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Mature buck bedding areas...


Now Posts as Jesse..
SE Ohio
What's the belief that mature bucks have a defined bedding area that they use with regularity, even down to bedding within a few feet of the same spot religiously?

I've never had much luck defining the bedroom of a mature buck. In the past, I have bumped more big bucks from seemingly random locations than I have from places you would consider to be a "traditional" bedding area. I feel a big buck will bed in two types of places: thick shit you can't crawl in and spots where they can see everything but directly behind them. I have a theory that mature bucks when bedding in more open spaces, will be within 3 bounds of safety at all times. I also believe that they know where and how they will escape a location before they lay down. If I have bumped a mature buck off a ridge edge once in my life, I've done it a half dozen times.

Until recently, I've been of the opinion that mature bucks bed at random. However, with my encounters with Crazy Rack and my find will scouting in August (4' bed worn to bare dirt under a canopy of brush located in a swamp and surrounded by large tracks, droppings, and rubs) I've started to wonder if some bucks actually have a defined bedroom and one they'll return to religiously. The bed I found back in August, was obviously used VERY regularly. Crazy Rack seems to be bedding in the same location time and time again. It has me wondering what really goes on when it comes to a bedding area and a mature buck.

If you do feel mature bucks bed in the same locations religously, what about those locations makes them suitable for such activity? What have you consistently noticed about mature bucks and bedding areas in your career?


Senior Member
It's all about safety, safety, safety, and 3 bounds away from escape.
The food and water can generally wait until after darkness.
I have an increased encounter rate on the edges of shelfs, draws, and dropoffs.


Senior Member
Supporting Member
NW Ohio Tundra
A good bedding area for mature bucks that I have found up here is a triangular area of about 1 acre of horseweeds that is bordered on 1 side by a large creek and the other side by an electric fenced cattle pasture. The 3rd side opens up to large open woods. Bucks feel secure by having protective boundaries close to their beds, in this case the creek and fence. The weeds are 8-10 feet tall in there and there is nothing thicker than this in the area. This is the spot where i killed my buck last year, he was bedded about 24 yards from my stand.

I hunted that stand last year 4 times. I saw a buck in there 3 out of the 4 times I hunted it, and they were all different bucks too.

I have hunted the same spot 2 times this year and haven't even seen a deer yet, so go figure?

Overall I feel that some type of protective boundary like a creek or fenceline could play a part in how and why a buck feels secure enough to bed in a certain location.