Are you all set to hunt down your trophy? But wait! Do you know precisely what time do deer bed down?
In hunting, timing is the key to success. As for deer hunters like us, it is essential to know where your target is and at what time they are primarily active – because shooting an active deer is like inviting danger for yourself.
The proactive hunting technique is getting familiar with the deer movement and knowing all the whats, whens, and hows about your target – that’s what we call stalking.
If you want to upgrade your hunting experience, then you must shift your focus from hunting gear to the game. If you’re going to land a critical hit, educate yourself by making notes about a buck’s sleeping pattern!
After all, knowing when a deer beds down is going to change everything.
For example, you would know when your target is up and about and when it’s asleep. As a hunter, you are after a moving target, not a dormant one, right? To know the buck’s sleeping habits is to win the hunting season!
What Time Do Deer Bed Down?
Deer aren’t like usual animals; they bed down in the morning. They tend to pick spots that are well sheltered from the wind and provide ample cover from looming predators! Now like most creatures, the bedding areas of deer are closer to water sources; so if you want to find a resting deer, go to a stream or pond.
During the day, the deer will shy away from the sun by going to areas that offer plenty of shade. As for the evening time, the deer prefer sheltered areas that will keep them safe from predators.
So, if you are a hunter, you better hit the road for deer when the sun is rising and just before it sets. Because if you try to hunt during the peak of midday, you won’t find any deer walking around.
Moreover, as a hunter, you should know that other factors besides the sun dictate deer behavior; lousy weather conditions mean no deer in sight because deer rely on sunlight to look for food and avoid predators.
Therefore, if you want to hunt the deer at the right time, you need to know how long deer beds down during the day. Long story short, when the sun is out during the day, then the deer bed down! This characteristic makes deer a nocturnal animal as they are far more active during the night than during the day.
Expect an average deer to catch some sleep for about twelve hours during the day. Plus, they don’t sleep in one place; instead, they move around and settle in chunks.
And when do deer bed down? Anytime between 12 pm and 4 pm is deer bed downtime. You can use a night scope to look for these bucks. If you want to catch them awake, search during the hours of 4 pm to 7 pm. Deer are prone to look for food as they wake up.
They will run away from their bedding spots with their full attention on finding food. This is the perfect opportunity to hunt them down! Their lowered defenses only last until they eat, then they are more active and hard to hunt than before.
How to Find Deer Bedding Areas? Quick Tips!
Deer tend to move around a lot. They know the predators and hunters are out to hunt them, so they move and sleep in chunks. Their bedding areas are spread throughout the region. They will always go for large fields with tons of vegetation and tall grass.
They require lots of cover for shelter and safety from predators. If they are in the woods, then the deer will always go for thick bushes and weeds surrounded by low-hanging trees.
Furthermore, two of the most popular bedding areas for a buck that would increase your chances to find your target are:
1. Southwest-Facing Slopes
This area is perfect for finding a buck bedding area as it has two significant factors; sunshine and headwind. Such an area serves as an advantage to the buck, for it’s able to sniff out danger way before the predator seeks it out.
Secondly, the region keeps it warm during cold days. This area becomes safer if it has a thick stand of trees at the rear.
2. Near Food and Water
Unlike bucks, Does – Female deer prefer to bed in open lands. However, if the danger is near, then they run for cover. During peaceful hours, they can easily be spotted in open fields. Often becoming victims to headlights. You can identify the area if it is thick, near food and water, sloped or elevated.
As for whitetail bedding areas, go for areas that are thick with off-the-beaten-path. You may find them off ridges. Plus, if dry land slopes into a wetland or a swamp, you will likely come across a whitetail in no time.
Do Deer Bed Down in the Rain?
Like most people who seek out deer, hunters also wonder the same thing; “do deer move in the rain or bed down?”
Typically, photographers, hikers, and hunters would assume that deer take shelter from the rain. Because it’s only natural to stay indoors when it is raining outside. You wouldn’t go out hunting deer, even as a hunter, right?
Well, turns out the fields are loaded with the game if the rain is just right! Deers have no problem moving in certain rainy conditions. Therefore, It’s always best to plan your hunting trips around the weather.
1. Do Deer Go Out or Not in Light Rain?
You will find yourself lucky because if it’s a drizzle or a sprinkling, you will likely come across droves and droves of them whitetail deer. Light rainfall is just a walk in the park for the deer.
The deer will choose to wander out in the slight drizzle. Why? Because light rain is quite refreshing for the deer. They won’t change their daily patterns or anything during a drizzle.
Plus, there won’t be any hindrance in their sense. A deer will be able to navigate through the forest with ease, sniffing out danger and approaching predators. They can make their getaway swiftly.
2. Do Deer Move During Moderate Rain?
When it comes to moderate rainy weather, deer might choose to move around but not as fast or generally as in a drizzle. Unlike light rainfall, moderate one hinders the senses of deer. Any whitetail deer uses their sense of smell, sight, and hearing to detect danger.
