How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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Danny1977
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How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Danny1977 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:42 pm

Hey all I’m new to scouting for buck beds and was wondering if I could possibly get some advice. My understanding is that while scouting in hill/mountain like country that bucks will bed up high on a point where the wind is likely to blow from there backside with their backs up against some sort of dense cover(ie brush, large rock, log, etc) at their backs and where they can see fairly well down the point in front of them.

So, with that being said, how can I tell if I am really do find a buck bed(other then seeing a buck in it lol)? Is there always hair, feces, etc in the bed. Will it be blantly obvious from leaves pressed down?

The beds in which I think MAY be buck beds just don’t seem obvious enough to me to convince me that this is the spot.

Any thoughts and/advise is so highly appreciated.

Danny

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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Dewey » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:54 pm

Look for rubs nearby as well as large tracks and larger bed size especially if there is some snow.
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Danny1977 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:00 pm

Dewey wrote:Look for rubs nearby as well as large tracks and larger bed size especially if there is some snow.


Excellent and thank you Dewey! Unfortunately we don’t have any snow. There’s mostly leaves on the ground and difficult to see any tracks. But there are plenty of rubs and scrapes in the area.
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby RidgeGhost » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:02 pm

Have you spent much time scouting yet? The best way to know is to look at lots of beds. The more you see the better you will get at recognizing which ones to pay attention to.

They are usually solitary beds. Meaning not immediately next to other deer. There may be multiple beds for multiple winds, however.

Lots of times there will be a rub nearby. But, sometimes they don't have a rub anywhere nearby. Dan says it's based on competition for the best bedding in that area. I'd say that seems accurate.

Usually there is hair in the bed. Depends what time of year you are scouting it and what time of year it's being used.

Main thing for me is finding a really good bed or group of beds where they technically should be based on the topo. It's possible to have confidence in a good buck bed without rubs or other indicators.

All just my opinion though :D
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Danny1977 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:12 pm

This all does make sense. Yeah I’ve been out scouting twice a week since the season closed in January. And I certainly plan to scout more. I figured that this time of year you just can’t cover enough ground.

I also understand that in the winter they will bed on hillsides facing south? And vise versa in the summer? Yet I would think that the wind direction would over ride this.

Thanks RidgeGhost
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Lopedog699 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:29 pm

Dan taught me bucks are solitary animals. When you fund a buck bed you will know it. There are singular beds and there are big beds but most buck beds will have thick brush all around them and some kind of backstop. The real big beds on the tips of points or islands will be bedded on any wind direction. Then there will be points which will have singular beds on each side and the tip. This would be a wind specific bed.ive been looking for the really big beds where the buck is just getting up and switching positions in the same bed due to wind direction change i think the chances are better to see him hunting these big beds rarher than a single bed.
Doe beds will have several beds next to each other in usually random spots on transiotions but they bed in groups each deer looking in a different direction. Ive found a few of these doe spots while scouting this year and was confused but then read what it was here on a different thread Then you have the beds you find in bowls or points that look like caves inside a blowdown or thick hedge. They are like little bedrooms tucked up inside. Bucks also have some sort of overhanging somthing they do not like to bed in the direct sun if they dont have too. Keep at it good luck hope this helps
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby RidgeGhost » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:34 pm

Danny1977 wrote:This all does make sense. Yeah I’ve been out scouting twice a week since the season closed in January. And I certainly plan to scout more. I figured that this time of year you just can’t cover enough ground.


Yea, at first you definitely have to cover some ground to figure things out. Once you start to figure out how they bed where you are, you can narrow down your search. You'll be able to go in more surgically and hit the best bedding spots without walking around randomly.
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby justdirtyfun » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:43 pm

You mentioned that south facing hills for winter and vice versa for summer. Mother nature has arranged that exactly how it should be. Winter winds usually are from North giving leeward bedding deer the southern slopes.

When scouting and standing in bedding, you have to analyze security. Add up all the minor details that improve safety for a bedded buck. Once you find one that is unbeatable you will have a reference to understand all the rest. This will be relative to your area and maybe all that you find are great. But usually people find lots of average beds and few prime beds.
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby NorthwoodsWiscoHnter » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:02 pm

A lot of great advice in this thread! I think the best way to tell is to kill a buck coming out of his bed! :lol:
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby checkerfred » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:59 pm

NorthwoodsWiscoHnter wrote:A lot of great advice in this thread! I think the best way to tell is to kill a buck coming out of his bed! :lol:


Everything has been covered well but I agree with this too. I watched a buck bust of of his bed from smelling me. He had been there at least an hour or two. I went exactly to his bed and couldn’t see it. You’d think leaves would be pressed down but I just couldn’t see it. I knew he had been there though because I saw him bust out. He was tucked up against a blowdown. Same in the swamps. Jumped a deer out of pine straw. Couldnt see the bed. Some are just hard to see but you know you’re in the right spot by the location.

