jhpa wrote:Checked an overlooked point the other night near a hunter/hiker parking lot. The leeward ridges did have some beds, but it is pretty open.
On top of the point about 20-30 yards back from the crest I found a large circular bed within a tangle of branches of a huge fallen oak. So my questions are,
1) with the lack of cover on the ridge, would a buck bed in the good cover with decent visibility and lose the thermal advantage?
2) or maybe bed in this tangle on all winds but the mostly south wind that makes the point leeward?
3) or is it likely just a well used doe bed?
Some context: There were a few small rubs at the base of the ridge heading to a DNR planted wildlife field and there are oaks and locust trees everywhere on these ridges. So food is nearby, and according to the podcasts, when deer density is low mature bucks don't necessarily leave a lot of sign. The point is out of sight of the parking area, but is on the next ridge west and is overlooking a major highway. The area is a huge hiker destination, but I am almost sure this point gets overlooked. In the hollow between the point and parking, at the base of a long narrow field and 40 yards from the highway, there is a thick patch loaded with doe bedding. Adjacent to the doe bedding I also found a large scrape that looks to have been pounded last season.
The lack of cover would concern me "a little" unless the whole area has a lack of cover... But if he has good visibility and cover behind he will bed there with the obstacle to his back (fallen tree) and wind coming from the object direction which I assume is uphill and that he is on a leeward hill.
The winds he will use do not have to be straight leeward, they can be angled. Although possible, I doubt that he beds there with the hill being windward, he might if its not that steep and he can see out from the bed in every direction. I am also sure from your description it is indeed a buck bed. That don't mean a lone doe won't use it now and then, but its a buck type set up.