(north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

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remmag
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(north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby remmag » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Like the title says I'm looking for some help on deciphering whether or not your looking at a seasonal winter bed or a primary bed. This will be my first beast scouting season. Never scouted during the winter before.wanted to start as soon as season ended (Jan.2nd) but couldn't find the time. Will spend both days of my weekend trying to cover as much ground as possible. I hunt all public land that is mostly hill country with some real small marsh valleys here and there. I'm looking for input mainly from you guys hunting the great white north...as I am in Michigan and we get lots of extended cold temps. And large amounts of snow that would likely change there bedding behavior during winter months.any things you northern guys look for specifically that tells you your looking at a primary bed?? Or is it mostly a guessing game depending on the situation and location of the bed? I'm just worried of mapping out to many winter beds in my of spots and wasting valuable hunting time on a bed only used during winter or post season. Thanks for any help or comments

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby whitetailassasin » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:45 am

With snow it's hard. I scouted yesterday and found deer yarded up and near crop fields. The Marsh or fall bedding was empty besides a few tracks. Once the snow melts and spring hits they will return and I'll be able to scout my fall beds better. I'm mainly gaining Intel of the lay of the land, looking for last seasons big rubs and trying to locate his core area and I'll come back to pin point. Seeing the transition and cover, trails, entrance exit routes, trees or stand set-ups. But as far as finding there exact fall beds for me is not till snow melts and spring because of how they yard up and travel to crop fields or food.

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby Zona » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:15 am

Mapping those late season beds now could prevent you from eating tag soup in the future. Late season is a great time to put some meat in the freezer.

I am with whitetailassasin. I am locating concentrations of buck sign near potential bedding areas to investigate in the spring. When spring rolls around I will have specific areas to focus my efforts.
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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby dirt nap giver » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:18 am

Finding beds now shows me they are winter beds. As mentioned, I am looking more for big rubs together or in a line which leads me back to the bedding area. Nailing down the exact bed location comes more in early spring as the snow is melting and before green up. Rubs, transition lines are clues and only part of the picture. This time of year I am rapidly scouting new areas that I have located through cyber scouting. Only after my rapid scout through the transition lines will I determine if the area is worth breaking down.

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby remmag » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:37 am

Thanks for the input guys. Makes sense. I won't spend to much time trying to break it down right now then...I will just try to cover as much ground as possible while logging down sign I find. I've heard Dan say in one of his videos that he trys to get all his scouting done by the end of winter so I was kind of under the impression this was the time to pinpoint buck beds but usually beds I find during the winter aren't active during bow season when I get the most time to hunt. Are the beds you guys scout in early spring the same beds your hunting during early to mid season bow season (october) or are bucks following more of a summer pattern then? It seems to me that bucks would also have summer beds considering the large amounts of food everywhere compared to early spring or mid to late fall when that food dissapears and pressure starts to heat up again?

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby dirt nap giver » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:52 am

Some of the sign I find now might be rut sign, some bed related sign. The reason I wait till snow melt is to be able to pinpoint the exact location of the bed. Once the bed is located I can tell a lot more as to why and what wind he is using the bed for. Pressure dictates quite a bit when it comes to bedding location. That is where one really needs to know his hunting area and just how much pressure is there.
With Marshes and swamps, I find the mature bucks are bedded there most of the time before hunting season starts.
Because constant pressure puts them there at a young age.

If I recall correctly, your from Michigan?

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby remmag » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:34 pm

Yes.thumb area

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby remmag » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:41 pm

Thanks dirt nap giver, I hunt mostly hill country public land. There's periods of water throughout all the sections I hunt but I wouldn't really call them marshes because none of them really have any cattails. Its mostly just flooded timber or open body's of water. Being Michigan state land just about everywhere gets a lot of pressure but I always put in the leg work to get where most other hunters don't go and during bow season I hardly ever see anyone. Looking forward to getting back out in the woods this weekend to see what I can find

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby whitetailassasin » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:48 pm

Agree with DNG, once I can pinpoint beds it becomes determining whether or not it's early season, late season, rut based, pressure, wind. I find access routes, trees where runs go and come from. If you hunt public state land like I do, so many things can alter how you hunt a place. I like to use winter scouting to locate where hunters go and come from and head into places that no one will go once season starts because it's overlooked or too remote or there is "no easy way there" :lol: I like trying to put the pieces together and also have back up plans if another hunter fouls up my hunt or if he's moved beds. The more your in the woods and learning your area the smaller it really becomes and the more you will see how the bucks are using it and why.

