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Do deer sleep in corn fields?

Deer do sometimes sleep in corn fields, especially when the corn plants are tall enough to provide cover. However, corn fields are not a preferred sleeping habitat for deer compared to forests and woodlands. There are a few reasons why deer may choose to bed down in corn fields for rest and sleep.

Reasons Deer Sleep in Corn Fields

Here are some of the main reasons why deer will sleep in corn fields:

  • Cover from predators – Once corn plants grow tall, they can provide hiding spots and visual barriers for deer to feel protected while sleeping.
  • Lack of preferred habitat – In areas without enough forests or dense brush, deer may use corn fields as an alternative for cover and comfort.
  • Thermoregulation – The shady microclimate under corn plants can be cooler than open grasslands on hot days.
  • Proximity to food source – Deer may bed near corn fields so they can feed conveniently on corn, a highly attractive food item.

In general, fawns and female deer are most likely to use corn fields for day beds to safely hide their young. Dominant, adult male deer typically prefer sleeping in forests and woodlands which provide ideal cover and access to natural food sources.

Considerations for Deer Sleeping in Corn Fields

There are some important considerations regarding deer bedding down in active corn fields:

  • Crop damage – Deer moving through corn rows can trample plants, hampering crop growth and reducing yields.
  • Predation risk – Corn fields lack escape routes and visibility compared to woodlands, exposing deer to predators.
  • Harvest time – Once corn plants are cut down, cover is eliminated and deer will abandon the fields.
  • Hunting pressure – Daytime movement in fields can make deer more vulnerable to hunting.

While corn can provide temporary shelter and food for deer, it is not an ideal habitat for regular use. Deer likely prefer to sleep in more secluded, natural areas when available nearby.

Typical Deer Sleeping Habits

In general, here are some facts about where and how deer usually sleep:

  • Habitats – Deer most often sleep and bed down in forests, brushy areas, wetlands, and meadows that provide cover.
  • Beds – Deer scrape away leaves and vegetation to form small depressions in the ground called “beds.”
  • Times – Deer are most active at dawn and dusk and sleep during the day. They sleep lightly at night with ears alert.
  • Behaviors – Deer often sleep curled up with nose tucked to their hindquarters for warmth and protection.
  • Social – While adult males are solitary, female and young deer may sleep grouped together.
  • Duration – Deer sleep around 4-6 hours per 24 hour period, mostly during daylight hours.

These natural sleeping behaviors are adapted for survival against weather extremes and predation. Corn fields represent a secondary habitat when conditions are suboptimal.


In summary, deer do sometimes utilize corn fields to bed down and sleep, especially when the corn plants are tall enough to offer cover. However, dense forests and natural habitats provide more suitable areas for deer to sleep and evade predators. Corn fields are likely used sporadically and temporarily when other preferred sleeping areas are scarce. Understanding deer sleeping patterns and habitats can help farmers and wildlife managers accommodate these common mammals.