Buck bedding weather tendencies

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hunter10
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Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby hunter10 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:59 am

A lot of people are dealing with rain this opening weekend. Not sure if there have been previous thread on this but has anyone noticed different tendencies of how bucks use their bedding in different weather conditions. Example leaving earlier, getting back to bed later, hunkering down etc

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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby <DK> » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:10 am

BUMP
I was about to start the same thread, glad I did some searching. This season Im going to try stay more aware of weather based bedding so I scouted some clear cuts, crp & cedar patches. I would definitely like to hear some different examples anyone has observed of weather and type of vegetation a buck has used to counter it? Is there any specific/superstitious "rules" anyone likes to follow?
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby Ognennyy » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:54 pm

The red dot on this map is a buck I bumped last year on November 3rd; roughly the start of "seek stage" where bucks get active for the rut in Upstate New York. It was a beautiful songbird day; blue sky, high pressure, 34 degrees, W / NW wind about 5-10mph. He saw me, never winded me, just got up and casually trotted off. Anyway the second picture is a screen capture I took from my video notes video so sorry about the poor quality. There is a large fallen tree (not visible in the pic) behind the branch in the picture. Just like Dan has stated in many podcasts, the buck was bedded there with that fallen tree to his back and the wind coming up over it, facing out toward where you see my gun.

Unfortunately I hesitated and did not make a move the next day. Then got busy and couldn't come back to hunt the bed for nearly a month. The night before I hunted that bed again the area received 10" of heavy, wet snow / ice that had trees and branches falling. I spent two hours army crawling the last 150 yards through the snow to a blind I set up 40 yards downwind of his bed. No buck was there.

This one may be an obvious case, but still the principal applies. Bucks obviously use that bed on nice days because that location affords them almost 360 degree awareness. But on days of inclement weather, they will seek out areas with heavier cover. Perhaps in pines with those low hanging canopy type branches (I'm not sure what the species is) where they can almost crawl under a roof. Or perhaps they go to lower elevation down in the valleys to get out of the wind. Or maybe both.

What I've learned is that in general if the weather is nice bucks will bed in locations that are fairly open, but afford a 360 degree sphere of awareness. When weather is not nice, they'll settle for something slightly less air tight, but where they won't get their but kicked by mother nature.


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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby Grasshopper » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:22 am

Just the other day I was out for a scouting hike it was lightly raining most of the day. I was walking through an area that was full of beds and hair and poopies fully expecting a deer to jump up at anytime. One finally jumped above me not exactly where I expected. I walked over and looked at the bed it had given up being able to see over the cusp of the bench to have the shelter of an overhanging rock shelf. Most of the bedding in the area was on the edge where the deer could see down over the steep below. I tried to get a picture but my phone had died. I definitely believe this deer gave up some security for a little shelter. Although there is no pressure from hunters this time of year.
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby <DK> » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:48 am

Great feedback!
Since bumping this and thinking about different bedding situations iv encountered... I can recall x2 instances (separate properties, separate years) bucks bedded low in a valley, close to creeks in early season. Both of them were the closest iv been to a bedded buck and both I almost stepped on. One of these properties its a night/day difference that the temp drops w the elevation. The question I always had is WHY, so now I believe its bc of the cooler temps w the added bonus of water close. :think:
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hunter_mike
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby hunter_mike » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:33 am

Check out this older thread as well: http://www.thehuntingbeast.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6673
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby JoeRE » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:53 am

Good bump Darknight. Good topic.

Hunter10 sorry this never got any replies we must have all been hunting that weekend!

I know in hill country deer, including bucks, do seek out better protection from the elements in bad weather. If there is a lot of wind - I see more bedding down on leeward low benches and points. Not high on the military crest.

Some people say deer don't move in high winds but I know that is not true at least anywhere I have hunted. They just move differently, concentrated in more to protected areas and a hunter can turn that into an advantage. I don't know what happens in extremely flat land but even in the flatter farm country I have hunted, I have seen deer getting behind little knobs and down in ditches to be out of a strong cold wind. That is what I have seen where there is say 20-50 feet in elevation differences, so pretty flat.

I remember hunting a spot in early October a few years ago with a strong north wind. I expected deer to be crossing a ditch near the stand instead I had a nice 10 point go walking right down the ditch into a sheltered low area from his bed nearby. If I had been just a few yards further away I would not have been able to see him down in there - and would have gone home complaining the deer were not moving. That taught me a lesson I think.

Rain can be complicated because maybe its a hard rain or a light drizzle, with wind or no wind, long duration or short, warm or cold. I think all those other factors dictate how deer react not the rain itself.

In hard downpours I do think deer seek more sheltered locations, places with more canopy above them. I have seen that movement on trail cameras. Short duration or just heavy rains deer are more likely to bed and wait out - long rains deer move more during them. I very rarely see deer DURING a heavy rain - right before or right after yes often. I like morning bed hunts in or right after those long drizzly rains seems like bucks do come back a bit later then. I have noticed this both while hunting and from trail cams.

