Primary buck beds

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dan
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Primary buck beds

Postby dan » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:29 pm

I wanted to discuss primary buck bedding... When I think back to all the buck beds I have hunted for the last 3 decades there are some that pan out every now and then, and those that have really been good to me. Some of that is obviously in how well you can set up on the bed, but the most important thing is that the bed is used enough to increase your odds when you sit it...
So when I think back to those beds that really produced over and over, the the main thing that comes to mind is that its not just one bed in most of the spots. Most of the primary bedding areas I hunt have 5 or 10 beds in a small area from 20 square feet to a 1/4 acre... I suspect the differing beds might be because they move with different wind directions. I know that to be the case in some instances where I have observed it.
In the few cases where a single bed was a primary bed you could tell it was getting used heavy. Worn to the dirt, and recessed into the ground.
Another trait of a primary bed is its usually in a great spot for the deers advantage. Some of the best ones I know are right near where there is heavy human pressure but they over look this particular spot.
Sitting in a tree yesterday hoping for a buck to come out of a primary bed, I got to really thinking back about the particular marsh I was hunting. I have hunted hundreds of bedding areas over and over, but when I think back most have had random action, but a few have produced almost every year despite me only hunting them 1 to 3 times a year.
The spot I was sitting I could remember a dozen big buck encounters... But other spots I sit just as often I could remember one or two, and they were usually specific to a certain time of the year....
I shot my biggest buck in a lone primary bed which as I said above is the exception. But even with that being a single bed I seen another big buck bed in that same exact bed on a different occasion.

Non-primary buck beds are often only used when a certain food source is available, or at a certain time of year. Non-primary beds seem to cough up more young bucks than the primary's... But I do see young bucks in the primary beds too.

Clear as mud?


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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby BigHunt » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:36 pm

dan wrote:I wanted to discuss primary buck bedding... When I think back to all the buck beds I have hunted for the last 3 decades there are some that pan out every now and then, and those that have really been good to me. Some of that is obviously in how well you can set up on the bed, but the most important thing is that the bed is used enough to increase your odds when you sit it...
So when I think back to those beds that really produced over and over, the the main thing that comes to mind is that its not just one bed in most of the spots. Most of the primary bedding areas I hunt have 5 or 10 beds in a small area from 20 square feet to a 1/4 acre... I suspect the differing beds might be because they move with different wind directions. I know that to be the case in some instances where I have observed it.
In the few cases where a single bed was a primary bed you could tell it was getting used heavy. Worn to the dirt, and recessed into the ground.
Another trait of a primary bed is its usually in a great spot for the deers advantage. Some of the best ones I know are right near where there is heavy human pressure but they over look this particular spot.
Sitting in a tree yesterday hoping for a buck to come out of a primary bed, I got to really thinking back about the particular marsh I was hunting. I have hunted hundreds of bedding areas over and over, but when I think back most have had random action, but a few have produced almost every year despite me only hunting them 1 to 3 times a year.
The spot I was sitting I could remember a dozen big buck encounters... But other spots I sit just as often I could remember one or two, and they were usually specific to a certain time of the year....
I shot my biggest buck in a lone primary bed which as I said above is the exception. But even with that being a single bed I seen another big buck bed in that same exact bed on a different occasion.

Non-primary buck beds are often only used when a certain food source is available, or at a certain time of year. Non-primary beds seem to cough up more young bucks than the primary's... But I do see young bucks in the primary beds too.

Clear as mud?


good thread dan ....a lot of good info in this post, ;) 8-) its makes me think :think:
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby rack addict » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:45 pm

I have a couple questions about bedding. It may be a stupid question but I was out doing some quick scouting and I went to some areas that looked like they were some bedding but I didnt notice any hair in them. Does that mean they are not used very often? If your finding a bed with alot of hair can you assume that its used quite a bit? Do you think its best to try and locate beds during the winter when there is snow on the ground just because its alot easier to see where there bedding? When you locate or find a bed how do you really know if its a buck bed or doe?
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby BigHunt » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:57 pm

rack addict wrote:I have a couple questions about bedding. It may be a stupid question but I was out doing some quick scouting and I went to some areas that looked like they were some bedding but I didnt notice any hair in them. Does that mean they are not used very often? If your finding a bed with alot of hair can you assume that its used quite a bit? Do you think its best to try and locate beds during the winter when there is snow on the ground just because its alot easier to see where there bedding? When you locate or find a bed how do you really know if its a buck bed or doe?

no question is a dumb question ;) 8-) by the way all good questions ;) 8-)
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby matt1336 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:02 pm

