Every hunter wants to shoot a big buck, but does every hunter want to provide quality habitat for their deer? The answer is no, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as those landowners realize that the choices they make impact the end product. When it comes to providing good habitat for whitetail, quality bedding cover is one of the most important things a landowner can provide, especially on smaller properties. So why is whitetail deer beddding cover so important?
Think about this just for a second: Where does a mature whitetail buck spend the greatest amount of time during the day? You may not have a good answer for me and that’s because you rarely see such an animal in the middle of the day. That’s because mature bucks are not standing in open fields throughout the middle of the hunting season, and they sure aren’t camped out in the middle of a food plot.
When you get down the nuts and bolts of what a old, heavy-horned buck nees, it all boils down the cover. Thick cover, the kind that provides optimal security. A big sway-back will go wherever he can find such bedding cover. After all, the safest place to be during the day is layed up. It is while bedded that a buck has everything to his advantage. He’s already found an area of habitat rarely visited by humans, he’s got the wind working for him, and he’s watching the only places where anything could possibly sneak up on him. In short, he’s in a sanctuary. That’s why suitable deer bedding cover is so important. Without it, you’ve got no big bucks sleeping on your property.
But maybe you think your food plot will do the trick this hunting season? Did it work for you last season? Let’s say you don’t worry about deer habitat, but instead plant the ole throw-it and grow-it food plot. Hey, this is easy.
However, it’s nothing for a whitetail buck to remain in his bedding sanctuary until dark, then walk a mile and half to your food plot to feed all night, then head back home—all before sunrise. He may use your food plot, and you may even get him on camera, but that doesn’t mean he’s going in your freezer and on your wall. But at least that massive buck will leave giant tracks and huge scrapes to get you pumped up, even if he’s not around when you are.
In closing, think first about habitat when thinking about improving the deer hunting on your property or lease. Wildlife and habitat management can go a long ways towards helping you provide better deer bedding cover and keeping that big buck’s home close to yours!