where do deer sleep?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by marvella, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    course, if more people knew that, they'd go there to hunt, right? LOL!

    seriously, i've been scouting a housesite on my place. found a nice, level, hidden cove, with great eastern and southern exposure. there were trails all through the grown up weeds, which could be any animal, but there were also a couple of places flattened out, around 6 ft in diameter, as if an animal had lain there. deer are thick around here, see them every day. before i fenced the place (to keep my dogs in) they were using the driveway as a path.

    does this sound like deer? where do they like to sleep? under trees or in the open? do they return to the same spot day after day, or just find a place where ever they end up at dusk?

    seems like hunters would know these things. any and all theories are welcome.:)
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this seems likely that deer bedded down there. Deer are fairly restless, so they move around a lot and are very wary about the coast being clear before bedding. Their 'sleep' is for short periods and can be alerted easy, so they know their area and trails near their bedding areas will give a quick escape. I bet you never walked up on a sleeping deer, right? :D

    I see also deer beds as you describe, poop, tracks, and leading to their trails. They also would bed in tall meadow areas where they have good cover from being seen. Their sense of smell and those ears catching sound probably gets them awake pretty quickly before anyone would come near enough.
    Having sad this, the other day I saw a deer rise up from tall meadow near the beaver pond about 50 yds. away from where I stopped to view. Another one down the hill fromthe house I watched walking on the walking trail, and he 'disappeared'. Later when walking there, I found the spot he bedded in the tall weeds.
     

  3. Not sure just where you live but 6' in diameter would make for giant deer. Around my neck of the woods a deer bedding is only about 2' wide X 3' long. But here in Oklahoma a big deer would only be about 120 - 150 pounds. I know in the northern states the deer are an extra 100 pounds bigger.
     
  4. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like that would be a deer. An awfully big one though lol. Deer move way too much to hunt their napping spots lol. Most of the time when I see one sleeping or see where it has bedded down it is most usually in tall grass/weeds but have on rare ocassion found where they have bedded down in brush.
     
  5. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    Growing up in the Upper Penninsula of michigan, I can tell ya that I've seen deer beds that big, so I'ts definitely a possibility. Like mentioned above look for the other signs, droppings ( smart pills is what there called back home LOL ), tracks, and if you get bored in january or so, start looking for antler sheds. If ya find any, a good winter project is making an antler handled knife. Somethin to do while yer waitin for the thaw LOL.
     
  6. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

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    Believe it or not, we have deer that bed down in our back yard many nights. The funny thing is we have two spot lights on our back deck to light up the outbuildings to help prevent theft, and the deer will bed down just below where those lights shine. We have had as many as 4-5 at a time lying out there. They do not sleep in the same spot but about 10 ft. apart and each of them will be facing a different direction. Our back yard is very open with only a few small trees and they lie in the grassy area. We see them at different times of the night. On a few occassions we have seen them bed down at the edge of the woods in the back yard too in the daylight hours.

    One of these nights I am going to try to get pictures of them. ;)
    My husband hunts deer but he will not shoot a deer in our back yard. He says they seem to much like pets, he's right. :)
     
  7. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i live in the appalachians, in east tn. i thought perhaps it was more than one deer, sleeping near one another. it is not open field, but very grown up with weeds, and i imagine if they were laying down, they wouldn't be seen. i've seen plenty of spoor. i know they drink from the creek behind my house.

    so, being as i'm the kind of gal that would rather find another place than disturb them, do they have places they keep returning to? i'd like to put a cabin there, but not if i am chasing somebody from their home.:) i'd rather switch than fight. LOL!!
     
  8. sapphira

    sapphira Well-Known Member

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    Well, I thought everyone knew that sheep sleep in sheets when it sleets. :D
     
  9. sapphira

    sapphira Well-Known Member

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    And Deer definitely doze in in dandelions. :D

    It's been one heck of a long stupid day..................
     
  10. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    If the sleep area is that big, you'd better hope it is deer! Maybe you have giant fairies?!
     
  11. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    :haha:
    that and....the stump thunk the skunk stunk, but the skunk thunk the stump skunk. :p

    serioulsy also, remember that deer may make and use several bedding areas which makes it a guessing game where they would sleep at any given time. They would as easily abandon a beddihng area if harrassed.
    If the beds found seem to be well used, somewhere nearby I would expect to see deer droppings or 'pellets', or walk along trails found nearby which led to their bedding areas. When I see their poop, it's generally in a small pile that is approximately a handful. Now if you see a pile that are like a small shovel full and look like chocolate covered almonds....you might have a moose! :haha:
     
  12. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i get mixed up trying to read those! LOL!!

    no, no moose, too far south. only other creature of any size around here, is bear, and they still range the higher mountains, not farmland like this. well, what passes for farmland here. it's pretty hilly most everywhere, except river bottoms. about the only agriculture going on these days is hay and cattle. small farms breaking up, you know. happening here like everywhere else. oh forgot the elk, that were reintroduced to the park, and are breeding and ranging farther and farther out. quite magnificent in the fall during rut. you can hear the call for miles, echoing through the mountains.

    not to drift too far or anything.:)

    maybe it being a favorite place of the deer could account for its' size? of course, such a mellow place that even deer feel safe, might make a great place to live.:)
     
  13. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Now that it is hunting season,, they seem to like to sleep right by my house...sigh ~ ~ ~
    They sleep near the fruit trees, in the grass, and looks like I have at least 3 or 4 does and the fawns. One of the nieghbors said he saw a nice buck on my place, but I have not seen him yet. Same with the elk.
    You will see flatten down grass where they sleep at night...and of course their calling cards, so to speak.
     
  14. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    If you are in mountain country deer follow the thermals. In the evening they travel to lower ground to feed and in the morning when the sun comes up and starts to warm the earth they move uphill. Heat rises and carries the deers scent so by doing the nightly migration they travel with their scent. This makes them less vulnerable to their predators i.e. mountain lions, wolves, etc. So when they bed down it is in the daytime and usually up in higher country. Deer expect predators to come at them from below so they like areas where they can be up high and see and smell whats coming up the hill.