Flatland elevation bedding

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mainebowhunter
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:00 am

Thought I would post some more pics up of a lot of the bedding is typical here in the northeast. This is the bedding area I shot my buck out of this year in Maine. Found probably 7-8 different beds in this one section. Basically I walk by them at about 70yds. And I drive by them with my truck at about 70yds. Its one reason, with a North wind I drive into this spot rather than walk. Bucks would for sure wind me on a North wind. I have great access to this spot. So its a spot I hunt with different entrances depending on the wind. If the bucks are there, I hit this area pretty hard come first week of Oct.

Just wanted to give some other flat land guys some more ideas what to look for. Some beds have elevation, others do not. Some were on classic 2' humps, bit of elevation, others were not. But this is a pretty typical bedding area in alders. Many times in the Northeast, these beds can be tough to pick out in the spring. Snow sits on top the leaves and if its shaded, snow stays longer in spots. Once melted, it gives an indication that the spot is a bed as all of the leaves are flattened. Without hair, most are not beds.

This is a pretty typical bedding area cover.
Image

Here are a couple rubs with the bed in the background. This the no elevation bed.
Image
Image

Hair in it
Image

Here is a couple beds with elevation.
Image

Image

If there are apples in this area, there is nowhere else I would rather be on Oct 1.


KLEMZ
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby KLEMZ » Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:50 pm

mainebowhunter wrote:Very interested to hear what you guys have to say about big woods North Wisc. type terrain. I have hunted all over the midwest...but avoid big woods like the plague when I travel.


I believe you would find northern Wisconsin to be similar to what you are showing in this post. Probably not "travel worthy" hunting in most hunters minds....low deer density, almost unlimited cover, marginal nutrition yielding scrawny racks...150" is VERY RARE!!! 130" is a trophy you better not pass (because it is probably 5+ years old).

Having said that, I believe it is deer hunting at it's purest. It is you against the animal, without other humans interfering. Without food plots and land manipulation. Without shining and long distance observation of patterns. Without trail cameras finding the trophy for you. It is you...reading the maps...reading the sign (can you say "tracks")...playing the wind and weather. The terrain doesn't allow many advantages to be leveraged against the buck.
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:15 pm

KLEMZ wrote:
mainebowhunter wrote:Very interested to hear what you guys have to say about big woods North Wisc. type terrain. I have hunted all over the midwest...but avoid big woods like the plague when I travel.


I believe you would find northern Wisconsin to be similar to what you are showing in this post. Probably not "travel worthy" hunting in most hunters minds....low deer density, almost unlimited cover, marginal nutrition yielding scrawny racks...150" is VERY RARE!!! 130" is a trophy you better not pass (because it is probably 5+ years old).

Having said that, I believe it is deer hunting at it's purest. It is you against the animal, without other humans interfering. Without food plots and land manipulation. Without shining and long distance observation of patterns. [glow=red]Without trail cameras finding the trophy for you.[/glow] It is you...reading the maps...reading the sign (can you say "tracks")...playing the wind and weather. The terrain doesn't allow many advantages to be leveraged against the buck.


But that is one difference, I run a lot of trail cameras. Lots of places, timber as far as you can see...stopped and took this photo today.

Image
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby Buckhunter » Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:59 pm

mainebowhunter wrote:
KLEMZ wrote:
mainebowhunter wrote:Very interested to hear what you guys have to say about big woods North Wisc. type terrain. I have hunted all over the midwest...but avoid big woods like the plague when I travel.


I believe you would find northern Wisconsin to be similar to what you are showing in this post. Probably not "travel worthy" hunting in most hunters minds....low deer density, almost unlimited cover, marginal nutrition yielding scrawny racks...150" is VERY RARE!!! 130" is a trophy you better not pass (because it is probably 5+ years old).

Having said that, I believe it is deer hunting at it's purest. It is you against the animal, without other humans interfering. Without food plots and land manipulation. Without shining and long distance observation of patterns. [glow=red]Without trail cameras finding the trophy for you.[/glow] It is you...reading the maps...reading the sign (can you say "tracks")...playing the wind and weather. The terrain doesn't allow many advantages to be leveraged against the buck.


