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Lakeside Bedding Near Ag Field


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Being that this is going to be my first year bowhunting, I have only really ever hunted big woods/hill country with a rifle but from what you experts/killers have been preaching, I have realized I need to adjust my tactics for bow season, especially early season which opens here on Sept 27.
 
On a recent spotting ride with the wife and kids I found a decent buck on a piece of public near my house. Below I tried to paint the picture of what I have seen thus far. That first night I saw him in the western portion of the field just after last light about 9:15. There were also four does further to the east, one doe had a fawn with her.
 
The next day I decided to scout it so I parked at the Parking logo which is a parking lot for fishing access to the lake. I noticed a heavy trail running perpendicular to the walking trail to the lake from the thick woods to the west into the field.

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I walked down to the water then cut across to the east until I reached where the white trail camera symbol is located. It was there where I saw 4 heavy trails intersecting, two went south towards the point, one kept going east into some thicker cover and one went north into the field.
 
I put that camera in Friday and so far have seen the doe with the fawn, a lone doe and that buck along with a beaver who comes out every night. All the deer photos have been during daylight.
 
The next day I checked out the thick cover near the fishing access that had the trail coming out of it across the fishing access trail and into the field. Back there I found a few trail that led back into some really thick cover. I decided to stop and back out in order to not mess with a potential bedding area.
 
Couple Thoughts:
1. I initially and still kind of think the buck is bedding in that thick cover off the fishing access. It is kind of like an “overlooked” area. Plus with me spotting him in the field where I did just after dark, that cover was the closest to him.
 
2. The photo I got of him was at 0730 coming from the field. It gets light at 0515, is this daylight movement because he is a younger buck? Can I count on him maintaining this daylight movement into early October?
 
3. Crazy thing we witnessed, my family and I were driving by the field at 1200 on Sunday heading to swim at the state park. My wife saw two deer fighting on their hind legs! Whats up with that? I didnt know deer showed dominance/aggression this early in the year.
 
4. Another thought I have is with regards to access the day of a hunt. One option is to park at the Blue Access Symbol and kayak in near where I want to slip up a tree. Thoughts?
 
5. Finally I noticed deer heading past my camera heading and coming from the trail that heads to the point near the water. There must be beds down there. However there is a second similar point just to the east, should I go scout that too? Or just let the place sit, leave my cell camera in there and just throw one hunt at near my trail camera and one near that thick bedding near the fishing access?
 

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if you hunt near that food source early he may just stay on the pattern for the early season.  Play the wind between bedding and food.  Remember he is likely to be in that field/food at night and traveling to it in the late day and from it in the early morns to bedding.  Stay out of the bedding area where he feels safe and also keep your scent from blowing into it.  Play the wind and best access. 

since he is there at 730 in the morn in daylight would mean he prob feels pretty comfortable there.   

and yes does often have smackdowns all year.  lol 

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Likely bedding pretty close to your camera given the daylight images - look around the edges of that inlet. They can take up beds around the bends or areas where the expanse behind them is inaccessible or impossible to approach without disruption with the wind coming back to front. 

If you were to put a watchdial bullseye on your cam spot, my guess the bedding area is within 50-100 yards from the 3-7 position on a watch dial.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Need to try to figure out where he's bedding on those points. It's still summer so you don't need to worry about messing up a hunt. Also, if that crop is going to be gone by fall, there's a good probability those deer will be eating somewhere else.

That 4 way intersection is likely a pinch point/inside field corner where deer are walking the edge of the field but avoiding the water (see red dots on below). Personally I'd try to hunt this in the evening as close to bedding on the western point as I could, but that inside corner could be good also. If there are does in the area, an inside corner like that could be fantastic during rut with bucks traveling between the water and field.

Evening: Pretty simple - get close to bedding along trails on that western point. It gets darker earlier in the fall so movement during daylight now doesn't necessarily equate

Morning: If there are bedding areas on the east point, you may be able to get a good morning hunt in if you can slip down along the river and avoid feeding areas or you could try the kayak if you're really quiet with it. It seems tough to hunt that western point in the morning without spooking deer.

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Edited by AuburnNYC
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Heavy trails are almost always doe and fawn trails the buck trails will be fainter and downwind of the heavy trails.  

More than likely he is bedded in thick cover and now is time to explore that area. Find an access point or point where you can get to without being noticed. .

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Need to try to figure out where he's bedding on those points. It's still summer so you don't need to worry about messing up a hunt. Also, if that crop is going to be gone by fall, there's a good probability those deer will be eating somewhere else.
That 4 way intersection is likely a pinch point/inside field corner where deer are walking the edge of the field but avoiding the water (see red dots on below). Personally I'd try to hunt this in the evening as close to bedding on the western point as I could, but that inside corner could be good also. If there are does in the area, an inside corner like that could be fantastic during rut with bucks traveling between the water and field.
Evening: Pretty simple - get close to bedding along trails on that western point. It gets darker earlier in the fall so movement during daylight now doesn't necessarily equate
Morning: If there are bedding areas on the east point, you may be able to get a good morning hunt in if you can slip down along the river and avoid feeding areas or you could try the kayak if you're really quiet with it. It seems tough to hunt that western point in the morning without spooking deer.
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Here are some more examples since the original post.

The camera is facing north towards the field… pretty confident there is doe bedding on that western point.

The only buck pictures I have received have been at close to 0730 in the morning and coming from the field.

I will check out the eastern portion and look for sign, I like your ideas for the type of hunts to go with. I also wanna setup off the Parking Access to the west, its a small thick patch that shows potential. Just worried about how to get in there without spooking them.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Update: Replaced camera batteries today and decided to throw caution to the wind and try and find/walk as many of the deer paths as I could find.

Below is a birds eye view along with as an area of interest I found, a legit buck bed. Its ~40yds from some apple trees, 60yds from the field edge. I created a mock scrape 100yds away at an intersection of trails. Bad luck though, my camera didnt have service in there so I just need to “hope” the scrape gets used.

Overall it looks like a good early season opportunity to try the ol Dan Infalt Beast Tactics… try and get close to that bed and catch him going to those apples or the scrape.

Win or lose, this is gonna be fun!


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