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#3066031 - 12/06/12 11:02 AM Ideal Bedding area
4 Point

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 271
Loc: cdave89

If you could start from scratch to create the thickest and most desirable bedding area, what would you do or plant?
#3066111 - 12/06/12 11:53 AM Re: Ideal Bedding area [Re: cdave89]
6 Point

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 573
Loc: Morristown

I've been wanting to ask the same question for some time, so I'm really looking forward to answers also. I thought about planting pines, probably alternate between white pine and loblolly.
"The only purpose for a pistol is as a means to fight your way back to the rifle you should have never laid down."

Vegetables are NOT food, vegetables are what FOOD eats.

#3066176 - 12/06/12 12:27 PM Re: Ideal Bedding area [Re: eastTN270]
Hunter 257W
10 Point

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3522
Loc: Franklin County

I've got a bag of switchgrass(can't recall the exact variety) that I want to plant this year. I figure that a couple acres should be good bedding cover if located in the right place. I like that it's supposed to stand up all Winter from 3 to 5 feet tall.

I figure that over time some wild trees would sprout up in it to add cover. Around my place hackberry and honeylocust are likely. Supposedly deer eat honeylocust to some degree.

Edited by Hunter 257W (12/06/12 12:29 PM)

#3066230 - 12/06/12 01:00 PM Re: Ideal Bedding area [Re: cdave89]
String Music
8 Point

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Knoxville

As in the Real Estate business, bedding areas are all about location, location, location.

A common misconception among hunters and land managers is that thickness equals bedding. This may hold true in the midwest and other agricultural areas, but this certianly is not the golden rule on our property.

Before doing any habitat work aimed at enhancing bedding areas, the first priority should be figuring out where deer prefer to bed on the property and why they prefer to bed there. Once you do this, you can then begin to create new bedding areas and enhance established ones.

The best time to locate these areas is immediately after the season ends (or during season if your tags are filled) rather than in the summer or early fall. Once the leaves fall off and cover is more sparse, deer are much more strategic about where they bed.

After learning as much about the where and why aspects of bedding areas on my property, I've discovered a few common characteristics among the many beds I've found:
1) Deer bed up high to take advantage of the rising thermals
2) they bed in locations that allow them to see any danger approaching from below
3) they bed on the leeward side of the hill (opposite side from prevailing wind)so that they can smell danger above them due to the prevailing wind's tumbling effect
4) Does tend to be in cover with each doe facing a different direction looking for danger
5) Bucks tend to bed in front of cover to break up their outline
6) The preferred type of cover is fallen tree tops or hinge-cut trees

I can then use both a topo and aerial map to locate and enhance other areas that have similar characteristics. I'll start by following the first elevation marker below the top of the mountain or hill (typically 1/3 way down from top). I'll follow this line all the way around the mountain looking for points, knolls and other locations that have a sudden drop in elevation (or places I found when scouting).

If deer aren't already bedding in these spots, it's likely due to a lack of structure. To enhance these areas, I'll take my chainsaw and hinge-cut trees of various sizes. I'll usually hinge-cut a larger diameter tree and then hinge-cut several small trees around it.

So, to answer your question, I would do the following if I could start over from scratch:
1) concentrate on areas the deer prefer to bed in during the fall and winter months
2) create structure in these areas by hinge-cutting large and small diameter trees
3) Most importantly, make these areas "bedding sanctuaries" that are off-limits to all human intrusion with few exceptions
"For I know the plans I have for you..." Jer. 29:11

#3066270 - 12/06/12 01:31 PM Re: Ideal Bedding area [Re: String Music]
Bayou Buck
10 Point

Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 2725
Loc: Spring Hill / Perry Co

If I had the funds I would take all my south and southeast facing slopes that are clearcut and put an extensive series of fire breaks in them and put them on a 4 yr burning rotation. This would provide both adequate cover as well as food for my herd.
#3066364 - 12/06/12 02:42 PM Re: Ideal Bedding area [Re: Bayou Buck]
Football Hunter

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 25536
Loc: Wilson Co/Perry Co

Dont need to plant a thing,just crank up the chain saw and cut,and cut and cut
The best day to plant a tree,IS TODAY!

You wont know,if you dont go!

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