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Nocturnal Deer

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#1 Spirithawk


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Posted 05 September 2008 - 04:18 PM

Here where Jason and I hunt there are some real monster bucks. Trouble is, they didn't get that big by being dumb. They are almost exsclusively nocturnal, even during the rut. Now, my guess is that we need to find their bedding areas and catch them going or coming during first or last light. So my question is this, how would you go about doing just that, finding their bedding areas? The food sources are so diverse that they could be eating about anything at any time, and the food sources are scattered over a wide area, and again....they eat at night. There are also way too many sources of water to try and ambush one there either. I think the bedding area is the key. Any ideas?

#2 sschneid73


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Posted 10 September 2008 - 06:09 PM

Depends on your area there Norm. It all boils down to pre-season scouting. Finding there trails in and out to the food source and watering holes. I have a stand very near a bedding area and I use it at first light. I try not to get in there during the night sit cause I am very close. Last year I had several deer in bow range but not the one I was lookin for. He came in at 50 yards but didn't offer a shot. Then I sit at night on their feeding trails hoping to ambush them there. During muzzy season last year I had him at less than 10 yrds. but I moved and he bolted.


#3 Chrud


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Posted 10 September 2008 - 06:37 PM

In my honest opinion, I think its too close to the season to try to find a buck's bedding area. Bumping him now could ruin your entire season.

Your best bet is to wait until after the season. Then, follow as many rub-lines and/or trails as possible. They will usually lead you from "Point A" (usually food or water) to "Point B" (bedding area). After the season, you can go right in the bedding area and find out where that buck is entering and leaving the bedding area. Doing this scouting after the season won't affect you next year.

Finding the bedding area is something I really want to try and do too. Unfortunately, I believe most of the deer are bedding on the neighbors land. We do bump deer fairly often on our land, but the thickest stuff is on the neighbors.

#4 Spirithawk


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Posted 10 September 2008 - 06:45 PM

Thanks guys. I recently saw a hunting show that recomended following rub lines too.

#5 mzlloader


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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:41 AM


when following a rub line, take your gps and mark each rub you find, then down load on a computer map program you will start to see a pattern, also you can do the same with bedding areas during the off season, you will be suprised when it all starts to come together on a map.

Good luck,

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#6 Blood Bath2006

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 09:27 AM

First I would like to say Good Luck on getting them. Second there is no such thing as a nocturnal deer. They will move during the day, even if it is ONLY in their bedding area. You just have to be in the right spot at the right time. I have had pretty good luck killing older age class deer around here and I attribute it to one thing. Knowledge of my area and the deer that reside here. Big bucks tend to bed alone, where as young bucks and does usually bed in family or bachelor groups when it is outside of the rut.

The best way to find a big bucks bedding area is to follow his rub line back to his bedding area. Just remember that you will most likely be hunting one deer. That in itself really limits your chances. Make sure you set up as close to the bedding area as possible and make sure you are in your stand at LEAST a couple of hours before day light. I have stayed in my stand all night before, but you have to make sure that is legal in your state. Your first sit will be your best and possibly only chance to kill that animal. Make it an all day sit. Deer frequently get up and move around in their bedding areas during the day, plus you DO NOT want the deer to know you are there. If you get down in the morning while he is still in his bedding area he WILL know that you are there and that he is being hunted. I sugest doing this only as a last resort. You can set up stands along his rub lines and try him there with good success, but if all else fails this is a great technique. Good luck and good hunting :D
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#7 Spirithawk


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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:12 AM

I knew I could count on you all for some good advice. Thanks guys. I've been hunting over 30 years and still learning. :D

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