A new rut technique?

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magicman54494
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A new rut technique?

Unread postby magicman54494 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:24 pm

Something has been eating at me and I would like to give it a try sometime. I stomp the big swamps in northern Wis. and Minn. I have noticed a pattern and would like to try to take a buck using this pattern. First of all these swamps are not the deep water cattail swamps like in the south. They are mossy and damp and have small evergreen trees and brush growing in them. Nothing big enough to hang a stand. In places they are quite open in others they are quite thick.
The best pic of these swamps that I have
Image

Anyway, I have noticed that there are trails all over in this stuff and picking a spot to watch is much like a needle in a haystack. But... a few of these trails have rub on them. As a matter of fact the buck in the pic was tracked down along a trail that had rubs on it! I have also noticed that the rubbed trails usually connect or are a direct line between two sections of big woods. Hunting this would have to be done from the ground and that makes it hard to hunt. Tracking has proved to me that bucks use these swamps a lot more then they use the big woods. Convince me to hunt these trails during the rut. Does anyone else have input or ever hunt these trails?
I have never seen or heard of anyone hunting these trails and I wonder if the bucks are keying on this fact.


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PLB
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby PLB » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:53 pm

I see the same thing every year magic. I don't know about rut unless you plan on hunting all day? I think it would be a awesome spot for gun season though! Pressured bucks head for the swamp quickly! I think maybe the end of October though a guy could sneak in there and killa Beast as they are still relating to their core areas. Definately a travel corridor as evidenced by the rubs you mentioned. During the peak of the rut though I prefer to be downwind of doe bedding or close to groups of does cuz that's where the bucks will be! Big woods bucks are swampers though so maybe early season, or the end of October, or gun season would be my opinion......... :D
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby Ack » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:38 pm

Bridge could probably answer this one......I believe he's been hunting swamps similar to this for years.
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby Sam Ubl » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:08 am

Always seems like such a hit or miss challenge, and more often case a miss. Roamers, or nomads, is really what they are so it's seriously tough to pinpoint a pattern. In the Northwoods, the only time I ever got on a pattern was after I realized that deer follow along the highways as they visit every house that has feed in their backyard (every couple hundred yards to a half mile). I have set up on these travel routes and cut deer off on their way back and forth. This is in Eagle River/St Germain area, but in the swamps I hunt in Rhinelander a few times a year (gun and an occasional bow hunt), it's another story.

Assuming you're finding rubs on travel routes in the swamps, I'd try to locate their entrance/exit of hard ground into/out of the swamps. When you start locating scrapes on that hard ground on both ends, perhaps you'll have narrowed down their headquarters. Assuming their bedding on ridge faces, tiny islands of raised ground in the swamps, or in the swamp itself, you'll need to look at aerials and make some educated guesses. If you can narrow it down, hiding in a cluster of little pines in the swamp may not seem like such a risky and long day...

I definitely believe these Northern deer are more susceptible to being bumped off an area as they are no doubt, nomads of the Northwoods. There's a lot of land without the roads, fields and boundry fences we have in the souther half of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and they know it.

Luck to you, I'm looking forward to hearing your plan!
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby Southern Man » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:01 am

It's a different world down here but the same senario still presents itself. In drainages here we have the same thing but we call them thickets, not swamps. Usually a wet area, full of trash trees, with briars, brush and nothing big enough to put a stand in. Older bucks tend to bed in these as well as using them for travel corridors from woods to woods. Excellant places to catch a roaming buck. I like to hunt the edges of these where trails with sign are found. Usually there's a difinitive edge and usually a tree can be found for a stand. Hunting right inside of these areas isn't worth the hassle. the deer move on several different trails but come together upon entering or exiting the thicket. Great areas. Few and far between here. Farmers usually clear those areas for more crop ground if they can get them to drain.
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby PLB » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:33 am

You guys make some good points. I would hunt the transition line of that swamp and the high ground. Deer seem to mill around on all sorts of trails in swamps but those trails narrow down as they exit these sancuaries. That is your best chance of seeing him I think. I have hunkered down in a middle of a swamp and to me its just so hit and miss, Very limited visibility and shooting. But when the orange army invades, these can be great set ups as bucks will flock to the swamps.
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby dan » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:39 am

Might be a good spot... Might not... Depends on pressure and where they are bedding. Being in a swamp with no trees is a start. But unless you decipher why and when bucks travel that trail, I would say your just guessing. If does are bedding in that swamp, or where that trail come from and where it goes, likely if the pressure is low a nice buck or two I suspect would cruise that trail on a late morning each rut.
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:10 pm

I think Magic’s instincts are on the money here. The only thing I don’t know is how big of an open swamp area we’re talking about. I have hunted similar swamp types a time or two. Magic mentioned that this is rut hunting, so I’ll assume we have a decent chance of catching a nomadic buck in between doe families. The trail connecting the 2 sections of big woods with buck rubs along it presents a great chance to catch one of these roamers if the hunting pressure isn’t making them wary of crossing the semi-open cover. I agree with Southern that swamps of this type present a good chance of catching a roaming buck. But rather than set up anywhere along that trail, I’d set up near one of the two big woods the trail is connecting. Playing the wind I’d cover that rub line trail and also take in the transition line where the “open” swamp butts up against the regular woods- killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. PLB mentioned the importance of the transition line, and I’d put it into play with my hunting. I set up a buddy on a spot just like this and he shot a young buck in less than 45 mins.- can't help but wonder what else might have come along later, as I had cut one of the largest whitetail tracks I've ever come across nearby.

