Deer Bedding Area Tactics

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Video how to create deer bedding areas

I wrote this article in 2008, but it is still true to this day. To learn more, please take a look at a couple of my most recent bedding area tactic articles as well:

*Scouting Deer Bedding Areas*Building Buck Beds

First off, there are so many ways to make deer beds, and in my experience they don’t necessarily relate to specifically buck, or doe beds. Instead, the habitat and location, proximity to food, and various stress levels, will indicate where buck or does bed..and to another extent, young, or old bucks. But, we will save that for another topic..here are some thoughts more related to location.

***You have to find the best location, and then install the best tactics to fit the land within that location, to develop a bedding area.

1. Factors to Consider

A great bedding area should consider and compliment several key factors! Determine the location with your access in mind. The prevailing wind directions, exterior influences of adjacent food sources, bedding areas, habitat funnels, hunting pressure etc..

2. Consider current or future habitat

A. Open ag land

Establish conifer and/or shrub pockets that are 10-20′ in diameter, and planted close. 5-6′ spacing of spruce, speckled alder, or some local variety of “deer-proof” plantings. Quick growing pines can be the interior ring, then spruce, then an exterior of shrub plantings to further enhance the edge effect and create a natural transition into the interior bedding pocket. Natural is always best! Then, after the bedding pockets are located within the ag land you are improving, surround by native grasses and maintain as a bedding area possibly with adjacent food sources and natural funnels to encourage deer movements within gun or bow range as it relates to the rest of the parcel.

See also  The Hog Dogs of Alabama

B. Select cut/post-timber harvest

LEAVE tops and debris! Pocket cut tops and debris to encourage bedding holes within heavy horizontal cover with 3-4 access/escape routes. Plant conifer bedding pockets within cuttings that take advantage of openings, humps, bumps, ridges, etc. The conifer pockets will define and grow into long-term exception bedding pockets regardless of future timber operations.

C. Dense conifer stands of timber…young

Cut interior pockets “chest-level” and lower to define bedding pockets with connecting trails, and use the exterior screening cover of the stand to protect the interior bedding pockets. Old conifer stands can be used by dropping a small % of undesirables/low quality trees to define bedding pockets by using horizontal cover. The exterior of older conifer stands should be screened by young spruce or other screening cover, including dropping exterior pines/spruce to further screen and define the exterior of the bedding area that includes the bedding pockets within.

3. Allow for seperation of quality.

DEFINE your bedding areas with pockets, and leave the rest alone outside of improving stands of timber by removing undesirables. Define that seperation of quality and you will define your access, deer movements, and stand locations. Use your undefined areas of mature or low quality habitat as access and downwind blockers for stand locations.

*Would you like to hinge cut a deer bedding area? Then check out these tactics for doing it right!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>