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It is said that the best place to find deer antler sheds is their bedding areas, so where do deer sleep? The most common places where deer sleep is around food and water sources or established sanctuaries. Deer prefer to be in places that they regard safe and are well covered to offer them protection.
A deer’s sleeping spot can be a handy piece of information to have as a hunter, as this can help you track them down easily during a hunt. Bedding among deer varies across the genders, with does tending to sleep in groups more often. Rarely would you find a doe bedding down alone?
On the other hand, a buck may have varying sleeping patterns and spots depending on the season. In winter, they may easily bed in different places than they would do in spring and summer. When summer comes knocking, bucks tend to sleep in open places to keep away from bugs and get some cool breeze.
Cooler weather for bucks means searching for a new bedding spot to secure an easily accessible place, has a side cover, and is situated on higher grounds.
A deer is also most likely to continuously sleep on the same spot until they move from the area or get a better spot within the area.
Sadly, deer don’t get enough sleep as predator animals get. They are prey and will always be on high alert because predators can appear at any time. They usually sleep for 30 seconds to a few minutes. Sometimes they could sleep with their eyes open to keep alert!
Finding out the Ideal Places Where Deer Sleep
No matter where you are, deer will always find the same places where they can bed and rest for some while. And as these places may vary depending on the seasons and arising threats, some areas always hint you out of where you can find Deer. The best places to start your search if you’re not sure of exact locations are;
Places around Food and Water
When pressure is relieved off their shoulders, deer would want to rest and sleep in areas close to food and water. Deer need water more than food during the rut, so consider this when going out for a deer search.
Any sanctuary within your property could be another haven for Deer. Places that are well covered and devoid of too much lighting and noise are likely to attract Deer. As a hunter, you need to pay visits to such places, especially if there is a deer in your neighborhood.
Deer bed in the open, especially when the pressure is low and the weather is pleasant. When the level of temperature drops and precipitation falls, they seek to head deep into the thicket. While deer’s bedding spots may change daily throughout the season; the landscape does not change.
Hunting Pressure and Deer Sleeping Location
Deer are generally cautious animals, and any sense or detection of danger will push them to a new bedding or sleeping post without a second thought. Their safety comes first.
Deer are commonly found living in areas bordering humans, which are commonly known as the edge. Therefore, they have an understanding of how human hunters operate, and they have mastered their trends. They will thus tend to relocate their sleeping positions based on these hunting patterns.
Deer living in places where hunting occurs during some legal hours wait for the expiration of the legal hunting hours to sleep in places free from human disturbance.
If a deer comes ‘home’ to its bedding place and finds a predator lying in wait to attack, it will alert other deer with a loud snorting sound. When the other deer hears the snorting sound, they will avoid sleeping in that place and surroundings. This means predators and hunting pressures directly affect the sleeping decisions of deer.
Various Types of Deer Bedding Areas
Deer makes their bedding in response to various factors, including their sex, time of the day, seasons, and specialized groupings. Let’s have a look at some of these bedding areas below.
Just like their name suggests, solitary-buck beds are special bedding areas for loner bucks. You will mostly find them in isolated sections of thick forests and valleys filled with dead leaves and fallen sticks. While there, you should check whether the trees around have rubs and droppings around the bedding areas.
Night Bedding Areas
These are the places deer spend their night time resting. Since deer are most active at night, the likely indication that you have spotted a night bedding area would be the presence of food resources near these bedding areas. A successful search of such bedding places should involve looking around oak flats, crop fields, food plots, and natural wood clearings, among others.
Such bedding points can be the ideal spots to visit early in the morning when beginning your hunt.
Doe Bedding Spots
Doe beds are always clean and odorless. You are most likely to find them adjacent to the night beds in the nearby brushy areas. They are always 34 t0 40 inches long and are always next to fawn beds, measuring between 30 to 36 inches long.
Winter beds are always made in the decline of hunting season. Bucks and does start getting closer to each other and even make beds next to each other. Most of the time, you will find these beds along the southwards-facing slopes exposed to more sunlight. You may also check in thickets found along stream bottoms.
Rutting Bucks’ Bedding Area
The rutting season among the bucks is welcomed with a change in behavior and sleeping patterns. The difference in sleeping patterns among the bucks in the rutting season involves abandoning thick, comfortable bedding areas and setting camp in doe territories. So you are more likely to get mature bucks next to doe bedding spots in the rutting season.
Bachelor Group Bedding Spots
These are bedding areas formed by bucks that are yet to find mates in the territories. The bachelors mostly form these types of beds during the late summer and early fall seasons. The spots are mostly located close to night beds.
You should concentrate on swampy areas and open lands with dense cover during your hunt in flat regions. When hunting in not-so-flat terrains, your search should revolve around uphill hallows, pockets with dense covers, spur ridges, and ditches.
Most of these bedding spots are majorly found next to the night bedding areas. So you should make it your aim to find where the deer spends their nights, and you will have revealed a lot of other bedding spots that surround these bedding spots.
A Deer’s Sleeping Cycle
A deer sleeping cycle is one of the most interrupted sleep cycles you could get in the wild. A sleeping deer would start with a doze off, which lasts for anything between 30 seconds to a few minutes, usually followed by a few minutes of being awake and alert.
The deer repeats the cycle for about 30 to 45 minutes, where they doze and wake continually. After the 45 or so minutes, they rise to stretch, urinate and even pass fecal excrement. They will then lie down again and begin the cycle all over again.
Do Deer Sleep at Night?
Mostly deer do not sleep at night and could qualify as nocturnal animals. Most of their sleeping or bedding is done during the daylight hours where they can relax and hide from the scorching sun as they groom themselves, chew and digest food, and even relax the day off. They sleep in high camouflage areas in the fields where foliage and bushes are about five feet tall.
A deer to sleep in the woods during the day has to be into the deeper foliage or a deeper hideout where humans and other predators cannot easily find them. They may as well sleep in the open during the day but only in ridge points or tops where they can easily see a predator coming from any or all directions.
The main reason deer sleep most of the time during the day is because of their poor eyesight in the daylight. The vision becomes better at night, which gives them the reason to search for food during these dark hours. However, they use their strong senses of smell and hearing to dodge and escape from predators easily during the day.
So when a deer sleeps during the day, it depends on its strong senses of smell and hearing to detect an approaching predator and act before it is too late.
What is the Normal Deer Sleeping Position?
While bedding spots are places you would expect to find deer sleeping, that position is not always for a sleeping deer. A bedded deer is not always sleeping. It may be chewing cud, grooming, or just relaxing. Sometimes deer sleep with their noses tucked up beneath their hind legs or on their sides.
They can sleep with their legs and arms tucked in and under their chest and bellies. It is always the head position that changes, and all this time, their eyes can either remain open or closed as they enjoy their short naps.
Changing Seasons means Changing Sleeping Patterns for Deer.
Seasons have a direct and significant impact on the sleeping patterns of deer. During summer and spring, you are likely to find deer bedding in places where there is easy access to fresh air and a cool breeze. In some cases, these beddings are always situated near waterways.
A bed of cool grass, weed, or tall bushes could also make an ideal sleeping or relaxing spot for a deer during summer. The woods are not to be left out either. They are perfect sleeping spots for deer in the summer season, especially if they have not been habited before.
When winter and fall seasons knock, the deer will shift to deeper hideouts into the woods to ensure protection when asleep and can have access to direct sunlight.
Deer are still one of the wittiest animals in the fields. They operate in some organized patterns, and tracking their sleep patterns may be daunting if you are not patient enough. Nevertheless, we believe the information here has given you an insight into what to expect when studying deer sleeping patterns.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.