Dan and Sam mentioned the bedding factor, and hunting pressure can sure change how a buck will use this type of a swamp during the daytime. Already mentioned as potential bedding areas in this type of swamp are raised ground knolls, islands, ridges etc. If high areas don’t really present themselves, they typically bed along the transition line about 40 – 50 yards out of the woods into the open swamp area. But, there is a lot more to it than that. Like usual, wind direction is often the recipe of the day. The bucks like to bed on the upwind side of the open swamp area- whether it’s in that first 40 yards just mentioned or an elevated perch on a ridge, the upwind side of the open swamp is where they typically go to bed. I’ve found they like to bed with a slight opening to watch downwind of them, with the wind coming from the big woods to the open swamp protecting their backside.
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby adrenalin » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:21 pm

This might be a little off topic, but what are your expierences with those mossy swamps compared to cedar swamps. I have hunted alot of the mossy thick ones but never had great luck. I have seen some deer but their not honey holes. I found a big cedar swamp this winter with some of the best deer sign I ever found up north, but have'nt hunted it yet. Just curious seeing we are talking about swamps.
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby magicman54494 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:50 pm

adrenalin wrote:This might be a little off topic, but what are your expierences with those mossy swamps compared to cedar swamps. I have hunted alot of the mossy thick ones but never had great luck. I have seen some deer but their not honey holes. I found a big cedar swamp this winter with some of the best deer sign I ever found up north, but have'nt hunted it yet. Just curious seeing we are talking about swamps.


The deer like to use the cedar swamps to winter over. They eat cedar and the snow doesn't get as deep in the thick trees. The cedars I usually see are large trees and the ground is usually open which is good for seeing a long way but not much good at holding deer in the fall.
The mossy swamps are usually great bedding areas. especially the edges along the higher ground. There is usually a thick area of brush between the high ground and the swamp. Past the brush somewhere on a hump or undre a tree you find beds. The brush makes it impossible to approach and deters people from venturing into the swamp.
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby PLB » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:43 pm

adrenalin wrote:This might be a little off topic, but what are your expierences with those mossy swamps compared to cedar swamps. I have hunted alot of the mossy thick ones but never had great luck. I have seen some deer but their not honey holes. I found a big cedar swamp this winter with some of the best deer sign I ever found up north, but have'nt hunted it yet. Just curious seeing we are talking about swamps.

Late season spot! ;) Yeah you were seeing winter sign no doubt!
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:45 am

adrenalin wrote:This might be a little off topic, but what are your expierences with those mossy swamps compared to cedar swamps. I have hunted alot of the mossy thick ones but never had great luck. I have seen some deer but their not honey holes. I found a big cedar swamp this winter with some of the best deer sign I ever found up north, but have'nt hunted it yet. Just curious seeing we are talking about swamps.


One of the cool things about "The Beast" is seeing similarities and differences in where we hunt. Although I do have some cedar swamps that are mature, with 60 - 70 yard visibility, the vast majority of those I hunt are completely different. " on Earth" comes to mind. The mix of primarily cedar, along with tagalders, birch, balsam etc. creates some of the densest cover I've ever been in- including Canada. Water and muck ponds/bogs that are deep enough to hide a rhino in and sometimes too deep to wade across are part of my cedar swamp landscape. As I write this, I have deep scratches and lost blood despite wearing protective clothing- I also have a huge red welt across my neck and face from scouting these cedar swamps. I have to tell myself to slow down sometimes, or risk losing an eye.

In very high hunting pressure regions, these cedar swamps are sanctuaries to Beast Bucks. Inside their depths are buck and doe bedding areas, rublines, public land primary scrapes that have existed for decades, on and on. I have taken bucks in these cedar swamps from October 1st (our bow opener) through late season, and some local bucks call the swamps and their edges home year around. By late October the leaf drop and loss of cover has some transient bucks moving in to the cedar swamps to escape human pressure. Other Beast bucks move in to set up on the doe families that reside there.

My cedar swamps demand my attention throughout the entire hunting season. 8-)
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Re: A new rut technique?

Unread postby magicman54494 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:27 pm

I'd like to add that my description of my swamps is a generality. No two are the same. It's hard to draw a pic by typing words.


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