How To: Hunt deer near bedding areas… Not in them

Hunt deer near bedding areas… Not in them

Want to know the easiest way to fail when bowhunting a big whitetail deer? Try to get in his bedroom.

Wade Bourne of shows you how to hunt deer near bedding areas… Not in them.

Many hunters attempt to hunt in bedding areas, but this approach is very risky. Bucks know their thickets and overgrown fields the way humans know their houses. Try to slip into a buck's bedroom, and most of the time he will detect you're there and slip away unseen.

Here's another tip. Don't hunt immediately over a buck's food source. In the morning, chances are high that you will spook the buck out of the feeding area as you're slipping in the pre-dawn darkness. Or, in the afternoon, chances are high that the buck will linger back in cover around the feeding area until dark, then come out. Old, mature bucks don't usually like to expose themselves in open areas in broad daylight.

Instead of the two options above, set up in transition areas between bedding and feeding areas. Find the trail a buck is using to travel between these two areas, then place a stand to intercept him along this route.

When scouting, setting up stands, and approaching transition trails, always do so from downwind. Set your stand on the downwind side of the trail. If the wind shifts so your scent will blow across the trail, don't hunt there. Go someplace else. There are many products and strategies for minimizing human scent in the field, but it's difficult to totally eliminate these odors. And one whiff of a human in his territory is enough to send an old buck packing.

So again, don't hunt in a buck's bedroom or kitchen. Instead, hunt the hallway between these "rooms" in the deer's house, and be careful to stay downwind. Then you'll have a high chance of catching the buck unaware as he moves from bedding to feeding, or vice versa.

Hunt deer near bedding areas… Not in them

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