During moderate rain, they will find it hard to smell the threat. Why? Because moderate rain washes out their sense of smell and replaces it with immense hunger for rain-soaked leaves.
Due to the velvety texture of their fur, deer can withstand all kinds of weather. It is surprising how it takes a lot for a deer to stay away from venturing out. The only thing that can immensely stall a deer’s progress is heavy rain.
3. Where Do Deer Stay During Heavy Rain and Storm?
If one thing that can stop a deer from venturing out is either heavy rain or a raging storm. Though, it’s not like heavy rainfall can completely stall a deer’s movements.
Instead, it can prevent it from moving like usual. Forest cams have picked up deer moving around without much discomfort in heavy rainfall!
So, when it is bucketing down or if a deer sees rain clouds coming in, it won’t run for shelter like humans. Little can affect a deer, and rain isn’t one of them. They are creatures of the outdoors.
All thanks to the deer’s coat that keeps it warm and cozy during strict weather conditions. Remember, no amount of rainfall can prevent it from looking for food or water.
One of nature’s miracles is that a deer can feel a storm coming days before its arrival! So, before the storm comes raging on, a deer will find shelter and bed down.
Critical weather conditions can affect their sense of smell, sight, and hearing. They won’t be able to fend for themselves in the face of danger. That’s why they tend to bed down in places with thick vegetation.
Do Deer Bed Down in the Wind?
Like rainfall, the degree of the wind determines the deer’s behavior. As a hunter, if you want to catch these bucks, you must run and hunt after the storm! Bucks take shelter and bed down during harsh rains and windy conditions.
Once the storm blows over, they run out to look for food. Such a time would be perfect for hunting! Simply look for bedding areas, and you will find them running towards a source of food and water without any thought in their little brains.
Remember to do it fast because once these babies eat, they know precisely when you are coming!
Is Wind Speed a Factor in Deer’s Movement?
In short, yes, a deer will choose not to move around much during harsh winds. As aforementioned, deer rely on their senses; high winds will hinder their sense of smell and may put them in danger of being hunted.
If the wind is harsh, it can easily mask the movement of predators, causing them to quickly attack the unsuspecting deer. However, if the wind is light and smooth, it won’t cause any significant difference to the routine of a deer.
Like heavy rainfalls, a deer will choose to rest in extremely windy weather. With their sense diluted, bucks will settle down and wait for the winds to blow over. Like your bucks, as a hunter, you must stay indoors and try not to pursue bucks during windy conditions.
Firstly, it will be hard to detect deer. Secondly, hunting deer and accurate landing shots will be difficult due to the unpredictable windy conditions. It is an opportunity to wait for another time and to learn about bucks and their behavior online!
Deer in the Wind: Do They Go Upwind Or Downwind?
When it comes to going upwind or downwind, a deer doesn’t care. Unless they are following their nose, then a mature buck might travel upwind. Similarly, if they sense danger approaching, they will choose to run downwind to avoid it.
During rutting season, a deer will travel wherever the Does are going; it doesn’t matter if it is upwind or downwind. As a buck hunter, you must use the movement pattern of deer to your advantage.
If they are moving downwind, you can take the shot and aim your kill.
Do Deer Bed Down in the Same Place?
The short answer is no. A deer won’t stay in the same place. As mentioned earlier, it will go around looking for other bedding spots and bed down.
Doing so will keep the potential predators off its tail. Plus, the type of bedding areas varies with time. For instance, during morning hours, a deer will bed down in places that are cozy and sheltered from the wind. They will go for dense vegetation for cover and areas closer to water.
As the day progresses, they will look for spots that provide protection and shade from the sun. Finally, before they become incredibly active, they look for sheltered areas in the evening. Doing so will keep them safe from predators!
If you are a hunter who wants to land many kills, learn deer behavior and their bedding spaces. Nothing is going to work best for you if you don’t know where the deer resides.
Knowing when the deer sleeps and when it goes to bed will save you a lot of time. When your deer is asleep, you can use that time to practice your hunting skills or sharpen up your hunting gear.
In early hunting seasons, it’s best to score more kills if you reach the ground during sunrise hours. There is nothing better than a morning hunt when everything is fresh. Just like you, the bucks will be out and looking for food.
If your aimed white-tail deer are off-guard, it will increase your chances of hunting them. Remember, a mature buck will move early during the day to secure food before bedtime. Therefore, a secure camp near bedding areas might be highly fruitful!
Similarly, evening hunts can be extremely good for buck hunting because after sleeping all day, bucks will be up and motivated to find food. They won’t sense you coming! Plus, once the sun completely goes down, you will see herds of them!
Lastly, remember to check the weather conditions before you go out hunting. Stay safe, and have a happy hunting season, partner!
Hello, my name is J.R.Sullivan. Ever since a kid I have been passionate about hunting. Growing up in the countryside with the woods behind our house, hunting had been our favorite pastime. My father and I would wake up before anyone else, pack our bags, and spend hours in the woods in complete silence, waiting for our prey. This was not only a hobby for us but a way of life and the number one way we bonded.