Distinguishing Buck beds

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blizzardhunter
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Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby blizzardhunter » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:54 pm

I have been scouting a few times this year looking for buck beds. What we have found is that a lot of points in our target areas hold beds. Now a lot of beds are fairly light. Some seem as they have only been used once. Others show multiple use but nothing as most people describe. To this point we have found 3 beds that by far are used more than the other. Heavy use, down to dirt beds.

Now I'm assuming the 3 heavy beds would be the beds to hunt. More than likely would the lightly used beds be from younger bucks? Or maybe just a spot a deer bedded for a few days for some unseen reason. I've been keeping track of these beds because at some point I feel that knowledge might come in handy. Is this what you guys tipically find? Is it safe to assume the beds with heavy use are mature deer since younger bucks tend to have more bedding areas?

Also, one heavy bed I found had a large track right beside it. I found a wad of 5 or 6 hairs in it. It is the most remote bed Ive found yet. The kicker is there are no rubs near it. Very little sign at all. If the buck comes up the point to the ridge top and heads east its slightly over a mile to a large bottom with crops and hay fields. If he goes west or North he runs into the lake within a 1/2 mile or 1/8 mile respectfully. If he goes down the point and heads south it nothing but a large chunk of timber. All the woods in this area is 95% oaks so acorns are everywhere and narrowing that down as a food source is impossible. How do I hunt this. I know there are doe bedding areas to the east and the crops so would you guess thats the direction he is heading? The draw below shows little deer sign from anything all the way to the crops. It appears all the deer in the area use the ridgetops to travel to the fields. I'm sure some of the deer in the area dont take a direct line to the fields and have round about travel routes. I guess there will be a lot of guess work on this bed but from what I've read on here a buck bed with no sign and remote as possible usually ends up being a slob. :L: It was one of the largest beds in size I've seen? As of right now approaching this bed from any direction will be a nightmare. Due to the lack of access from 2 directions and the distance from the others it will be tough. The long ways in will lead by or thru other bedding areas. I will have to make strategic detours around these spots to keep my presence quiet. I'm thinking right now of making a long approach on a south wind and hunting towards the top of the point on the east side. The point is steep and the cuts inbetween are really steep so I think he might come up and skirt around the cut. I know this is long and rambling. What would you guys do? Any advice?


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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby Craaaig » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:25 pm

Where are you from?

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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby Craaaig » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:32 pm

I think that the rubs in the beds are not for strengthening neck muscles, at least a lot of the marsh beds I have found. But instead I think the rubs directly in the bed are used to mark territory/leave the bucks scent right in that bed. The reason I say this is because a lot of the rubs in marsh beds are on trees that are about 1-3 inches thick and they are flimsy. You need help from someone with more experience for info on the lack of rubs in the bed. I haven't even been saving buck beds in my phone if there isn't any rubs in them. Deer have different personalities though so there is never any guarantees, I hope they turn out to be buck beds for you!!

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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby Craaaig » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:34 pm

The beds I have been finding are in SE MI, and the easiest to find for me have been marsh beds.

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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby Craaaig » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:36 pm

I have saved a couple beds without rubs come to think of it, but they have been beds for wind specific bedding!!! First one that comes to mind is a lone tree in the marsh that is set up for an east wind! There is a bed about 100 yards away that is set up for a west wind and it is littered with rubs.

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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby Craaaig » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:54 pm

How many times have you scouted this area? I find that I usually don't put all the pieces together on the first scout! Takes me 2 or 3 times because there is usually stuff that has been overlooked or skipped due to time and fatigue! I think fatigue is a big one for me, been scouting some days from sun up to sun down and I know I miss a lot of stuff!!

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PK_
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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby PK_ » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:58 am

I would think the more worn beds would be the ones for your predominant or prevailing wind direction, not sure which term is right... Or beds that cover a wider range of wind directions...

??

Just a thought.
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dan
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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby dan » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:23 am

Its a lot harder to see buck beds in hill country, or woods than it is in marsh or swamp. Buck beds are easy to distinguish regardless of rubbing because they are in exact spots for an exact reason. The beds will be protected from anyone getting near them without the buck being tipped off. Does rely on groups where different group members cover different directions and the beds will look random if looked at one at a time... Occasionally lone does will bed in buck beds that are unoccupied. So don't let that fool you.

As far as rubs in beds, it seems to me, that population and competition are what causes the rubs. The best bedding areas will have lots of bucks that want to bed there (in high deer populations) and bucks will mark a bed as theres.

In hill country the bucks shift beds a lot and bed in different spots based on direction of wind, and speed of wind, or strength of thermals. So beds might not seem as worn.
blizzardhunter
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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby blizzardhunter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:37 am

We have found a lot of beds everytime we have gone out. And plenty for each wind direction. So what I'm getting at is probably my best chances would be to focus more on the beds that show heavy use?

And my other question about the buck bed with no sign around. When you find a location like that do you often just have to make an educated guess as to where he is going and how? Just trust your gut and have faith you know what your doing?
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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby dan » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:04 am

We have found a lot of beds everytime we have gone out. And plenty for each wind direction. So what I'm getting at is probably my best chances would be to focus more on the beds that show heavy use?

Yes, the bedding that gets the most use, will be the best... but lots of lightly used beds in an area can be as good or better than one heavy use bed.

And my other question about the buck bed with no sign around. When you find a location like that do you often just have to make an educated guess as to where he is going and how? Just trust your gut and have faith you know what your doing?

If the bed has heavy use, I can usually find some trail, tracks, or other sign and determine directions. Also look for old rubs. They don't have to be from recent years. Bucks use the same travel roughts from beds year after year.
But, in cases where I cant tell where the buck goes leaving the bed, yes, I take a guess. A lot of the time they stay at the elevation line they have bedded on and follow the contour, so I often try that 1st.
blizzardhunter
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Re: Distinguishing Buck beds

Unread postby blizzardhunter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:29 pm

Thanks Dan, I'm going back in there again this weekend so I'll pick back up at that spot. Hoping that this time I can find something I missed. If not I'll just pick a tree for this fall with my best guess and go with it. Then just continue on with scouting. I'm so anxious for hunting this fall. I feel that I'm going to be way more prepared and have a lot higher chance of success than previous years.


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