March 10, 2022 4 min read


When it is about finding and targeting buck bedding areas, one question that we always ask ourselves when we decide where to sit is — “Is the risk worth the reward?”

So, is there a way to know how close is too close – and can you get away with it? Unquestionably, there are times to place in order to play it safe, but that is not always the case. To get your hands on mature bucks consistently, you have to be aggressive many a time, particularly on public land.

Knowing bedding areas and animal habits can be challenging. Even the most experienced of hunters sometimes mess up the situation. But, but with every mistake they make, they learn a lesson. Experts suggest that if you are not bumping the animal and you are swearing at yourself occasionally, then you are not getting close enough. Obviously, the very first step to successfully identifying bedding areas is to find them.


Private vs. Public Bedding Areas

Finding deer beds may not be that tough on private land, and one can locate a common area where deer bed without much difficulty. If private landowners oversee their land quite well, their deer may not be pressured. This lets them to move around to more open areas, more often.

They may also stay away from the areas that are easy to hunt, and they can bed remotely into private areas as there are always less hunters, compared to public areas. However, they also go to find remote areas that are often overlooked by hunters and that’s what we are looking for.

Deer love to bed down in the most-protected and thickest areas. In general, hunters normally hunt around the trails between several beds and food sources. However, if you manage to locate an area, where deer are bedding down, you surely will have an edge over other hunters.

There is a reason why many hunters do not prefer hunting bedding areas on public land. Reason being, the pressured deer prefer moving far into the dense woods and bed in the areas that are toughest to get to. Therefore, it can be quite tedious to find such an area, and it is even more difficult to hunt them.


How to Find and Hunt Buck Bedding Areas

Fall obviously means the season to hunt deer, and getting close to a mature buck is no mean feat. It is extremely crucial to focus on even the minutest of details, including the bedding behavior of buck. You have to understand the right feeding areas, terrain, etc. to hunt deer bedding areas. Here are eight common bedding habits of mature bucks that will help you find and hunt buck bedding areas.

  • Use Favorable Terrain: In comparison to younger does and bucks, mature bucks usually bed in the areas that offer some kind of advantage over predators, compared to the areas that are closer to food sources. It all boils down to terrain. For instance, bucks regularly bed on a point, where the ridge ends. Bedding on such points, in general, lets them watch or sense danger before it gets too close to kill them.


  • When Unpressured, Stay Close to Food: Hunting season can affect where bucks choose to bed. During the summer and spring seasons – when mature bucks are usually not hunted – they behave like any other deer and bed close to food sources. If you hunt in a region where hunting pressure is under control, you have a higher odds of hunting a mature buck in any of such areas.


  • When Pressured, Bed in Remote Areas: Once the hunting season begins, mature bucks retreat to remote areas that are usually away from food sources. They remain in these regions and avoid moving during the daytime, eventually making the hunting game even harder.


  • Remain Close to Water Sources: While hunters largely focus on food sources, water sources are equally important too, bucks will surround themselves by water in high ground in cattail marshes & on islands in lakes and ponds not only this gives them ability to protect themselves from hunters but also keep themselves hydrated at all times.



  • Keep Their Backs to the Wall: Mature bucks often bed with their backs up against a log, rock, or any other similar object. This gives them extra cover and safeguard them from possible predators, making it tougher for hunters and predators to observe them when their body is partially covered up.


  • Face Downwind: Bucks usually bed against the solid structures (as mentioned above), observe downwind, and cover the back (upwind) using their nose. Their ears are constantly in swivel motion – all of which help them to better safeguard themselves from potential threats.


  • Watch Their Back Trail: Obviously, one can’t presume that mature bucks will always face downwind or keep their backs up against a vertical structure. Many a time, they do practice these things, but even when they don’t act in these ways, they are likely to bed down and see their back trail for hunters and predators.


Caution May Vary: The extent of cautiousness may differ from buck to buck. Every whitetail has a uniquely different personality – some are more careful than others, whereas others are somewhat careless. Experts believe that bedded bucks tend to be more cautious in the morning, compared to the afternoon. This may be because bucks tend to be more restless and hungry by the afternoon, eventually making them less cautious.

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