KLEMZ wrote:In a wilderness setting, during the rut, I think you have a better chance to get within bow range of a big buck if you hunt the edge of an ACTIVE doe bedding area, rather than a terrain cruizing funnel. There are a ton of edges that buck can choose to use but the doe bedding area is more of a destination point. I would say this is especially true in a low population situation. This has been my experience.
This is an excellent point- I have located doe family bedding areas during the rut on both the East and West side of the bluff. Here is yet another unusual dynamic of this topography. The doe's are bedding only 70 - 100 feet above the basin floor on the side of the bluff. The bedding areas are located where the deer can move upward if they have to, whereas the bluff is so steep in many areas a Rocky Mountain bighorn is about the only thing that could get up it. The does approach these beds from below, and move up to the bedding area. The most efficient way for the bucks to monitor the doe beds is to cruise along the base of the bluff, scent checking the doe runs leading up to the doe bedding areas. This run that travels along the base of the bluff has buck rubs every time it crosses one of the doe trails that lead up to the doe bedding area. This particular trail lends itself well to bowhunting. The doe areas are quite a ways apart.
here is a picture of a "King of the North" buck track on the run that travels along the base of the bluff, checking the doe runs leading up to the doe bedding areas- I messed up as my hand is well over a foot above the forest floor when I took the picture- the track is a five-finger wide, walking track...
As bucks cross from one side of the bluff to the other to monitor doe bedding areas, they take the easiest route- the road created by nature.