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#6520509 - 10/31/16 06:25 PM Questions on Bedding Areas on Public Land
DMan Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 154
Loc: Anna, Texas
I am hunting public land and I am fairly new to bow hunting. Looking for advice.

I am hiking in about 3/4 mile. I walk down a main trail for the first few hundred yards that is man made to get in. I then cross a descent sized opening that best I can tell is not used as bedding at any time by the deer. From there I go into trees and skirt along the edge of a ridge just on the top side of a creek bed until I get to the bowl at the end where all of the runoff gets down into the creek.
On the way back there is a large area covered in cedars that I walk past and I have noticed a decent amount of deer poop in there. I have not been seeing many deer lately.

My questions are:

1. What are the odds that the cedars is a bedding area and I am spooking the deer on the way in?

2. The entire public land is covered in trees. Lots of Oaks mixed with areas of cedar and elm trees. Also small fingers of a creeek everywhere. What are the best places that you would guess would be the daytime bedding areas? Without being able to look yourself of ccourse.

3. I found an alternate route to where I am hunting and it goes all the way to the South side of the property and loops around and comes in on the other side of the area. It uses another large man made trail. Would I be better off taking that long route in and hoping I don't spook deer on that side?

Thanks

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#6521017 - 10/31/16 10:44 PM Re: Questions on Bedding Areas on Public Land [Re: DMan]
Sniper John Online   happy

gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16292
Loc: North Texas
1. good
2. Too broad a question. Every places is different. Where you are hunting take note of other places you have walked up bedded deer or seen sign.
3. yes

A story that could relate to your situation. I was staying at an old homestead in Oklahoma near public land for most of 6 weeks and planning to hunt the opening of primitive season at the end of my stay. During bow season I scouted often. Even sat in tree stands at different places just to observe. For primitive season I was trophy hunting. I located two separate core areas of two large deer and watched both deer more than once. The better buck was beyond a creek that had to be waded across and farther than most would walk. The second was close to the road and had a bowhunter hunting over it's bedding area every weekend out of a tree stand. Both bedding areas had all kinds of sign indicating a bedding area and huge rubs all over them. Both bucks had one or more easy to follow scrape/rub line trails leaving from the area. It rained the night before my muzzleloader hunt so I was unable to cross a creek to get to my first choice, so I hunted my alternate.

The pattern on this alternate deer was he would be down in his bedding area before sunup. After sunup he walked a trail from bedding area to a ridge along the creek where the oaks were. I watched him from a distance more than once, but I also bumped him from this bedding area one afternoon. I never saw him on evenings so he was either bedded there or somewhere else or away. On two or three different mornings the bowhunter pushed the buck out before sunup due to the noise he made putting his stand up. I had a stand on the trail from the bedding area where it funneled between a small clearing and the top of the ridge over the creek and this buck would trot by before legal shooting time. Opening morning I got in my tree stand earlier than any of the locals would even think about doing and hiked to it from a very long way around to avoid the bedding area. It was raining so I had hoped my bowhunter would stay home.

From my stand in the dark I heard my bowhunter get his truck stuck and working to get it out, so he was running late. At first light I could hear him clanging his stand at the bedding area as before. As expected a few minutes later here came my buck down the trail and excited from being bumped by the bowhunter. The buck stopped under my tree and looked at me as I pulled the plastic off my lock and went down with a round ball in the back of his neck just as he started to bolt. I whooped and hollared after the smoke and steam cleared. A few minutes later I heard my bowhunters stand clang and then his truck drive back through the mud hole in the distance, so he knew I got the buck he was hunting. I never did get to see or meet him to thank him.
_________________________

"Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you'll go!" ~ Dr. Seuss

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#6521379 - 11/01/16 09:32 AM Re: Questions on Bedding Areas on Public Land [Re: DMan]
DMan Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 154
Loc: Anna, Texas
Thats funny stuff Sniper.

I too waded across a creeek many times last year to get to my hunting area. Man was it wet out there last year.

I now have my 15 year old hunting with me and it is making everything even more challenging.

I know the deer are out there. Last year I saw nothing. This year I am back in the same area and have seen one small 6 point that walked right under my stand.

I am thinking being new to bow hunting and being on public land it is going to get better for me each year as I learn the ins and outs and scout more each year.

I want to go out and do some more scouting now but am afraid I will just spook the deer more.

Then again, there are constantly people out there. There are horse trails through the area as well for people to ride. The horse trail is going to be my alternate route that is longer to get to my stand.

Thanks for the help.

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#6521868 - 11/01/16 02:03 PM Re: Questions on Bedding Areas on Public Land [Re: DMan]
Sniper John Online   happy

gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16292
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: DMan


Then again, there are constantly people out there. There are horse trails through the area as well for people to ride. The horse trail is going to be my alternate route that is longer to get to my stand.

Thanks for the help.


This is why my main strategy when deer hunting on open public land with high pressure is to scout for "funnels" between where hunters approach from and areas where deer being pushed by other hunters are more likely to travel. Pinch points caused by fields, water, crossings, saddles, etc. that the deer have to travel or more likely to travel.
_________________________

"Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you'll go!" ~ Dr. Seuss

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