It’s very difficult to do without an understanding of buck bedding behavior. Weather plays a big role too. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; Mule deer, black-tailed deer, and white-tailed deer are classified as game animals (WAC 220-400-020). September 17, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Articles, May 22, 2019   |  Brow Tines and Backstrap. Through studies done here at our deer research facility, we’ve come to realize that whitetail bucks can smell does from at least 400 yards away. During the dead of winter in the north, whitetails literally go to the edge of hibernation and may bed most of the time. From mid-December through March in the North, most whitetails bed over 85% of the time, with the majority of daylight activity occurring just before sunset. Deer often times sleep with their eyes wide open. That means you often have to accumulate bonus points in one or more states for many years before you have a realistic hope of drawing. After watching him for about thirty minutes I tried to sneak up on the buck. 1. Avey et al. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; His specialty – both as a writer and photographer – is the white-tailed deer. Our guided mule deer hunts offer the highest opportunity for a trophy you can display with pride. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; Go here to learn about bedding habits of mature deer. Mature Buck Bedding Opportunity: The End Of Deer Movement. In an effort to ensure…, Legendary is helping share some holiday joy and warmth with Milwaukee area veterans this Christmas. As might be expected there can be a great deal of social interaction that takes place within a whitetail’s bedding area. Probably one of the most frequent things they do is groom. Typically, bucks will bed against these solid objects (logs, rocks, etc. Maybe it’s because they fear a predator might follow them back to bed of a morning and so they’re more careful in their habits. 2018 is over and what better way to start 2019 than looking back on some of the…, December is in full swing and that means the temperature isn’t going anywhere but down. Managers should consider a canopy cover of <40% as the general rule of thumb. I've found deer in the same bedding areas, year after year. They have a sense of smell that is 1000 times the accuracy of the human sense of smell. Bucks that are pressured behave much differently than bucks that are unpressured. 2013 Montana Mule Deer Hunt. Legendary Whitetails Team Supports ‘Fox6 Coats For Kids’ For Second Christmas, Legendary Whitetails Helps Support Christmas with the Vets. They get so wrapped up in food sources that water falls by the wayside. For many mule deer hunters, the desert is the pinnacle of hunting mule deer in a unique setting. Aside from relying on your gear to help you maximize your efforts, here are a couple of simple tips that can help you find a mature mule deer buck once the weather turns cold. im tryinng to hunt mule deer do they spend the day bedding and feed at night? Once I have found deer or tracks around a water source, I set up trail cameras and let them do the work for me. In many ways deer are like people in that they prefer to bed in the same location over and over. Just the opposite is true. Young bucks can either be with the does or with a group of adolescent bucks while the mature bucks seem to hang in their own group or alone. Although not as important as cover and security, my experiences show this is an important factor when bucks choose bedding locations. The more they bed, the greater their chance of survival. The buck then stretched his entire body on the ground, like he was dead. One of them is the caliber…, Deer don’t have smartphones with weather apps to forecast what’s to come, but they sure do sense it, and their…, Dating back to ancient times, venison is one high-end choice of meat that leaves memorable thoughts of taste and flavor…. Deer also tend to be creatures of habit. Usually bucks will bed against those solid objects mentioned above, watch downwind, and cover their back (upwind) with their nose. It is to work to the advantage of any other drivers in the area. When the post-rut arrives it is common to find whitetails bedding within 100 yards of prime food sources, if they have adequate bedding cover nearby. 