Bedding area help for an up and comer

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
sagDE
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Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby sagDE » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:45 am

This is my first postseason applying Beast tactics to scouting. I have been having great success finding bedding areas. I was out today in some fresh snow when I came across a bedding area that has 5 beds in about a 10 yard radius. The snow was fresh and so were the beds. There was also a fresh rub in the bedding area and many different sets of tracks coming and going. My thinking was that this is a doe bedding area, but the rub makes me wonder if a young buck is using it too. Would a buck and does bed together? Its a pretty cool bedding area that is in a really thick stand of Holly but is only 100 yards from an intersection of 2 roads. Definitely an overlooked spot!


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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby Lockdown » Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:40 am

Were there any big beds? Big tracks?

Doe bedding will often have buck sign in it. Sometimes there’s quite a few rubs and scrapes. Sometimes there’s no buck sign at all. My best rut grove has nothing but does and little bucks bedding in the south end most of the year. You’d never know that by all the buck sign in there...

The best way to figure it out is by observing or running trail cameras. You can also monitor the outskirts for tracks.

I think one common misconception from newer members is that the vets automatically know exactly what is inhabiting bedding when we come across it. Most often I have an educated guess that needs to be proved/disproved.

Little bucks often bed with the does. So the number one thing you need to do when you come across bedding is to look for evidence of something BIG. Rubs, tracks, poop, bed size...
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby MichiganMike » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:58 am

Holly is definitely a good food source this time of year. I have some in front of my kitchen window that deer munch on. Tracks are all around the front of the house.
Anyway- to answer your question, Lockdown hit it on the head pretty much. I'll take it a step further though and say a mature buck will have a solitary bed away from doe/young buck bedding. He will leave his sign in there though when their gone. So like he was saying- look for larger poop and tracks along the outskirts. Also measure the beds, usually a mature or good size buck is well over 60".
Last edited by MichiganMike on Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby MichiganMike » Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:01 am

Lockdown wrote:Were there any big beds? Big tracks?

Doe bedding will often have buck sign in it. Sometimes there’s quite a few rubs and scrapes. Sometimes there’s no buck sign at all. My best rut grove has nothing but does and little bucks bedding in the south end most of the year. You’d never know that by all the buck sign in there...

The best way to figure it out is by observing or running trail cameras. You can also monitor the outskirts for tracks.

I think one common misconception from newer members is that the vets automatically know exactly what is inhabiting bedding when we come across it. Most often I have an educated guess that needs to be proved/disproved.

Little bucks often bed with the does. So the number one thing you need to do when you come across bedding is to look for evidence of something BIG. Rubs, tracks, poop, bed size...

Ryan- have you ever come across a big buck bed RIGHT IN doe bedding? Meaning like within 10-20yds. I cant say I ever have. It would be a rare and unusual sight for sure! I was just curious....
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby sagDE » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:16 am

I appreciate it. I found one solitary bed a little ways from this bedding area but the rub was confusing me. There were so many tracks in and out of all sizes I wasn’t sure wether or not a buck would be bedding with does. Due the the area’s proximity to the road I think I could get away with a camera at the road crossing.
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby Lockdown » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:46 am

MichiganMike wrote:
Lockdown wrote:Were there any big beds? Big tracks?

Doe bedding will often have buck sign in it. Sometimes there’s quite a few rubs and scrapes. Sometimes there’s no buck sign at all. My best rut grove has nothing but does and little bucks bedding in the south end most of the year. You’d never know that by all the buck sign in there...

The best way to figure it out is by observing or running trail cameras. You can also monitor the outskirts for tracks.

I think one common misconception from newer members is that the vets automatically know exactly what is inhabiting bedding when we come across it. Most often I have an educated guess that needs to be proved/disproved.

Little bucks often bed with the does. So the number one thing you need to do when you come across bedding is to look for evidence of something BIG. Rubs, tracks, poop, bed size...

Ryan- have you ever come across a big buck bed RIGHT IN doe bedding? Meaning like within 10-20yds. I cant say I ever have. It would be a rare and unusual sight for sure! I was just curious....


Does will use buck bedding when the big bucks aren’t home. I’ve seen that many times. I’ve seen them bed near each other quite often. Honestly I’ve seen that more times than finding a big one bedding all alone. Granted, the bigger he is, the more likely he’s alone.

That’s what makes it tricky. There’s often a mixture of big buck and doe/small buck sign in the bedding. Most often if it’s doe bedding it will be fairly easy to hunt. They aren’t as sneaky and smart. If you come across a random thick area with lots of beds of all sizes, good chance it’s doe bedding.

The big ones bed very defensively more often than not. Spots where if you don’t know they’re there, the odds are overwhelmingly in the bucks favor.
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby sagDE » Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:59 am

My though was doe bedding. I’m going to give the are a few sits in the fall and see what moves. Like I said it’s 100 yds from 2 different roads and about 125 yds from two different parking lots but where it is, no one would bother checking it out. Lots of water and holly
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby Lockdown » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:44 pm

sagDE wrote:My though was doe bedding. I’m going to give the are a few sits in the fall and see what moves. Like I said it’s 100 yds from 2 different roads and about 125 yds from two different parking lots but where it is, no one would bother checking it out. Lots of water and holly


What are you targeting? If you’re after does or any buck and sign dictates that the bedding is being used, then you’re in the game.

