Are these buck beds?

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
BuckyHunter13
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Are these buck beds?

Unread postby BuckyHunter13 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:12 am

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This property is adjacent to a subdivision to the East. There is a pond 'buffer' between the pictured area and the houses. The orange is a walking trail that gets frequent use by people walking dogs. (3-5 times a week right now, probably 2-3x as much during late summer)

Orange - Walking Trail
Yellow Dot - I found a 68" shed last spring
"AM Pics" - A few mid-December pictures of a couple good bucks moving along the arrow, around 7AM. May have been 2nd rut activity.
Red Lines - Heavy trails
Pink dots - Doe beds
Red Dots - Possible buck beds

Notes:
1. The ice is frozen now. The deer are freely walking on the ice and crossing from the marsh, crossing at that point where the 3 meet.
2. Farms to the West and SW. Deer primarily go South in the evenings, North in the Morning.
3. The southernmost bed is under heavy brush. The deer would go unseen if leaves were on. The bed was worn down pretty good, and it's about 5 yards off a cattail marsh. There are several rubs within 5-10 yards of the bed, including several 3-5" diameter trees. Might this be a 2 1/2 year old bed?

There were also tracks on that red line that were 3.25" wide, 5.75" long (including dew claws).

Can I assume these are buck beds? Would a mature-ish buck bed this close to human activity? They regularly come into the subdivision, per anecdotes from non-hunting neighbors. Or are these beds only because the walking trail is used less during winter, and from a younger buck? The rubs are nice-sized, but the younger bucks include some 10s. There are some nice bucks in the immediate area. My initial thinking was the bigger bucks were bedding out in the marsh to the West.


dan
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby dan » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:26 am

Sounds like buck beds to me...
BuckyHunter13
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby BuckyHunter13 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:24 am

Thanks Dan.

Would a mature buck use this type of bed during the season, or is it only winter bedding while sticking close to the food (arborvitaes in peoples yards, amongst other sources). It seems like he would be bumped repeatedly, although the walking trail is all but abandoned for most of the summer because of the mosquitos. Would a buck be content to slip into cattails for a few minutes to let people pass, or would he only use this bed after longer stretches of inactivity on the trail? The stream is a decent barrier, about 15 yards across and 2-3 feet deep.

I didn't have much luck locating bucks last year until the rut started to pick up, but I didn't hunt this part of the property and I didn't know how much potential it held (the shed aside).
BuckyHunter13
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby BuckyHunter13 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:47 am

Track about 20 yards from one of the beds. Track is 3.25" wide, a solid 4 finger track. (I've seen several since November.)
Image

Shed (for grins, because it's the only shed I've ever found... though I'll be out this year.)
Image

Trail Camera at noon on Opening Day - Can't gun hunt the property. He made it through gun season.
Image

I plan to measure the bed when I go pull my camera, I'll take some pictures of the bed and surrounding then.
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby BuckyHunter13 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:08 pm

Anyone else? Thanks guys!
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James
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby James » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:12 pm

I am surprised to not see a red dot in the northern section of the southern "peninsula" although you have a trail starting there. Sounds like you are zeroing in on things.
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby BuckyHunter13 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:27 pm

James wrote:I am surprised to not see a red dot in the northern section of the southern "peninsula" although you have a trail starting there. Sounds like you are zeroing in on things.


There's an older ladder stand on that point, I don't know if it's in use but I'm saying limited if at all. It's possible there's a bed there that I've missed, though. I'll definitely look closer next time. The two potential beds to the West across the water sit on elevated flat spots at the base of trees. I think these spots have commanding views of most angles while still being pretty hidden.
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby James » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:37 pm

BuckyHunter13 wrote:
James wrote:I am surprised to not see a red dot in the northern section of the southern "peninsula" although you have a trail starting there. Sounds like you are zeroing in on things.


There's an older ladder stand on that point, I don't know if it's in use but I'm saying limited if at all. It's possible there's a bed there that I've missed, though. I'll definitely look closer next time. The two potential beds to the West across the water sit on elevated flat spots at the base of trees. I think these spots have commanding views of most angles while still being pretty hidden.


Those little elevated spots in the marsh are so key and you can't find them without boots on the ground.
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Re: Are these buck beds?

Unread postby BuckyHunter13 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:20 pm

I've been out in the marsh a few times now. On one hand, it makes for easy walking because it's frozen solid. On the other, it's really hard to locate summer or fall beds under the snow. Sometimes it's pretty clear, but it seems like the deer have also moved closer to the farm fields (probably partly due to me being in the marsh a few times.) I'll have to let it rest for a month and try to get back there after a fresh dusting. Lesson learned: Even for scouting a spot burns out quick when you're relying on fresh sign. Pick your days and conditions.

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