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hunting whitetails in swamps

Old 09-05-2003, 05:26 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default hunting whitetails in swamps

My question for experienced swampers is: How, and When, and Where, do you hunt Which deer in the swamp? Do deer really like the swamp? Do they like the food and move in full-time, or do they only use it for secure bedding and eat elsewhere, or go there when pushed by hunting pressure? Do does do this, or only lone bucks? Will they like the really dense stuff -- where, like they say, you can' t fall down -- or the really under-water-areas, or the wet-muddy areas with dry islands under trees to bed in? When scouting, what sign do you look for, if tracks, scat, and scraps are under water or too muddied up to see? And how do you hunt the swamp? Do you stay to stream banks or rises? Where do you set up a treestand so that getting to it in the morning won' t make so much noise to wake even the dead (deer)? Help: I' m confused by swamps.
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Old 09-05-2003, 05:38 PM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: hunting whitetails in swamps

I think deer use swamps a lot because they don' t get bothered in there.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-05-2003, 06:50 PM
  #3  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: hunting whitetails in swamps

The word " swamps" is a relative term. I' m from Michigan and cedar swamps here can have a lot of different stuff, but generally Michigan swamps indicate thick, close quarters with a great deal of moisture, if not downright flooded.
Deer can and will use swamps for protection....from weather and hunters. They will use them for browse when their favored foods are too risky or pressured. But they will often use them as safe bedding, usually staying toward the edges unless pressured.
Bucks however, in my experience, can take up nearly permanent residence in swamps for the daylight hours, and can be found holding tight to some of the thickest, nastiest scrub tangles that you have ever seen. I love hunting swamps, but have gotten many more shots just outside swamp edges when the deer are moving in or out at first or last light. The cool thing about swamps can be the amount of other wildlife you notice while sneaking and peeking for whitetails.
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Old 09-06-2003, 03:04 PM
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Default RE: hunting whitetails in swamps

8MM is right on about " swamps" being a relative term. I have quite a bit of experience hunting thick Maine cedar swamps, but have no clue about everglade-type southern swamps. Where are you located and what sort of swamps exactly do you wish to hunt? I' d be happy to share my experiences but don' t want to do a lot of typing if it won' t relate to your situation.
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Old 09-06-2003, 10:19 PM
  #5  
Fork Horn
 
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Default RE: hunting whitetails in swamps

8mm just about said it all. Our swamps are much the same with the same type of deer pattern.
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Old 09-08-2003, 09:30 AM
  #6  
Fork Horn
 
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Default RE: hunting whitetails in swamps

As was said previously, it depends geographically where you are because a " swamp" can change drastically from one are to the next.

From my perspective, since moving to New England 8 years ago, I have focused intently on hunting the swamps in my area. Most of them around here are pretty thick Hemlock swamps, not always under-water, but moist most of the time with puddles here and there.

And I have had great succes with " Swamp Islands" , usually around the size of 10 yds. x 50 yds. (some bigger some smaller) The does like to bed on them and I find the bucks cruising these islands looking for them, making scrapes, rubs and chasing does. I also focus on the edge that is created between the hardwoods and the swamp and have found the deer use this habitat intersection as a travel-way. And the last few seasons I have cut paths directly throught them and have deer using those paths, this season will be the first that I will seriously hunt those paths I have cut so I will report back on my success!

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Old 09-08-2003, 10:34 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: hunting whitetails in swamps

I can only comment on the cedar swamps of eastern Maine.....These places are absolutely the thickest piece of woods I have ever hunted. As others have said, unless you have actually spent time hunting these areas, it' s just....hard to explain. These are the thickest, darkest and wettest woods you' ll find here in New England. Why would deer like places this " rough" ?....because it offers everything a deer needs....food, shelter from the weather and security from predators, as in hunters. These deer aren' t stupid...they' ll head there when the hunting pressure heats up because they know hunters will usually avoid places like this. It seems almost impossible to be able to get into these swamps without the deer either hearing, seeing or smelling you. The deer move around in these swamps with incredible ease. The trick (to me) is to get in there (deep) very early, pre-dawn and select a site after careful scouting. Also staying there all day has always been my way to hunt these swamps. Some folks hunt the edges, hoping to tag deer on their way into or out of the swamps, other hunt just inside the swamp, while others hunt the tote roads. If you understand what these places offer the deer and why.... and do your scouting in earnest....the next deer you see in the thickest, nastiest place... just might take your breath away!!
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