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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I do not have enough knowledge to give any advice on how where to do these things so I could not be any help if you asked.
But dbltree would and so would TL.
They may have a different view of how to do these tasks but in the end they will probably be similar.
I started this thread to take this discussion away from the dbltree thread. It has been mucked up enough and doesn't need to go off topic, as it is a thread specifically for one topic of how one man does things. Either follow him and his advice or don't. If you disagree start another thread.

From my experiences and from research, bucks don't like to bed in high traffic areas. They like to be alone. Does on the other hand usually bed in groups and closer to food.
Hinge cutting an area could result in it being used as a bedding area. One poster in another thread says that if you thicken up an area like dbltree a buck will find a place to bed on his own. True, I agree.
But how do you know does won't take over the bedding area for themselves. How can one be sure that this "bedding" area will attract a buck(s) to bed there? I have not seen any info on this forum that will give one the information needed to make that happen. Sure plenty of information on how to create a bedding area, but how do you make them doe or buck specific? Only thing I have ever found that may lead one in the right direction is BUCKS DON'T LIKE HIGH TRAFFIC AREAS.

Then there have been alot of posts on how TL can teach you how to specifically create buck and or doe beds. Now there is something that would be nice to know............and for a fair price he will teach it. I plan to gain this knowledge. Why? Well TL specializes in small properties, which is what most of us have to work with. Dbltree lives in Iowa and from what I have gathered isn't dealing with 10 to 50 acre properties. Big differences when it comes to the specifics of creating that deer mecca here in Michigan. (stevenj pointed on this already).

Alot of knowledgable people on this forum can help all of us out greatly. So what if they have different views, even some of the TL boot camp grads get together and discuss on how one could of done something differently.
IMO Michigan is much different than the big buck states, alot more attention to detail has to be used due to our hunting pressure. Our bucks at the age of 3.5 + are a completely different animal compared to Iowas 3.5 y/o bucks. A Michigan buck that has made it through two hunting seasons is much much smarter and less likely to move during the daylight hours most of the hunting season. So micro managing the habitat will benifit you much more as a Michigan deer hunter than utalizing strategies that work well in areas that have a much different deer herd and hunting community like we have. Yes both will help you, but more attention to the little details will help you more.
 

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Tom,


Thanks for starting a new thread to deflect the other thread.
Most of what passes as legend in making beds is a straw man argument on forums like this.

It really can be kept simple. Tony Lapratt doesn't have "the" magic way of making buck and doe beds. He does however weave an intricate web of parcel design in a complex fashion. That's the secret--optimal layout of your small property. The actual design is quite simple and has been mentioned many times in threads like this. He snorts at the idea of the secret ideal buck bed because there is no such thing. It's just a legend. A holy grail. He brags of having seen many bucks bed in individual beds because he has accomplished this and he has seen it with his own eyes.


Keeping things simple--exactly what you mentioned is to be strived for. Does need multiple rooms (beds) and bucks need solitary beds.


Did you see Jeff Sturgis' blog on the subject? (I didn't realize Northjeff changed his handle to his real name)
Here is a quote from Jeff in his blog:


"There is so much written and debated about the construction of deer beds. The one consistency I’ve found? There is no “perfect” deer bed. They all have the same concepts of overhead canopy (use your imagination), a slight rise, hump, dry spot (use your imagination), horizontal support structure (use your imagination), as well as vertical support structure (use your imagination). The type of bed constructed can vary so much from habitat to habitat but if you follow the concepts, you will find success. Also, other than the location and overall number, I haven’t seen a huge difference in the type of “bed” that a buck or doe will use in various habitats within the states of PA, MN, WI, MI, IA, and ILL. Except by location, to me a deer bed is a deer bed, that’s just how I have experienced it within natural settings in several states all types of habitats, public and private land."

Link:

Complex Parcel Design III-The where, how, and when of deer beds - The Michigan Sportsman Forums http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/blog.php?bt=589#comment589#ixzz1AYm7ftxN
 

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Personally I think the idea of a 3.5 year old mi buck is smarter than a 3.5 in iowa is insane. Almost like it is easier to see and kill older class bucks anywhere but michigan. I hear way to many michigan hunters make statements like this and I think its bs.
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Discussion Starter #5
Personally I think the idea of a 3.5 year old mi buck is smarter than a 3.5 in iowa is insane. Almost like it is easier to see and kill older class bucks anywhere but michigan. I hear way to many michigan hunters make statements like this and I think its bs.
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It is not insane. Our deer in general behave differently due to the amount of pressure. The fact that older bucks react much quicker to the pressure any where in the country one should be able to understand why older Michigan bucks would be that much harder to hunt. Pressure + less of them = harder.
This one of the reasons why keeping the pressure down on your hunting property is one of the best things a hunter can do, along with timing your hunts when bucks are most vulnerable.
Look at the stats on hunter #'s from Iowa to Michigan. look at the hunter densities compared to Michigan. Just about everyone who has hunted out of state will tell you it is a night and day difference.
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I still disagree with your original statement. As whitetails mature they become smarter - no matter the region. Michigan 3.5 Completely Different animal than Iowa 3.5 = false. Slightly different, maybe.
 

