The more a person really focuses on finding buck bedding, the more predictable it becomes.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the bucks become easier to kill.
The most mature deer in an area will almost always bed in areas where they can use some combination of sight, scent and hearing to keep them safe from pressure. The best spots offer protection through all three of those senses, but once we as hunters know where bucks are bedding, it at least puts us in the game more frequently.
On Aug. 17, I got a chance to take my kayak into a small piece of public land to look over an area that I wrote a column about earlier in the summer. That column centered around map scouting and pinpointing the areas to look at on foot when going in blind.
The video with this story breaks down exactly what I found when I got into this area to scout it in person. It’s a spot I’m excited about this fall after finding plenty of sign and some great buck beds in areas of good habitat diversity.
I break down where I’m finding those beds in the video, but there is one thing I did not mention in the video that I feel is worth noting. That’s how the best buck beds I found that day were positioned perfectly to catch a hunter getting into the tree.
There was a ladder stand right on the border of the private and public land that overlooked a bean field. The buck beds were positioned like many are -- some sort of thick cover to the back from the direction the wind is coming from when he’s likely bedding there and more open out in front so the deer can see a long ways.
In hill country, it’s not uncommon to find these on the leeward sides of hills where the deer can look down over a valley with the wind coming over their back.
In this case, the bedding was actually lower on the terrain, but it set up well to see a long ways. That’s because the bean field had some rolling topography and a high crest.
These specific beds were about 75-100 yards from where the ladder stand was set up. If the hunter climbs into that stand for an evening hunt like most would over a food source, his hunt is over before it ever started. You see this over and over again when finding beds.
These mature bucks are crafty. They’re survivors and to consistently win in this chess match against them on pressured land requires dedication to scouting, planning and then putting that into action during the season. The more you pursue them, the more you consistently see that and the more respect you gain for them.