Learn about the bedding habits of mature deer with Realtree and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Fall means deer hunting season, and getting close to a prized mature buck is no easy task. It’s important to pay attention to even the smallest details, including buck bedding behavior. You have to know the right terrain, feeding areas and more to find deer bedding areas. Realtree has eight common bedding habits that mature bucks live and die by.
Identifying Buck Bedding Areas:
1. Use Advantageous Terrain
When compared to younger bucks and does, mature bucks tend to bed in areas that provide some sort of advantage over predators rather than areas closer to food sources. It all comes down to the terrain. For example, bucks frequently bed at the end of a ridge on a point. Bedding on these points usually allows them to see, smell and hear danger before it gets close enough to kill them.
2. Hug Tight to Food When Unpressured
Hunting season can impact where bucks bed. During the spring and summer – when they’re not being hunted – mature bucks will act like any deer and bed closer to food sources. If you hunt in an area where hunting pressure is controlled, you have a better chance of finding a mature buck in one of these areas.
3. Bed in Remote Areas When Pressured
Once hunting season starts, however, mature bucks will retreat to those remote locations that are further away from food sources. They’ll stay in these sanctuary spaces and rarely move during daylight – making the game of hunting that much harder.
4. Stay Close to the Water
While hunters keep food sources in mind, water sources are just as important. According to Realtree, studies show that deer often go to water before food when they get up to roam in the evenings. Although it’s not as important as security and cover, Realtree experts believe it’s an important factor when bucks choose a bedding location.
5. Keep Their Backs to the Wall
Mature bucks will often bed with their backs up against a rock, log or other object. This helps them with additional cover and helps shield their presence from potential predators. This makes it harder for predators and hunters to see them, when half of their body is covered up.
6. Face Downwind
Usually bucks will bed against those solid objects mentioned above, watch downwind and cover their back (upwind) with their nose. Their ears are always on a swivel – all of this can help deer to better protect themselves from danger.
7. Watch Their Back Trail
Of course, we can’t always assume that mature bucks are going to keep their backs to the wall or face downwind. Most of the time they practice those two things, but even when they don’t bucks seem to bed down and watch their back trail for predators.
8. Caution Varies
How cautious bucks are varies from buck to buck. Each whitetail has a different personality – some are warier than others, while others are a bit reckless. According to Realtree experts, bedded bucks tend to be warier in the morning than in the afternoon. It might be because bucks are hungrier and more restless by the afternoon, throwing caution to the wind. Either way, all bucks are different, but these tips can definitely give you an edge on mature bucks.
Originally posted by Josh Honeycutt on realtree.com.