Swamp hunting

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keystonehunter
 
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Swamp hunting

Postby keystonehunter » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:07 am

Need some tips. I hunt a 200 acre parcel of land in NW PA. About 1/3 is a mixture of pond / swamp / marsh.  The deer definitely bed down in the thick cover along and in the swamp. Especially the more mature bucks.  There are no trees in the swamp or marsh. What is the best strategy on hunting this type of terrain? It's maddening to hear them in the cover making one hell of a racket, yet not see them. Stalking is almost out of the question. The cover is 10-12 feet high and extremely dense. I went in once and was lucky to get out! 
you never shoot a buck from the couch

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ranwin33
 
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Location: Kansas and Missouri

RE: Swamp hunting

Postby ranwin33 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:18 am

Find entry and exit points, there should be trails.  Set up off those and be patient.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

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dmcianfa
 
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RE: Swamp hunting

Postby dmcianfa » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:34 am

I agree find the most prevelant trails with buck sign and even do some calling just off the edge of the marsh, but be sure to get out there extra early in the morning and beat them to their bed and stay out there longer so as not to spook them when they come out before dark or shortly after sunset.
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.

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vipermann7
 
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RE: Swamp hunting

Postby vipermann7 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:48 am

I hunt a marsh area that is much smaller, but the exact same kind of thick brush. Some of area I hunt is wide open, so that actually helps the deer move through certain areas. I am also lucky to have a couple trees, and by a couple I mean 3, that I can put stands in. I also use a tripod stand and a popup blind. I'm not sure what your terrain is like, but I will tell you how I hunt mine, maybe it can give you some ideas.

There is a small patch of brush, no bigger than 50 yards by 50 yards, right by the edge of a large open area that grows up with tall marsh grass and wild rice. does bed down in that patch of brush, and I hunt the edge of that brush where they come in and out. especially during the rut, bucks will cruise past this small brushy area wind checking for does.

There is a ditch bank that makes a horseshoe shape pattern just inside the actually property line. with the lay of the land, there is a stretch of ditch bank about 400 yards long that helps form a funnel between two wet areas. this funnel area runs the length of the ditch bank, about 400 yards, and is about 50 yards wide, running between the ditch bank the some higher ground near the property line. There are some open areas in the thick brush where trails cross, I hunt those open areas with the popup blind.

The other thing I have done is blaze some trails in the brush. the deer go everywhere and anywhere in that kind of thick cover, as I'm sure you know. i'm lucky to see the same trail be used more than once because there are so many trails. but after hunting my area for a few years, i've learned the general direction they move. they love moving through that funnel area, moving parallel with the ditch bank down in the thick cover. in some spots I have cleared some long lanes for shooting that cross some of the heavier trails. rattling and grunting works fantastic for me in this swamp, the hard part is keeping the wind direction good. since they can and do go everywhere, it is almost impossible to keep them from getting down wind. the best i hope for is to watch down wind and hope i get a shot before they get all the way down wind and smell me.

its a real crap shoot, hunting marsh areas is very difficult. i like to get up in the tripod stand whenever I can. i get it set up and trim some shooting lanes. the popup blind comes in handy too, gives me the chance to move around a bit. if i find an area i really want to sit, i just set up and cut a lane to shoot, thats about all you can do in such heavy cover. i try to hunt the few open spots that are naturally there when i can, but that doesnt always work. but after a few years, i have learned some of the more main travel patterns and have been able to concentrate on being set up around those spots.

hope this helps a bit, its hard to explain well without showing you a map of the area i hunt and how I hunt it. the first couple years I didnt do very well, but once I figured out where the deer were moving, I was able to start getting some shots. good luck.

beagleman23
 
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RE: Swamp hunting

Postby beagleman23 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:09 am

I agree with trying to locate the more frequently used entry exit points and then placing a trail camera.  This will give you the specific information you need for several stand locations.  A friend of mine shot a 165 class buck on 10/31/08 at 8:22am on the back side of his 7 acre plot that his house is located on.  He started seeing some deer sign at this location and after reviewing his pictures was amazed at what he saw, so was I.  Not only did he capture pictures of the buck he harvested which was aged at 6 1/2 yrs, but there was photos of another very mature 8 point plus numerous pictures of does, young bucks and fawns.  The pictures on his camera give the date and time which is pretty standard so you'll know if there is daytime movement.  Good luck.

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Southern Man
 
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RE: Swamp hunting

Postby Southern Man » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:18 am

There is a video that came out last year called "Hunting Marsh Bucks" by Blood Brothers that was very infomative. You might take a look at it. These guys are experts at it. The Video wasn't just guided kills, they're average guys that tell the ins and outs hunting that type of terrain. The video takes you on a scouting, set up, and harvest of a swamp buck to give you an example. Very good........ Blood Brothers.com

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Woods Walker
 
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Location: Northern Illinois

RE: Swamp hunting

Postby Woods Walker » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:30 am

Call a friend or relative from down south, and tell him to come for a visit....but he has to bring his deer hounds........[;)]
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

keystonehunter
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:43 am

RE: Swamp hunting

Postby keystonehunter » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:26 am

Thanks everyone for giving it some thought.  The trail cam is a great idea. Right now there are dozens of entry and exit trails and I need to know which are predominantly used.  Every mature buck I've ever observed on this property has been in the vicinity of the swamp. A friend once shot a bruiser of an 10 point in the middle of the swamp ( from a treestand about 25 feet in the air) and we spent the entire day slogging through the marsh getting him ( and us! ) out of there.
 
Good luck everyone. I'm giving it another try next Friday.

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dmcianfa
 
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RE: Swamp hunting

Postby dmcianfa » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:36 am

good reference, this is an excellent resource for the problem he is having.  Thanks southern man
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.

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Southern Man
 
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RE: Swamp hunting

Postby Southern Man » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:38 am

Yea, there is a wealth of information on their forum. I've talked to all three guys and they know their stuff. Lots of good people on there.

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