Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

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Singing Bridge
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:46 pm

cwoods wrote:What other things should i look for when hunting swamps vs marsh? Thanks!


I believe hunting swamps is much more difficult than marshes for a number of reasons. Marsh areas are easier to define with their edges, islands/point bedding areas, etc.

Hunting large swamps with similar habitat throughout makes it more difficult to locate bedding/feeding patterns and travel routes- it really requires a lot of familiarity with the area, and may take a few years to begin to get a great grasp on it. Snow cover is a tremendous aid and speeds up the learning curve in swamps by showing travel routes/beds/food sources, but in NC you likely do not have that option.

I would focus on water sources within the swamp- rivers/creeks, beaver ponds/lakes, etc. The bucks you are after will likely use these areas for bedding, finding does, travel and food. If there is water everywhere within the swamp, look for high ground.

Also, step back and look at an aerial photo of the swamps in your area- are there marshes contained within the swamp, or beaver pond floodings and the like? The bucks will utilize the marshes contained within just like they do marshes everywhere else.


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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby cwoods » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:31 am

Thanks singingbridge for the info! Snow is rare here, its about 1" or so every few years.
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby dan » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:40 am

What other things should i look for when hunting swamps vs marsh? Thanks!

Singing bridges comments are very good but I would like to add:
I would also look for elevation changes on a topo and scout where the topo shows the elevation changes. They may be hard to see in a swamp vs a marsh, but with a topo it should show up. it don't have to be much.
And look for transition lines of two differing types of terrain or vegetation meeting.
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby Sam Ubl » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:37 am

Why do you suppose deer like two vegetables meeting? Musky are the same, but different... By transitions, they like edges of weedlines that break to deeper water and the particularly like wherever rock meets weeds. So what is that draws a deer to where a Northern hardwood forest meets a tamarack swamp? Is it the draw of safety in the thickness of the tamaracks, but the easy browsing in the hardwoods that keeps them traveling the line?

I've noticed these kinds of smarts in deer where they bed on the tops of a ridge, like the Northern Kettle Moraines, and when they see danger below, they quickly hop to the other side of the ridge out of sight... Same idea your describing Dan?
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:24 pm

I believe it is ingrained from thousands of years of evolution and evading predators. They need to know that cover is available quickly. Man is the opposite - typically staying away from the edges and out in the open...go figure?

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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby buck_junkie » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:32 pm

My spots are based on a series of things that I look for in the surrounding area as most of you do, cover, is food/water near, is it a transition between 2 bedding areas or transition between primary and secondary food sources...in my case it also has to do with that sixth sense that every hunter has. It's similiar to that same feeling you get when you met that woman that you knew you were going to spend the rest of your life with. I know it's a corny as* similiarity but it true. A experienced bow hunter knows 'that spot' when he's/she's standing there. I swear there has only been 3 or 4 spots on the entire 15,000 acres that I have had this 'sixth sense' over the past 5 years; one set produced a 141" 9 pt., the other a sighting of an enormusly wide buck anywhere between 24-28" spread, and the other produced nothing. On the last spot I still get that feeling when I go in, a good buddy of mine turned me on to this spot and everytime I walk in I think to my self, "oh yeah, I know he's walking down this bench right into my lap today!!!" Can't explain it, I feel it, so I'm hunting it. It feels good so keep doing it, you can use that on other day to day life experiences.
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby BowtechHunting » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:04 am

A couple of my favorite areas, without a doubt, are the spots where NO ONE would ever think of a mature whitetail be. Next to roads or small percales of land between highways (not medians). I have witnessed several bucks time after time use these areas as bedding, escape routes, or just to get a bite to eat. Don't get me wrong, I love hiking a mile into the woods, looking for that "megabuck" but sometimes it's not necessary. Placing your climber 20-50 yards off a nearby road, where sign is present or travel route/hub point, or better yet a heavily used area by doe. So next time you drive by that 1 or 2 acre lot, that you go by everyday on and to work, stop by and take a look see. You might be in for a real treat!!
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:38 pm

Good advice Bowtech!

I believe that some of the huge bucks killed in cities and rural areas aren't neccessarily that much smarter than other bucks of the same age-class, they just happened to live in areas where no one looks for a deer - period! The bucks that live in textbook cover get smoked by some shotgun toting weekend warrior at 1 or 2 years old and the other buck lives in a cattail choked ditch 20-yards from the road and ends up getting whacked by a Buick at 7 years old on his way to get flowers in some old lady's yard at midnight....go figure. The first place to look is exactly where they aren't supposed to be. Like looking for a juvenile kid past their curfew.

