How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

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How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Pudster » Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:32 pm

So I scouted a new spot yesterday in South central Wisconsin. When you look at the aerial map there is a large obvious oak island in the middle of miles of cat tails. It can be seen from the public access, but the kicker is you have to make your way across a deep open water marsh (175 yards) that I am guessing would require at a minimum waiders, but most likely a canoe or kayak. Then there is 100 yards of cattails on each side of it, & another 300 yards of thick tall grass/cat tails. So its a total of only about 5/8 - 3/4 of a mile total from the truck. I did not expect to even look at the island as i figured there would be tons of hunter sign, but it turned out there was little to no hunter sign & a boat load of tall buck rubs!! I could see where several guys had walked out across the now frozen marsh to the island, but it I assume they were shed hunting as their tracks seemed to spread out and circle the entire island. Do you think that most hunters would be deterred by the water that it would be worth throwing a hunt at it? This just seems to easy to be great, but its the only food source close by in 3 directions.


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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby UncleBuck3268 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:54 pm

I think it’s definitely worth a shot! How do you know if you don’t try? You may see some ambitious tries at a hunt in a remote spot like this but typically guys won’t put the work in. One sit and they are done after they know how much work it is to get there. You just have to have it in you to be willing to put that kind of work in. Honestly comes down to how bad you want it.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:48 am

Most hunters won't go past 100-200 yards of 1/2 boot height...
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Hawthorne » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:14 am

At least 90%. But if there is 50 guys that hunt the public around there that’s 5 guys willing to put the work in. Still some pressure on one island. That’s about what I see.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:22 am

Hawthorne wrote:At least 90%. But if there is 50 guys that hunt the public around there that’s 5 guys willing to put the work in. Still some pressure on one island. That’s about what I see.

This. ^^

My expectations were reset during the season every time I hunted a spot when during pre-season scouting I thought I found a good remote spot with no hunter sign. I was excited going in, but boot tracks told me I wasn’t the only one. Now, one in particular had greatly reduced water levels (waist deep to shin deep) but I haven’t encountered anything in WI that guys won’t work for. Now, you might get to it first, but that’s no guarantee.

Singing Bridge posted something like this earlier this year or last. And boots on the ground have confirmed it for me.

That’s why overlooked is the current and future King.

All in my opinion.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Jonny » Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:26 am

All depends on the area. I scouted a marsh similar sounding to what you did, and I found bolts in trees, cut limbs, cameras, you name it. This was in SE Wisconsin.

Then go up to the county forest I hunt and walking through 50 yards of ankle deep water will get you away from 99% of the hunters.

Personally a spot like the one you described, I’d focus on early season. Guys won’t want to wear waders when it’s hot and 99% are grossed out at the thought of getting wet. Put on a thin pair of camo pants, some jungle boots and swim on out there. Might be surprised at what you find or don’t find. But come cold weather when you can walk a mile in waders and not die from overheating, yeah you have a higher chance of seeing others.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:00 am

Jonny wrote:All depends on the area. I scouted a marsh similar sounding to what you did, and I found bolts in trees, cut limbs, cameras, you name it. This was in SE Wisconsin.

Then go up to the county forest I hunt and walking through 50 yards of ankle deep water will get you away from 99% of the hunters.

Personally a spot like the one you described, I’d focus on early season. Guys won’t want to wear waders when it’s hot and 99% are grossed out at the thought of getting wet. Put on a thin pair of camo pants, some jungle boots and swim on out there. Might be surprised at what you find or don’t find. But come cold weather when you can walk a mile in waders and not die from overheating, yeah you have a higher chance of seeing others.

All great points and great advice. I concur with it. There is a lot of competition in SE-SC WI. Overlooked is WAY harder to find, but it can be done.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Jonny » Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:04 am

greenhorndave wrote:
Jonny wrote:All depends on the area. I scouted a marsh similar sounding to what you did, and I found bolts in trees, cut limbs, cameras, you name it. This was in SE Wisconsin.

Then go up to the county forest I hunt and walking through 50 yards of ankle deep water will get you away from 99% of the hunters.

Personally a spot like the one you described, I’d focus on early season. Guys won’t want to wear waders when it’s hot and 99% are grossed out at the thought of getting wet. Put on a thin pair of camo pants, some jungle boots and swim on out there. Might be surprised at what you find or don’t find. But come cold weather when you can walk a mile in waders and not die from overheating, yeah you have a higher chance of seeing others.