One thing is get on your hands and knees and move leaves and stuff to find hair. I usually find at least one hair even if it’s old. I’ve seen places where I’d say this would make a great bed. Like a mossy rock. Get down and look close up and find a hair. They can be subtle
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Danny1977 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:35 pm

justdirtyfun wrote:You mentioned that south facing hills for winter and vice versa for summer. Mother nature has arranged that exactly how it should be. Winter winds usually are from North giving leeward bedding deer the southern slopes.

When scouting and standing in bedding, you have to analyze security. Add up all the minor details that improve safety for a bedded buck. Once you find one that is unbeatable you will have a reference to understand all the rest. This will be relative to your area and maybe all that you find are great. But usually people find lots of average beds and few prime beds.



Thank you. Yeah it makes sense. These slopes are pretty much where I have been looking. Only issue is the leaves are not as mashed down as I would expect and there's very little sign if any. For all I know a fawn could have been bedded there lol. Is what I have been doing is looking at a topo map and finding the top of a point that most likely has wind blowing over to the south and scouting it from top to 1/3 down.

I think is what I may do is leave a cam in place in the area over a scrape, water, or food source. If I get footage of a buck nearby the possible beds then perhaps I have found the bed? Otherwise I'm hoping for some tracks/cwap in the area of the bed
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Danny1977 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:39 pm

NorthwoodsWiscoHnter wrote:A lot of great advice in this thread! I think the best way to tell is to kill a buck coming out of his bed! :lol:



Lol too funny! That's the plan man. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to make it happen!

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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Danny1977 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:43 pm

checkerfred wrote:
NorthwoodsWiscoHnter wrote:A lot of great advice in this thread! I think the best way to tell is to kill a buck coming out of his bed! :lol:


Everything has been covered well but I agree with this too. I watched a buck bust of of his bed from smelling me. He had been there at least an hour or two. I went exactly to his bed and couldn’t see it. You’d think leaves would be pressed down but I just couldn’t see it. I knew he had been there though because I saw him bust out. He was tucked up against a blowdown. Same in the swamps. Jumped a deer out of pine straw. Couldnt see the bed. Some are just hard to see but you know you’re in the right spot by the location.

One thing is get on your hands and knees and move leaves and stuff to find hair. I usually find at least one hair even if it’s old. I’ve seen places where I’d say this would make a great bed. Like a mossy rock. Get down and look close up and find a hair. They can be subtle


I will certainly try this. This can certainly become some down and dirty detective work....I dig it! :dance:
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Wannabelikedan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:49 pm

Many have made sound points, but I want to mention that the primary stuff tends to really stand out when you do find it because it generally gets used more often. Sign can be subtle but you can’t deny the logic behind it when it clicks.

The seasonal beds may be what gives you the uncertainty. Late season beds can be more evident because the sign is most recent, but can still be lightly used depending on your area.

The early season beds are the toughest to nail down (for my area especially) because they’re more driven by seasonal food, warm season winds, and/or vegetation density. Sign is generally older and less obvious. When vegetation dies and gravity takes over it can drown beds out completely. Pay attention to rubs and how old they are. Then envision how thick the surroundings would be if it were green out. The best advice I can give ultimately is keep an open mind and ask yourself the right questions when it’s not so clear.
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Re: How to tell if it’s really a buck bed

Postby Danny1977 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:53 pm

Wannabelikedan wrote:Many have made sound points, but I want to mention that the primary stuff tends to really stand out when you do find it because it generally gets used more often. Sign can be subtle but you can’t deny the logic behind it when it clicks.

The seasonal beds may be what gives you the uncertainty. Late season beds can be more evident because the sign is most recent, but can still be lightly used depending on your area.

The early season beds are the toughest to nail down (for my area especially) because they’re more driven by seasonal food, warm season winds, and/or vegetation density. Sign is generally older and less obvious. When vegetation dies and gravity takes over it can drown beds out completely. Pay attention to rubs and how old they are. Then envision how thick the surroundings would be if it were green out. The best advice I can give ultimately is keep an open mind and ask yourself the right questions when it’s not so clear.


Thanks man. I might just bring a list of questions with me as I walk through the woods in search of the big one
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