But that is one difference, I run a lot of trail cameras. Lots of places, timber as far as you can see...stopped and took this photo today.

Image


How far in are all of these areas? Are they near trails or any other easy access points?
Also, do you find all of these beds walking transition lines?
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby Buckhunter » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:00 pm

mainebowhunter wrote:Thought I would post some more pics up of a lot of the bedding is typical here in the northeast. This is the bedding area I shot my buck out of this year in Maine. Found probably 7-8 different beds in this one section. Basically I walk by them at about 70yds. And I drive by them with my truck at about 70yds. Its one reason, with a North wind I drive into this spot rather than walk. Bucks would for sure wind me on a North wind. I have great access to this spot. So its a spot I hunt with different entrances depending on the wind. If the bucks are there, I hit this area pretty hard come first week of Oct.

Just wanted to give some other flat land guys some more ideas what to look for. Some beds have elevation, others do not. Some were on classic 2' humps, bit of elevation, others were not. But this is a pretty typical bedding area in alders. Many times in the Northeast, these beds can be tough to pick out in the spring. Snow sits on top the leaves and if its shaded, snow stays longer in spots. Once melted, it gives an indication that the spot is a bed as all of the leaves are flattened. Without hair, most are not beds.

This is a pretty typical bedding area cover.
Image

Here are a couple rubs with the bed in the background. This the no elevation bed.
Image
[url=http://s1235.photobucket.com/user/bbruno19733/media/20160302_154405_zpstrg0g28a.jpg.htmImage[/url]

Hair in it
Image

Here is a couple beds with elevation.
Image

Image

If there are apples in this area, there is nowhere else I would rather be on Oct 1.


How far in are all of these areas? Are they near trails or any other easy access points?
Also, do you find all of these beds walking transition lines?
mainebowhunter
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:42 pm

Buckhunter wrote:
mainebowhunter wrote:Thought I would post some more pics up of a lot of the bedding is typical here in the northeast. This is the bedding area I shot my buck out of this year in Maine. Found probably 7-8 different beds in this one section. Basically I walk by them at about 70yds. And I drive by them with my truck at about 70yds. Its one reason, with a North wind I drive into this spot rather than walk. Bucks would for sure wind me on a North wind. I have great access to this spot. So its a spot I hunt with different entrances depending on the wind. If the bucks are there, I hit this area pretty hard come first week of Oct.

Just wanted to give some other flat land guys some more ideas what to look for. Some beds have elevation, others do not. Some were on classic 2' humps, bit of elevation, others were not. But this is a pretty typical bedding area in alders. Many times in the Northeast, these beds can be tough to pick out in the spring. Snow sits on top the leaves and if its shaded, snow stays longer in spots. Once melted, it gives an indication that the spot is a bed as all of the leaves are flattened. Without hair, most are not beds.

This is a pretty typical bedding area cover.
Image

Here are a couple rubs with the bed in the background. This the no elevation bed.
Image
[url=http://s1235.photobucket.com/user/bbruno19733/media/20160302_154405_zpstrg0g28a.jpg.htmImage[/url]

Hair in it
Image

Here is a couple beds with elevation.
Image

Image

If there are apples in this area, there is nowhere else I would rather be on Oct 1.


How far in are all of these areas? Are they near trails or any other easy access points?
Also, do you find all of these beds walking transition lines?


Some of these areas are not far off roads but are off the main road by 1/4 mile or better. Some areas I walk in the dark over a mile to get to my set in the mornings. Really just depends. A lot of the areas I hunt, access is #1 important to me. If I cannot enter with the right wind OR I cannot access in some sort of normal timeframe, its a tough spot to hunt. 5 miles at night with flash light...not really doable.

Its funny...transition lines is a term I picked up here. I used to call it "edges". In the midwest or in Maine, first thing I do is walk my edges. Crop fields, green fields, softwoods, hardwoods. And I always try and pay close to attention to alder thicket edges. Deer love alders here. I would say alders are the primary bedding cover here. Lots of times, old fields will be reclaimed by alders.

