How To Locate Deer Bedding Areas (DIY Project Download)

Modern technology makes it possible to get a better look at your hunting area and can help you determine the best place to hunt this fall. I’d spent much of the previous three months scouting my hunting area, collected hundreds of photos of different bucks from trail cams, and cataloged every rub, scrape, bedding area, and buck sighting on the property. However, bucks do grow old by laying low in areas many hunters dismiss as good cover. Over the last four decades I have been amazed at the lengths bucks will go to keep out of harm’s way. That said, today in our latest Wired To Hunt Weekly video I’m sharing a few of the lessons I’ve learned (from a lot of people smarter than me), about how to identify buck bedding areas. In addition, I also have shown a couple examples of actual buck beds I’ve recently located to to illustrate these concepts.

how to locate deer bedding areas 2Before revealing several strategies for how to hunt a deer bedding area, maybe we should back up a bit; should you even hunt a deer bedding area in the first place? It has been nearly 10 years, but I was at a seminar in PA and listened to a well-known whitetail speaker who made a statement that, if you shoot a mature buck during the morning, you are lucky. By finding a major food source and locating adjacent doe family group bedding areas you are on the right path for figuring out where a mature buck will bed. Where you create buck bedding opportunity on the land you hunt, will ultimately determine the level of success for your small parcel design. Where are the bucks bedding on the land that you hunt? Is there even room for both bucks and does on your land? It may sound very confusing at first, but when you allow food to define where deer choose to bed, the entire process becomes a whole lot easier. Time and again I have heard we need to stay out of a buck’s bedding area because if a buck is disturbed there, he will abandon it and perhaps move to the neighbor’s spread. Or, if the hunting season is still open and I’m not having any luck, I burn up a day or two finding out where they’re hiding.

Putting Them to Bed: It is important for a deer hunter to be able to identify a deer’s bedding area. It is considerably easier to find a food source that the deer are using than a bedding area, especially during a year where there are few or no white oak acorns. Locating Trophy Buck Bedding Areas & Patterning Bucks – posted in T.R.’s Tips by T.R. Michels: This article is an excerpt from the Complete Whitetail Addict’s Manual, available on computer readable CD or in soft cover. How can I sneak into the hardwoods where the deer are feeding on acorns but are also bedding in that same area? Does is make sense to place a blind near a bedding area or should I hunt from a stand that is not quite as well situated?

How To Hunt A Deer Bedding Area

how to locate deer bedding areas 3Is it a good idea to ever hunt in a buck’s bedding area? Or are there times where you can risk it. Should you pursue a buck in his bedding area during the season? Is there ever a time when you break the mold and get more aggressive? We took the question to our panel of experts and here’s what they had to say. These are days that we enter the thickest mature whitetail cover we can find and hunt all day. The amazing thing is that the buck appeared to have his eyes open the whole time. Social Behavior. As might be expected there can be a great deal of social interaction that takes place within a whitetail’s bedding area. To me the answer to your How to? question is mainly shoe leather and putting in your time. Find the trails and you’ll likely find bedding areas in one direction and food sources in the other. Recently logged areas get slammed by deer browsing tops and then the new growth – I see this even in on the one acre our home sits on after we cut down all the old growth poplar. I am sure that there are bedding areas that are used more frequently, but I was setting in the stand the other evening and noticed three beds, which had been used earlier that day, about 40 yards from me. The best and safest way to find where deer are bedding is to scout an area during the off season. Instead, hunting property owners stress the bedding sanctuary idea as an attempt to establish said bedding area as a place that deer will want to gravitate toward for years to come. This policy can result in many more mature buck sightings on the property over the years, and can keep the land as a place that hunters will flock to in an attempt to score a trophy animal. Identifying the buck’s bedroom is the only other hope this late in the game. However finding a buck’s bedding area has to go further than just a thicket. Look for a spot that entails these characteristics. Thick early successional growth.

Tommy Garner, Deer Hunting

Funnels are a great place to catch mature bucks cruising on their feet during daylight hours or coming to and from their bedding areas. Funnels present excellent opportunities for catching deer traveling from bedding to feeding areas and are hot spots for cruising bucks during the pre-rut. These two functions are certainly not the only things that deer do predictably, but they are the most important because deer participate in these activities everyday. Keeping this in mind, the first step in our strategy is to identify the potential bedding areas. That’s where deer will be bedding, in heavy timber, when no open areas are available. I’m not familiar with what would be the preferred browse in your area, so identying and locating food sources would be almost impossible, for me to do, without spending some time in those woods. You define doe bedding areas by offering a very high stem count, pockets, canop, exterior screening and of course it depends on the type of habitat. Place these areas next to good, consistent (from late summer through December at a minimum) unclaimed food sources and does will take them over.

Deer beds are oval-shaped impressions left in the grass, leaves, or snow where deer have decided to lay down. Whether or not deer use them for actual sleeping is debatable. Hunting Bedding Areas of Whitetail Deer After 43 years of whitetail deer hunting I am convinced, outside of topographical advantages during the rut, that bed areas of whitetail deer may be the best strategy to bag a trophy whitetail deer. The whitetail deer hunter simply needs to determine where the densest terrain or cover on the tract of land lies.