Need some help

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Ack
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Need some help

Unread postby Ack » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:06 pm

So over the weekend I learned of a big buck living on a piece of public land and am curious what the best way to go about hunting him would be. From what it sounds like, he was kicked up by a bird hunter along the edge of a larger swamp area....that's really the only details I got. Now after looking at this area on an aerial map I see a few points out into the swamp, and also a couple of very small tree "islands." The thing is, I have never set foot in this section before, so I have no idea what the area looks like, if anyone else is hunting it, or the exact whereabouts of this buck's bed...I can only guess.

So, would it be best to hunt each of these points separately and hope he is on one of them, or scout the area away from the swamp to try and narrow down where he may be using the woods, by possibly finding rubs or other sign? To be safe, how close to the edge of the swamp would I want to go the first time in? One thing that baffles me is what side of this swamp he would be bedding on. There are points on the downwind side....am I correct in thinking that he would be bedded with the swamp to his back on one of these points, watching the open woods out in front of him??

I haven't really hunted "beast" style yet, so this would pretty much be my first go-round. I'd rather not post an aerial pic of this property, for obvious reasons. I do know that I need to get after him soon before he starts wandering too much, so it's now or never.


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swamp-assassin
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby swamp-assassin » Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:45 pm

although im not an expert i will try to give my two cents..
this sounds pretty much the exact same way i hunt. being that i didnt get turned on to beast style hunting until this year, i havent gone and scouted bedding areas. so im going in blind, hunting based on what i see on aerial maps and when i get there, what i see for sign. Generally i do end up sitting on points, as close to the edge of the swamp as possible. Its a very tough situation with the wind if you dont know EXACTLY where the buck is bedded..your really just guessing, but i try and figure it out by looking at aerials. i would think they bed on the swamp edge downwind from the woods. so i try to play the just off wind and set up upwind but just off of where i think they come out...i hate to say it but im thinking its a losing game of getting lucky if you dont know exactly where the buck is.
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby dan » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:55 am

Ive done ok in that situation... When there used to actually be good bucks to go after here, it was always a good hunt after the pheasant hunters kicked all the grass cause it really moved the bucks to the predictable points and islands... It might look overwhelming but when you concentrate on the points and islands it will narrow the number of spots down...
With a wind blowing into the swamp/marsh a buck may bed facing and looking into the woods... But often they bed in this terrain based on sound and cover so wind direction should be considered, but don't dwell on it... As you hunt the likely spots you narrow the possibilitys.
Get as close as possible, and don't get fixated on rubs and sign, if its there great, if not, no big deal hunt it anyway. Big bucks don't always leave sign and he may be just starting to bed these points based on being kicked in there.

I am considering an island hunt for this afternoon now that pheasant season is in full force and we just got done with 4 days of doe only hunting... Good luck
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby headgear » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:30 am

In my experience the buck might have bedded on the points earlier in the year but once the leaves are down I think they like to move further back into the swamp for better bedding cover. With the pressure from the bird hunter that could also be the case here.

A couple ideas to hunt this might be to try and hunt the points one by one and see what happens, go in with the stand on your back and hunt some fresh sign. Is there anywhere you can sit to get a good view of the swamp? It might be worth it to burn a night and see if you can see where he is bedding or exiting the swamp, this might not be possible depending on the cover in the swamp, it would be almost impossible in most swamps I hunt. Last but not least if you aren't havn't any luck hunting the points or edges of the swamp I say just dive in and hunt an island. You could take your best guess on where he might be bedding based off the wind, island structure, or other possible bedding near the islands and sneak in there and hunt them. Even if you mess up and bust him out of there you should gain some valuable info for future hunts.
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby Ack » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:58 am

Thanks for the input guys. I would like to work my way in from the outside, but I don't think I can back off too far because of an old logging rd. With any kind of a west wind I can hunt the points on the east side of the swamp....guess I'll just have to be careful how deep I go. The fact that a bird hunter jumped the buck, he must not have been bedded too deep off the edge of the woods, but like you say that could have all changed now. If anyone else has any input I'm all ears...I just hope I can lay eyes on this buck in the next few weeks!
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headgear
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby headgear » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:17 am

Do you know if the bird hunter jumped him out of a bed or could the deer have been on his feet and the hunter just happened to see him running away?
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:25 am

Ack wrote:With any kind of a west wind I can hunt the points on the east side of the swamp....guess I'll just have to be careful how deep I go.


sounds like a good hunt for you this evening, Ack- I'm hoping to hear a great report.

With a west wind I most likely would have selected a point or island on the west side of the swamp, while playing the wind against the bedding I guessed on... as Dan pointed out, however, some of these swamp beds are based on cover and noise and will hold a buck in any wind.
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby dan » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:10 pm

Be careful how far back you sit Ack... Big bucks don't move far in daylight and to far back may tip your hand to the buck when he comes thru after your gone. I have never done well with public land bucks by being conservitive. Agressive seems to put more on the wall..

Bucks will bed in high grass, or clunps of brush within grass when there is no human scent around for a long period... That has nothing to do with how they bed when off a point or island.
Most likely you will be able to get real close without the bucks knowledge...
Most of the "mature" bucks I have observed in there bedding area are up well before dark, but rarely get farther than 150 yards in shooting light. Sometimes a lot less. Pushing the envelope is what will kill him... Also, don't worry about making a mistake. If you bump him out of one bed thats one less spot he will feel safe at narrowing down the spots he could be at... Stacking at its best.
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby James » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:47 pm

I'll add that you should really pay attention to tracks in this case. Being its a swampy area it should be moist enough to easily locate tracks. When I am hunting marsh bucks I'm almost always walking in on their trails, and check tracks. It may be the extra thing that helps push you to the right spot.

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Re: Need some help

Unread postby Hodag Hunter » Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:21 pm

What direction was the wind when the bird hunter kicked him up?

As the others stated, pick a spot, island or point farther in, but still close proximity to the jump location. Whatever that wind was doing that day saved that buck......it's public land and I'm sure not the first time he was kicked up.

The bucks bedding position that day saved his but and the deer "thinks" he won...... he didn't know the guy was only bird hunting.

Mimic his 1st bed choice to the next similar secondary spot. Might have to keep moving spots different nights. You will see his tracks sooner or later at one of your spots you hunt.
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Re: Need some help

Unread postby Ack » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:56 pm

I wish I had more information to go on, but I don't. I got this info third hand, and from what I gathered the other two guys don't want to pursue it. I have absolutely no details, other than the buck was jumped on the edge of the swamp somewhere....no exact location, no wind info, nothing. The fact that I know he is there, and I can recognize features as pointed out in Marsh Bucks gets me started, but for all I know I could be on the wrong end of the swamp. Yes, this is around heavy pressure public land, so I'm sure it's not the buck's first human encounter. If I have enough time I may go out there tonight and give it a go, picking off one point at a time. Like Headgear says, even if I do screw it up I have more than likely gained some good info for the future.


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