John's Journal...

Hunt the Storm Fronts for Deer

Day 4: Bed Hunting for Whitetail Deer

Editor’s Note: Oftentimes during inclement weather, you may be the only hunter competing for your buck. Bad-weather bucks can be bagged by hunters who search for them, and knowing where a buck is in bad weather can be the key to taking him. Deer hunting in bad weather may be a miserable sport, but it can pay big-buck dividends.

Click for Larger ViewDuring a hard, cold, blowing rain, oftentimes deer demonstrate more common sense than hunters. They usually will find thick cover like pines to bed-down in and wait for the bad weather to blow-over. Knowing that deer bed on miserable days narrows the places you have to scout to locate a buck. Click for Larger ViewHowever, on cold bitter days without rain and wind, whitetails will bed-down on exposed hillsides and ridgelines. A deer’s bed will look like a 1-1/2-foot-3-1/2-foot elliptical hollow in the ground where leaves, grass and other brush have been weighted-down by the deer. Even in snow, you usually can see the ground, because the deer’s body heat will melt the snow in a bedding spot. If you find two or three beds located close together, these may belong to does, which are more communal in nature than bucks. Of course, a hunter who studies bedding sites will find trails from those to other deer-use areas that can help him bag a buck.

Click for Larger ViewOne time when I was hunting deer, the weather had been bad for 3 days when a group of friends and I decided on a deer drive through a cane and briar thicket. As we put-out standers, we heard a gun go-off only two stands away from the last hunter we’d put-out. Fearing an accident, we ran back to the hunter we’d left 300-yards away, but he wasn’t at his stand. Looking into the thick cover, we saw him dragging a fine 12-point buck out. “You fellows wouldn’t believe it,” he told us. Click for Larger View“When ya’ll left, I was looking around and suddenly saw antlers. The deer was bedded-down not 15-feet from my stand. I loaded my gun, and he never moved. I thought I was seeing things, because by all rights he should have run when he heard the bolt shut. But he stayed. I aimed and fired, and that was all there was to it.” Later the same day another hunter walked to within 20 yards of a spike bedded-down next to a stump. That buck was also taken in the bed. Bad-weather bed hunting is hard to beat for success.

Tomorrow: Tree Stand Hunting and Tips for Taking Deer

Check back each day this week for more about "Hunt the Storm Fronts for Deer "

Day 1: You Can Hunt Deer Successfully in Miserable Weather
Day 2: Stalking Deer in Bad Weather
Day 3: Hunting Fronts for White-Tailed Bucks
Day 4: Bed Hunting for Whitetail Deer
Day 5: Tree Stand Hunting and Tips for Taking Deer

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Entry 645, Day 4