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VIEW this article and over 50 others on my blog site @ http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/blog.php?u=3260


*30 acres of cover...very good "flow" to the overall parcel design potential.

This is a great topic that I think has a pretty easy answer for you as a land owner...or even as a hunter looking for doe or buck bedding areas on public land.

1. Deer beds are deer beds. To say that you can build a type of buck bed in a doe bed area and get a mture buck to bed there is false in my opinion and experience. The reason? The two "types" of deer bed in totally different areas, but within the same bedding concept. Same beds...different locations outside of tending periods and even then I've witnessed mature bucks doing what appears to be "herding" a doe back into his very own bedding area. This has been more in the 4 and 5 year old bucks that I've shot in their bedding areas, with a doe that was obviously NOT a resident in his bedding area.

2. Define the food source...define where does bed. On your own parcel this is very easy to do. Strong, consistent food sources with adjacent adequate bedding will attract doe family groups. Offer lots of high quality horizintal cover in these area and you can attract LOTS of doe family groups. Also in my experience...sepperate these areas and you can even attract more. For example I'd rather have multiple 1-2 acre areas connected with a defined travel corridor you can hunt over without spooking the doe family groups on the inside.

3. You define doe bedding areas by offering a very high stem count, pockets, canopy, and exterior screening and of course it depends on the type of habitat, what you do in the first place. Place these areas next to good, consisten (from late sumer through December at a minimum) unpressured food sources and does will take them over...and you really don't need a lot of acreage to hold many, many deer!

4. It is CRITICAL to design your parcel to offer very definitive bedding areas for doe family groups!! Sepperate these areas, offer travel in between, relate them to food sources and natural or created travel corridors and it becomes an easy and very predictable pattern.

5. Define the food and doe family group bedding first..and then you can leave and create room for mature bucks. Locate the single and smaller clusters of beds within the interior of your parcel , well away from the doe family areas and guess where the mature bucks bed...regardless of the type of bed?!? Its very easy to define however all the dots have to be connected and your parcel design has to "flow", meaning every improved component should realate to each other. For example a long rectangle food source pointed towards your neighbors property is a very, very bad thing. However...rotate that plot to run parrellel to your border, connect the ends to travel corridors or bedding areas to strengthen the line and your parcel is starting to "flow". I'm visiting a parcel in PA next month that has had some great bedding areas professionally constructed. Twice. However...the parcel does not flow. To hunt near 1 bedding area your scent blows into another...to hunt another you have to cross deer movement and place that movement downwind of you to get to a stand...and the parcel compnents do not compliment each other..they work against each other. My job? To put the pieces together so the landowner can actuall hunt the parcel while at the same time not letting his Scent Sound or Site enter the interior of his parcel. Ever.

Its about putting the pieces together, gettng them to flow...and EVERY parcel is so very different!! I design parcel's for a living...I teach people how to identify and build bedding areas, define those areas, locate those areas, and compliment those bedding areas with travel corridors, food sources, timber improvement areas, dead areas, hunter access, and stand locations so the parcel flows together. This year I have clients in 11 states so far from WI to NC, TN, PA NY and many states in-between.

In the end, its all the same bedding concepts..all the same beds and bedding by sex starts by defining the food sources. Define the food sources, define the doe family bedding, define the buck bedding areas well away from the doe family areas so you can keep the bucks traveling long distances on your own parcels to get to food and doe family hot spots...and piece it all together with an effective "flow". Kinda fun actually:) When you are cutting this winter, think more of and "area" and WHY istead of a "type" of bed and you will be on the right track...

Also, a bedding area IS NOT a bedding area without effective and defined exterior screening of the area. Conifer, native grasses, switchgrass, timber cuttings, burms, change in topography, egyptian wheat...and often a combination of several screening tools should be used to define and start your bedding area. Here are the priorities for a 5 acre woods, surrounded by ag land a 1/2 mile in every direction, that you wish to make a bedding hotspot:

1. Screen the outside 1st! Building "beds" within is often the first step, however the area is not a bedding area until it protected from the outside. Otherwise, you can't get within a 1/4 mile of the woods without driving deer out of the section. In fact, that's how I used to drive deer out of a 5 acre woodlot to hunters waiting on a ditch in a depression on the backside of the section. If I had to walk a 1/4 mile before I got a call on the radio the deer were thru the section...the deer weren't there.

