Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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RaisedByWolves
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Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby RaisedByWolves » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:21 pm

Recently I've been reading alot of great threads here on finding beds in swamps along transitions/edges, and looking for subtle terrain features to scout. My question is does anyone have a prefered edge to scout in a swamp for mature buck beds...are you looking 1st at higher points that jut out into the swamp? howabout timber/red brush edges? redbrush/cattails? cattails/timber? i know this list of edges could be vast but how do you guys rate the transitions in a nasty swamp to find those primary beds...is there anything you disregard?


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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby magicman54494 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:06 pm

I usually don't find beds along the transition. I find them away fom the transition back in the thick stuff. They can be anywhere there is a higher spot. It could be where there is a tree, a clump of brush, etc. If the transition from trees to brush to swamp is wide enough (the brushy portion) they will bed there. I guess there has to be enough distance from the normal human traffic to make them feel comfortable to bed there. As far as a favorite type of cover I like the most remote spot that has high ground reguardless of what is growing there. I almost always find does bedding closer to the woods with the bucks bedded back further. Also this is a tough question to answer because each situation is different. I'm hoping to get the time to check on a buck that was not bedding in the thick stuff but instead he bedded in the open at the end of a long point way out in the middle of nowhere. I think he relies on the remoteness and visibility for safety.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby Swampthing » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:16 pm

I agree with Magic this is kinda a tough question.With the timber to redbrush transition,like Magic said lots of times if he,s in the redbrush he,s usually further back.But that distance can be less if there is a good barrier.Like a canal or something.Usually when I find a bed many times along your way your thinking this really sucks I just had to wade through some water, or fight some thorns ,and just when your thinking about turning back .You hit the jackpot.I found a bed last weekend that was actually very close to the transition from woods to swamp grass and cattails.It was just a small rounded point coming off the woods.He had a little canal behind him and that kept him close to the woods.A couple years ago I spotted a very small clump of small trees proably 200 yards out into the cattails.I walked out there and sure enough there were 4 beds in that little clump.He was completely surrounded by water and cattails.More often I,m looking for the sign left by a good buck along the transition.And that will usually lead me out in the cover to actually find his bed.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby RaisedByWolves » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:31 pm

yeah i knew it was going to be a hard question but i thought i would ask anyway and see what other people thought...whenever i go out scouting for beds(in swamps) i usually start by walking the transitions and look for buck sign entering the high ground so i can trace it out to a bed...but i usually always end up out in the cattails or brush looking under each and every tree or stump. I'm one of those people that see's a spot that looks like a bed and has to go check it out and when there are like 50 potential beds it is easy to get burnt out or abandon your initial gameplan. I guess i am asking do you guys have a perticular method you follow to find mature buck beds? are you looking under each swamp tree or high spot trying to get lucky? or do you only go in if you see good sign? some of the public areas i have hold so much bedding cover, i don't know quite where to start. I've found many buck beds but i am trying to learn how you guys operate and try and make myslef more efficient( not an excuse for doing less legwork). I know some great deer live in these areas because i see them shining.....i just kick myself i didn't get out there enough last winter and follow the big tracks around in the snow, i'm thinking this might be my best bet....
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby magicman54494 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:47 pm

RaisedByWolves wrote: i usually start by walking the transitions and look for buck sign entering the high ground so i can trace it out to a bed...but i usually always end up out in the cattails or brush looking under each and every tree or stump. I'm one of those people that see's a spot that looks like a bed and has to go check it out and when there are like 50 potential beds it is easy to get burnt out or abandon your initial gameplan. I guess i am asking do you guys have a perticular method you follow to find mature buck beds? are you looking under each swamp tree or high spot trying to get lucky? or do you only go in if you see good sign? some of the public areas i have hold so much bedding cover, i don't know quite where to start. I've found many buck beds but i am trying to learn how you guys operate and try and make myslef more efficient( not an excuse for doing less legwork). I know some great deer live in these areas because i see them shining.....i just kick myself i didn't get out there enough last winter and follow the big tracks around in the snow, i'm thinking this might be my best bet....