Some of the beds I find walking transition lines. But most times, I try to backtrack from a food source where a deer is coming from if possible. These beds here, I kind of all ready knew about them, I just wanted to double check them to see if they were still being used. In fact, the buck from this year, pretty much ran right back in that direction and died in one of the beds, or very close to it. Most of the bedding I find is in relation to food. Because its so thick, bucks do not need to travel far to get to a food source that they like. Bedding and food sometimes are close to the same thing. This spot, the deer never have to leave the cover to feed.

I also really try to opt for as small chunks of woods as I can find. This piece I am hunting is nearly 800-1000 acres...but the deer spend a lot of their time in a small percentage of it. Just about 5 miles around it. But my starting point is always food and cover. In some pieces of timber, you just cannot do much with 10000 acres. So I try to start at the apple trees with cameras.

This winter, I jumped back into a piece I have not been in for years. I have 2 options. I can try to scout 10,000 + acres or I can take a chance, find some food close to cover and run cameras to see what shows up. Since there is so much cover, a good buck could very easily show up in daylight even without identifying his exact bed. I will say, this does not happen very often for me. But it has happened.
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby KLEMZ » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:07 am

mainebowhunter wrote:But that is one difference, I run a lot of trail cameras. Lots of places, timber as far as you can see...stopped and took this photo today.

Image resized to 48% of its original size [1024 x 576]
Image



Nice looking country. I find it interesting that there are apple trees scattered throughout the forest. I have never seen an apple tree in the forest I hunt, and it is miles of unbroken timber.
I like that you use them as a focused point of destination for the deer you hunt. It makes sense to use trail cameras at the apples and then back track to bedding once you ID a nice buck.

My statement on trail cams not being used to find a trophy holds true for me. I find it much more reliable to walk likely terrain edges until I find huge tracks. I look for areas where I find multiple sets of his tracks of varying ages and then scan my topos/maps for likely bedding within, say, 1/4 mile. I would say the mature buck bedding I have found in this terrain is usually terrain based (mild to moderate elevation points, humps).

This year I do plan to "camera bomb" a couple of bedding areas (thanks Dirtnapgiver) to hopefully learn his comings and goings for future hunting.
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:01 am

KLEMZ wrote:
mainebowhunter wrote:But that is one difference, I run a lot of trail cameras. Lots of places, timber as far as you can see...stopped and took this photo today.

Image resized to 48% of its original size [1024 x 576]
Image



Nice looking country. I find it interesting that there are apple trees scattered throughout the forest. I have never seen an apple tree in the forest I hunt, and it is miles of unbroken timber.
I like that you use them as a focused point of destination for the deer you hunt. It makes sense to use trail cameras at the apples and then back track to bedding once you ID a nice buck.

My statement on trail cams not being used to find a trophy holds true for me. I find it much more reliable to walk likely terrain edges until I find huge tracks. I look for areas where I find multiple sets of his tracks of varying ages and then scan my topos/maps for likely bedding within, say, 1/4 mile. I would say the mature buck bedding I have found in this terrain is usually terrain based (mild to moderate elevation points, humps).

This year I do plan to "camera bomb" a couple of bedding areas (thanks Dirtnapgiver) to hopefully learn his comings and goings for future hunting.


The reason for the apple trees? 50-75yrs ago there were farms there. Stonewalls are EVERYWHERE. Crazy, you can be way back in the timber...and there is a stonewall that runs forever. Maine is now 93% timber. It used to be pretty wide open. Hence, apple trees way back surrounded by 50+yrs of tree growth.

Running a bunch of cameras... Its the #1 tool that has helped me learn a bunch about deer movement.
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby wmahunter » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:14 am

After seeing your pictures, I realized I was on the right track. I started finding deer beds 5 yrs ago, but just did not know how to utilize this new find. Trying to get real close to deer in the swamps or even dry woodlands down here is near impossible. One twig crack or the wind shifts and they are gone.