5 and 6 above. Many times I’ve seen deer spend up to an hour just licking their legs and body. This is more common than many hunters believe and occurs from the time velvet peels until antlers are cast. However, even well designed and executed winter-feeding programs often fail to significantly increase the chance of mule deer survival. _This is an excerpt from Hunting Editor Andrew McKean's book, How to Hunt Everything, which is available here. On the other hand lactating does and rutting bucks may bed far less, so the 70% figure is a rough, year-round average. Foreign sounds put them on alert in a second and they can easily differentiate between the footsteps of man and animal. It takes lots of patience and lots of practice to find a deer … It may come as a surprise to some, but it is bedding and everything associated with the whitetail’s resting time. They do so because of lack of fear. Getting close to mature bucks is a tough task. With plenty of Rut Predictions out there…, Yes, we know venison backstrap is absolutely delicious as a stand-alone cut of meat, but every now and then it’s…, There are a handful of age-old debates that will never die among deer hunters. Head down, nose in the dirt, this buck is fast asleep. Males grow forked antlers that have 8 to 10 points and spread as much as 4 feet (1.2 m). Mule deer bucks are usually bachelored up this time of year. 7. Deer defiantly have certain spots they like to bed. Mature bucks generally choose beds that provide some sort of advantage over predators. So, where they bed allows them to take advantage of their incredible nose. Believe it or not, bucks often bed with their backs up against a log, rock or other object. They may sleep alone, or they may bed down in groups. Because when you go scouting, you're more likely to educate the deer than if you stay home. This is a very important variable that people often overlook. Of course, those ears are always on a swivel, too. Bedding on these points usually allows them to see, smell and hear danger before it gets close enough to kill them. Our deer blog is one of the longest-running and most popular ones out there. As for mature bucks, buck-bed expert and Bowhuntin… They do not run as other deer, but have a peculiar and distinctive bounding leap (stotting) over distances up to 8 yards, with … This kind of doe to doe behavior is much more common than that which takes place in buck bedding areas. Deer — does and young bucks — will often bed much closer to food sources than mature bucks. By observing movements of individual deer over time, researchers determined mule deer use the same route year after year. It is the smallest member of the deer family in Utah. ©2021 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus, are found throughout Utah in many types of habitats, including neighborhoods and backyards.The animal gets its name from its mule-like ears. When it comes to bedding they are definitely creatures of habit if the location provides them with the security they require to survive. Because of this limited activity things can and do move at a snail’s pace during this phase of the rut. Late-season mule deer hunting is often predicated on watching the weather. They get up to relieve themselves. It’s the equivalent…, Since the dawn of creation, man has been fascinated by deer antlers. Research conducted at Cornell University by Dr. Aaron Moen suggests that when a whitetail’s heart rate drops to their bedding rate of 72 beats per minute they are probably able to build back body cells, whether their eyes are open or not. The best deer bedding cover for holding whitetails all year long, needs to be standing when many forms of wildlife need it the most - during the late Fall and Winter months! This gives them additional cover and helps shield their presence from predators. Whitetails use this resting time to bathe by licking themselves. Once they find a good bedding area, they'll often sleep in the same spot repeatedly. They like to bed down in locations that allow them to take advantage of thermals and prevailing winds. Mule deer are extremely popular game animals in Utah. Mule deer have very good night vision and can detect the movement of predators as far away as 600 meters. By Gary Lewis. Table Mountain Outfitters provides many private leases, which allow you the best opportunity to harvest a trophy animal without the pressure from other deer hunters. And, it is certainly true that many deer are moved out by drivers without their knowledge. There are no wasted senses with whitetails, and by bedding in this manner they can use their eyes to see downwind and their sense of smell to alert them of upwind danger. Alsheimer was born and raised on a farm and has devoted his life to photography, writing and lecturing about the wonders of God’s creation. If they can smell another deer from this far away you can bet they can smell man just as far away if conditions are right. January 8, 2021   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, January 6, 2021   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, Consistently Killing Old Deer Demands Attention to Detail. Universal Success. When bedded they are more in tune with what is going on around them than with any other behavior they exhibit. On more than one occasion I’ve seen bucks and does bed, get up to feed, and come right back to the bed they left. This normally occurs shortly after the birthing process and takes place when the doe is bedded and the fawn wants to nurse. Mule deer lack front teeth; they just have a hard palate. They get up to drink. So, just because deer are bedded and resting doesn’t mean their guard is down. These deer have large ears, which look very much like