Bed Hunting small properties

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CHALK_1
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Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby CHALK_1 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:40 am

Anybody out there have access to some properties in the 10-50 acre range that hold mature buck bedding? I hunt a lot of public but I was fortunate to add a couple small parcels this summer from door knocking after noticing some real nice deer in the area, along with marsh bedding and neighboring ag. I’m told I have sole permission (but we all know that’s not always the case). They both set up pretty good for hunting marshy bedding…I’m just paranoid to step foot on them. I went in once early August briefly to drop a cam on oak flats not too far from the truck. Oaks are producing here already pretty good. I was going to check them on the first hunt in October…but I wish I could get better intel prior. I was planning on just scouting the transition during the hunt on my way in looking for good sign and working my way from one end to the next, under the best conditions…

Are there any specific approaches you take when hunting mature bucks on these smaller tracts? Timing? Scouting approaches?


hunter10
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Re: Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby hunter10 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:29 pm

If Dan sees this post he has some older illustrations of small property hunts he has done. I hunt the same type of land you describe and it's easy to burn out if you hunt it too much. I often find that these properties may only have one bedding area or thick area used for bedding. Sometimes it's easier to not specifically hunt "the bed" but the fringes or inside the general bedding area as these small thick spots often hold does and bucks because it's the only good cover on the parcel. An example is a mature open oak woodlot with a small drainage swale on the backside or a pond or wet spot in the middle of a field especially when in standing corn. These spots stand out when you use the beast mind set
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Boogieman1
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Re: Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:31 am

The best ones I have ever hunted have zero bedding. It makes entry so much easier. U get a small property with a ridge or creek in between some doe bedding and u stay out until the rut its lights out. Small property's with good buck bedding are difficult due to usually only 1 entry point which the bucks r quickly aware of and your hunt is over b4 u get out the truck.
“When standing on the walls of the Alamo the outcome has already been decided. All that’s left is to kill as many as you can.”

-Beth Dutton-
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brancher147
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Re: Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby brancher147 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:22 am

I hunt a piece that is about 100 acres but only a small portion is huntable due to steepness and actual vertical cliffs. It sits right above some good ag land and has good buck bedding. Last year was my first year on it and I definitely bumped the bucks a couple times, but I learned a lot each time I messed up. I bumped them early season and tried to leave it alone until pre-rut/rut. I still saw the biggest buck and had him within range twice but he winded or heard me each time. I could have killed plenty of smaller bucks. Now, this year I know what to expect and just have to figure the wind/thermals out in there, as the wind does crazy things with thermals on a steep north slope above cliffs with a spring-fed stream at the bottom.

But you have to learn what you are capable of in the area, so it's a fine line between being too close and being too far away. It may take you this season to figure it out for next season. Good luck.
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JoeRE
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Re: Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby JoeRE » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:22 am

Every property lays out differently so its hard to say how much you can get into a 10 or 20 or 40 acre parcel without disrupting the normal deer movement. But its not much. Might be only 2 or 3 times in a whole season....that's not to say you can't hunt the edges and observation stands more to better understand deer movement. I am talking going in for the kill on buck bedding. Usually that doesn't line up with foolproof access routes, usually it means you are pushing boundaries and maybe alerting other deer in the area on the way in or out.

If the property is good, the mentality you need is that it only takes one to get the job done. So do everything you can to make that one count. On a small property the worst thing you can do is be incremental...I am certain of that. You are telegraphing your moves to that buck.

That's the hard truth about targeting bedding. You usually do need a lot of land if you want to hunt hard all season. Good news is most of us have public lands within striking distance. Or sit and watch till the right time, sit a bunch of observation stands watching.

Its not necessarily less time in the field if you only have 40 acres and are unable/unwilling to branch out elsewhere - you just need to be very careful about the when and where. If you don't have self control about where you hunt then yea that means stay off the place till the best times for that property.

I am an expert on burning small properties out, have done it countless times in the past :lol:
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Hawthorne
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Re: Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby Hawthorne » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:33 am

The first year run a few trail cams from aug-Jan and don't check them till winter. Put them in funnels, near bedding or in it, and by food sources.You will have a good idea on when the small propety is hot for proper timing in the future. If it's a new property give it 3 sits during the hunting season once in early, one during the rut, and one late season. If one of those times are hot and you see something give it another sit.
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CHALK_1
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Re: Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby CHALK_1 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:47 am

Thanks guys! Fortunately I have plenty of other options, so I'm thinking of getting pretty aggressive on these during those optimal days, and letting some cams soak this season for next. OccasionalIy I do observation sits, but to be quite honest I struggle with those in October, just can't see crap until the leaf drop in most spots...At any rate, its always fun sitting new properties...Is it October 1 yet!!
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Boogieman1
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Re: Bed Hunting small properties

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:20 am

JoeRE wrote:Every property lays out differently so its hard to say how much you can get into a 10 or 20 or 40 acre parcel without disrupting the normal deer movement. But its not much. Might be only 2 or 3 times in a whole season....that's not to say you can't hunt the edges and observation stands more to better understand deer movement. I am talking going in for the kill on buck bedding. Usually that doesn't line up with foolproof access routes, usually it means you are pushing boundaries and maybe alerting other deer in the area on the way in or out.

If the property is good, the mentality you need is that it only takes one to get the job done. So do everything you can to make that one count. On a small property the worst thing you can do is be incremental...I am certain of that. You are telegraphing your moves to that buck.

That's the hard truth about targeting bedding. You usually do need a lot of land if you want to hunt hard all season. Good news is most of us have public lands within striking distance. Or sit and watch till the right time, sit a bunch of observation stands watching.

Its not necessarily less time in the field if you only have 40 acres and are unable/unwilling to branch out elsewhere - you just need to be very careful about the when and where. If you don't have self control about where you hunt then yea that means stay off the place till the best times for that property.

I am an expert on burning small properties out, have done it countless times in the past :lol:


I might can give u a run for your money on jacking up a small property! What u said about self control was a 100% for me. Early on when I got those first big buck sightings in the summer, I new where I was hunting opening day.... It's all bout gathering data, waiting for the right time and giving it your best shot. U gotta fry while the grease is hot!
“When standing on the walls of the Alamo the outcome has already been decided. All that’s left is to kill as many as you can.”

-Beth Dutton-


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