I found one in the summer a couple of years ago, 3 does and buck jumped out of the bedding. It was on a topo point. He was an 8 pt and some lucky person got him. That area was really thick while others are out in the open.
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:03 am

wmahunter wrote:After seeing your pictures, I realized I was on the right track. I started finding deer beds 5 yrs ago, but just did not know how to utilize this new find. Trying to get real close to deer in the swamps or even dry woodlands down here is near impossible. One twig crack or the wind shifts and they are gone.

I found one in the summer a couple of years ago, 3 does and buck jumped out of the bedding. It was on a topo point. He was an 8 pt and some lucky person got him. That area was really thick while others are out in the open.


Honestly, in really thick spots like this...your not going to shoot a buck in his bed. Just no way to access and get a shot. But you can definitely figure out the direction of travel and catch him headed in that direction. When this spot greens up, its a jungle. Beds take time to find when everything is thick.
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby TN Whitetail Freak » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:34 pm

just like one can use caltopo to find the upper 1/3 of hills in hill country to focus scouting, one can use DEM Shading to locate high spots in the swamp...it is one of the main things i do when scouting new ground because most of the public ground is cypress swamsp....by playing with the numbers when creating a DEM Shading object you can narrow down the elevation profile of the swamps...in my example 80-93 was the elevation profile i had to come up with to get the shading to show up.....as you can see the lowest spots are red and it blends into blue the higher the ground gets to ultimately being unshaded for ground higher than the numbers i set. showing me the high ground to focus on in hunting spots. As you can see in the south and southeast part of the pic there are a few unshaded spots surrounded by blue or red shading indicating a high spot in the timber almost like a hidden island.Image
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby KLEMZ » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:17 pm

TN Whitetail Freak wrote:just like one can use caltopo to find the upper 1/3 of hills in hill country to focus scouting, one can use DEM Shading to locate high spots in the swamp...it is one of the main things i do when scouting new ground because most of the public ground is cypress swamsp....by playing with the numbers when creating a DEM Shading object you can narrow down the elevation profile of the swamps...in my example 80-93 was the elevation profile i had to come up with to get the shading to show up.....as you can see the lowest spots are red and it blends into blue the higher the ground gets to ultimately being unshaded for ground higher than the numbers i set. showing me the high ground to focus on in hunting spots. As you can see in the south and southeast part of the pic there are a few unshaded spots surrounded by blue or red shading indicating a high spot in the timber almost like a hidden island.Image


TN Whitetail Freak, that is very cool! Have you done this on areas you already know to see if it checks out with bedding?

I would definatley check out that small green point inside the corner of the ditches! (south end of picture)
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:24 pm

TN Whitetail Freak wrote:just like one can use caltopo to find the upper 1/3 of hills in hill country to focus scouting, one can use DEM Shading to locate high spots in the swamp...it is one of the main things i do when scouting new ground because most of the public ground is cypress swamsp....by playing with the numbers when creating a DEM Shading object you can narrow down the elevation profile of the swamps...in my example 80-93 was the elevation profile i had to come up with to get the shading to show up.....as you can see the lowest spots are red and it blends into blue the higher the ground gets to ultimately being unshaded for ground higher than the numbers i set. showing me the high ground to focus on in hunting spots. As you can see in the south and southeast part of the pic there are a few unshaded spots surrounded by blue or red shading indicating a high spot in the timber almost like a hidden island.Image


Great idea. Have you gone back and scouted this area based on your findings?
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DaveT1963
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:40 am

mainebowhunter wrote:
wmahunter wrote:After seeing your pictures, I realized I was on the right track. I started finding deer beds 5 yrs ago, but just did not know how to utilize this new find. Trying to get real close to deer in the swamps or even dry woodlands down here is near impossible. One twig crack or the wind shifts and they are gone.

I found one in the summer a couple of years ago, 3 does and buck jumped out of the bedding. It was on a topo point. He was an 8 pt and some lucky person got him. That area was really thick while others are out in the open.


