DaveT1963 wrote:wow those are awesome pics. Where I hunt you will seldom find beds that used. I would love for a few days of snow to be able to locate some bedding areas. As it is, we have no snow, huge expanses of thick brush and the deer seldom use the same beds - they more often use areas. The only effective way I have been able to hunt these beds is to isolate and set up on their morning approach (usually downwind - always downwind in the case of 4 year old bucks). Evenings are typically a bust as it is too hot (bucks stay pretty nocturnal until Late Nov) and just to noisy to approach close enough.
Dave is just a hair further south than i am but shares in the same struggles of finding bedding. Not saying it’s extremely hard finding bedding in the south, it’s just not as obvious and concrete on the details. I’d say it takes more observation to really fine tune a bedding hunt plan. Though the bedding principles are the same for bucks in all regions of the country, I’m almost convinced or completely convinced on some differences in bed characteristics Northern regions vs Southern regions.
You guys up north have it good on finding hair in the beds. Significantly thicker winter coats and longer more visible hairs. Best chance of getting visible hair in beds here is when they start shedding in late March and after.
The vast amount of thick cover provides so much potential bedding that worn to the dirt beds are quite rare. If you find one here, you’ll never forget it. Marshy areas with cattails and marsh grasses are usually too small and fragmented to be sufficient bedding areas. Extended and ever shifting green zones also allow for infinite bedding choices. Bedding “areas”are more prevalent and not so heavily wind dependent when they’re briar thickets on flat to marginal slopes. Within those are more options to bed to the point they don’t need to bed in one distinct spot in order to get the benefit. It takes a pretty extreme wind shift for them to need to relocate to a new bedding area altogether.
With so many available places to bed, competition for beds is almost non existent outside of the rut. With that you get a lack of rubs signaling use of beds in early and late season. Couple that with an extended rut time frame, bucks tend to be more nomadic looking for estrous does from late October through the end of January. No need to stay in one area for too long and leave significant amounts of sign.
When deer are having to “share”bedding areas with feral hogs, you’re going to lose deer bedding sign. I say it’s very common deer get pushed out of beds because of hogs. If they aren’t staying there long, they can’t leave long term use sign.
These are just differences I’m seeing how deer choose bedding here and how I see them use those areas. They’re still just as huntable as anywhere but one has to understand the twists involved in the process. Not every region is going to play to the exact same beat. I’m keeping a folder of bed pics and will post them soon enough to show not all buck beds are carved out of the same stone.