All great points and great advice. I concur with it. There is a lot of competition in SE-SC WI. Overlooked is WAY harder to find, but it can be done.

I think people need to focus on timing as well. What might be overlooked in September might not be in November, and what’s overlooked in November might not be attractive to holding deer in September when pressure is lower.

I’d say 90% of the spots I hunt are only good for short windows of time. For a lot of reasons but pressure is one of them
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:23 am

Jonny wrote:
greenhorndave wrote:
Jonny wrote:All depends on the area. I scouted a marsh similar sounding to what you did, and I found bolts in trees, cut limbs, cameras, you name it. This was in SE Wisconsin.

Then go up to the county forest I hunt and walking through 50 yards of ankle deep water will get you away from 99% of the hunters.

Personally a spot like the one you described, I’d focus on early season. Guys won’t want to wear waders when it’s hot and 99% are grossed out at the thought of getting wet. Put on a thin pair of camo pants, some jungle boots and swim on out there. Might be surprised at what you find or don’t find. But come cold weather when you can walk a mile in waders and not die from overheating, yeah you have a higher chance of seeing others.

All great points and great advice. I concur with it. There is a lot of competition in SE-SC WI. Overlooked is WAY harder to find, but it can be done.

I think people need to focus on timing as well. What might be overlooked in September might not be in November, and what’s overlooked in November might not be attractive to holding deer in September when pressure is lower.

I’d say 90% of the spots I hunt are only good for short windows of time. For a lot of reasons but pressure is one of them

Another great point. I was behind hot sign in several areas by a week or so this year. Frustrating, but a learning experience.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Pudster » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:19 am

Thanks for the input! Being its a predominantly oak island, with little to no other food around I was thinking of trying to get on it right away opening weekend if the acorns are falling. There was a good amount of hunter sign on the "main land", several treestands, 2 cameras (1 was missing just the cable was left), so that portion definitely gets hunted hard. I plan on going out there this spring just to see how deep the water is that I would have to cross.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:35 am

Shin deep will deter probably 70% . Most guys never get their feet wet.

Thigh deep will keep 90% out. Anything over hip boot deep will scare most off.

Waist deep or more you will only run into the real diehards. There’s no way around it....your getting wet.

Bottom line if you want to get away from hunting pressure don’t be afraid to swim. :lol:

Best case scenario is find a place where any type of watercraft isn’t an option. Nothing worse than busting your hump through water and muck then another guy shows up in a boat from a different direction. Been there and done that.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:39 am

Dewey wrote:Shin deep will deter probably 70% . Most guys never get their feet wet.

Thigh deep will keep 90% out. Anything over hip boot deep will scare most off.

Waist deep or more you will only run into the real diehards. There’s no way around it....your getting wet.

Bottom line if you want to get away from hunting pressure don’t be afraid to swim. :lol:

Best case scenario is find a place where any type of watercraft isn’t an option. Nothing worse than busting your hump through water and muck then another guy shows up in a boat from a different direction. Been there and done that.

Same. Sometimes a tough approach isn’t so tough if you take a boat.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Evanszach7 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:23 am

Big spike in Ohio this year with guys using canoes and kayaks. Once I saw the ladder stand show up on a similar island that was once a honey hole I knew it was done for the rut.

Cameras showed it was still good opening week. Learning on some of those spots you can't save them for "prime time".
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Mopar1169 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:18 pm

Around my area it seems like you lose most people at about a mile walk in. After 2 miles there is hardly anybody going that far. Shallow wide creaks are enough to deter most people from crossing. But it is hard to find a place around me that you can walk two miles deep on dry years where somebody doesn't just come in from the other side. Even on big pieces there are too many two tracks and logging roads. In the really wet falls when no one can get down the two tracks except on foot is when the hunting is best on the public. 19 was one of those years nobody was going past a mile and a half I had a huge area all by myself it was great. This year everyone was just driving back and ruined it. I still got a couple places people don't venture to very often but I only went in there one time this year. Wind wasn't right the days I had available to hunt. I had a really busy fall and didn't take michigan's season too serious with everything going on. Hopefully this fall I get back in the groove around home.

Will be going back to Nebraska in September and will be hitting Minnesota in late October early November rut. Been too long since I have hunted MN. Then hunting around home in Michigan as time allows.
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Re: How much water/distance is enough to deter most hunters?

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:42 am

Is there private near by? I think i may know where your talking. If it is the same island private guys usually screw ya.


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