I don't think that bed size is as important as is Location.
If you have a bunch of smaller seng beds in one area, I beieve that the person that knows what they are looking for will spot the smaller beds just as easily as some large beds. The Poacher will not have problem finding one's plants if he's close enough to spot them.
Most of my beds are about 30'x4'.
I have not had any poached in the seven years of growing.
I think the thing that helps to protect your garden, is to not tell people that your growing seng.
I think that large beds like Classicfur's example or even smaller or the 5x50' beds recommended by Scott's book where you have cleared all saplings and done rake/scatter method at 4-5 seeds per sq ft - are definately going to stand out more than if you planted very small patches here and there (like wild) without clearing large areas.
If a real seng hunter / poacher gets in there looking for it, you don't really have a chance either way.
If the average joe hunter (like someone sneaking in on your property to get after a turkey gobbling) gets in there, the larger cleared bed approach is much more likely to make him notice what is going on and then start looking around and figuring things out and coming back later to collect your roots.
95% of the average joe hunters, that have never hunted seng, are much more likely to just tresspass a little (kill a turkey perhaps) and then go on back home - without noticing the seng if you planted it wild style.
Seng is just another plant to them like hundreds of others on the forest floor.
To futher define what I would call planting it wild style - you may not even use a rake, may just use your seng digger, or a jab type planter / planting stick, to just poke a hole and plant a seed. Or at most you might use a leaf rake but make your beds 3x3 or 4x4 and just put them here and there all over the place, random like, where ever the land allows without clearing any underbrush.
Classicfur - no doubt one thing that has helped you up there in Main is the fact that it is illegal to hunt ginseng there. That is sure a plus for you. Hope your luck holds out.
You absolutely could plant several pounds of seed utilizing smaller beds, just here and there all over your hillsides or even just a planting stick type tool.
I think billy planted a pound of seed last year just using his seng digger.
If you have plenty of land and wild seng grows well on it would not be a thing wrong with planting it that way.
I have seen planting sticks described, basically a long handle tool with a blade on the end for digging a hole, and a pvc pipe strapped to the long handle, wiht a funnel on the top.
You just job it in the ground, twist it a bit to make your hole, then drop a seed down the shoot into the hole. You can cover it and stomp it with your boot and go on to the next one.
Don't even have to bend over that way.
Now the large bed approach you may be able to plant that pound a bit faster, and if you have to apply gypsum annually that would make good sense to have defined beds for your plantings.
I have a bunch of land that I will probably get around to planting in the next 3-5 years that wild seng grows well on. I plan to plant some of it wild style, and may do other places on it utilizing large beds.