That makes sense Dan. Now I just gota find a few more primary beds that are huntable and I'll be in good shape. It seems as though the ones I find are very tough to hunt....if not unhuntable b/c of the bucks' sight and wind advantage that the bed gives him. That's why I'll be going to the scouting workshop. If they're even primary beds......I still got questions and holes in my scouting .
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby dan » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:11 pm

rack addict wrote:I have a couple questions about bedding. It may be a stupid question but I was out doing some quick scouting and I went to some areas that looked like they were some bedding but I didnt notice any hair in them. Does that mean they are not used very often? If your finding a bed with alot of hair can you assume that its used quite a bit? Do you think its best to try and locate beds during the winter when there is snow on the ground just because its alot easier to see where there bedding? When you locate or find a bed how do you really know if its a buck bed or doe?

I have been out scouting and looking at some known beds... I just looked at the bed where I shot the mid-October 10 pointer I did not recover. You could not tell for sure its a bed right now cause of ice and snow... Once it thaws it will be obvious. Hair in a bed is a good indication, but some great buck beds are not being used this late in the year, thats often the case in marshes. Your also going to find in a few months the beds you find that are being used will be completely covered with hair as they start to shed there winter coat before green up. If the ground is not covered with ice or snow, you should be able to get down on your knees and see some hairs in just about every bed. Thats often how I confirm if its really a bed on some of the iffy ones.
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby rack addict » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:17 pm

So as far as looking for beds in the marsh its best to look in the spring?
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby dan » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:18 pm

Do you think its best to try and locate beds during the winter when there is snow on the ground just because its alot easier to see where there bedding?


You can find current bedding pretty easy in the snow, and sometimes "current" bedding is primary... So scouting in the snow can be helpful. However, some of the best primary spots get abandoned when it snows or gets real cold and bedding changes to winter bedding...

When you locate or find a bed how do you really know if its a buck bed or doe?

Primary buck bedding areas that have multiple beds have rubs in very close proximity most of the time. As for the single beds, does don't often bed alone. Look at the size of the beds. Really small ones might be fawns... Look for tracks. Does often bed in thick cover and each face a different direction, and are not as dedicated to having perfect conditions... A little detective work and looking at the beds really close should answer this question.
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby dan » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:20 pm

rack addict wrote:So as far as looking for beds in the marsh its best to look in the spring?

Its best to look between now and green up when there is no snow, and the marsh is not flooded.
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby gjs4 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:26 pm

Makes sense- it just needs time to sink in and settle
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby RaisedByWolves » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:09 pm

I really hope to find one or two of these this scouting season, as well as some other beds that a nice buck might be using with some consistency. I would really love to find a pair of slob sheds near a bed, haven't done that yet!

I think even with the snow you should be able to find some decent beds just by going off their location, and nearby rubs. If your not sure you can always go back in spring and see if there was any hair left frozen in from last fall.
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby adrenalin » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:05 am

I have a few comments, questions about the topics so feel free to comment back.

The lone or single bed worn down that looks like it gets alot of use gives me the most confidence for a hunt. These are the hardest for me to find, maybe because their are fewer of them, but also because of their location.

I don't find many buck beds in the "obvious" buck bed locations, such as: points, or islands. It seems the beds are always a ways off of them in islotated spots.

Looking for hair in a bed in springtime can be misleading, because almost all beds have hair in them late spring. Also beds found in spring may look well used, but it take alot less use to show signs of wear in spring time.

The best beds I find almost always don't have huntable trees within a resonable distance of them.

In areas of high pressure or lots of human intrussion do you find bucks mainly bed in overlooked spots?

Do you have any beds without staging areas?

Do you have any bedding areas that bucks wont leave in daylight, and are too small for you to ever setup on?
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby dan » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:30 am

I don't find many buck beds in the "obvious" buck bed locations, such as: points, or islands. It seems the beds are always a ways off of them in islotated spots.

I do find some great bedding off points, islands and other obvious spots if they are isolated and do not recieve much pressure. Island bedding is usualy not on the island, but rather on a transition where the island tapers off into the cattails in brush within the cattails. Same with points. Maybe your marsh is getting more pressure?
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby moosehound » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:43 am

When you have found a primary buck bed with more than one bed are the beds usually farther apart than a doe bedding area?

I have found a bedding area that has 3 beds within about 50 yards of each other and another spot maybe 150 yards away with 4-5 beds that are all within 10 yards or so of each other. Guessing that the first is a buck bedding area and will need to visually scout to confirm.
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Re: Primary buck beds

Postby dan » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:56 am

Your assumptions sound correct Mooshound although I couldn't positivly without seeing them.

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