JoeRE wrote:Almost all the great big buck bedding locations I have found, I figured out were great NOT by physical sign of a heavily worn bed but by secondary observations sometimes over several years. Tracks to and from it every time I scout the area, trail cam pics, dead bucks in beds, observations. I could show you dozens and dozens of buck beds in good locations with a good tall rub or two near them here in hill country....most get used occasionally, a few bedding locations get a ton of use by big bucks and those are the ones I always try to find. Like I mentioned, often I figure out what sets certain bedding apart only by long term, low impact observations. Its usually not just a bed that is more worn, with more rubs around it, than anywhere else. In hill country its often a few lighter used beds in a small area.
Maybe I am just not a very instinctive hunter, but I suspect most folks are the same way. The best bedding are in the most secure locations but that doesn't tell you much without deep knowledge of the area, how humans use it, etc, etc.
I'm seeing this more and more myself. I'm in a transition phase as a hunter where I am trying to focus more on terrain, security, and pressure and less on rut sign. It's very counter intuitive at times, and I find myself struggling a lot.[ Post made via Android ]
This was going to be my next observation. Most of the beds I am finding are a result of knowing there are bucks in the area that I want to hunt. I know there are good bucks in the area...where are they bedding? Or I find a certain amount of sign than track back to understand where they are coming from. A lot of what I am scouting over the spring I have an intimate knowledge of the whole area. I can tell you where every apple tree is...where the best oak flats are, trails, edges... Many times, I know what deer are using an area. Its a lot of problem solving. So when I find the beds, I know many times, from other observations, thats where the buck I was hunting ...thats where he was bedding.
I also have brandnew areas with sign that is indicating there are bucks in the area. Lots of sign. Rubs, scrapes. But, without hunting them, without observing them, the stand placements are a guessing game based on terrain, wind direction, entry...many will be adjusted as the season progress. Some may not even be hunted as there are no bucks in the area worth hunting this season.
Also, because of the amount of security cover and low deer densities, most beds are not worn out to the mud type beds. And, as others have mentioned, bedding areas are more productive then actual beds. Most times, I could not hunt individual beds if I wanted to.
Sometimes its tough -- there is just so much more to this stuff than just finding a bed and hunting it. Bedding is just a piece to a much bigger puzzle.