Creating Specific Bedding Areas for Whitetails

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Is it possible to control and manipulate your bucks and does by making specific beds for each as some would have us to believe? if so what are your recommendations? We own 294 acres in West Virginia that we are trying to manage. Thank you, and may the Good Lord continue to Bless you and your family and endeavors.



Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.

I once heard a gentleman talk about creating precisely located bedding sites a few years ago. I admit I’ve never tried to establish such sites. I don’t have, and I don’t think any of my fellow researchers have, any data from placing GPS and radio telemetry collars on deer that indicate deer prefer to bed in the exact same place for several days in a row. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but based on my observations this would be most unlikely.

One problem with deer bedding in the same specific location would be the high level of vulnerability to predation. Any prey critter would experience this by bedding in the exact same place frequently. Smaller critters do use the same specific location, but they use some type of protection such as a den. Turkeys nest in the same place for 26-28 days but experience 60-80% predation as reported by multiple studies. Turkey populations can remain stable at that level of predation because individual hens can recruit many poults (one surviving nest compensates for several nests that predators destroy). However, deer average a much lower recruitment rate. 60-80% predation on deer would rapidly reduce the herd’s density. I always try to create bedding areas that are several acres in size. I’d rather put the odds in my favor, not a four-legged predator’s favor.

Growing Deer together,