Bedding Cover - Possible to be too thick?

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by HB_Hunter, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. HB_Hunter

    HB_Hunter Active Member

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    Location:
    Eastern Kentucky
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    I am going to be spending the majority of my habitat management time this winter in an area that was logged about four years ago. It is very thick with 5 - 10 foot poplar, briers, locusts, etc. There are some nice points that offer good bedding opportunities as well as many benches (old logging roads) that offer bedding opportunities. Many of these spots are so thick that I can barely crawl through them.

    Should I try to create narrow openings or just let them go?

    Is it possible for them to be too thick?

    I ask mainly because I watched one of Jeff's videos and he talks about dead ends/need for easy escape. I feel like these areas are so thick that deer won't feel like they have an easy way out if needed. However, they seem perfect from a hiding perspective.

    My plan is to open up the main logging roads to create more predictable movement. Just trying to determine the best plan for the bedding areas.

    Thanks for any input.
     
    tlh2865 likes this.
  2. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    if it's super thick I think your paths will facilitate movement, but my limited experience with hardwood bedding areas is one where the deer like thick cover to hide themselves and to help predators make noise, but they also want a view and a means for easy escape. In my area deer like a slope, a hill side, a point, some sort of elevation advantage if they can get one. They will bed up against the cover with the wind normally to their back. This hides the deer from sight, allows the deer to smell and hear danger from behind as it tries to contend with the thick cover and then in front of them is a more open habitat where they can see danger at a distance and the slope helps with that as well as often offers a means of easy escape. I very seldom find a deer bed that is nearly surrounded by a thick wall of cover. The deer are not going to want to give up one of their primary defense tools (sight) willingly. We often do the same thing when we hunt. We want to see as much area as possible to detect movement, yet we want something behind us to help us hide as well. We just use the wind differently because we typically don't use the wind to smell deer coming our way. My 2 cents worth...
     
  3. HB_Hunter

    HB_Hunter Active Member

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    Location:
    Eastern Kentucky
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    Thanks for the reply jbird. That makes sense. I’ll get in there and look around after the season is over to confirm how they’ve been using it.
     
  4. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    northern New York
    Hardiness Zone:
    literally on the line of 4b/5a
    This is great question you brought up HB_Hunter. In studying the deer beds here it has become apparent that deer are as unique in their bedding preferences as people are in their bar preferences. Some deer will bed in areas so thick that they can't see out and others will bed in the open with grand views of the their surroundings. And people well you know how they are in their bar preferences;everyone is different.

    The important thing here I think is how do we capitalize on discovered bedding areas. Creating paths two feet wide thru herbicide spraying and chainsawing, connecting up discovered bedding spots with other "control points" gives us the opportunity to intercept bucks in their travels. I used italics in control points as in making trails for people control points are points of interest that people might want to see like a waterfall or gorge or a special tree or even a giant boulder.. Translating that to buck control points could be water holes, down wind side of food plots,stands of briers, cut over maple areas sprouting new growth, hot doe beds, old Oak trees, hickory trees, apple trees or pear trees, drainage's, saddles or a funnel from A to B or any number of things that might draw does and thus interest a buck and be considered a trail "control point".
     
    HB_Hunter likes this.
  5. HB_Hunter

    HB_Hunter Active Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Eastern Kentucky
    Hardiness Zone:
    6b
    Thanks for the feedback Chainsaw. I guess I just want an exact answer so I can go do exactly what needs to be done :).

    I think you are right. Especially based on what I’ve seen on other parts of the farm. Honestly, I’ve only hunted this area a couple times late season. I just need to get in there and see how they are using it and make the improvements based on that.
     
  6. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    northern New York
    Hardiness Zone:
    literally on the line of 4b/5a
    Once you find their bedding spots you can change how they travel about the property with paths you make so that you can intercept them in a low impact fashion.
     

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