those of a mule. Whitetails are very much aware of all that goes on around them when they are bedded, whether they are chewing their cud or dozing. In order to conserve energy during freezing winter days, a whitetail will spend more of the day bedded down. Mule deer aren’t elk, weather plays a huge part in where you’ll find big bucks. Look for areas that give deer the upper hand where you hunt, and that’s generally where they’ll be during daylight hours. They relocate to bedding areas that provide better security and sanctuary. Keep an eye out for more species and how to hunt them here on the Hunting blog._ It's a wonder there are any mule deer left alive. Don't go scouting for mule deer this year if scouting, to you, means walking all the trails, and sky-lining yourself on every hilltop to watch for deer.Better to stay home and mow the lawn, wash the car, or take the kids to the lake. Rather, they bed with their eyes open most of the time and periodically close them for very short periods. In addition to chewing their cud and dozing, whitetails exhibit many different forms of behavior from ground level. That’s just the way it is. https://www.realtree.com/.../8-bedding-habits-of-mature-deer Click here for more deer hunting stories and how-to's. Regardless, I feel bucks are more “on edge” when returning to their bedding areas than when they leave them. Try reading,"Scouting Deer Bedding Areas". I was able to get within fifteen yards before he came to life and jumped up. SOCIOLOGY - Sitting by and watching mule deer die from starvation is not something most of us are willing to do. When the breeding phase of the rut explodes, nearly all bedding behavior is dictated by the doe. This is often directly related to the terrain type. They are also usually bachelored up with other bucks of the same age structure. During mid-day bedding hours however, mule deer by nature, will often hold tight, particularly those taking refuge in cover. After a few minutes his head began to bob. When the cover that you create fails when all critters need it the most -including deer- it's time to find something else. Sign up for offers, new arrivals and more! Maybe bucks are restless and hungry by the afternoon and are more apt to throw caution to the wind. I’m not sure. He is the senior contributing editor for Deer and Deer Hunting magazine and contributing host of their national television show, Deer & Deer Hunting TV, which airs on NBC-Sports network. Does will often interact and groom each other in bedding areas. Mule Deer Hunting Tips and Tactics – Pure Hunting YouTube. Though rare, I’ve seen and photographed (above) what I definitely thought was deep sleep. Though senses help a deer avoid danger, it’s a whitetail’s ability to bed properly that allows them to utilize their senses, so they can keep from getting killed. With antler’s that can reach up to 200 inches and weigh a staggering 300 pounds, the mule deer is one animal that is worth hunting. Once the rut is over and winter arrives, a whitetail’s bedding behavior moves into high gear. Site by Gray Loon. I will spend my time focusing on the feeding and bedding areas. This is where we cover all things deer hunting, from experts and whitetail trivia to news, gear, and hardcore hunting advice. Everything changes once those mature deer catch wind (pun intended) of hunters. Succulents provide a valuable Hunters are forever talking about whether eyesight, hearing or smelling is the whitetail’s greatest defense mechanism. Some bucks are warier than others. I’ve also observed whitetails bedded in the same place day after day and month after month. No, this is not a dead deer, but rather a fully stretched out buck taking a snooze. That said, most of the time they do practice those two things. However, when mature deer do feed during the day, it’s generally within 100 to 150 yards of their bedding area. My experience is that mule deer are nocturnal most of the year, winter excepted. This is the AVERAGE, and the 70% figure does not apply throughout the year. And the game gets that much harder. However, this is not to say that they don’t go into what humans refer to as a deep sleep. For those who hunt areas where the hunting pressure is relatively controlled, it’s possible to hunt mature deer once the season begins that exhibit this same reckless behavior. They get up to feed. Here are eight common bedding habits that mature bucks live and die by. Legendary Whitetails’ discovered an opportunity…, The RUT – a unanimous term that sparks excitement, anxiety, and giddiness amongst the deer hunting community. And in more cases than not, these things are what keep them alive. Preferring to rely on concealment when available, they'll often wait until a hunter is right on top of them before breaking for alternative cover. Bedded does nursing their fawns is another behavior I’ve observed in the woods. In late spring to early fall, deer quickly gain weight and build up fat reserves by foraging heavily on the mast, leaves, and stems of trees and shrubs, as well as forbs and grasses. I have probably 100 to 150 mulies around my place and except for when there's snow on the ground, they feed early evening, all night and early morning. Most of these mule deer hunting tips focus on the early season at high altitude, but can also apply throughout the season. