We all wonder where animals sleep at some point in our lives because we hardly ever saw any cats, dogs, fish, and even birds sleep out in the open! Animals in the woods are a bigger mystery as you might’ve never seen the National Geographic show deer sleeping under a tree!
This article will focus on deer sleep habits and the places they select to sleep at night.
Sleeping habits for all beings vary according to season, food consumption, time of the day, and fear of hunting, of course! Many people believe that deer will always stay alert, even when the rest of the forest sleeps because they are aware of hunters!
Sleep habits of deer
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Deer will find a secure and safe spot in hiding to sleep at night. The area must have an easy exit, and there must be food close by.
The interesting fact is that deer can sleep with their eyes open or closed! Now that is a shocker! Bedding is a behavioral activity that includes sleeping, relaxing, chewing, grooming, or digesting food.
An average lifespan of deer spent relaxing, and bedding is more than 70%, so the times you see deer roaming around for food or mating or wandering-that is only 30% of their lifetime!
Bedding according to season
All animals adjust to seasons, and deer will consider a few factors more, such as camouflage, easy entrance and exits, and access to food.
The bedding area is chosen according to the safety of the area as well. Deer move about alone, but their bedding areas are shared, and they like a big company.
However, you will find small herds or loners have their exclusive bedding areas too! For deer, the security of a place is more important than hanging out together, but if they can stay together and be safe, they will do so too!
The sleeping or bedding areas for deer must be quite safe as they have been multiplying in number over the years! And here’s a secret to their smart sleeping habit; they sleep more during the day!
Deer mostly sleep when the sun is still up, and they go out to find food at night. This behavior is why they are considered nocturnal creatures.
During the day, deer sleep in open areas or in fields where they are hardly visible. As we mentioned earlier, camouflage is an important part of the sleeping place!
Thick areas that make a good cover will be the best places for deer to relax; however, when they are relaxed or resting, they tend to become more aware and escape at the sound of a twig crackling!
Even if deer sleep in the open, it is in areas where they get to know of a passerby or trespasser from a long distance. While sleeping, deer use their sense of smell and hearing to locate danger and act accordingly.
Dark, deep places in the marshes or areas where the grass is tall will be the typical hiding place for deer.
The sleep cycle of deer
Deer do not need eight long hours of sleep as we do. Their sleep cycle is that they dose off for a few minutes, wake up, and sleep again.
Many times during their sleep, deer get up to stretch or relieve themselves so they can go back to sleeping again
Hunting season and deer
Deer are smart as they have an idea of the human hunting practices during each season. Even the allowed timings of each national park or forest are known to this creature!
While deer are aware of the hunters coming into the woods at particular times, they are also vigilant about the movement of humans and other animals in the area.
Deer find their bedding spots in the darkest, inaccessible areas in grasses or high vegetation during the hunting season.
When fall comes, deer change their bedding areas to more secretive spots where they can sleep without fear of hunters approaching.
Moreover, since deer are more in number, they may have a ‘shift time as some deer sleep while others roam about. During the day and at night, all deer do not sleep simultaneously, which may be to stay on guard for the whole species!
Another smart technique that deer apply to avoid hunters is to set up a leaf litter. The dried leaves can be an excellent alarm for deer as the crunching sound can alert them to danger.
The bedding areas are hidden, but still, deer are quite careful in ensuring that there is no chance of getting hunted while they least expected it.
Deer are smart creatures as they sleep at hidden spots to avoid trespassers. The deer bedding areas are meticulously chosen as there has to be an exit, easy access to food, and of course, safety! Deer do not sleep all at once and have a sleeping pattern that indicates their caring nature.
They sleep for short intervals and distribute their sleep hours overtime. Deer are nocturnal creatures and sleep more during the day. Camouflage and hunting season awareness marks the areas they choose to relax.