I did some scouting in the marsh.....

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
matt1336
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I did some scouting in the marsh.....

Unread postby matt1336 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:56 am

Went out yesterday to some known bedding areas to prep some trees. The same questions came up in my head as they do every year....When do the deer start bedding in the cattails and red brush again? Where I was scouting, everything is still ice and snow w/ little to no deer sign. Come fall this place is full of deer. I can only assume that once it dries out a little in spring/summer they'll be in there. It makes it impossible to zero in on a specific bed though, this time of year. The way I hunt this is to just try to get onto places where they cross the river going from bed to food and/or getting them when they stage. I'd like to get onto one specific buck instead of hunting a bedding area. Consequently this is primarily a rut stand.
My group kicked the same good buck out of this area twice during gun season. It also seems like he's bedding amongst a lot of does. Is this just b/c of the time of year we kicked him outta there or has anyone else noticed that mature bucks do sometimes bed close to does and family groups? Any suggestions how I can get onto this bucks specific beds? I may have just answered some of my questions, but this should make for good discussion.

Thanks,
Matt


Wrinkleneck
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Re: I did some scouting in the marsh.....

Unread postby Wrinkleneck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:34 am

Don't know much about marsh hunting, as I only hunt the hill country where I live. Wish I could be of more help, but someone on here with more marsh hunting experience should chime in. Good luck this fall!!
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Re: I did some scouting in the marsh.....

Unread postby dan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:46 am

Some of the marsh areas that have a larger amount of good bedding habitat will hold both bucks and does. The key to really learning which beds and roughts the buck takes is to scout really well. I would be looking really close at the beds. Even if the buck is not bedding there now, there should be rubs on the brush and other signs that can lead you to knowing which beds were his.
It also helps to have history with the area. If you have ever jumped a good buck there, its a good bet that where he jumped from is where the next big buck bedding there will lie.
When you get a good idea of which bed / beds are his, really take a close look at the trails leading to and from the beds and figure out exactly how close you can get. Take time to get in the bed and become the buck. See what he sees, think about what he can hear.
Sometimes you have to take does and other beds into account too... Take a good look around your stand choices and make sure your not going to jump deer going in before you get to the target animal...
Clear as mud?
matt1336
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Re: I did some scouting in the marsh.....

Unread postby matt1336 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:31 pm

I guess I'm going to have to wait 'till I can scout it good. The snow was deep enough to cover some of the rubs yet the beds and trails are all covered too. Maybe this weekend after we get some melting done. You gotta figure that the buck is standing in knee deep muck and water so the rubs aren't that high. I know the area well, I've gun hunted it for years. I'm just starting to bow hunt it. It's close to the area that we shot that big one that I showed you (Dan) at the GB show. So it perpetually holds nice deer. It's just getting in there undetected and finding the specific beds that's the challenging part. ......so yeah clear as mud. Thanks.

Also as word gets around town about that buck (199 3/8, 18 points)- I'm thinking I might not have that section of marsh to myself this coming year so I might have to adjust accordingly.
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Singing Bridge
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Re: I did some scouting in the marsh.....

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:01 pm

matt1336 wrote:When do the deer start bedding in the cattails and red brush again?

This depends a lot on the habitat of the surrounding areas and the food sources contained within. While your areas appear to be empty, my marshes / cattails / redbrush and swamps have quite a bit of buck bedding in them and have had since last fall. Most of my areas have no agriculture within range of the deer during fall and winter, and so they are bedding in areas that have a decent amount of browse and other foods to begin with. My northernmost marshes are pretty barren, however as the deep snows moved them to better thermal protection, increased protection from predators and winter seasonal food sources... but those that survive the winter will be back.
matt1336 wrote:bedding amongst a lot of does. Is this just b/c of the time of year we kicked him outta there or has anyone else noticed that mature bucks do sometimes bed close to does and family groups?

As Dan pointed out, large bedding areas are bound to contain does near the bucks- also, areas with really high deer populations (mismanaged, i might add) have a propensity to fit this bill... And you already pointed out, the rut can impact this as well.
matt1336 wrote:Any suggestions how I can get onto this bucks specific beds?

Sounds like you are getting a decent handle on this, and the diminishing snow will help reveal the beds / rubs and other sign. I'm pounding the woods right now and making serious effort at scouting and figuring out my target bucks. 8-)
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Re: I did some scouting in the marsh.....

Unread postby Stuart » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:15 am

I learn something new every time I go on the site! 8-)


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