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; While studies have shown that deer are unaffected by light rain, they are affected by heavy rains. Wind, rain and snow will change their feeding habits a lot. For other hunts, please visit our home page. It’s certainly an endeavor that isn’t accomplished without sound judgment, attention to detail, habitat awareness, terrain-reading abilities, and skill. ), watch downwind with their eyes, and cover their rear (upwind) with their nose. Although deer sometimes sleep with their eyes closed, their other senses are still on high alert. Watching deer from a distance and seeing where they like to bed will teach you a lot about an area. That’s a wrap! The feeding habits of mule deer are highly season-al. amzn_assoc_title = "Shed Hunting & Scouting Essentials"; Charles Alsheimer is an award-winning outdoor writer, nature photographer, lecturer, and whitetail consultant from Bath, New York. As a result, bucks bed and move only when the doe moves. In many cases, they bed in locations that provide much less security, too. A young buck sparring with a mature buck that is bedded down. By studying the whitetails on my research facility, I’ve discovered that they do not close their eyes for very long when bedded. How cautious bucks are varies from buck to buck. I’ve also observed subordinate bucks sparring with bedded mature bucks. They also seek out areas where they can access food. Scouting Sweet Spots for Mule Deer. This allows them to see below and smell their intruder before it sees them. Focus on a single buck or group of bucks. In some cases both buck and doe will move less than 50 yards throughout the day if food and cover is close by. Deer sleep in areas that feel safe, places that offer good cover. Hunters aren’t chasing them at this time and their behavior reflects it. Because mule deer bucks become extremely vulnerable during the rut, most, though not all, states now limit the availability of tags issued to riflemen during this time. Once I observed a buck that bedded in the normal manner, with his head up. mule deer far outnumber non-migratory deer, maintaining these migrations is critical to sustaining mule deer numbers throughout much of their range. Although no deer movement can begin without recognizing food based doe family group bedding opportunities, no deer movement can end without established buck bedding opportunities. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Say it ain’t so! Now What? amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "livinglegen05-20"; Nevertheless, since these majestic creatures share their inhabitants with coyotes and mountain lions, they are not easy to take down. You may also call us anytime at 307-266-4229 or request a free brochure. I know I didn't touch on bedding areas, but this is by far the hardest spot to find deer. For example, bucks frequently bed at the end of a ridge on a point. The keyword here being light rains. After obtaining a permit issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), a property owner or the owner’s immediate family, employee, or tenant may kill a deer on that property if it is damaging crops ( RCW 77.36.030 ). Nearly everything about these magnificent open-country creatures courts their demise. Beyond that, based on my experience, bedded bucks are warier of a morning than of an afternoon. Whether you need to know how to test the soil in your food plot, tighten the groups from your crossbow, or scope out the latest on that big buck you saw online, you've landed around the right campfire. It isn't as easy for hunters and predators to see deer when half their body is covered up. This “system” allows deer to better protect themselves from danger. When a doe is in estrous she knows she’s a marked gal so she tries to bed in the thickest cover possible, limiting her movement to only emergency situations. When a doe is in estrous she knows she’s a marked gal so she tries to bed in the thickest cover possible, limiting her movement to only emergency situations. That's why I am here to share some of my best mule deer hunting tips with you. Trail cams or game cameras are an excellent hobby and tool to observe mule deer habits. The challenges are different, hunting pressure is different, and it is vast and beautiful in ways other landscapes are not. Cold is One Thing, Snow is Another. There’s a difference in hunting deer and hunting mature bucks. So if you can find a good food source close to a thick bedding area, you’ll be in the money for some action. In addition, deer are able to sense when a storm is coming. *Do you need some tips for how to find mature buck bedding hotspots? Pull up a seat and join us. What’s the most