Whitetail Project: Make a Big-Buck Bedding Area

Get a whitetail to sleep right near your food plots

Get Comfy It doesn't take much effort to produce prime big-buck bedding areas. Photo by Charles Alsheimer

This month, most deer fanatics have food plots on the brain. But planning where fall bucks will eat is only one piece of the puzzle. You can dictate where they’ll sleep, too. Bucks look for specific features in a bedding area, and with a little work, you can create ideal spots near the feed for the perfect ambush. Here’s how.

1. Pick the Site
Bucks like to bed high, so they can spot danger and escape quickly. Any bench or ridge end 400 to 500 yards off the feed is a great spot. But remember, high is a relative term here; if your deer bed in lowlands, a dry hump 3 feet taller than anything else is fine.

2. Clear the Spot
Deer don't like sleeping on rocks or sticks any more than you do. Clear brush and debris in a 4x4-foot area, then flatten that spot with a spade. Some experts lay down straw or haul in sand, which ensures the bed is dry and insulated. Don't laugh; it works.

3. Build a Wall
Because bucks like cover behind them, locating the bed in front of a rock face or blowdown makes sense. Even better, hinge-cut a few young trees with a chain saw to form a back wall. The beauty of hinge-cutting is that it keeps the trees alive and your wall lush with cover for years.

4. Steer the Buck
Speed-scout to see what existing trails a buck will use to travel to and from his new bed, then either hinge-cut trees or pile brush to block any that are not to your advantage. Now you've not only made the buck's bed; you've steered him toward your top ambush sites.