Deer Crossing River

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Czabs
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Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Czabs » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:35 pm

Have any of you experienced or seen a deer cross a river to get to his food source and back? There have a been a couple pieces of property I have been looking at where it looks to be good bedding/cover and then an obstacle being in the way (in my case a river). I can't see a deer crossing a river on a consistent basis to go to the food source, but I could be wrong. What are your thoughts?


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Dewey
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:56 pm

Up in the Northwoods I have seen deer swimming across lakes to get to an island to bed so I see no reason why they wouldn't swim across a river for a food source as long as there is no strong current. Deer are excellent swimmers from what I have seen.

Here is some proof....Escanaba Lake....Vilas County......There is part of a rock reef on the right just before the island.
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I especially see quite a bit of this in the spring/early summer when does are having fawns. The must feel safe out there on islands and more than likely no predators. I once saw a decent buck early morning swim over a 1/4 mile quite frequently across water over 25 feet deep to bed on a different island on another lake. Then in the late afternoon he would swim back to the mainland. Craziest thing I ever saw! :o
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Czabs
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Czabs » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:06 pm

Hmmm interesting, that's pretty neat! Thanks for sharing.

I have never seen a deer swim yet, I would love to get that on film.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Zap » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:45 pm

Deer have no trouble with or hesitation about crossing a smaller river on a regular basis.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Czabs » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:02 am

Has anyone seen deer cross a larger river on a consistent basis?
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Stanley » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:12 am

I have hunted river bottoms for 30 + years. Deer prefer to stay on land. I have seen them swim but not with any regularity. I have never seen one use the river as an escape route they just don't swim very fast. land is a much faster escape. It kind of goes against their survival tactics they love to get out of sight as quickly as possible and swimming doesn't do that for them.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Swampthing » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:16 am

Czabs wrote:Has anyone seen deer cross a larger river on a consistent basis?

Right now this probably wont help you much. But I have a similar situation. I gained access to a farmsite which has no bedding just a very thin strip of woods along the river. But what it does have is food. It has acorns and a large cropfield. I was surprised when I walked it from all the deer sign. But only bedding is across the river. I don't know where there crossing but they must be. Ill be doing more investigating in the future.

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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Stump » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:43 am

Interesting. I didn't think deer were so willing to cross water that often.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby addisonlee » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:18 am

Neat pics Dewey. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby headgear » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:27 am

Not my kill but I know a guy who found a buck bedding right next to a river. He had seen it multiple times across the river from his bed and finally killed it at first light just before he was going to cross the river to bed. It was shot in mid to late Nov so the cold didn't deter this buck from crossing the river to bed.

Now I don't know if this buck crossed the river daily or if it was just a handful of times but he certainly wasn't affraid to cross it. It wasnt a very large or deep river so keep that in mind. This might be one of those things that is a personality trait and not neccessarily something deer do on a consistant basis by any river.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Czabs » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:08 am

Swampthing wrote:
Czabs wrote:Has anyone seen deer cross a larger river on a consistent basis?

Right now this probably wont help you much. But I have a similar situation. I gained access to a farmsite which has no bedding just a very thin strip of woods along the river. But what it does have is food. It has acorns and a large cropfield. I was surprised when I walked it from all the deer sign. But only bedding is across the river. I don't know where there crossing but they must be. Ill be doing more investigating in the future.

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Interesting, I have been looking just at maps. I will have to do some investigation on foot once the snow melts and see what's going on and share it on here.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby matt1336 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:25 am

I've found that deer cross small rivers and creeks most frequently where there are solid bottoms in the river and it's shallow, where deer don't need to swim. I hunt rivers often off of public land. The crossings are ez to see as the banks of the river are muddy and have tracks all over the place. Duck hunting has realy showed me a lot about how deer use the river...simply cuz I was spending more time near the river and I always am thinking about deer hunting, even when I'm shooting ducks.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby dan » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:22 am

I have seen them cross in deep spots, but not on any regular pattern. I do see them go way out of there way to get to a shallow spot to cross.
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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby GRFox » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:28 am

I've seen them swim about 20 feet across a deep river to get to some cattails. I would assume bedding.

Also, I've never seen it personally but suposidly deer swim accross the Long Island sound all the time. What the reason im not sure, but is a of a far swim.

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Re: Deer Crossing River

Unread postby Stanley » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:55 pm

I have seen them cross the Mississippi river but it is rare. Heavy current can drift them a long way off course.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.


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