Scouting thick swamps

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
adrenalin
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Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby adrenalin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:27 am

When you scout thick swamps with redbrush grass and cattails all mixed together where do you look for beds? I have a hard time finding exact buck beds in this stuff. also if there aren't any trees to hunt in this thick stuff it seems like you have to hunt the edge where their are trees anyways. Ground hunting would be impossible to shoot from. The best I have been able to do is follow rublines from the thick stuff to the edge and setup there. Spring scouting has everything under water and ice so rublines are the only clues I have. The best way I can describe it is the stuff Andrae found his buck in, in the marsh bucks video. What do you think?


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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby dan » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:10 am

Swamps can be hard to scout and hunt... Look for ground that is at a slightly higher elevation. A good topo map can help with that, just remember your looking for subtle changes. Also look along the trnsitions...
Hunting the transition line can be very successful, but a lot of people do that. THE TREE edge of the swamp is tempting and obvious to most seasoned hunters. I would suggest looking at the points of high timbered land that extend into the swamp, there is usually some bedding not far from the tips if its over looked by others. And the tip is often where they stage. I would also look at getting into the swamp by useing a tripod stand or shooting from a ladder. I would try to break up my siloette by putting the ladder against high brush or small trees...
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Swampthing
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby Swampthing » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:08 am

I was trying to describe some of my spots to a friend the other day,and all I could think of was Andraes video too.So your not the only one thinking as you do. They are extremely difficult to scout .It,s not as cut and dried as say,a cattail swamp with a good transition.Often when I finally locate a bed ,I'll find multiple escape routes,that seem to lead everywhere or seemingly nowhere.One particular big buck I,m after beds in such a spot the closest tree is 100 yards from his bed.Which I believe based on the cover and terrain it a multidirectional wind bed.He did walk under my tree last year,but way to dark for a shot.Often an aerial is no help since there is very little elevation change.Tracking is tough since their is usually no decent ground to mark a track.And often rubs are hard to find ,with no decent rubbable trees.I thoroughly scouted the area last spring again, thinking he was,nt even alive.And found his shed 15 yards from what I had presumed was his primary bed.But I found several secondary beds from younger bucks. I beleive he is sheilding himself with the younger deer. This buck really has me pulling my hair out.I really was,nt able to figure out his bed until I went home and up-loaded all the trails and beds on Google Earth.Then it all kinda came together .I,m thinking about resorting to a ground set-up this year.
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adrenalin
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby adrenalin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:22 am

dan wrote:Swamps can be hard to scout and hunt... Look for ground that is at a slightly higher elevation. A good topo map can help with that, just remember your looking for subtle changes. Also look along the trnsitions...
Hunting the transition line can be very successful, but a lot of people do that. THE TREE edge of the swamp is tempting and obvious to most seasoned hunters. I would suggest looking at the points of high timbered land that extend into the swamp, there is usually some bedding not far from the tips if its over looked by others. And the tip is often where they stage. I would also look at getting into the swamp by useing a tripod stand or shooting from a ladder. I would try to break up my siloette by putting the ladder against high brush or small trees...

Dan the tripod ideas has been in my head for a while but i think I would have to actually make one. Do you know of any portable ones out their?
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby dan » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:26 am

Dan the tripod ideas has been in my head for a while but i think I would have to actually make one. Do you know of any portable ones out their?

There are some out there, but they are heavy, bulky, and noisy from what I have seen... Andrae and I kicked around the idea of making a portable tripod for swamp hunting but never did more than sketch some stuff... It would need large mesh feet to keep from sinking. The ladders I use always sink to the ist step.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby adrenalin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:31 am

Swampthing wrote:I was trying to describe some of my spots to a friend the other day,and all I could think of was Andraes video too.So your not the only one thinking as you do. They are extremely difficult to scout .It,s not as cut and dried as say,a cattail swamp with a good transition.Often when I finally locate a bed ,I'll find multiple escape routes,that seem to lead everywhere or seemingly nowhere.One particular big buck I,m after beds in such a spot the closest tree is 100 yards from his bed.Which I believe based on the cover and terrain it a multidirectional wind bed.He did walk under my tree last year,but way to dark for a shot.Often an aerial is no help since there is very little elevation change.Tracking is tough since their is usually no decent ground to mark a track.And often rubs are hard to find ,with no decent rubbable trees.I thoroughly scouted the area last spring again, thinking he was,nt even alive.And found his shed 15 yards from what I had presumed was his primary bed.But I found several secondary beds from younger bucks. I beleive he is sheilding himself with the younger deer. This buck really has me pulling my hair out.I really was,nt able to figure out his bed until I went home and up-loaded all the trails and beds on Google Earth.Then it all kinda came together .I,m thinking about resorting to a ground set-up this year.
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Sounds like you and I are hunting the same type of terrain. You have alot of good points. I did find a ton of rubs scouting today but the further you went into the thick stuff the less I found so tracking back to a bed got tuff, especially cause everything is under water and the actual beds are probably under water also. You almost got to scout this stuff in the fall before all the water.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby dan » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:34 am

You almost got to scout this stuff in the fall before all the water.

Andrae likes to scout new swamps right during hunting season... Makes me a little nervous, but you can't argue with his success.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby Dewey » Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:13 pm

Hey Swampthing...........I like the shed laying in the cattails! Looks like a good one. That's a great find and really tough to find in there like that. :shock:
Makes me wonder how many of them I walk right over every year.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby Swampthing » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:55 pm

Dewey wrote:Hey Swampthing...........I like the shed laying in the cattails! Looks like a good one. That's a great find and really tough to find in there like that. :shock:
Makes me wonder how many of them I walk right over every year.


Yes I wonder the same myself.I know there are some that fall onto ice ,with just a little too much water under them. And as soon as that ice goes ,so does the sheds.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby Swampthing » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:59 pm

dan wrote:
You almost got to scout this stuff in the fall before all the water.

Andrae likes to scout new swamps right during hunting season... Makes me a little nervous, but you can't argue with his success.


I too am thinking about switching more to fall /winter scouting. Tired of battling the water too.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby adrenalin » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:36 am

thanks for the help guys. I found some decent buck sign in the new area, enough to make me think it's has some bucks living their. I found 2 for sure buck beds, one yesterday and one today. The one from today got me pretty excited cuz it looks pretty well used, both in the water on dry ground. The second one doesn't have a huntable tree for a hundred yards so it might take some ideal conditions to see this guy in daylight.
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Kind of hard to get a good picture because the water was to deep to stand in in front of the bed.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby headgear » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:05 am

Great scouting map swampthing! It really lays out your swamp well and you get a great overview to plan your attack. I am going to try and map out my hunting ground this way too.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby Swampthing » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:23 pm

Those are some awesome looking beds u found, Andrenaline. It,s all worth it when you finally find them beds.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby Swampthing » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:25 pm

headgear wrote:Great scouting map swampthing! It really lays out your swamp well and you get a great overview to plan your attack. I am going to try and map out my hunting ground this way too.

Thanks, headgear.
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Re: Scouting thick swamps

Unread postby Black Squirrel » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:28 am

dan wrote:
You almost got to scout this stuff in the fall before all the water.

Andrae likes to scout new swamps right during hunting season... Makes me a little nervous, but you can't argue with his success.

In some situations, I think sometimes it's better to go in there and sacrifice a season by scouting during the time the bucks are using the beds,and actually knowing whats going on, rather than spending 3-5 years guessing whats going on, because all your sign in spring is under water. This might be one of the situations.


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