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Hunted opening weekend in SW Washington. Saw 17 deer, 1 was a spike. I can't find where the Bucks bed down during the day. My question is, where do guys hunt bucks during the day? Please give me any advice you think might help. Thanks FF
 

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Even the best of the white tail hunters would struggle with a mature black tail buck... They are the most keen of the woods. They almost always hang in areas with multiple covered escape routes.

999 times out of a 1000 they will sneak out of an area as you enter it. The first unknown sound they hear or smell they don't recognize will send them the other way.

Although it's not the safest way to hunt we always will take 6-8 guys and have them split up and work towards each other extemely slowly.

For instance we just got back from 6 days at our muzzleloader camp. Although we never capitalized with a kill 2 of our guys had great opportunities at some trophy black tails and both were seen after just prior to the groups approaching each other in the example I gave above... More or less the buck was sneaking out from one guy and crossed paths with another one of our hunters....

Others ways are to find small patches of 15-25 year old timber that border clear cuts and send all your guys but 1 through the middle of it making as much noise as they can. Eventually the bucks will get pushed into the clear cuts where your 1 guy the shooter can have at them...

Keith:)
 

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So do the bucks not bed down in the clear cuts (of course not always)? Should I be spending the day hiking in the timber next to the cuts? Thanks for the reply. FF
 

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So do the bucks not bed down in the clear cuts (of course not always)? Should I be spending the day hiking in the timber next to the cuts? Thanks for the reply. FF
Probably a 10 guys would tell you 10 different opinions about where black tail bed. I would say they bed in the timber, in heavy brush, a few hundred yards in from a clear cut.

But I wouldn’t be "hiking" through the woods. You need to be still hunting, or there will be zero chance that you’re going to find that buck. You really need to take it unbearably slow. Just a couple steps at a time. It should really take you most of an afternoon to creep through a small wooded area. Glassing the whole time.

Good luck!:cheers:
 

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So do the bucks not bed down in the clear cuts (of course not always)? Should I be spending the day hiking in the timber next to the cuts? Thanks for the reply. FF
At times smaller bucks will bed down in clear cuts, on the extreme rarity (early morning/late evening) you may catch a decent black tail buck in a clear cut but it's a pretty rare instance...

But it's a little different story when you're talking about clearcuts that are a mile or more from other roads where the bucks see a lot less pressure. You're odds of catching a decent buck in one of those clear cuts certainly goes up.

Hiking through the timber (by yourself) will likely result in seeing very few bucks. Slow hunting (like take 5-10 steps every 3-5 minutes) will likely result in killing bucks.

My favorite time to hunt them in the timber is in the crappiest weather of all. Windy as heck and peeing sideways or in this bucks situation it was windy and all the fresh snow from the morning was falling off the trees making a lot of noise in the woods. I killed this one in his bed in the timber...


This one below was killed while slow hunting, walk 10 feet wait for 3-5 minutes walk another 10 feet and so on, he was about 1 mile from the nearest road....


This one was killed on a hunt with 8 of us working towards each other, he tried to sneak out and around the middle guys of the hunt doing that typical thing a black tail does circling you...




You'd be suprised at how many bucks will stay put and let you walk right by them if they're in a thick patch especially if your holding a steady pace through the woods, but 9 times out of 10 when they will be out of there as they hear you coming... Again always make sure the wind is in your favor when heading through the woods...

Keith
 

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Great advice Keith...perfectly said, A buddy of mine always gets his deer, stillhunting....slooooooowwwww is the name of the game, wind in your favor and keeping your eyes open for the tell tale signs of a buck...nose, eye, throat patch...etc...getting me all stirred put to head out again this week.
 

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Where to bucks bed down ?

I climbed a step nasty hillside recently that was almost straight vertical and covered with Ten foot tall xmas trees. Found beds on my way up....
right under the trees on the downhill side.
 

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Where to bucks bed down ?

I climbed a step nasty hillside recently that was almost straight vertical and covered with Ten foot tall xmas trees. Found beds on my way up....
right under the trees on the downhill side.
Most bucks will be bedded down in areas like Abalone described, which I find almost impossible to effectively hunt alone. If you really want to hunt these areas, hunt from the top down. Slooooooooooow.

