What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

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bowhunter15
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What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:30 pm

I'm starting to expand my boundaries now that I'm in college. Instead of picking one public marsh and learning it extremely well, I'm looking for as many legitimate spots as I can find throughout WI and MN. Some of this is marsh which I'm used to hunting. Some of it is hill country; however, not the bluff type hills with long ridges and fingers that are featured in the video.

For example, one of the county forests I've been scouting through aerials/topos has over 30,000 acres of total land. If you look at the topo, you'll see many small rounded hills with just as many small rounded depressions, many of which have become small lakes and/or marshes. There are also small streams that run throughout in certain spots. I think this type of terrain is supposedly caused by glaciers as opposed to river erosion?

Anyways, what do I look for in this type of terrain? Should I attack it just like the Hill Country DVD? If so, I have a few spots I can't wait to check out on foot. Or can I treat this a little differently.

Here's a small example of roughly 200 acres so you have an idea of what I'm talking about. This is in WI, but there are also some MN spots with similar features.

Image


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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:36 pm

Here's another description on the county website:

Glaciated in the past, this area is a portion of the terminal moraine of the Great Wisconsin Glacier. It is characterized by rolling hills, sharp ridges, numerous lakes and streams, and supports a wide variety of plants and animals. Due to variations in topography and glacial soils, many forest types have evolved side by side. Glacial and bog lakes fill the lowest depressions. Other lowland areas may be occupied by tag alder swamps, swamp conifers, swamp hardwoods or a mixture of these. Aspen, oak or northern hardwoods occupy upland areas.


There are also private fields interspersed throughout, generally along roadways, and generally on the TOP of hills. I'm not sure if I should focus on areas closer to fields or as far away from the beaten path as I can get. 30,000 is way to much to scout if I can't narrow it down a whole lot.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby dan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:17 pm

I would focus on both the bedding points on the hills and the low lieing swamps. You will find that some bucks prefer to bed high and others low. Some do both like Rundys big buck from the Hill country DVD. I would want to look close to the crops and at remote stuff.
Glad to see you on the BEAST. Welcome aboard. 8-)
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby headgear » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:32 am

bowhunter15 wrote: Instead of picking one public marsh and learning it extremely well, I'm looking for as many legitimate spots as I can find throughout WI and MN.


Dan coverd the bedding well but I thought I would comment on this. This past season was my first time hunting beast style, I had a vew spots scouted out very well and many other spots that I just checked out quickly or went in blind. I had a ton more success (mature buck sightings) on areas I scouted hard vs the areas I lightly scouted or didn't scout at all.

I would try and select your 5-10 best areas and scout them hard instead of having 20-30 areas that may or may not pan out.

This off season I had a large list of areas I wanted to check out but after my experiences this year I have narrowed that down to 12 locations I am going to scout very hard and if I have time get to some of the other areas.

Cover every inch, sometimes 20 yards away you will find the sign that really opens your eyes and suddenly have a much better handle on the whole area.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby headgear » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:40 am

One more thing to add, if you do want to cover more ground it might be a good idea to quickly scout several areas. Then go back to your best locations and tear them apart to learn as much as you can. The 12 areas I plan to cover this season are based on light or partial scouting from past years.

I don't have as much time to scout as I would like (two kids under 3) so your personal situation might allow you a lot more time.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:43 am

Thanks Dan. And that does make a lot of sense about the bedding. I feel like some of those remote spots that have a small oak flat near bedding could be dynamite once the acorns start dropping.

I would try and select your 5-10 best areas and scout them hard instead of having 20-30 areas that may or may not pan out. One more thing to add, if you do want to cover more ground it might be a good idea to quickly scout several areas. Then go back to your best locations and tear them apart to learn as much as you can.


This is sort of what I hope to do. This is only my second year living in the Twin Cities area, but since I'm a student (permanently a resident of WI), I'm able to get in state license fees for both WI and MN. So right now, I'm finding as many spots as are feasable. I can narrow those spots down a ton just by looking at aerials and topos. Then, this winter/spring when I'm actually able to get out on foot I can quickly check those predetermined areas. Likely some will be junk, but others will look great, and I will scout those much harder.

