Buck Bedding Area Design?

Discussion in 'Native Habitat Management' started by Gravel Road, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. Gravel Road

    Gravel Road Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Northeast Kansas
    Hardiness Zone:
    6A
    Hey guys,

    I have a question about creating bedding areas for bucks. Specifically, I’m looking to increase the number of bedding areas that are between 400-800 yards from the main feeding area. The area is pasture with cattle at alternating times, so the bedding area would be best if it was fenced. Right now, I’m picturing a fairly small area, fenced with 4 strands of barbed wire, surrounded on the inside of the fence with mostly switchgrass, and the rest just dogwoods or some other combination of woody browse such as hybrid poplar. Maybe a line of cut hedge and locust trees on the north side outside the fence to help block the wind?

    Would you make it small, like a ¼ acre, or even smaller? My thoughts are to keep it small and thick to make it less attractive to does. Does that size sound about right, or what else am I missing?

    Oh yeah, this would end up getting burned approximately every other year, so that eliminates some species. Lots of nearby dogwood thickets too, so minimal value there. In fact, I could probably just fence a dogwood thicket, brush hog to get new growth and try and plant switch. Thoughts, ideas?
     
  2. DRandall90

    DRandall90 Active Member

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    Hardiness Zone:
    3
    It generally takes about 2-3 seasons to get switch in my area tall enough to be really great bedding. If you're burning every couple of years that may create problems.

    If you are burning or cutting this area every 2 or so years, I don't think it would be a primary option for bedding. Unless I'm not reading this correctly.

    It's been my observation that building any bedding areas, regardless of size, may or may not facilitate bucks. No option really is good for just creating buck bedding.
     
  3. Gravel Road

    Gravel Road Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    302
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    Location:
    Northeast Kansas
    Hardiness Zone:
    6A
    Thanks for the response! I didn't realize it took that long for switch to grow tall and just took it to mean that it takes 2-3 years to establish and get the root structure to enable tall growth.
    Burning doesn't really bother the deer here, as they seem fairly used to it. The patches of prairie cordgrass will be waist to chest high in a month or two and the bigger thickets provide enough cover for the deer to filter right back in. Plus, I only burn half each year, just so the birds have nesting areas.
     

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