2. Create layers of screening...short term (egyptian wheat, hinging large timber, burm construction)...mid term (quick growing pines, switchgrass) and long term fixes (spruce).

3. In hardwoods...cut the canopy down first outside of saving a few dominant mast producers.

4. Bridge/cut med subordinate trees to tops, forks, trunks, etc. to create horizontal bridging material while opening pockets and trails withing the large tops and debris to define a bedding system.

5. Tie/hinge smaller trees/saplings over small mounds, benches, ridges, etc. to canopy bedding locations while clearing those areas by removing debris and leveling.

6. Offer a conifer component to diversify and extend the seasonal use of defined bedding locations.

7. Offer tunneled exterior deer trails the extend away from the interior cor area to a stand or blind location and back to the core area.

The bottome line...just defining the exterior alone will define that 5 acre woodlot as a bedding area. In fact, you CAN'T define a bedding area without having man-made or natural adequate screening.

Here is another parcel I designed over the weekend...a very irregular 135 acre parcel that still had great flow and very good doe family group/mature buck bedding definition. Feel free to read the notes from these designs if you can, aside from working for you on your own parcel for a fee, I also provide free info and I hope you enjoy;)

This is a often misunderstood topic...but one of the easiest concepts to teach and design not matter what the state, no matter what the type of habitat. Great discussion...thanks for bringing it up and thanks guys for bringing my blogs up that I've written on the topic.


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I'm not gona argue with anyone but I've only hunted Iowa and Michigan. There is NO comaprison between the two states. I'll say it they were by far the dumbest deer I've ever seen and still can't believe it. Maybe It was because the property never been hunted in the 80 yrs it was owned I don't know. In michigan you would never have that many deer walk by and not have one even look at you, crazy is all I can say. Ed are Wisconsin deer like Iowa deer.
 

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I totally agree with Jeff, I think we put to much thought into the hole magical buck bed theory. And this is coming from a guy who has had TL on his farm. All my experience is well documented through pictures or first hand. This is a picture of my middle field.

Let me try to give you the lay of the land, the area to the left of the yellow is a ceder swamp, the yellow area is either corn or beans. The ag field is low compared to the green and red area. The green and red area are on a fairly large hill. The green is a clover field. The red area is a bedding area that i made 5 years ago. It was an overgrown field with some mixed in trees, lots of ceder trees mixed in. I hinged all the trees low to the ground that where on the edge of the clover plot. As I moved into the interior i cut all the low limbs from the ceder trees so deer could bed under them. Any hinging I did in the interior I did high (chest level or higher). This year I watched 5 bucks bed in this area several different times, at the same time there where many does bedded up there also. This is not a big area less than 3 acres. Oct 30th I watched this 9 point go up and bed there.

Earlier that morning I watched 5 bucks go up there and bed these where two of them.


I figured due to the time of the year a fight was bound to break out up there with all these bucks up there. But nothing happened, I stayed there till well after noon and none of those bucks came out of there.
During the evening hunt I watched 5 of the bucks come out of there and chase does around on the clover field.
I really believe bucks have no problem bedding in close proximity to each other. During early Sept. a pecking order is established and this is why you see bucks bedding in the same area as others. I also have seen these same bucks bedding in different location throughout the farm. The buck with the split brows would leave many times and bed about 3/4 of mile to the south of me on my buddys farm.
I think one of the biggest problems we have is just getting mature bucks in numbers, if their not there it doesn't matter what you do to your property.
 

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I just dont agree with such a broad statement like "michigan deer are smarter because of pressure". There are parts of wisconsin that have the same kind of pressure that Michigan has.

Of course there are parts that have little to no stress like Iowa. Mature bucks are just walking freely everywhere and they are very easy to harvest any idiot can do it <sarcasm>.

Like NorthJeff said EVERY PARCEL is different just like every buck is different. Mature bucks are a different animal all together and the ones that do survive and grow old do so for a reason - they are smart - wherever they are.
 

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Jeff, that is a great summary emphasizing that the way a property is laid out is more important than trying to make a magical bed. I would daresay that the information you just outlined would have no argument from Tony Lapratt or from Dbletree. It is a great basic outline for bedding. The details then being in the specifics of an individual property. I'm sure you can say there is not a one size fits all bedding solution.

Thanks for putting your past writings in blog form. That makes them more accessible for future readers. I also think it helps you go back and correct your fat thumbed blackberry typos. One of these days we can teach you how to spell "separate". :)

What do you think about SL Michigan 40 acre plots vs 180 acre Iowa plots?

What about the need to micromanage a small acreage hunting area vs. you can have more to work with on a vast acreage?

