Buck Bedding Areas in Farm Country

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by The Silence, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. The Silence

    The Silence PMA Member

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    I'd like to get your input on where you've found buck beds in open farm country. The area I hunt has rolling hills in some areas, with a few small woodlots scattered in various places, along with several drainages (with limited cover) and some CRP. It's almost impossible to get into the interiors of those wooded areas without getting busted. The beds that I have found, or the places where my fiend and I have actually seen/jumped bedded bucks often times have several things in common.

    (1) Most of the time they are situated in such a way where they have a great field of vision- either onto crop fields below or in such a way as they can see does coming out of their bedding areas.

    (2) They are sometimes situated on the down wind side of doe bedding areas. Normally several hundred yards away.

    (3) Almost none of these are located within the wooded areas but in various spots such as the upper areas of a grassy hillside, a finger of standing corn, an area where the farmer piled up a bunch of trees, a dead fall near the top of a rolling hill, a wooded fence line and a small patch of tall grass.

    It's been challenging for me to close the deal on these bucks since the cover is so limited and you can only get so close without getting busted. I'm trying to get in as close as I can so I get a chance during legal shooting light and I think I really need to concentrate on the conditions and times of the year where I know they would be using those beds.

    Because of the limited cover, most of the mature buck movement I've seen, even during the rut has been within areas of cover and rarely out in the picked corn fields until just before dark. For this reason, last year and this year, I'm going to try to stay within cover where I've seen them move before. These areas are within CRP corridors, a travel corridor through a narrow strip of cedars and a small strip of cover along a small drainage.

    Where have you guys found buck beds in this type of farm country and how do you hunt them?
     
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  3. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 PMA Member

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    We like to hunt edges of the cover, tree lines, possibly a lone tree off the main bedding area. If you can find cedars, consider a ground blind with decoy?
     
  4. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Man- visualizing what u describe - that’s definition of difficulty!! I think anyone would find that tough! I’ve done that a few times. I’m trying to think of some ideas I’ve done in past.....
    In dark in AM - going “around” the food as undetected or out of site as possible..... getting in plenty early and darn quiet. One random example.

    Usually - say PM’s when it’s light out. I’d get out early so u can take your time and visually plan ur entrances. Or, more ideally - have them dialed in when u hang a stand earlier. I always try and find a spot under the crest of hill or a ditch to walk in. Something where u can sneak in without being spotted and quietly get in Stand. When u got a stand that u 100% will blow every deer outta the cover walking in..... I dunno- I think I’d just do early AM all day hunts there for example & only do it during Rut or just avoid it & hunt same deer in another area.
    For drainage areas- maybe u stay in travel corridors and leave the timber be in some cases or rarely push in there. Drainage is excellent for entrance & exits and also to get on travel corridors or stay on edge of good areas.

    Maybe u hunting just outside of em so nothing busts & u use a ground blind in rare cases.
    U have a tough example. Good luck though & chime back on how ur sets come along and what u do to make it work!!

    **if u ever could- post an example aerial of what ur type of hunting might look like. Doesn’t need to be urs but an aerial that looks like it. Picture would help immensely. Topo nice but aerial would be awesome & make easy if u ever wanted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  5. CurtisWalker

    CurtisWalker PMA Member

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    [​IMG]

    I’m picturing something like this from what you describe, small willow patches along a creek with a CRP/ Waterway. We have become pretty good at hunting them in central Iowa due to everything becoming crop ground. It’s rough. Lots of big deer use them and they aren’t messed with so they know when something is up. Best thing to do is get in early in the dark. Try to get a stand in a tree close or hunt from the ground. I killed my deer last year in this scenario. Hunt all day if you can.


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  6. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yep^^^^^. River or ditch access!!!!! U can find careful access. Wind be defining issue & id put 4-5 stands around there for variety, pressure & winds. Very doable!
     
  7. The Silence

    The Silence PMA Member

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    A few more details guys. I've got several areas now that I'm now sure of being within 100 yards or so from their beds. For the most part I can get in undetected to my stands. I don't want to get in any tighter for fear of them detecting me the way the cover is situated. I've got some trail cam pics of them in legal shooting light moving around but these are normally back in cover of some sort. These are secluded places so they feel pretty comfortable I think, but they're just not willing to step out in the open too far from cover. They can get to my stand locations while staying in cover the whole time. Most of these are new stand locations after moving them as close as I can to their core areas.

    Do you guys ever use any tactics to entice a buck out of his bed early such as really light calling, tickling antler tips together or lightly raking a rack against tree bark. Anything to let him know 30 minutes before sunset that someone may be in the neighborhood. 2 years ago I pulled two shooters out of their beds using light calling, not long before sunset, during the early part of the rut but was unable to seal the deal because the wind had shifted due to thermals on a very, very slight incline into a field below and the other buck just wasn't sure of the decoy I was using. Just wondering if you guys try to be a little pro active at the right time of year or is better to just lie low so he doesn't suspect anything at all?

    The other thing that comes into play are the correct weather condition etc. that may get them up and moving earlier than normal. Would love any input you guys could give me.
     
  8. MN Slick

    MN Slick PMA Member

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    I suggest getting Jeff Murray's Moon Guide and concentrate on red days for evening bed hunts outside the rut. I've seen enough evidence on my cams to believe the moon has some influence on movement. I'm not saying they will jump out of bed an hour early on a red day but sometimes 10 minutes early is all you need when you are tight to bedding.

    Might try a mock by your stand too and give them a target they are used to coming to when they get out of bed. That coupled with some calling might be the ticked.
     
  9. hesseu

    hesseu Member

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    I think you are on the right path. Getting in as close as you can without being detected, and light calling 30-45 minutes before dark. MUST have good wind. Probably want to stick to these areas between Oct 28th-Mid November so you don't bust them out too early in the season.
     

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