Honestly, in really thick spots like this...your not going to shoot a buck in his bed. Just no way to access and get a shot. But you can definitely figure out the direction of travel and catch him headed in that direction. When this spot greens up, its a jungle. Beds take time to find when everything is thick.


Exactly what I do. There is no way you can sneak within 60-100 yards of most of the "bedding areas" I hunt. And even if you do there are multiple beds scattered over 20-100 acre bedding spots. But, you can most definitely set up on travel patterns to and from that bedding area. I also use a lot of cameras (now up to 25) to first take inventory (I use minerals and natural licking branches) and then to narrow in on the target bucks I select. I walk my cameras back until I find a spot where he is vulnerable in daylight. Our public gets a lot of pressure year round and yet I still see most mature bucks very active in early morning and right at dark.

BTW, out of all the beds I have located this year and last, only ONE had any hair in it. Perhaps we have more mice and rats or they don't hibernate as much????? or northern deer should start a Rogaine regiment? Seriously, our deer don't appear to shed as much and they don't reuse beds - only time I find hair in a bed down south is when they are shedding their winter coats, and even then it is hit or miss at best.
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Re: Flatland elevation bedding

Unread postby mainebowhunter » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:35 am

DaveT1963 wrote:
mainebowhunter wrote:
wmahunter wrote:After seeing your pictures, I realized I was on the right track. I started finding deer beds 5 yrs ago, but just did not know how to utilize this new find. Trying to get real close to deer in the swamps or even dry woodlands down here is near impossible. One twig crack or the wind shifts and they are gone.

I found one in the summer a couple of years ago, 3 does and buck jumped out of the bedding. It was on a topo point. He was an 8 pt and some lucky person got him. That area was really thick while others are out in the open.


Honestly, in really thick spots like this...your not going to shoot a buck in his bed. Just no way to access and get a shot. But you can definitely figure out the direction of travel and catch him headed in that direction. When this spot greens up, its a jungle. Beds take time to find when everything is thick.


Exactly what I do. There is no way you can sneak within 60-100 yards of most of the "bedding areas" I hunt. And even if you do there are multiple beds scattered over 20-100 acre bedding spots. But, you can most definitely set up on travel patterns to and from that bedding area. I also use a lot of cameras (now up to 25) to first take inventory (I use minerals and natural licking branches) and then to narrow in on the target bucks I select. I walk my cameras back until I find a spot where he is vulnerable in daylight. Our public gets a lot of pressure year round and yet I still see most mature bucks very active in early morning and right at dark.

BTW, out of all the beds I have located this year and last, only ONE had any hair in it. Perhaps we have more mice and rats or they don't hibernate as much????? or northern deer should start a Rogaine regiment? Seriously, our deer don't appear to shed as much and they don't reuse beds - only time I find hair in a bed down south is when they are shedding their winter coats, and even then it is hit or miss at best.


Interesting you do not find hair in the bed. I would say most of the beds I have found this year, had at least some hair in them. And a lot of the beds had deer droppings in them. Your observations have been a deer does not reuse the beds where you hunt? Very interesting. In the spring here, snow packs lots of the leaves down, many hummocks look like "beds" -- leaves, flattened to nothing. But not a bed, no hair. Or not a bed that is used often.

25 is the number of cams I plan on running this year. I tend to use a lot of cameras to cover small areas. Really trying to pin down areas of travel.

Sometimes, all I have to rely on is a bedding area and direction of travel. Some areas, hours of scouting and miles of walking, still have not revealed the beds I am looking for. And sometimes, what is revealed...there are not many good buck beds...coz there are not many good bucks. Cameras reveal very few some years.

I am always trying to balance being prepared...and not preparing enough. Preparing an area based on last years deer movements...only to realize those deer are GONE. One of my favorite properties this year...only got intel on 1 mature buck living in this area. Lot of deer. Highest deer densities I have. But only 1 mature buck. Scouting acres of thickets to try and find 1 mature buck...odds are pretty low. Camera pulls in January were pretty promising. Looks like there will be more 3.5 olds this coming season.


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