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Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

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Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

Old 12-17-2008, 08:03 PM
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Default Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

Swampmasters - I'm looking for a little input here.

I'm always a balls-to-the-wall style hunter - always public land - always on a shoestring budget and operatingwith razortight time constraints. I fill my tags by scouting my ass off, and getting the most mileage out of my available stand time. That means knowing where I'm going and getting on a deer fast. That means scouting in March for hunting in November. I don't have time to **** around in the woods on 11/1, with my thumb in my ass, wondering where all the deer are. I just don't have that option.

So - I need to learn how to hunt swamp deer. That's where you boys come in. You're going to teach me. Let me explain . . .

Over the past two years, I've expanded into Ohio, where the hunting is totally foreign to me. Ancient, overgrown coal strips and swamplands. Massive swamps, laden with beaver dams, cattails, mudholes, waterways, and briar patches. Hideous thickets. Giant fields of bushy greenery.

I've been successful out there on decent deer, but most of my success comes from finding isolated hardwood pockets in this maze of thicket and cattail swamp, and focusing my efforts there. I'd love to dabble in the swamplands, but my time constraints force my hand and dictate that I stay where I'm on deer. No time to experiment.

I'm guessing that hunting swamp deer is no different than anything else: pay attention to the food sources, play off of the geographics and read the sign. More than anything, I'm fishing for specific things to look for. Signs. Tips.

My '09 season scoutingwill be starting soon, and as usual, I'll be out there shed hunting my ass off - looking for where I'll kill my next buckeye buck. Instead of focusing on the hardwoods, I plan on painting with a bit broader brush. My springtime observations in the pastout there haveinvariably revealed the heaviest concentrations of thebiggest buck sign in the swamplands - far from the hardwood ridgeswhere I hunt. I know they're there. In addition to "big buck" sign, it appears that these swamps seem to be hosting pretty solid deer densities. I just need to come to grips with a way to hunt them. I've never hung a stand set over a cattail swamp. I just don't have the confidence in it. It's outside my comfort zone.

I'm 100 percent confident that if I'm ever going to drag a real pig out of there, he's coming out of some thick, swampy hell-on-earth. But if there's one thing I know is that a guy can piss away an entire season waiting in a remote thicket for a deer that never shows up - either sitting on stale sign or waiting in an area that he never uses. Those can be long, boring days. I don't want to be that guy.

So what I'm looking for is some input on how you hunt a muddy-ass swamp buck. Some reclusive son of a bitch that never wants to leave his island. You know the type.

Do you hunt right along the cattails? Do you look for "hourglasses" in the terrain? Hunt the first bench above it? Look for land bridges? Tree islands? Can you blaze trails through the cattails for the deer to adopt - channeling them into your sets? Any special early-season tips/tactics?

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Old 12-17-2008, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

I hate swamps! I prefer river bottoms! [8D]
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:15 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

I hate swamps! I prefer river bottoms!
Same here. Although river bottoms can become swamp bottoms when so much moisture makes the river get out into outlying areas, I don't think I've ever hunted anything like in your pictures. But it sure does look great!
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:18 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

I wish I could help, as I thought I could. I hunt ALL swamp ground, with ag land surrounding it.

Those swamps are NOTHING like the swamps I hunt. I hunt ginourmous tamarack swamps. Sorry bud.

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Old 12-17-2008, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

Im a hardwood man.[8D]

But I am interested to see where this thread may go!
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks


Hunting Marsh Bucks DVD. Haven't heard a bad review on it yet, I have it on my shelf borrowed from a friend, just haven't watched it yet. Apparently VERY informative.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

That's a damn wetland. This is a real man'sswamp[8D]

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Old 12-17-2008, 08:59 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

I can't help you either, but I do know a guy that hunts stuff like that. He has had success blazing trails...says the deer immediately adopt every path he cuts.I think you are on the right track with that. Pics look like a few slammers could be in there for sure....I'll be interested in seeing what others say too.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:00 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks

I hunt a spot similar to the one your in but not nearly as large. I find the bedding areas, although really thick, i still hang a stand. Most of the time you willhear the deer but not see them. When you do getto see them they are usually really close (no more than 15yrds) and are sometimes more surprised to see you!The last two pics you have there look almost identical to where i hunt. The ground is a little damp, at times flooded, so ihunt the base of the hill that leads tothe swampy areawhere the deer travel around the flooded parts.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: Hunting Mature Swamp Bucks


That's a damn wetland. This is a real man'sswamp[8D]

LOL, too funny Rory [8D]
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