Arrowhead / Duck Potato

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RiverBottoms
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Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby RiverBottoms » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:58 am

What do you guys do when you find a big patch of arrowhead on your hunting grounds? Is it worth keying in on, in terms of figuring out a setup up, or do you find that there is not much benefit to this knowledge when it comes to hunting? I found some in a small cattail marsh with pressure on all sides around it. Bedding in the marsh is ok, not great. Enlighten me.


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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby dan » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:08 am

I would check to see use 1st. Sometimes it's a huge draw, sometimes not.
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby Double Draw » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:04 am

Most of the swamps I hunt have duck potato abd deer readily eat it. Another commonly (probably the #1 water plant deer eat in my region) found plant is called Halberd-leaved Tearthumb. For the longest time I could not determine what species it was but I stumbled upon it in a book while doing research in the library.
Screenshot_20190709-095019.png
It looks similar to mile-a-minute which is an invasive but is not as aggressive. It has barbs on it and yet everywhere I go deer have heavily browsed it. Check these pictures of it that I took.
Screenshot_20190709-094949.png

Screenshot_20190709-094941.png

Even though I believe these are two of a deer's favorite aquatic plants I have never been able to count on setting up on it to hunt a deer. For me the reason is that they are so common where I hunt. I imagine if you found a dense stand of these plants with little population nearby it would be a draw for deer and you might be able to establish a discernable pattern to hunt.
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby Buckshot20 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:09 am

They prefer the bulbs of the arrowhead in the fall so look for plants pulled from the ground and the roots eaten. Also, for them to pull them it’s usually in soft mud areas. The bulbs are starchy(like a potatoe) and the sugars are there best in the fall
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RiverBottoms
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby RiverBottoms » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:00 am

Thanks for the info guys. I'm not sure that the deer bed in this particular part of the marsh right now, but it is full of tracks, so they are at least in the area. Halberd-leaved Tearthumb looks a lot like arrowhead, how do you tell the difference? Now I'm not sure which plant I found, but at least deer seem to like both.
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby Kraftd » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:34 am

I've seen A LOT of references to this since that honey hole the THP guys found was all over heir channel a couple of years ago. My opinion is it is one of many potential sources of forage that like Dan said, can be good, may not be. All depends I think there was more to their success than just the fact the arrow-head was there. Those deer seemed to have been pushed back there and stacked, had bedding close, and that was the first food source off bedding. Kind of a convergence of factors.

Point is, when I see arrowhead, which is pretty often, I take note, but don't get as excited as something like isolated white oaks in a marsh or good huntable secure bedding. I can't recall running across situations where the arrowhead itself seemed to be a huge draw when bedding was not very close. Just my experiences though.

The private marsh I hunt is loaded with it. Deer don't seem to prefer it early season before the cold turns the starches, and usually it's under too much ice by late season, and the deer actually generally leave this spot after ice-up, so there it certainly isn't a draw by itself.
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby RiverBottoms » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:02 am

Kraftd, Thanks for sharing your experiences. My thought process was that if deer are bedding in the marsh that they would stage and graze the arrowhead before hitting the hardwoods after dark. And therefore, you gotta come to them, as opposed to waiting for them to come to you in a treestand on the transition lines. Sounds like that is still possible, but you haven't seen arrowhead itself be enough of a draw to change bedding patterns. Correct? Make sense?
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby Double Draw » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:22 am

RiverBottoms wrote:Thanks for the info guys. I'm not sure that the deer bed in this particular part of the marsh right now, but it is full of tracks, so they are at least in the area. Halberd-leaved Tearthumb looks a lot like arrowhead, how do you tell the difference? Now I'm not sure which plant I found, but at least deer seem to like both.


They are pretty easy to tell apart. Duck Potato is smooth and waxy-like all over. It is thick like a lily pad. Immature plants can be more difficult to I.D. Tearthumb has leaves that are about the thickness of a maple leaf and much smaller than Duck Potato. Tearthumb is quite flimsy as a plant and often uses the presence of other plants to use as a scaffolding to grow along. The telltale sign, though, is the barbs located along the stems and the spine of the backsides of the leaves. You will also notice Duck Potato has rounded edges on the leaves while Tearthumb are angular.
I will try to get a picture of the two together next time I am in a swamp.
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Kraftd
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby Kraftd » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:14 am

RiverBottoms wrote:Kraftd, Thanks for sharing your experiences. My thought process was that if deer are bedding in the marsh that they would stage and graze the arrowhead before hitting the hardwoods after dark. And therefore, you gotta come to them, as opposed to waiting for them to come to you in a treestand on the transition lines. Sounds like that is still possible, but you haven't seen arrowhead itself be enough of a draw to change bedding patterns. Correct? Make sense?


RiverBottoms, your scenario is certainly plausible, but like Dan said, confirm it is being hit first, which should really be the case on most sits.

Early season when things are still wet, my experience, and this is just me, is that arrowhead isn't much more of a draw than any of the other abundant green forage around at that time. Dropping acorns, beans that are still green, even maple leaf drop may be bigger draws. Not to say they won't nibble one the greens as they stage, but I wouldn't call it a destination early season from what I have seen.

Where the duck potato shined in the THP video was the fact it was late season and the tubers had probably had their starches convert to sugars and were a huge high calorie draw for the deer, like a brassicas or turnip plot or lat standing bean field may be.

Generally in my area, by the time that happens, they are frozen under the ice and inaccessible. If I recall the season of that THP run was a drought, so very well may have been that the tubers were only accessible to those deer because of that and in a normal year would have been frozen solid under the ice.

Not at all dismissing this as a target, but I also wouldn't find some spring scouting and plan on sitting over it early season with much success unless I had connected a lot of other dots.
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby RiverBottoms » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:17 am

Great stuff guys, thanks for taking the time to type up your experiences
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Re: Arrowhead / Duck Potato

Unread postby Buckshot20 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:52 am

Kraftd wrote:
RiverBottoms wrote:Kraftd, Thanks for sharing your experiences. My thought process was that if deer are bedding in the marsh that they would stage and graze the arrowhead before hitting the hardwoods after dark. And therefore, you gotta come to them, as opposed to waiting for them to come to you in a treestand on the transition lines. Sounds like that is still possible, but you haven't seen arrowhead itself be enough of a draw to change bedding patterns. Correct? Make sense?


RiverBottoms, your scenario is certainly plausible, but like Dan said, confirm it is being hit first, which should really be the case on most sits.

Early season when things are still wet, my experience, and this is just me, is that arrowhead isn't much more of a draw than any of the other abundant green forage around at that time. Dropping acorns, beans that are still green, even maple leaf drop may be bigger draws. Not to say they won't nibble one the greens as they stage, but I wouldn't call it a destination early season from what I have seen.

Where the duck potato shined in the THP video was the fact it was late season and the tubers had probably had their starches convert to sugars and were a huge high calorie draw for the deer, like a brassicas or turnip plot or lat standing bean field may be.

Generally in my area, by the time that happens, they are frozen under the ice and inaccessible. If I recall the season of that THP run was a drought, so very well may have been that the tubers were only accessible to those deer because of that and in a normal year would have been frozen solid under the ice.

Not at all dismissing this as a target, but I also wouldn't find some spring scouting and plan on sitting over it early season with much success unless I had connected a lot of other dots.


I usually see them key in late oct/nov but I’m a lot farther south so they don’t freeze over
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