Can you ID a bed with droppings?

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TNDawg44
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Can you ID a bed with droppings?

Unread postby TNDawg44 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:52 am

I was walking a piece of public hill country here yesterday, and was looking at a point that I suspected might hold some beds. I couldn’t find any hair in a bed or beds that were worn to dirt and was getting frustrated. I did find two different spots that have all the ingredients for a bed from what I’ve read everybody here say, and what made me notice it was the amount of poop in a small area.
It looked like someone dumped a 5 gallon bucket of poop out in an area about the size of a bathtub. There’s oak trees everywhere here, but the closest one was about 30 yards away each way. I couldn’t find a reason for so much poop in such a concentrated area. It was just on the downhill side of a big root ball. What do you guys think? Possible bed even though I couldn’t find hair, etc?

ETA: Acorns aren’t dropping here yet obviously, and the droppings weren’t fresh, but didn’t appear to be from last season either.


Double Draw
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Re: Can you ID a bed with droppings?

Unread postby Double Draw » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:07 am

TNDawg44 wrote:I was walking a piece of public hill country here yesterday, and was looking at a point that I suspected might hold some beds. I couldn’t find any hair in a bed or beds that were worn to dirt and was getting frustrated. I did find two different spots that have all the ingredients for a bed from what I’ve read everybody here say, and what made me notice it was the amount of poop in a small area.
It looked like someone dumped a 5 gallon bucket of poop out in an area about the size of a bathtub. There’s oak trees everywhere here, but the closest one was about 30 yards away each way. I couldn’t find a reason for so much poop in such a concentrated area. It was just on the downhill side of a big root ball. What do you guys think? Possible bed even though I couldn’t find hair, etc?

ETA: Acorns aren’t dropping here yet obviously, and the droppings weren’t fresh, but didn’t appear to be from last season either.


If they are deer droppings and there are as many as you have described there's definitely something serious going on regarding deer in that area. It could be because of all of the oak trees but I doubt it. The only time that I have seen an incredibly dense amount of deer droppings in a very small area of the likes you have described is in small evergreen stands in the winter time or post winter time where they've yarded up for some time. Another thought... in my experience, and that doesn't mean it's universal, when I see a huge amount of deer droppings it usually means doe families and young bucks.
I, personally, have never ID'd a buck bed by deer droppings. Deer droppings seem to be one piece of the puzzle that confirm that it's being used heavily but I've never used the droppings themselves to ID a bed. Maybe I should start paying more attention to them. Curious to see what others have to say.
Josh_S
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Re: Can you ID a bed with droppings?

Unread postby Josh_S » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:25 am

Most beds will NOT be worn to the dirt. Dan mentions this in the Hill Country DVD. He says the beds "shift around" more in hill country because they are wind specific.

It sounds to me like you're on to something. Was this area you found the leeward side for the predominant wind in your area? If so it could very well be a bedding area. In PA the prevailing wind is usually from the west. In hill country I find the most beds and sign on east facing slopes (wind blowing from west over top) because they are wind specific and get the most use.

I find it very difficult to scout in the summer. You miss a lot because there is so much vegetation. Don't get frustrated, just put in the work and keep learning.
TNDawg44
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Re: Can you ID a bed with droppings?

Unread postby TNDawg44 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:38 am

Josh_S wrote:Most beds will NOT be worn to the dirt. Dan mentions this in the Hill Country DVD. He says the beds "shift around" more in hill country because they are wind specific.

It sounds to me like you're on to something. Was this area you found the leeward side for the predominant wind in your area? If so it could very well be a bedding area. In PA the prevailing wind is usually from the west. In hill country I find the most beds and sign on east facing slopes (wind blowing from west over top) because they are wind specific and get the most use.

I find it very difficult to scout in the summer. You miss a lot because there is so much vegetation. Don't get frustrated, just put in the work and keep learning.


It was actually on the windward (East) side of a large ridge (our prevailing wind is west as well), but the bed was on the south side of a point running East/West. So could be used with a N/NW/NE wind I’m guessing?

It actually didn’t hit me that it might have been a bed until I got down in the bottom and realized what it was overlooking. Several rubs like this one from last year and several white oak/persimmon trees. This piece of public sees 90% of the pressure up on the main ridges where the access trails are. So location of the bed would make sense pressure wise.
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TNDawg44
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Re: Can you ID a bed with droppings?

Unread postby TNDawg44 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:49 am

Double Draw wrote:
TNDawg44 wrote:I was walking a piece of public hill country here yesterday, and was looking at a point that I suspected might hold some beds. I couldn’t find any hair in a bed or beds that were worn to dirt and was getting frustrated. I did find two different spots that have all the ingredients for a bed from what I’ve read everybody here say, and what made me notice it was the amount of poop in a small area.
It looked like someone dumped a 5 gallon bucket of poop out in an area about the size of a bathtub. There’s oak trees everywhere here, but the closest one was about 30 yards away each way. I couldn’t find a reason for so much poop in such a concentrated area. It was just on the downhill side of a big root ball. What do you guys think? Possible bed even though I couldn’t find hair, etc?

ETA: Acorns aren’t dropping here yet obviously, and the droppings weren’t fresh, but didn’t appear to be from last season either.


If they are deer droppings and there are as many as you have described there's definitely something serious going on regarding deer in that area. It could be because of all of the oak trees but I doubt it. The only time that I have seen an incredibly dense amount of deer droppings in a very small area of the likes you have described is in small evergreen stands in the winter time or post winter time where they've yarded up for some time. Another thought... in my experience, and that doesn't mean it's universal, when I see a huge amount of deer droppings it usually means doe families and young bucks.
I, personally, have never ID'd a buck bed by deer droppings. Deer droppings seem to be one piece of the puzzle that confirm that it's being used heavily but I've never used the droppings themselves to ID a bed. Maybe I should start paying more attention to them. Curious to see what others have to say.


I’ve always thought the same DD. I’ve just never seen them almost piled up like this so wanted to see what the beasts experiences were.
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Grizzlyadam
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Re: Can you ID a bed with droppings?

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:28 am

I have seen what you are describing. I my case it turned out to be porcupine poop. Looks a lot like deer poop, but on the large size and usually lighter colored. I usually find those poop spots near the base of hemlock trees.


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