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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby buck_junkie » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:56 pm

publiclandhunter wrote:Good advice Bowtech!

I believe that some of the huge bucks killed in cities and rural areas aren't neccessarily that much smarter than other bucks of the same age-class, they just happened to live in areas where no one looks for a deer - period! The bucks that live in textbook cover get smoked by some shotgun toting weekend warrior at 1 or 2 years old and the other buck lives in a cattail choked ditch 20-yards from the road and ends up getting whacked by a Buick at 7 years old on his way to get flowers in some old lady's yard at midnight....go figure. The first place to look is exactly where they aren't supposed to be. Like looking for a juvenile kid past their curfew.

PLH

Right on bro. nicely stated
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby dirt nap giver » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:37 pm

BowtechHunting wrote:A couple of my favorite areas, without a doubt, are the spots where NO ONE would ever think of a mature whitetail be. Next to roads or small percales of land between highways (not medians). I have witnessed several bucks time after time use these areas as bedding, escape routes, or just to get a bite to eat. Don't get me wrong, I love hiking a mile into the woods, looking for that "megabuck" but sometimes it's not necessary. Placing your climber 20-50 yards off a nearby road, where sign is present or travel route/hub point, or better yet a heavily used area by doe. So next time you drive by that 1 or 2 acre lot, that you go by everyday on and to work, stop by and take a look see. You might be in for a real treat!!

Thats what Im talkin about! Works for me!
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby DropTyne » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:23 pm

Why beaver ponds? Why bed around there? How do they use them? Bed with the beaver pond behind them facing the wind?
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby headgear » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:05 am

DropTyne wrote:Why beaver ponds? Why bed around there? How do they use them? Bed with the beaver pond behind them facing the wind?


I my experience the deer like the extra thick cover near a beaver pond, the bigwoods are thick but not as thick/nasty like the cover you find near some beaver ponds. Depending on the water level most of the mature trees die and you get a lot of thick brush and even thicker grass that grows up on the wet side of the beaver dam.

I have one particular beaver dam I hunt that is about 200 yards long and the cover is about 300 by 300 yards so its a fairly large area. Judging my tracks and rubs around the beaver dam the bucks are in there using it as bedding. I have pinpointed a couple of possible beds in the middle of this mess. There are zero huntable trees, not even to get 6 feet off the ground so for now I have been hunting the edges.

The buck might be using the wind to protect them from one end of the beaver dam, then there is thick cover on the other end that is very difficult to access without causing a ruckus. Even if you got in there without making any noise you can't see more then 5-10 feet to shoot.

Needless to say I need to dive into this place and get to know it a little better. I have a few other beaver dams in the area I will have to investigate too, if I figure out how to hunt these bucks I will be sure to let you know.
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:41 am

DropTyne wrote:Why beaver ponds? Why bed around there? How do they use them? Bed with the beaver pond behind them facing the wind?


As headgear pointed out, there are a lot of reasons to consider hunting beaver ponds. All of a bucks basic needs- food, water, cover and does MAY be present here. If that doesn't get your attention, beaver ponds have the potential to be excellent funnels during the rut... along their edges or across the dam or inlet.

If a buck decides to bed along a beaver pond, which happens a lot, he will typically approach the pond with the wind at his back. On arrival, they typically bed upwind of the pond and watch their backtrail- and smell their backtrail with the wind in their face- for predators tracking their ground scent. If a predator approaches from upwind on their ground trail/scent, they escape across the pond, or bolt the dam or inlet, or jet the edge of the pond (multiple escape routes). They don't seem to worry too much about their airborne scent, as it blows across the pond downwind- any predator trying to approach from downwind has to navigate the pond and its thick cover. Bucks detect them without difficulty and easily escape.
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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby publiclandhunter » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:55 am

Bridge points out an excellent tip there.....bedding on the edge of water. Especially in areas where there are a high number of predators, deer learn to use the backdrop of a water source (pond,lake, river, stream) to protect themselves from danger. One of the first places I look at when I find a parcel with a water-source on it is along the edges. Good place for beds and I find nice rubs in the vicinity.

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Re: Big Woods Public - Your favorite areas

Unread postby headgear » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:36 am

I can also back up rivers being a great hiding place for bucks, in particular those little poins or humps of high ground at or near the rivers edge. The more thick cover/grass/cattails in the area the better.

Our bigwoods neighbors are die hard duck hunters and usually take a canoe down the river several times a year. Once the small game and wheeler traffic in the area picks up they start to jump some slobs right along the edge of the river.


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