Finding Deer Beds

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby PASwamper » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:55 am

I'm having some trouble figuring out the actual deer beds. This past sunday I was out in the swamps. Crossed about a 20 yard stretch of 3 ft deep water (deeper than normal) to get to an island that stretches about 250 yards but is only 50-75 yards wide. All the signs were there, I even kicked some deer, didn't hear em, just heard em splashing through the water. Found a good set of tracks but followed that set and several others to what looked to be a doe bed at the end of the island, no rub that I could see. I also found another spot that I'm almost positive was a buck bed because of a slight mound in a marsh with a rub on a tree. No hair or fresh tracks though. Shouldn't I be able to find hair if its a bed? Maybe its a dead buck now I suppose. Anyone have any advice for pinpointing the beds or determining if and what is bedded there?


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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby dan » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:06 am

A bed that was used last fall might not be being used now, and that would be one good reason not to find hair.... Its really hard to explain other than to tell you to keep pounding the ground and whenever you see a bedded deer, or can follow a track to a for sure bed, really take a good look at it. After a while you will be able to look at the landscape and know where the beds should be.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby PASwamper » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:45 am

Thanks Dan, I'll be at it a lot coming up I'm sure. Many, many, many more places to look!
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:19 pm

I have found the same type results as Dan. It seems like some of the best buck beds I have found, only have a few hairs in the bed.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:56 pm

I some cases, the hardest thing for me to figure out is whether I'm dealing with a buck or a doe bed. In most buck beds, I find the rubs right in and around the bed. However, I have one particular bedding area that has several beds in a close proximity with a lot of hair in each bed.(No rubs in or around the immediate vicinity). In every way it looks like a doe bedding area because it is kinda in the open. However, it is in a perfect place on the point of a subtle ridge top and the beds are right against the point. Traditional thinking would have you think it is only does bedding there, but I am not so sure. There are rubs within fifty yards of the "beds" and there is a rub line that stops withing 100 yards of the bedding area. If it is a buck bedding area, he prefers to rub only cedars because the cedars stop and so do the rubs. I'm gonna trust my gut and hunt it like a buck bed because I know for a fact there is nice bachelor group of bucks that use that ridge in late summer. I may be wrong but there is only one way to find out definitively.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby Swampthing » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:12 pm

I agree with Dan 100 percent . Last year i could,nt find a single bed .I put on a ton of miles ,and nothing ,kept gettin frustrated ,thinking What am i missing ,am I overlooking something.I would replay the videos over and over again. And I would think back what Dan would say about gettin' out there and wearing out some boots, and how it will get easier as you go things will start to make sense .And eventually you,ll get an eye for them. So far this spring I,ve logged close to twenty miles scouting but I have been rewarded with 5 buck beds.And I earned everyone of them.I am by no means an expert now.But after finding some you would think ,that now I could explain to someone or post a picture of the beds to better show them. But Dan,s so right that it is very hard to explain how or what i found .But i did .Like Dan has stated ,you really have to slow down while your out there.When i do find a possible bed, I actually sit down in the bed and pretend I,m a deer ,and even though man and deer have different senses.Our hearing and vision are similar ,but our sense of smell ain,t even close,.But when your in that bed take 5 minutes and imagine all the angles a predator could try and sneek up on you .I pretend there is a wolf out in that swamp looking for me.There i am sitting in my bed and if I don,t feel safe ,then a buck proably won,t either.To compare the scent factor I compare a deer smelling us or another predator to a human picking up the scent of say a fire .U know how when your out in your front yard and you look over your shoulder with your nose in the air and your thinking oh someone over there must be starting thier woodstove or buring some leaves.That is so distinct to a human.And too a deer ,our scent does the same.Whe don,t need to see the fire ,u pick up that scent and u just know.That water is a key too i believe.Sit there in that bed and imagine over my left shoulder say there is a creek .O.K. fire can,t get 2 me on my left.On my right is a standing water and cattails from the marsh.O.k. safe there 2 .I can hear him coming that way .At my back is more water and cattails.Good there two .In front of me not much cover but i can see him coming that way.And what i can,t no problem cause i can smell any fire buring with that wind blowing it 2 me .And if by chance he gets through any of my defenses i can escape to the safety of the water and cattails around me.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby Swampthing » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:18 pm

Another thing i think back to ,is when you were a kid playing hide and seek.Remember that perfect hiding spot you would find .And another kid would run up to you and wanta hide there two .And you would say get outa here this spot ain,t big enuf for 2 of us.That,s usually how it works with a buck bed also.If u find a spot and u think theres room for 2 of more deer there than keep looking cause that,s proably a doe area.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby MOBIGBUCKS » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:41 am

Swampthing wrote:Another thing i think back to ,is when you were a kid playing hide and seek.Remember that perfect hiding spot you would find .And another kid would run up to you and wanta hide there two .And you would say get outa here this spot ain,t big enuf for 2 of us.That,s usually how it works with a buck bed also.If u find a spot and u think theres room for 2 of more deer there than keep looking cause that,s proably a doe area.


That is a very good point you make! :D Like mentioned above in my other post, this particular bed I'm talking about is kinda in the open but its up against the side of a small subtle point. When I fist saw the bed, I immediately thought it was a doe bed because of its openness. I said to myself, "no way he would bed here." However, there is a nice rub line leading to this area and the ridge is very isolated with only a couple access points. I still don't know and confuse myself more thinking about it....LOL
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby PASwamper » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:01 am

Thanks everyone, all very helpfull!
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby Swampthing » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:29 pm

For me it seems like most of the doe beds i find like Dan says are definitely in larger thicker areas.And they tend to be suurrounded by the same terrain in all directions.Seems like buck beds have something different going on in each direction.U could sit me down in a buck bed ,blindfold me spin me around and I,ll know which direction I,m facing based on all the different views and (like cattailsto the north water to the west etc... But do the same in a doe bed and about the only way you,ll get your bearing is to look for the sun.If it,s a grass bed it,s all grass if it brush it,s all brush if it,s trees it,s all trees
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby dan » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:24 am

Does and bucks bed differently because does bed in groups, and bucks generally bed solitary. Does use several sets of eyes, noses and ears to detect danger from any direction.
Bucks bed in key spots that use a certain wind and / or terrain or cover differences to capitalize on intruders coming from any direction from that one bed.... and they have specific escape roughts.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby Pullintoobs » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:19 pm

Do bucks bed together when they are in their bachelor groups? Or do they bed separate in their own little spots and meet up in a staging area before heading out for dinner? I ask because one might mistake a buck area for a doe bedding area due to numerous beds in an area. Just curious what you think
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby Swampthing » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:31 pm

I was just thinking about posting this exact question.Can,t wait for some responses.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby PASwamper » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:27 pm

Haha, I too have wandered this before. From what I've gathered from the videos and this site it seems to me that they, or at least the big bucks, go back to their own bedding areas for most of the day even during the summer. Would be good to hear from the experts on this one.
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Re: Finding Deer Beds

Unread postby Zap » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:46 pm

Its hard to get info on this subject. :?:

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