Marsh vs Swamp.

Discuss the science of figuring out our prey through good detective work.
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Rutnstrut
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Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby Rutnstrut » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:36 am

I am far from an expert when scouting marsh type habitat. However I usually have no trouble finding deer sign and buck beds in them. I will say that I have learned a lot from here and the vids. However swamps really through me a curve. I think it's because there is more standing water and it's tougher to really decipher where they travel.


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Re: Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby brkissl82 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:59 am

I had the same problem this weekend. All suspected areas were under water. Large willows in the cattails that should have had a buck bed had water 3feet up the tree

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Re: Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby dan » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:14 pm

Swamps are tougher than cattail marshes... But, they read the same. Your still looking at the transitions, fingers, points, bowls, etc... Its just not as easy to see when its a tree transition against a tree transition rather than cattails against trees... The hardest swamps are those that have to much transition or its very subtle...
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Re: Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby Dewey » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:30 pm

brkissl82 wrote:I had the same problem this weekend. All suspected areas were under water. Large willows in the cattails that should have had a buck bed had water 3feet up the tree

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Been a very wet spring so far around here and another 2"+ coming the next few days. Water levels are higher than I have seen in about 6-7 years. If anything high water makes beds more predictible in marshes and swamps. Now is the time to hit those subtle humps of bedding cover just out of the water in case the water is still high in fall.

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Re: Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby Ruger » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:15 pm

Scout during driest part of summer. They will follow the same trails when it's submerged with water. You are probably looking for something that is only 1' - 1-1/2' higher than surrounding areas.

Ridges or lay downs in the middle of water are good areas to scout

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Re: Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby headgear » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:57 pm

The bigger the swamp the harder it can be so start smaller and work your way up. I use to often think going way back in the huge swamps was where the bucks are but after treks miles into bigwoods swamps I can say you don't often find them there unless the pressure is crazy, think rifle season. For the big swamps you just have to work the edges and look for areas where a buck can bed and have access to several other chunks of timber close by. Of course any kind of break or transition inside the swamp itself is worth a serious look. They also seem to like to have options, these beds are likely near hubs of their travel routes. Kind of like how we pick a home, not to far from work, kind of close to food and hopefully a little outdoors and recreation close by.

The other thing I consistently see in swamps is bedding with a lack of big huntable trees, some open water nearby to help with a thermal pull and sometimes a swamp near a big ridge nearby. They might bed on the ridge in low pressure times of year and move down into the swamp when the pressure is up. All too often those ridges act as a great thermal zone for them too, like Dan says in farm country the bucks will enter at the low point to try and smell the whole field in the evening, I think they do the same when exiting bedding as well. If they can smell 100 or 200 yards up the ridge when they get up to move about why not take advantage of that.

When I cyber scout I always like to have at least a couple hundred acres of swamp to work with, you need that kind of cover for a buck to get some years under his belt on public land. These swamps also keep 99% of the hunters out, I can't tell you how many times I find stands surrounding these spots and then a nice buck bedding area holed up in the middle, all the sign close to bedding and likely all other sign near these stands is done at night. Save for a hot doe causing the buck to make a mistake they don't move far during shooting hours.
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Re: Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby Hawthorne » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:04 pm

In the swamps I've scouted I've found beds on small humps, in small clusters of tamaracks, next to small opening of cattails or Marsh grass in the alders or maple ,and next to small water openings or ponds.

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Re: Marsh vs Swamp.

Unread postby Rutnstrut » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:35 am

Great info guys, thanks. I think part of my problem is as Dewey mentioned, water is really high now. So the transition areas I'm starting out in are under water and so is the sign.


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