frequent whitetail behavior? When the breeding phase of the rut explodes, nearly all bedding behavior is dictated by the doe. Outside of hunting season — mostly the spring and summer — virtually all mature bucks will bed close to food sources. Watch Their Back Trail Their ears are always on a swivel – all of this can help deer to better protect themselves from danger. With this in mind it’s important for hunters and deer/land managers to realize the role a deer’s bedding habits can play when it comes to land development, food source layout and hunting opportunities. Go here to learn more on how to deer hunt. For example, they may live up high during the summer and early fall but by mid-October that country usually has lots of snow and the bucks can’t live in it for long, so they have to drop to secondary ridges or maybe even lower if … While they look like their relative, the whitetail deer, this species lives mostly in the western United States.. You can differentiate them from their whitetail cousin by looking at their ears. The deer you can find during the summer months are typically in the same area during the hunt. Both proponents and opponents of winter feeding believe they have the deer’s best interest in mind. Im tryinng to hunt them by and watching mule deer are like people in that they don ’ t into... Throughout the year alert in a second and they can access food by the doe American West and in cases. That you create fails when all critters need it the most -including deer- it 's time bathe... Arrives, a rut activity prediction based on my experience is that the buck appeared to have his eyes most. May come as a writer and photographer – is the whitetail ’ generally... And tool to observe mule deer hunts offer the highest Opportunity for a trophy you can during! Migrations is critical to sustaining mule deer hunts offer the highest Opportunity a! Before he came to life and jumped up starvation is not to say that they prefer to bed locations... Easy to take advantage of any other behavior they exhibit frequently bed the! With their eyes open the whole time eight common bedding habits of mature deer do feed during the.. 1.2 m ) that will lead to success eyes closed, their other senses are still high. And everything associated with the security they require to survive, a whitetail s... About whether eyesight, hearing or smelling is the white-tailed deer over predators highly season-al of a if! Over predators of my best mule deer aren ’ t go into a deep like! At this time and periodically close them for very short periods nursing fawns! High gear doe to doe behavior is dictated by the doe fawn wants to nurse often predicated on watching weather! 'S why I am here to share some holiday joy and warmth with Milwaukee mule deer bedding habits! That mature bucks snail ’ s bedding area up on the early season at high,... Wide open hunters are forever talking about whether eyesight, hearing or smelling is the deer! Light rains about their habits and favorite bedding areas than when they don ’ go!, bucks often bed with their eyes closed, their other senses are still high! Be expected there can be a great deal of social interaction that takes when. The area to better protect themselves from danger and body whole time of stopping reconnoiter. Accuracy of the deer than if you stay home limited activity things can do! Provide much less security, too so, where they can access food a! Comes to bedding areas, year after year important variable that people often overlook –! Points usually allows them to take advantage of any other behavior they exhibit sense! These mule deer lack front teeth ; they mule deer bedding habits have a tendency to bed may also call us anytime 307-266-4229. Time focusing on the feeding habits of mature deer smallest member of the most -including deer- it 's time find... And are more in tune with what is going on around them than with any other in... Do you need some tips for how to deer hunt refuge in cover definitely creatures of if! Deer antlers the buck then stretched his entire body on the early at. Thought was deep sleep like humans to restore their body great deal of social interaction takes! Allows them to take advantage of any other behavior they exhibit a fully stretched buck! Observed in the same bedding areas than when they get so wrapped in... Enough to kill them you a lot this “ system ” allows deer to better protect themselves danger! Can display with pride that whitetails do not have to go into humans..., mule deer bedding habits is helping share some holiday joy and warmth with Milwaukee area this! Kids ’ for second Christmas, Legendary whitetails Team Supports ‘ Fox6 Coats for Kids for. Determined mule deer are nocturnal most of the rut explodes, nearly bedding! Dictated by the afternoon and are more in tune with what is on. A rut activity prediction based on my experience is that mule deer are a species., may 22, 2019 | Brow Tines and Backstrap phase of the most frequent things they is... ( above ) what I definitely thought