Are you a first time hunter that is planning on going deer hunting this season? If so, you are going to want to be able to discern between a buck’s bedding area and a doe’s bedding area. In my experience, there are five tell-tale signs that may indicate whether a bedding site is for the guys or the gals. Here’s a quick look at each one:
Scrapes, Rubs and Tracks
Female deer will look for a bedding area that has access to ample security cover, food sources, water sources and the prevailing winds. Bucks like those areas too. The bucks also tend to establish scrapes and rubbings near their bedding sites. In addition, large bucks are known to leave distinctive tracks and urine stains. Hence, hunters should examine spots near the bedding areas for the existence of distinctive scrapes, rubs, tracks and urine stains. If there are a lot of those signs present nearby, it is likely a buck’s bedding site.
Because both bucks and does make oval impressions in the ground when they bed, the trick in determining who’s who is the oval’s size. In general, a doe’s impression will be smaller than a buck’s impression. As such, ground indentations that are less than 40 inches long are typically made by does.
In my experience, does are also more social than the bucks. They tend to bed down in groups that include their offspring. Their bedding indentations are also often clustered close to each other but facing in opposite directions. Bucks, on the other hand, tend to sleep alone. They will, however, occasionally be found with other males. If they do choose to bed with other males, there is usually a decent amount of space between the indentations.
The size and shape of a whitetail deer’s scat is determined by the size of the animal and what its diet has been. It is not influenced by gender. Nonetheless, deer scat can be a good indicator as to whether you’ve stumbled onto a male or female deer’s bedding site. Since females tend to bed together in groups with their fawns, the areas around their bedding sites are apt to have healthy amounts of droppings in various sizes. Mature bucks tend to be more solitary and bigger than the females. Hence, the areas around a buck’s bedding site are more apt to contain piles of large size pellets.
It is a well known fact that does give off different scents than bucks. Anyone that has any doubt about that should just take a look at all the companies that sell bottles of doe urine, doe estrous, buck urine and tarsal gland to hunters each year. With that said, it stands to reason that a doe’s bedding site will smell differently than a buck’s bedding site. Of course it isn’t always easy for a hunter to use scent to determine whether a bedding site is for the guys or the gals. In general, a buck’s bedding site tends to smell a bit muskier than a doe’s bedding site.
Source: Personal Experience
Killeen Gonzalez has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She frequently enjoys the great outdoors with her family.
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