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby remmag » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:47 pm

I'm with ya there on learning habits of other hunters from the advantage of the snow..unfortunetly it works the other way around as well..IVe had a lot of good spots in public land that I've hunted for years until I decided to hunt them after a snowfall and not long after u go back and another hunter has a stand hung 20 yards down wind of your tree

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby remmag » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:48 pm

I'm with ya there on learning habits of other hunters from the advantage of the snow..unfortunetly it works the other way around as well..IVe had a lot of good spots in public land that I've hunted for years until I decided to hunt them after a snowfall and not long after u go back and another hunter has a stand hung 20 yards down wind of your tree

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby whitetailassasin » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:50 pm

remmag wrote:I'm with ya there on learning habits of other hunters from the advantage of the snow..unfortunetly it works the other way around as well..IVe had a lot of good spots in public land that I've hunted for years until I decided to hunt them after a snowfall and not long after u go back and another hunter has a stand hung 20 yards down wind of your tree

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Great thing about bed hunting is we generally get 1-3 cracks a year at a spot. So once you've burnt your bridhe so to speak, you need to be able to head to that back up bed because pressure usually will put him there. The spot I'm trying to figure out has 4 beds I know of in about a 200 yd circle maybe 300 yd. I've seen that 160 in 2 of them. And the other 2 had good bucks in them as well. The one bed I shot my buck this season out of oct 25 had been used when I went in to check nov 16 had fresh terd and big tracks in. I know these mature bucks use this area because of how remote it is and how the can hear and see you coming. It's actually a good 1/4 mile from food sources or more. People bombard the crops and woods close by. Those bucks will mark up that woods but primarily at night time once everyone is gone. They leave field edge scrapes and 99% of the guys see that and set up shop. No clue those mature deer are bedded so far away and generally don't make it to those fields in daylight. I found one bed that I have wanted to hunt early seson so bad, but it's close to the crops and I've seen so many big bucks using right up until season starts. But the guys scouting it haven't a clue. They come in and surround this particular field edge whether wind is bad or good. I'm trying to learn where the next bed he uses is once that happens. People actually follow me out talking and will try and watch where I go. Sometimes you have to plan your routes in the long way around so that way they can't. One year I had these two bucks pegged and they would bed on the edge of this cornfield together and like clockwork they would show in the field same time morning and evening. Well long story short a fellow hunter followed me for opening evening and tried sneaking into this field about 2 hrs before dark. I literally stood up about 90 yds away put up my arms and walked off. Those two bucks never were seen there again that year.

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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby mike_mc » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:15 pm

Dig some of the snow out of the bed, and look for how worn the ground is and for deer hair.
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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby Lockdown » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:41 pm

dirt nap giver wrote:Finding beds now shows me they are winter beds. As mentioned, I am looking more for big rubs togetheror in a line which leads me back to the bedding area. Nailing down the exact bed location comes more in early spring as the snow is melting and before green up. Rubs, transition lines are clues and only part of the picture. This time of year I am rapidly scouting new areas that I have located through cyber scouting. Only after my rapid scout through the transition lines will I determine if the area is worth breaking down.

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DNG do you ever find clusters of rubs with the bedding nearby? Maybe 100 yds away? I found some insanely big rubs yesterday, but they were all in a cluster with no obvious bed near by. Snow didn't help anything :lol: I plan on going back in the spring to search more, but I'm wondering if you ever come across groups of big rubs that don't have bedding very near. Something that would make a rookie think he's hunting his bedroom when he's really not. If so, an example or two would be great. (that goes for any of the beasts as well)

I had a hard time finding rubs at this place, but when I found them they were HUGE.
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Re: (north) winter vs. primary bedding help???

Unread postby whitetailassasin » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:08 pm

Where the clusters sporadic or heading in a line? Just to be certain I understand?

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