Hunting Thick Cover Beds

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Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Swampbuck » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:46 pm

What are your tactics for hunting and setting up on buck beds in thick cover

I've got a couple targets this year and they are in what i would call heavy cover. Visual no more than 10 yards or so from the beds. The trails are obvious out to about 25 yards and would be ideal to hunt but then they fizzle thorough the thicket and setting up inside of 25 yds seems extremely risky to me. the next best setups are 80-100 yds away.

So what do you guys do when setting up on beds in thick cover to optimize your chances at a shot

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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby cbay » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:32 am

Swampbuck wrote:
So what do you guys do when setting up on beds in thick cover to optimize your chances at a shot


Got one area thick like that and took care of shooting lanes and tree options early this spring. Way too thick to hunt otherwise. Still had to go back a few weeks ago and stomp down some of the regrowth.
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Stanley » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:05 am

I never, ever hunt a spot that does not have a shot. I love the thick stuff. I do some trimming to have some shots, you just simply have to.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby msailor » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:28 am

25 yards would be impossible. In heavier cover I sometimes set up lower in the tree ~10ft and even done lower in some scenarios.
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Swampbuck » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:57 am

msailor wrote:25 yards would be impossible. In heavier cover I sometimes set up lower in the tree ~10ft and even done lower in some scenarios.


Yes it would be for me lol

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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby dan » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:12 am

Generally the trail goes to an opening... In the cases where it don't, hopefully you cut shooting lanes in spring. I agree with the guy who said hunt lower, generally more open shots in thick cover low, but your scent pools low too if no wind is getting down there... I would try to kill them at the spots you have 80 to 100 yards back.
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Southern Man » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:05 am

dan wrote: I would try to kill them at the spots you have 80 to 100 yards back.


That's what I was thinking when I first read the question. I don't see a problem 80 - 100 yards from the bed. That seems to still be pretty close.
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby cbigbear » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:10 am

Southern Man wrote:
dan wrote: I would try to kill them at the spots you have 80 to 100 yards back.


That's what I was thinking when I first read the question. I don't see a problem 80 - 100 yards from the bed. That seems to still be pretty close.



This does seem to be the best approach, but without a denied food source how do you nailed down the exist route?
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Swampbuck » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:22 am

Yes i should have included more info. These are featureless swamps with browse throughout and no defined food sources. He leaves his bed and goes in almost all directions. 80-100 is defintely doable and a little pocket of an opening but its one of many routes he could go.

normally i would feel good 100 yds away but it sure seems alot further in this thick stuff. I dont really see any other options in these cases but was just curious what you guys thought
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Florida » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:29 am

dan wrote:Generally the trail goes to an opening... In the cases where it don't, hopefully you cut shooting lanes in spring. I agree with the guy who said hunt lower, generally more open shots in thick cover low, but your scent pools low too if no wind is getting down there... I would try to kill them at the spots you have 80 to 100 yards back.


I see a lot of thick areas like this in Florida swamps. If you pick the wrong trail, he could walk 20 yards from you and you'd never know it.
Do you think you could stack the exit routes without forcing him out of the bed? I imagine 100 yards is too close to keep him comfortable and if he stays in the bed, he might not leave until after dark. We try to pattern other hunters because we can predict how the deer will respond. Why not make the human pattern and then throw him a curveball?
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby dan » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:15 am

I remember Andrae hunting one of my areas once and shooting a huge buck we were after that had multiple exits coming from his bed by walking the upwind trails making noise somewhat in site of the bed and then hunting the down wind exit... Buck came sneaking in like clock work looking back over his shoulder.
Almost like doing his own drive.
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Florida » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:22 am

dan wrote:I remember Andrae hunting one of my areas once and shooting a huge buck we were after that had multiple exits coming from his bed by walking the upwind trails making noise somewhat in site of the bed and then hunting the down wind exit... Buck came sneaking in like clock work looking back over his shoulder.
Almost like doing his own drive.


That buck probably did what he had done 100 times before. Using offensive tactics like that seems so much more exciting than sitting on a field edge or powerline just to see what comes out. I'll let you know for sure when I get it done someday. :D
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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Swampbuck » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:11 pm

Florida wrote:
dan wrote:Generally the trail goes to an opening... In the cases where it don't, hopefully you cut shooting lanes in spring. I agree with the guy who said hunt lower, generally more open shots in thick cover low, but your scent pools low too if no wind is getting down there... I would try to kill them at the spots you have 80 to 100 yards back.


I see a lot of thick areas like this in Florida swamps. If you pick the wrong trail, he could walk 20 yards from you and you'd never know it.
Do you think you could stack the exit routes without forcing him out of the bed? I imagine 100 yards is too close to keep him comfortable and if he stays in the bed, he might not leave until after dark. We try to pattern other hunters because we can predict how the deer will respond. Why not make the human pattern and then throw him a curveball?


Thought about doing something like this and I will probably give it a shot. But you are right, 20 yds away and he passes and u never even see him

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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Swampbuck » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:14 pm

dan wrote:I remember Andrae hunting one of my areas once and shooting a huge buck we were after that had multiple exits coming from his bed by walking the upwind trails making noise somewhat in site of the bed and then hunting the down wind exit... Buck came sneaking in like clock work looking back over his shoulder.
Almost like doing his own drive.


How did he get setup downwind in time, I would have thought the buck would have snuck off immediately

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Re: Hunting Thick Cover Beds

Unread postby Justin85 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:35 am

Swampbuck wrote:
dan wrote:I remember Andrae hunting one of my areas once and shooting a huge buck we were after that had multiple exits coming from his bed by walking the upwind trails making noise somewhat in site of the bed and then hunting the down wind exit... Buck came sneaking in like clock work looking back over his shoulder.
Almost like doing his own drive.


How did he get setup downwind in time, I would have thought the buck would have snuck off immediately

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I would guess the buck was used to people, and scent only dictated his direction of travel, not make him freak out. I think a lot of deer are like that, they smell you and just silently alter their course, not tearing hind-end bottom over tea-kettle out. I think that only happens when they're not prepared and just kind of "happen on you" and realize they got too close before getting a wiff, not when they have a chance to know you're in the area.

I think of it as a bad guy hiding while cops are looking. Guy sits and waits while keeping an eye on the cops if it doesn't appear they're on to him. If he turns inside out to get away, the cops immediately know his location even if he is on the run. There's a chance to sit tight and let the danger pass.



Could be wrong but that's my theory. Curious to see what Dan says.

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