My tip is an easily overlooked method of detecting bedded deer.
Have you ever hunted on a frosty morning and feared deer would see you because of the vapor cloud created by your breath? I have.
Sometimes, when a deer is staring me down, I’ve even tried holding my breath to avoid detection — it’s impossible!
The same dilemma holds true for deer. You can’t hold your breath long, and neither can they. And if you’ve ever watched a deer that didn’t know you were there, you’ve probably noticed how much fog they create with their breath on a cold day.
Hunters with a sharp eye can use this to our advantage, especially if you are a still hunter (stalker) and like to move slowly through the woods.
On cold fall and winter days, I keep an eye open for telltale vapor clouds as I sneak near bedding areas.
If several deer are bedded together, they can create quite a lot of breath condensation in the air.
Use your binoculars to better detect breath vapor in known bedding areas.
A mature buck that is bedded will often remain perfectly motionless and allow hunters to walk right by. Its breath cloud will give him away, but only if you know what to look for.
So, if you see a hint of breath vapor coming from tall grass, brush or thick undergrowth, get ready; it could be a bedded buck.
I’ve had lots of success detecting bedded whitetails in the fall and winter, and I hope this is one more bit of knowledge that will help tilt the odds in your favor, too.