I know it can be daunting when there are so may spots to check. I know places where you can't search it all in years! I target an area and walk,walk,walk. The big areas need to be broke down into small pieces and scout each piece carefully. if there is a shortcut I'm not aware of it.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby headgear » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:24 am

Looking at each tree or high spot in a swamp kind of sums it up for me, lots of work and lots of time. I try to break down my scouting into 3 categories. My first scout is pretty light, I just try to cover some ground and get a feel for the area, then see if any mature bucks have used the area recently or in the past. My 2nd trip to an area is to better pinpoint the buck bedding area and setup a plan of attack, you can also do this on the first trip if you like what you see and find a good ambush spot. My third trip to a particular area is to completely tear apart a small area of buck bedding and learn everything I can about that bucks core area. I will also take some time during trips 2 and 3 to prep trees and do any trimming.

This is what I found works best for me, it might be all wrong but it really helps you learn as much as possible about an area before you move on to the next spot. I figure it's better to know a handful of areas very well vs knowing very little about many different spots. Many of my hunting areas are in various stages of this 3 step process I like to use, I don't have a ton of time to scout so it might take me a while to fill up enough spots to fill a hunting season. When that happens I just go in blind and do a little scout/hunt in a new area I have flagged from aerial photos.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby cwoods » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:15 am

Thats some good stout advice on approaching scouting swamps headgear!
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby dan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:23 pm

I concemtrate most of my scouting on transitions and find the bedding very close to the transition. A transition can be easy access for humans, or it can be remote...
When I look at a cattail marsh for example, I find few beds out in the middle of the cattails except under heavy pressure. Now that don't mean that the beds are where everybody walks, or that there not remote... transitions along the edge of islands, slightly higher ground that holds a small tree, or redbrush, the edge of water, etc... All are transitions.
In a cattail marsh the last thing I scout is wide open cattails.
Swamps are a lot tougher... But looking at the changes in vegitation or high spots in low areas marked on topo's can help. Points jutting out are always good places to look if not getting human traffic.
Big woods is like swamps, high spots, remote slashing transitions, etc...
Hilly ground is easy, the transition is real easy to see, its a certan elevation where the terrain drops rapidly...
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby headgear » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:47 am

I am starting to find more beds on those transitions as you describe them Dan, however most of my buck beds seem to be in swamps were I have to cover every square foot just to make sure I don't miss a bed. Good thing I love to scout.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby virginiashadow » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:42 pm

Cool thread, kind of wish I had those types of swamps to hunt.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby RaisedByWolves » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:18 am

thanks for the awesome input guys, i think i need to stay closer to the edges to get more effective scouting/hunting done, rather than diving in under each and every tree. I get so excited looking for beds and following swamp trails, that it is hard to pinpoint a good tree or spot to set-up in when your out from the edge. Even if it means skipping over some good beds
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby Autumn Ninja » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:38 am

I look for any edge (regardless of type or terrain) that allows a buck some security from two or more directions....with smell, sight and hearing taken into account also.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby stash59 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:22 am

Lots of good info for such a short thread. Thanx guys!!
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby PK_ » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:51 am

As far as I am concerned, there's too much swamp and too many edges to worry about them all. Now if you have only one swamp you are hunting, then by all means scout every inch of the transition you can. But if you are hunting several different swamps, key in on the most predictable spots. For me, that is any finger/point/peninsula that sticks out into the swamp and has one or more lone trees or micros islands just off it in the swamp. Or a decent sized island with a tree/hump/highspot just off it for them to bed on. Both of these conditions have always ended up being buck bedding and give you an easy predictable setup. The bucks will come off their bed and stage on the larger island or travel/stage on the point/finger/peninsula before heading to the mainland.

I go through hundreds of miles of swamp on aerials until I find 'the perfect storm' as I call it and those are the spots I will hunt. Usually there are only a few spots, if any, in each swamp I find that have every variable I am looking for. If I find a swamp loaded with points/islands everywhere, I generally move on unless I know that area is loaded with deer and big ones. Too many options is not always a good thing. I would much rather hunt a swamp with a few highly preferred bedding areas than a swamp loaded with them.
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Re: Favorite Edges for Buck Beds

Unread postby Twenty Up » Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:16 pm

Small creeks and streams along with field edges have been my favorite spots to locate beds
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