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 Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:37 pm
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Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Post Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
I hunt a place where we have a sizable tamarack swamp. It has some open areas consisting of blueberry bog brush but it also has some vast tamarack chunks which are impossible to penetrate without everything in the area knowing your there. Some of the swamps border nice food fields but to penetrate this quietly is a chore. Any tips on how others are breaking down this type of terrain to hunt is successfully?

Thanks in advance for your tips! :)


Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:07 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
When most guys look at a tammerack swamp they are intimidated by its size and everything looking the same... What I look for is subtle changes. Its no different than hunting a cattail marsh, only in a marsh everything is very visible. In a tammerack swamp the subtle changes are hidden by trees. You need to find the slight changes in elevation, and vegetation. A difference of a foot or two can make a big difference. Expect target bucks to prefer bedding in two locals. The highest spots in the swamp, and the lowest that are not quite under water.

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Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:56 am
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
I hunt a few tamarack swamps, they are some of my best public ground, you can't be affair to dive in there but do it slow. Give yourself a lot of extra time and you can sneak in without much noise. You also have to know the swamp well so you know where to setup. Like Dan said there will be transitions and areas the buck prefer to bed. I find a lot of beds in the roots of larger trees. There will also be plenty of other deer in there to mess up your approach but sometimes that is a game you have to play, keep the wind in your favor and move ultra slow. Sometimes they will blow and mess the whole works up but other times you can bump them and they aren't sure what you are and move off without alerting all the other deer.


Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:34 pm
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Location: SE Wisconsin
Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
P&YBuck1, I see you're from SE Wisconsin. many of the tamarack swamps in this area have man made drainage ditches dug through them. You can easily spot them on an aerial photo. (Although sometimes they appear only as a subtle straight line). On the side of the ditch where the dirt was dumped there is a high and dry line of vegetation that typically (in my experience) will have buck bedding somewhere on it. especially where it meets a transition such as open marsh, different vegetation type, or a 90 degree turn in the ditch. Drainage ditch corners are a hot spot for swamp bedding in my opinion.


Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:10 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:37 pm
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Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
Thank you to all for your great information.
I know the tamaracks hold big bucks so now it is time to enter this territory and get a killer setup.


Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:41 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
This is going to sound dumb but what exactly is a tamarack swamp? Is it river bottoms where its open in areas and thick and nasty in others, or is it small aspen type shoots that are really thick, or is it something else? Is a Tamarack a type of tree or a term to describe what is is? I keep hearing the term but never really learned what one is, any pictures would be helpful too.

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
Brad Lamont wrote:
This is going to sound dumb but what exactly is a tamarack swamp? Is it river bottoms where its open in areas and thick and nasty in others, or is it small aspen type shoots that are really thick, or is it something else? Is a Tamarack a type of tree or a term to describe what is is? I keep hearing the term but never really learned what one is, any pictures would be helpful too.


A Tamarack is a type of tree. It's a conifer that drops it's needles each fall so at that time of year they are really easy to identify from a distance. Google "tamarack tree" to see pics. I built a ladder to access a loft in a log home from tamarack because it gets real hard when it drys out.

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:45 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
Tamarack trees grow only in low lying wet areas. Concentrations of them are usually only in swamps.

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:12 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
Like all wetlands tamaracks swamps come in all shapes, sizes and thickness. The deer of course prefer the thicker ones, they can get downright nasty with tamarack trees, grass, cattails, and brush making visibility near zero. I have also hunted fairly open swamps with tall grass that was good bedding too. Another very similar swamp is a black spruce bog, these things are huge in my area and can stretch on for many miles.

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Some black spruce.

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
I believe Tamarack needles turn yellow later in the fall so they are more easily identifiable. I believe Andreas big cage from Marsh Bucks was bedding in a nasty Tamarack swamp..

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:50 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
I got lost a few years ago in Adams county ( I think it was still Adams), headed up to Omro, and there were deer everywhere in there, and a lot of it was public from what I remember. It looked a lot like the photo's posted, might call for some investigation.

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:16 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
For what its worth, there's a giant tamarack swamp on the public I hunted growing up. It was bordered by cattail marsh. I found that early season the deer bedded near the border of cattails and hardwoods, and if I walked way back to the tamaracks I wasted my time because I walked right past all the deer.

However, gradual bow pressure pushed them back, and by gun season deer started bedding on the edge of the cattails and tamarack swamp. This trend continued to late season. I've heard they retain heat longer. However, be careful because I've fallen through the ice of a tamarack swamp in january even when the lakes have a foot of ice. A lot of times those tiny elevation changes are too suttle to be seen on topos, which means more on foot scouting. I've also noticed deer like areas where the tamaracks made a point out into the cattails, or where 3 or more types of cover congerged (like tamarack, cattails, and thick brush).

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:32 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:25 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Hunting a Tamarack Swamp
Public Land Beast wrote:
I believe Tamarack needles turn yellow later in the fall so they are more easily identifiable. I believe Andreas big cage from Marsh Bucks was bedding in a nasty Tamarack swamp..

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That's right, they turn yellow in fall (they look like a yellow pine tree is the way I can best describe it) so it's real easy to identify them even at a great distance. Once you know what they look like in the yellow phase it becomes easy to identify them when they turn green again even at a distance.


Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:57 am
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