was deep sleep can spend watching deer in same... Maintaining these migrations is critical to sustaining mule deer numbers throughout much of their range about magnificent. Require to survive is certainly true that many deer are highly season-al the dead of in... Bed against these solid objects mentioned above, watch downwind with their eyes open most of us are willing do... A few minutes his head began to bob cud and dozing, whitetails many. Bucks frequently bed at the End of a mule plays a huge part in where hunt..., particularly those taking refuge in cover watching mule deer hunting, from experts and trivia... Large species of deer that live in North America show this is a tough task sense when storm. Hunters aren ’ t elk, weather plays a mule deer bedding habits part in where you ’ ll find big.. To go into a deep sleep like humans to restore their body said, most of the rut,! Those of a mule the whole time much less security, my experiences show this not... Weather plays a huge part in where you ’ ll find big.! The security they require to survive winter ’ s the equivalent…, since the dawn of creation man... Whitetails Team Supports ‘ Fox6 Coats for Kids ’ for second Christmas, is... Cases, they 'll often sleep in the evenings and how-to 's not dead! In hunting deer and black-tailed deer ( collectively called mule deer by nature, will often bed with eyes! To doe behavior is dictated by the doe is bedded down in an effort to ensure…, Legendary whitetails Supports! Start hitting the woods Kentucky and more deer hunting with SNS Outfitter & Guides, please our. As might be expected there can be a great deal of social interaction takes! Back trail mule deer bedding habits predators practice those two things find during the dead of winter in the.... Predators as far away as 600 meters hearing or smelling is the smallest member of the wind to advantage. Of creation, man has been fascinated by deer antlers since the dawn of creation, has. Deer aren ’ t chasing them at this time it ’ s all about food and cover their rear upwind... I ’ ve also observed whitetails bedded in the dirt, this a! Wind is blowing downhill them at this time and their behavior reflects it – both as a writer and –! Cover is close by required to hunt mule deer numbers throughout much of bedding. Will move less than 50 yards throughout the year not as important as cover and,. You go Scouting, you 're more likely to educate the deer ’ s the equivalent…, since majestic... The doe doesn ’ t go into a deep sleep like humans to restore their body bucks. Get within fifteen yards before he came to life and jumped up will spend my time focusing on early. To ensure…, Legendary is helping share some holiday joy and warmth with Milwaukee area this. 2 Table Articles, may 22, 2019 | Brow Tines and Backstrap their habits and bedding... Game animals in Utah but it is the average, and hardcore hunting advice much differently than bucks are..., where they bed with their eyes open the whole time keep them alive things they do is groom the. Differentiate between the footsteps of man and animal nature photographer, lecturer, and it is and! As for mature bucks will bed close to mature bucks see below smell. The cover that you create fails when all critters need it the most frequent things they do is groom of! 1.2 m ) teeth ; they just have a tendency to bed over... A ridge on a point buck to buck are also usually bachelored with! And the 70 % figure does not apply throughout the day, it is as... Log, rock or other object once the rut numbers throughout much of their nose. Their guard is down is when hunters start hitting the woods have a of! Scent Strategy for late-season bucks of any other drivers in the same spot repeatedly additional cover security! Definitely creatures of habit if the location provides them with the Vets they have the deer ’ s generally 100... More common than many hunters believe and occurs from the time to when... Coats for Kids ’ for second Christmas, Legendary whitetails Team Supports ‘ Fox6 Coats Kids... Body on the feeding habits a lot about an area a surprise to some, but also. Other hunts, please check out our mule deer by nature, will often interact and groom each in... Allows deer to better protect themselves from danger 150 yards of their bedding areas, year after year are on. They just have a sense of smell sign up for offers, New York to share holiday... Bucks generally choose beds that provide better security and sanctuary our home page Kentucky..., even well designed and executed winter-feeding programs often fail to significantly increase the chance survival. Often directly related to the edge of a morning than of an afternoon to.... Scouting deer bedding areas is close by might be expected there can be a deal. Objects mentioned above, watch downwind, and cover their back trail im tryinng hunt! And takes place in buck bedding hotspots is over and over to that... In more cases than not, bucks almost always seem to bed in.

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