What about 3.5 y.o pressured Michigan bucks vs. other states? Do mature pressured Michigan bucks require more effort in out habitat work on small properties?
 

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The one huge difference I see with MI mature bucks is that they get knocked around a lot....they survive out of a huge combination of LUCK and several very secure, small, daytime security areas. Offer those secure areas on your parcel and allow a stress-free environment to take place and a mature buck is a mature buck. AND how you hunt those mature bucks is all the same. I knoiw several people that have killed incredibly mature bucks out of small pockets of cover in southern MI suburban areas...getting permission is a heck of a lot tougher than the hunt though!!:)
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Jeff, that is a great summary emphasizing that the way a property is laid out is more important than trying to make a magical bed. I would daresay that the information you just outlined would have no argument from Tony Lapratt or from Dbletree. It is a great basic outline for bedding. The details then being in the specifics of an individual property. I'm sure you can say there is not a one size fits all bedding solution.

Thanks for putting your past writings in blog form. That makes them more accessible for future readers. I also think it helps you go back and correct your fat thumbed blackberry typos. One of these days we can teach you how to spell "separate". :)

What do you think about SL Michigan 40 acre plots vs 180 acre Iowa plots?

What about the need to micromanage a small acreage hunting area vs. you can have more to work with on a vast acreage?

What about 3.5 y.o pressured Michigan bucks vs. other states? Do mature pressured Michigan bucks require more effort in out habitat work on small properties?
Thanks "fat thumbs", that's funy:D

I have to get going...but yes, I do believe MI habitat needs much more work to produce a mature buck than other Midwestern states. However, when you do the work, and make a parcel several times better than all the rest in the neighborhood...WOW, the potential is incredible!! Also, its fairly easy if the parcel is designed and hunted appropriately to be the guy shooting the majority of the mature bucks in the entire area. I kinda look at it "on average" that if I have 40 acres in a section of mature bucks and I'm NOT shooting most of them...then either someone else is doing the same things or better...or I'm messing up;) your parcel should be collecting mature bucks during the hunting season and I actually think that is EASIER to do in higher pressure hunting areas. When you think of it, other than changing cover or food patterns...why else are mature bucks displaced during the hunting season
In low pressure states like IA, KS, KY, etc. You can use pressure to your advantage and there is not better place than MI, for pressure!
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I think we put to much thought into the hole magical buck bed theory. And this is coming from a guy who has had TL on his farm.
I would agree as a bootcamp graduate. Though it's always fun and easy to take down a straw man. :)

I really believe bucks have no problem bedding in close proximity to each other.
I think one of the biggest problems we have is just getting mature bucks in numbers, if their not there it doesn't matter what you do to your property.
Good looking bedding area Calhoun.

It sounds like the bedding area has plenty of beds and compartments where mature bucks can get their separation from others. How good would you describe your bedding area on a scale of 1 to 10 as having good individual and group beds with enough separation?

Where are your best stands or hunting locations on the map?
 

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I would agree as a bootcamp graduate. Though it's always fun and easy to take down a straw man. :)



Good looking bedding area Calhoun.

It sounds like the bedding area has plenty of beds and compartments where mature bucks can get their separation from others. How good would you describe your bedding area on a scale of 1 to 10 as having good individual and group beds with enough separation?

Where are your best stands or hunting locations on the map?
I would give it 8, its not very wide 50 yards, but its over 300 yards long. In the winter I look for sheds in there and it seems most of the deer bed under the ceder trees. It is very thick, extremely hard to walk through. I would love to know just how they bed when they are in there. I can watch them all go in on the same trail, I lose them when they get in the interior, try like hell with the binos, even tried the ribbons above there beds. it just to thick.

The x's are the two stands for this field. The green line is my travel corridor. I use corn for a screen to get across the field. We never hunt the clover field or the bedding area. The stand in the south west corner is a great stand. You can only hunt it with a north wind. You may remember this picture, this pic is from that stand. This buck was about 40 yards to the North east of the stand.

The second stand is much harder to hunt and is really only used to shoot does in the late season. I know I could hunt on the edge of this bedding area, but I like leaving them up there with no disturbances. To the north and south of this bedding area are great travel corridors that I also have stands at.
 

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Thank you fellas for the fabulous information. These post along with the pictures have been very informational. I would also like to give props for just ignoring any of the of topic pipe ins and just sticking to the original concepts.

I hope to be doing some major changes to some newly purchased land and I love the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you fellas for the fabulous information. These post along with the pictures have been very informational. I would also like to give props for just ignoring any of the of topic pipe ins and just sticking to the original concepts.

I hope to be doing some major changes to some newly purchased land and I love the info.
Yes I thank you all too. This is the direction I was hoping this thread would go.
 
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