If you’ve got standards that a buck has to meet and a good buck is what you’re after, then I would suggest keeping an eye on it through out the year. I say this because I’m speaking from experience... I spent a couple years hunting what I thought was good buck bedding and had mediocre results.

Yes, knowingly hunting bedding is far better than sitting a spot that just “looks good”. But to tag good bucks consistently, setting up on hot sign or having some sort of intel to go on is the crucial component.
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby sagDE » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:52 pm

Lockdown wrote:
sagDE wrote:My though was doe bedding. I’m going to give the are a few sits in the fall and see what moves. Like I said it’s 100 yds from 2 different roads and about 125 yds from two different parking lots but where it is, no one would bother checking it out. Lots of water and holly


What are you targeting? If you’re after does or any buck and sign dictates that the bedding is being used, then you’re in the game.

If you’ve got standards that a buck has to meet and a good buck is what you’re after, then I would suggest keeping an eye on it through out the year. I say this because I’m speaking from experience... I spent a couple years hunting what I thought was good buck bedding and had mediocre results.

Yes, knowingly hunting bedding is far better than sitting a spot that just “looks good”. But to tag good bucks consistently, setting up on hot sign or having some sort of intel to go on is the crucial component.

At this stage of my hunting career I’m still happy to kill an antlered deer. I don’t think that this area is going to produce a mature buck from the sign I’ve seen, but I get 4 doe tags and the option to purchase an unlimited amount. I only get 2 buck tags for the year. I like to eat deer! I like this area though because our season just ended and there is a high concentration of deer in a small area that is confined by two roads. It meets all of the overlooked/ fat chick criteria. If this area holds a mature buck I want to find out without over hunting the area or tipping anyone off.
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby MichiganMike » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:59 pm

Lockdown wrote:
MichiganMike wrote:
Lockdown wrote:Were there any big beds? Big tracks?

Doe bedding will often have buck sign in it. Sometimes there’s quite a few rubs and scrapes. Sometimes there’s no buck sign at all. My best rut grove has nothing but does and little bucks bedding in the south end most of the year. You’d never know that by all the buck sign in there...

The best way to figure it out is by observing or running trail cameras. You can also monitor the outskirts for tracks.

I think one common misconception from newer members is that the vets automatically know exactly what is inhabiting bedding when we come across it. Most often I have an educated guess that needs to be proved/disproved.

Little bucks often bed with the does. So the number one thing you need to do when you come across bedding is to look for evidence of something BIG. Rubs, tracks, poop, bed size...

Ryan- have you ever come across a big buck bed RIGHT IN doe bedding? Meaning like within 10-20yds. I cant say I ever have. It would be a rare and unusual sight for sure! I was just curious....


Does will use buck bedding when the big bucks aren’t home. I’ve seen that many times. I’ve seen them bed near each other quite often. Honestly I’ve seen that more times than finding a big one bedding all alone. Granted, the bigger he is, the more likely he’s alone.

That’s what makes it tricky. There’s often a mixture of big buck and doe/small buck sign in the bedding. Most often if it’s doe bedding it will be fairly easy to hunt. They aren’t as sneaky and smart. If you come across a random thick area with lots of beds of all sizes, good chance it’s doe bedding.

The big ones bed very defensively more often than not. Spots where if you don’t know they’re there, the odds are overwhelmingly in the bucks favor.

That’s interesting. Yeah I’ve seen the subordinate bucks and does together but never a mature buck. Of course this is during rut phases, but I’ve seen does get up out of their beds, then a couple minutes later the buck coming through from about another 40-50 yds further in. Im not doubting they bed with does outside of lockdown, I’ve just never witnessed it or seen and confirmed that bedding scenario while scouting. I may have overlooked it too.
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby sagDE » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:12 pm

Hmmm, lots to process. Thanks everyone
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby MichiganMike » Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:21 pm

sagDE wrote:My though was doe bedding. I’m going to give the are a few sits in the fall and see what moves. Like I said it’s 100 yds from 2 different roads and about 125 yds from two different parking lots but where it is, no one would bother checking it out. Lots of water and holly

Yeah probably doe bedding if there’s a few beds there, especially this time of year. Their on a food source (holly) and hanging out there. Be worth a couple sits next season for sure. If it’s overlooked and non pressured, it could be a heck of a spot! Good luck
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby tgreeno » Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:14 pm

Is there any chance that there's a food source across the road? They may be bedding there because it's the thickest stuff adjacent to a winter food source? I'd keep an eye on it, and possibly throw a camera in there in June. Or observe the adjacent fields from the road.
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sagDE
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby sagDE » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:27 pm

tgreeno wrote:Is there any chance that there's a food source across the road? They may be bedding there because it's the thickest stuff adjacent to a winter food source? I'd keep an eye on it, and possibly throw a camera in there in June. Or observe the adjacent fields from the road.

Yes! There are two different ag fields across each road.
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Re: Bedding area help for an up and comer

Unread postby sagDE » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:35 pm

Both ag fields are small, only a few acres. The one where I found all of the tracks leading is one that sees high pressure in season. The track all head right to the parking lot which is on the corner of the field though.


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