Buck Hollow Sporting Goods - click or touch to visit their website Midwest Habitat Company

Bedding areas


New Member
I see it all the time on hunting shows… “get between the bedding area and food.” I’ve seen deer bed down everywhere. I guess my question is how many acres constitutes a bedding area? Some of these guys are hunting huge parcels, so is a bedding area 40 acres? 60? 80? I will say terrain does matter in my opinion. I hunt 80 acres of river bottom that is in CRP, the CRP butts up to 30 acres of timber that I don’t have permission to hunt. I’ve been hunting this area for a few years and it seems the deer bed all over in the CRP. Anybody hunt anything similar? Or any advice, other than find new hunting ground lol.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I’ve seen bedding areas that are an acre or less . It really depends on the area. I don’t think there’s a real minimum, but having a lot of bedding is a huge plus!
I think it’s very dependent. I have a piece that they literally bed anywhere over 30 acres. Now that being said- the bigger bucks have very defined areas on that 30 acres.
I’d say through the whole year you can pick off certain areas that are most likely in pieces that are all over- but I don’t think I’d be real concerned. If you have does bed around the crp- the bucks will come searching.
It's all a learning game. Another frustrating thing to bedding is that it can change with the weather. In summer/early fall I tend to find bucks low in marshy, shaded areas. In the frigid winter they'll want to be backed up to some thermal cover with the sun on them. I've seen bedding areas as small as 1/2 acre and as big as 40+ (I'm also hunting smaller parcels <200ac). Mature bucks tend to have smaller bedding areas that they prefer for a reason (not only cover, but advantages to sight or smell and ability to escape)
Just lpok at it from a bucks perspective! He cannot see the does in the crp but he sure can smell them !! He will use his nose and be as far downwind of the doe areas but still off the saftey he needs for cover . Get on downwind side and watch some bucks cruise through and adjust from there!!

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
In Minnesota I hinge cut about one acres of boxelder trees. They grew up with all kinds of shoots/etc..

There were 8-9 does/fawns bedding in there the next year. It was a good spot for bucks to come check during the rut.

As the cover died out it has not been as attractive
Bedding can be ONE FALLEN TREE. So what is that, 1/10,000th of an acre?
It’s generally a terrain change. Without that, then you’re talking wide open flat timber - why that is about the worst scenario.
I’ll put this simply…. If you have wide open timber with a few terrain changes on say “40 acres of timber” - u might have 3-4 more sought after areas for bedding. With proper Tsi…. Fallen trees, new growth, new thermal cover, visual barriers, a bit of hinge, etc etc - you can have “20-30 sought after bedding areas”. Areas deer want to bed. Allows higher deer density/holding capacity, more thick “safety cover” as long as they aren’t constantly disturbed. Browse for deer is an additional side benefit. But- when you have bucks fighting over secure safe bedding with 2-3 locations, when it’s now “20-30” - a farm can clearly hold far more mature bucks. You can get in out far easier as well.
But starting out…. I’d look for thickest areas of course. Terrain changes. Bucks often bed just down the shelf of a hill. So they can see a long ways. Or say 50-100 yards inside the timber in many cases. With no enhancements - they have the advantage. Visibility & wind to their advantage. Look for back cover - fallen trees, etc. Only times I get really close to bedding is early am in rut & it’s nice to sit all day. But agree- the term “bedding” is a term thrown out with so many variables that it’s impossible to describe other than “you know it when you see it”. Thick areas and changes in terrain & just inside timber or almost to tops of hills be my answer in 75% of cases.

I’ll take a wild guess that on “average farm” that does offer thick areas…. 40 acres of timber will have more like 5-6 areas that are ideal bedding & that probably constitutes 10 of the 40 acres. Wild guesstimate. Cedars, thick new growth, thick CRP or nasty thick timber will increase this # substantially. Sorry I’m all over the map here & rambling …. Bedding sure is a complicated & loaded word. Great ? !!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited:
Thanks for the input and information, much appreciated.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
One obvious thing to do is to look for actual deer beds. Not now, I wouldn't advise tromping through your hunting areas now scouting, etc. But in the winter, they can be clearly seen on the snow and a trained eye can spot them even without snow.

Note - in the summer, I often find beds out more in the open, I think the deer are trying to take advantage of any wind to keep flies off, etc. But a lone tree in the end of a grassy slough or "finger" will often have a well worn bed right next to it. I suspect the deer using it are keying in on the visual, the tree, and left alone, they are creatures of habit.
Top Bottom