I love hunting hill country during blizzard conditions. Deer stack up in sheltered bedding and also the wind and snow can allow a very close approach. Getting to and from the hunting spot is just the issue :lol:
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby Grasshopper » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:01 am

Darkknight54 wrote:Great feedback!
Since bumping this and thinking about different bedding situations iv encountered... I can recall x2 instances (separate properties, separate years) bucks bedded low in a valley, close to creeks in early season. Both of them were the closest iv been to a bedded buck and both I almost stepped on. One of these properties its a night/day difference that the temp drops w the elevation. The question I always had is WHY, so now I believe its bc of the cooler temps w the added bonus of water close. :think:


On a nearby farm there's a steep narrow hollow with a dense canopy of mostly soft maple. It has a small stream flowing through it, and is mostly surrounded by corn, beans, rye, and hay on a rotation. On trail through the summer I consistently get pictures of good mature bucks, but they don't stick around when the velvet goes they go. It's always cool in that shadowy damp ravine and there's plenty of food and water.
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby hunter10 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:04 am

Good replies guys. I actually forgot I started that thread. I killed a 140" 11pt with bow 6 days after this thread after a rainy windy night in a bedding finger as he was a few mins late returning
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby Grasshopper » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:07 am

Another interesting thing a similar area to the one I posted above I stopped getting pictures when I went to check the camera I jumped up a bear that was bedded in the creek to stay cool during one of those hot dry spells. I've also seen bear beds in patches of skunk cabbage and I believe it's because of the cold spring water coming out of the soil.
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby <DK> » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:28 am

hunter10 wrote:Good replies guys. I actually forgot I started that thread. I killed a 140" 11pt with bow 6 days after this thread after a rainy windy night in a bedding finger as he was a few mins late returning


That is awesome to hear Hunter10!!! Congrats! Got a pic handy? :D Just to clarify - do you mean a bedding finger as in the marsh?

Grasshopper wrote:
Darkknight54 wrote:Great feedback!
Since bumping this and thinking about different bedding situations iv encountered... I can recall x2 instances (separate properties, separate years) bucks bedded low in a valley, close to creeks in early season. Both of them were the closest iv been to a bedded buck and both I almost stepped on. One of these properties its a night/day difference that the temp drops w the elevation. The question I always had is WHY, so now I believe its bc of the cooler temps w the added bonus of water close. :think:


On a nearby farm there's a steep narrow hollow with a dense canopy of mostly soft maple. It has a small stream flowing through it, and is mostly surrounded by corn, beans, rye, and hay on a rotation. On trail through the summer I consistently get pictures of good mature bucks, but they don't stick around when the velvet goes they go. It's always cool in that shadowy damp ravine and there's plenty of food and water.


That is some great info Grasshopper bc one of the bucks I wrote about also has an old logging road running next to him that doesnt get much traffic, especially early. My plan is to force this deer out of that bed pre season (instead of opening day like last year) to another bedding area I believe is his also so that I can hunt the area more effectively.
Your bear bed comment is another one that is interesting, iv been researching a bit about bear bedding bc there may be a black bear around in summers/earl season on a private land I hunt. This year I want to attempt to get a pic or glimpse of him if he is around. They are not legal to hunt here, we are just now seeing more and more, sure is cool though.
I may reconsider some things in light of this thread...
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby JoeRE » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:08 am

Heat is one weather condition I am looking more closely at. I think deer seek out deep shade and cooler north slopes around here when it's hot - usually lines up being leeward with a warm south wind. I haven't really found what I think is a specific "hot weather buck bed" yet - more than just close to water - but its something I am wondering about.
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby JoeRE » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:14 am

I do see more bedding under cedar trees when its really hot. Much cooler under there. Contrary to popular opinion cedars, if you have them around, are not good bedding in cold weather, its actually colder underneath them. Deer DO hang around them in cold weather because of the browse and also might bed BEHIND them as a wind break but cold weather bedding directly under them isn't great.
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:05 am

hunter10 wrote:A lot of people are dealing with rain this opening weekend. Not sure if there have been previous thread on this but has anyone noticed different tendencies of how bucks use their bedding in different weather conditions. Example leaving earlier, getting back to bed later, hunkering down etc

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I have had a lot of luck hunting on drizzly, foggy days in the evening as the rain starts to clear. Seen early movement too. 1hr + before dark. All tight to beds.
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Re: Buck bedding weather tendencies

Unread postby Killemquietly » Sun May 14, 2017 3:35 am

When will he move? This topic may have been covered but I've never seen it. I had two occasions this last season where the wind switched 180 degrees mid morning around 11 am. Million dollar question will he move an be vulnerable during the move or will he sit tight and be vulnerable to a stalk/stand set up, close to his bed? Flat ground, marshy and only thick in spots. Louisiana.


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