What I prefer is to wait for the rut, but if I can't, I hunt the 15-30year old reprod. Some bucks can be found on the lip of the shoulders of the finger ridges in this kind of timber. It is a quiet area to hunt if it has been wet like this year. (Or so I've heard, I have been stuck in China for most of the last 2 months.)
Good Luck
 

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When the weather turns colder, they will be bedding down in Ms. Bait Bucket's rhododendrons. But right now, I see beds in some heavy brush within a hundred yards from pastures. Last week I saw one bedded down in an open field with grass about a foot high. Nice buck too.
 

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Thanks guys, It sounds like my mistake was moving too fast. I was probably jumping the bucks WAY before I could see them. Next question is durring this time of year if I see a doe does that mean a buck will not be around? Or do they still stay close even though their not in rut yet? FF
 

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This time of year you will often find younger bucks with the does. The older boys are in the nasty stuff right now.

My opinion is that they will bed where they feel comfortable. This is more often than not a place that is neer imposible to hunt them in. If the clear cut is thick with x-mas sized trees and has some good folds the bucks may bed thier. If the clearcut has knee high vegitation and is flat you probably wont find a mature buck there.

Best bet is to move slow, and stop alot for several minutes. I've found that stopping for a bit is often the trigger that will make them nervous enough to think they need to make a break for it.

If you move through fast and steady they will eathier move before you get thier, or hold tight and let you walk right by.
 

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On the ground. :)

Seriously though, like someone mentioned, you'll get varied responses, but I can tell you for a fact that they do bed in clearcuts, you just have to find them. Most of the time they will be hidden, but once a year, you only have to find ONE that made a mistake. I've spotted blacktail by seeing only antler tines, a tail flicker, hind legs, they stand up at the same time I just happen to be glassing that area, they're with a younger buck who gives there position away, etc., etc. They make mistakes, you just have to be prepared when they do. I will say though, if it's a small clearcut, they will likely leave it to bed. It's the larger clearcuts that you will find them bedding in.

My 3 nicest blacktails have been killed at 1030am, 130pm and 2pm. All from glassing, spotting and stalking...in open country. So as others take mid-day naps, I'm still lookin' through my binocs.

This buck I got opening day this year at a little after 2pm. He was with a smaller buck that had stood up and fed into an opening some 1000 yards away. The little buck was in view for a good 10 minutes. This buck fed out after the little buck was out for a couple minutes and was across the open face in a matter of a minute. My brother in law and I stalked to within 200 yards, one ridge away, and took them both. Most guys don't glass all day...I do. I've learned my lesson time and time again! :)
 

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One of the problems of answering this question is ! What area are you talking about ?

Assuming Blacktail Deer ?

You have the high altitude bucks like the ones that live Mt. Hood or high Cascades.

There's the lowland type of Blacktails that inhabit farm areas

And there are Coastal Blacktails.

Each can be a little different, you can assume which ever location it is, they are in a pretty good spot that has many backdoor to escape.

Reprod is ideal for them because they can run in any direction undetected.
I don't sneaking up on them is something to consider.

Once my hunting partner and I stepped quietly out of the woods above a clear cut. I glassed the field 700 yards cross the cut and spotted Three does and they were looking right at us...
 

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I agree with in em about clearcuts. I cant say how many times I have eyed a clearcut in the middle of the day opening weekend and see numerous guys walking the fringes of the clearcut, they look it over 5 min and leave or they see me back in one corner and leave. I keep sitting and keep looking thru good binocs(important) and eventually see a decent or good buck laying in middle of said clearcut just chewing his cud watching the action. Thick thick stuff yes I agree they are in that too but me I like sitting still in one spot all day just looking over a good clearcut.
 

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If it is a larger clear cut and your wondering if they are there just make a ton of noise in it.... Start target practicing if you want to. I like the steep clear cuts I can drive up on top of and look down into. I always find the biggest rocks around and start huffing them down the hill. Some times it takes 3-5 rocks with some serious brush cracking to get them up and moving... But these arent your fresh clear cuts, they're the ones that have 3-7 foot new trees and brush patches in them....

As far as the bucks with does.. Well like it was said earlier you'll still see the titsuckers with the does this time of year. The rut usually starts November 5th through the 30th depending on weather, elevation and location. You'll start seeing those big bucks out wandering around at all times of the day, and sometimes they'll just stand there and stare at you.... It's this time frame that I watch the does real good because old narly could be hanging right with her....

When I used to hunt rifle season I'd always spend the late buck hunting it was Nov. 19th through the 21st... I chose to start muzzle loading because we "had" a season November 22nd through December 15th and we always shot a few big boys right around Turkey day, hence the big boy I got in the first picture....

Keith
 
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