Unfortunately I'm a busy person. 20 credits of classes, 20-30 hours a week of track, 4 hours/week of volunteering, etc. This means I have to be efficient and make the most of my scouting missions. It also means I probably won't get to know any one spot SUPER well in just one year. It just isn't feasible. But I'm okay with that.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby matt1336 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:46 pm

Wow ur a busy college guy. When do you fit ur beer drinking in?
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:23 pm

I've learned how to multitask lol.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby dan » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:30 pm

If you need help picking apart a particular property so you can hit the most likely spots, post a topo / aerial and we will help you find some likely bedding areas, or hunting spots.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:11 pm

Okay, I will take you up on this. Like I said I have a few different areas I'm looking into. So it's probably best if we hit them one at a time. For the lands that fit the description of this county forest terrain, I'll post them here. Once we get some ideas for those, I'll post some of the other ones under different threads whose titles more accurately represent the land types so others can benefit as well while they are searching the forums for particular land types.

First, I will start with the WI county forests.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:43 pm

Okay, here's the first piece of forest I'm considering. Description from website:

This area makes up about 7,800 of the 33,653-acre County Forest.

As is true with most of the County Forest, this area shows evidence of past glaciations. The topography is rolling with scattered ponds, swamps, and wetlands in the low areas. Northern hardwood stands, composed mainly of red maple, basswood, white ash, and sugar maple dominate this area of the County Forest. There are many trails and roads which access this area, some of which are gated to restrict vehicle traffic, and to reduce damage to the trail. Most of the trails are the result of past logging activity and are merely dead-end. Others loop and connect with other trails, which come back out to the main trail.


My thoughts: Since the description leaves out oak trees, they must not be a dominant feature of this section. Therefore deer are most likely to concentrate on the private fields by the main road. In pink, I have highlighted the main walking trail. I believe this is closed off to vehicles, not 100%. The gray lines are the "old looping logging trails." My cousin, who lives 5 minutes from this spot but hunts private, says the whole forest only has a handful of bowhunters, so pressure could be relatively low. However, I'm not sure if the private landowners hunt the woods surrounding their fields. Keep in mind I would be hunting this land early bow maybe one or two weekends, and the rut.

I have placed what I think would be likely bedding areas for each prevailing wind. I have not accounted for swamp/lowland bedding. Let me know what you think.

West wind bedding
East wind bedding
South wind bedding
North wind bedding

If it's easier for you guys I can also upload a pic that hasn't already been marked up if you want.

(Click on the picture and it should make it bigger)
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby dan » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:02 pm

The elevation lines are kind of hard to view on my computer, but from what I can see you seem to be pretty good at picking out bedding.
I would take one day if possible and walk the area where you marked the most bed positions this spring and find some nearby spots to cut them off... The best bedding spots seem to be the ones where a mature buck only has to walk a very short distance if the wind switches a little to a new spot and still have wind the back looking downhill. Points are a good example where a big buck can bed off the point or to the left or right if wind changes to regain advantage.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:18 pm

The hard part about this particular area, I feel, will not be finding the beds, it will be setting up on them. If they bed where I think they will, most beds are fairly close to the private lands. If I am to hunt between the beds and food in the staging areas, it will simply be tough to go undetected approaching from the east.

This may also make them some of the best spots for deer to bed in. Quick and easy to move around on, close to food, and easy to dectect danger. It'll be interesting to look at on foot.

I also feel that travel corridors that connect the small bedding hills, corridor between the left and middle field, and near the southeast shore of the lake connecting the middle and right field could be dynamite during the rut with a W, NW, N wind especially.
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Re: What to look for in rolling/swampy terrain

Unread postby bowhunter15 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:56 pm

Okay time for round two. This spot looks real interesting and features that one big hill right in the center, partially occupied by private land.

I didn't mark off every possible bed, just the most obvious ones that I'd be interested in scouting. I also placed two pink X's on this map where I think they would be awesome rut stands given the right wind, or even early season posts depending on the sign.

My guess is that even though there aren't fields in the super near distance from this large hill, there just has to be oaks somewhere up on top. I would think that the deer might head up there as their first stop instead of going straight down and out to fields. Not sure.

Hopefully these topo lines show up a little better. Try clicking on the picture too to see if it makes the image bigger.


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