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Critical Characteristics of Quality Buck Bedding Habitats

In Episode 304 of the East Meets West Hunt podcast, Paul Putera gave valuable insights into the significance of high-quality bedding habitats for deer populations. Paul is a seasoned hunter from New Jersey that has spent his time in the mountains, big woods, and swamps of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and other places. Focusing on woodsmanship, Paul succeeds wherever he goes hunting mature deer.

Optimal Habitat Characteristics for Buck Bedding:

According to Paul, an excellent deer bedding habitat should allow the animals to rise from their beds and find readily available food. Focusing on areas with ample food sources resulting from events like gypsy moth kills, ash tree deaths or elm blight is essential. These events alter the forest canopy, creating new opportunities for unique plant species to thrive. Consequently, these diverse vegetation types attract deer with various nutritional options.

Soil Health and Its Impact on Deer Habitat:

The health of the soil directly influences the diversity and quality of deer habitat. Poor-quality soil impedes plant growth, limiting the availability of nutritious food sources for deer. Therefore, areas with fertile soil support a greater variety of vegetation, providing a rich and diverse food base that attracts and sustains deer populations.

Natural Disruptions and Their Effects on Deer Bedding Habitats:

Paul discusses the impact of natural disturbances on deer habitat, such as beetle kills and wildfires. In Western regions, beetle kills result in the death of pine and conifer trees, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor. This influx of sunlight promotes the growth of grasses and other plants, which become preferred food sources for deer and elk. Similarly, logging cuts or wildfires can create diverse patterns of growth, altering the habitat and providing new opportunities for deer to thrive.

Natural Disruptions and Their Effects on Deer Bedding Habitats:

In the interview, Paul highlights the significance of micro features and visual access for deer bedding locations. Bucks, in particular, prefer bedding areas that offer them clear visibility of their surroundings. These locations allow them to monitor potential threats and assess escape routes efficiently. Surprisingly, deer often select bedding areas near hiking trails, roadsides, or even parking lots, leveraging human activity as an early warning system for their safety.

In the rest of this podcast, Beau and Paul dive into the critical aspects of quality bedding habitats for deer populations, especially mature bucks. Understanding the importance of suitable bedding areas, including access to food, soil health, and the impact of natural disturbances, allows you to better locate the caliber of bucks you are looking for.

If you liked this episode, check out part 2 of this interview with Paul Putera.

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