Bedding area spacing

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by pinetag, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. pinetag

    pinetag Active Member

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    Location:
    Virginia
    Hardiness Zone:
    7a
    How far apart do bedding areas need to be for deer to feel comfortable? In other words, if you were hinge cutting some small areas to provide more cover and you wanted multiple bedding sites, how far apart should they be? Within site of each other? 50-100 yards apart? 100+ yards apart? I know it can vary by property/habitat but I'm just trying to get a general consensus.
     
  2. HB_Hunter

    HB_Hunter Active Member

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    Location:
    Eastern Kentucky
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    My area is full of ridges with fingers coming off that make ideal bedding spots and benches that are great bedding. As much as I’d like to think I could hinge some areas and get the does to bed there, I am not sure that would happen if they were in locations they normally wouldn’t bed in.

    My plan is to improve existing bedding sites that I know the deer are currently using and improve other sites that have everything they need except thick cover. Topography will dictate how far each are apart.

    I’m fairly certain Jeff recommended 50 yard square bedding areas against lines of movement and food sources. I don’t recall him suggesting how far apart they should be.

    I just looked at Steve’s book again and he doesn’t give a specific number either. I looked at two of the plans and the first (120 acres) has 15 hinge cut doe bedding areas and the other (80 acres) has 19 hinge cut doe bedding areas.

    I’m interested to hear what has worked for others.




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  3. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    I think it would depend on terrain, cover density and if your targeting does or bucks. I would certainly think that in most cases out of sight and further apart would more than likely be better. I also think deer tend to bed in relationship to terrain features, visibility and cover......I tend to look for these ares when I do these cuts vs just randomly scattering them around.
     
  4. pinetag

    pinetag Active Member

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    Location:
    Virginia
    Hardiness Zone:
    7a
    So let's say a vast majority of your property is flat river bottom land with mostly mature timber? There seems to be plenty of good cover during the summer but a fair amount of it dies back in the winter (pics of grasses and shrubs below), opening up the property for further line of sight. I just want to be able to provide some cover to keep them in the area during the season as opposed to just passing through. My preliminary thought is space them about 100 yards apart which should minimize sight from one bedding area to the next.
    Bottom land photo 1-12-18.jpg Bottom land photo 2 1-12-18.jpg
     
  5. HB_Hunter

    HB_Hunter Active Member

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    Location:
    Eastern Kentucky
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    Are you planning to have a logger come in to remove the mature trees? How large is the property? Any existing food plots/ag fields or is it just a stand of mature timber? Any concentrations of mast trees?

    If you have food plots/ag fields, I would start with edge feathering first and then work on some doe bedding areas just off of the edge feathering close to the food sources. If its pancake flat, there are probably still some spots they prefer to bed in there. I’d start there first and if you have time and energy go with the hundred yard idea.


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  6. Weezy

    Weezy Member

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    Location:
    SC and NE PA
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    Since your gonna be hinge cutting you should have plenty of side cover to hide them. I think 100 yards will be plenty.

    I have 13 hinge cut bedding areas on 166 acres of open hardwood ridges and points. Some are 20,60 or over 100 yards apart from each other. All are based on topography. I hunted this fall near 2 that are 60 yards apart and observed does bedding in 1 and a 7 point in the other.
    I
     
  7. pinetag

    pinetag Active Member

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    Location:
    Virginia
    Hardiness Zone:
    7a
    It's 43 acres of mature timber and i do not plan to have it cut. There are no ag fields adjacent to the property, only cow pastures and more mature woods along the river. But there are a few cutovers and ag fields in the general area. The oaks are sporadic but there is a concentration in the corner nearest the pasture that resides to the west. Probably 10+ good sized white oaks all on close proximity.

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  8. pinetag

    pinetag Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    Good to know! I plan on creating 5 hinge cut bedding areas for 43 acres, all located toward the center of the property.

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  9. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    My hinge cut bedding areas in a mainly mature forest on my property are done along a pattern as most have heard me label and describe Random Clusters in my thread. They follow a pattern from bottom to top of my farm. Their purpose is not only to provide a thickened area for bedding but also to promote travel of bucks as they hopscotch from cluster to cluster. I do tend to cut these in areas I know deer do or will bed based on wind and typography.
    I've found that it is def best to cut chest high. And the deer tend to bed along the edges created and not within the cut. The pattern has worked well for me and I see deer bed near them and they have promoted travel of bucks as they wind check fields for doe. These all sit 100 yds+ down wind of my plots typically . Now is a great time to hinge as the deer will heavily browse the dropped growth. I dropped 30 trees in about an hour yesterday edge feathering a field and to try and provide food in this crazy winter we have. Good luck.
     

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