timber

Unread postby cspot » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:18 am

Bio1 wrote:
brancher147 wrote:I hunt a lot of wide open steep National Forest land. Big bucks will bed in it and are actually extremely hard to hunt because they use the openness to their advantage-as you mentioned looking from the beds. They will watch access even in remote low pressure areas. And they will bed around other deer and use them to sound the alarm. I see them bedding upper 1/3 military crest as expected but without thickets they will bed against really big trees or behind downed trees. Even a mildly thicker area will be used for bedding compared to wide open timber. They also will bed in the steep draws where wind swirls and they can watch access and use terrain to hide instead of thick. I have also seen them bedding in boulders or behind boulders and they use the boulders for cover instead of thick brush.



Brancher - thx for the response - do you notice any appreciable big sign around these beds? I saw quite a few scrapes in close proximity to the beds but was disappointed in the rub sizes. I may just be expecting too much in these open woods as there weren’t any species I normally associate with big rubs like sassafras and cedar. The decent rub I saw was tall, though. The total numbers of rubs were high but just small. The bedding does seem pretty bulletproof, though.

I did check around every big downed tree I saw and didn’t notice much in the way of bedding. It is steep enough in there that a 1/3 of the way down is damn near close to a shear drop - the beds I saw were right on the crest where it drops. The bucks I had on camera are likely 4.5+ year old bucks.

Thanks


Very often in mature woods the deer population tends to be lower and therefore you will tend to see less rubs in my experience.
User avatar
Hawthorne
500 Club
Posts: 4692
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:13 pm
Location: michigan
Status: Offline

Re: Bedding in wide open timber

Unread postby Hawthorne » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:23 pm

i used to disregard big open timber till I saw two nice bucks last year in them. I hunted it then almost shot one. It was tough to get one in range for a bow. I called one in and missed. The area was completly flooded which is why I think it was overlooked. You can see for a few hundred yards thru it. Went back this winter and scouted it and beds were all over on the humps with no rhyme or reason where they bedded. Found some huge rubs within it and kicked up all kinds of deer and waterfowl. No cattails or brush for them to hide yet they were in there


  • Advertisement

Return to “Scouting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests