Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

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d_rek
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Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby d_rek » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:25 am

Hi All,

I went in blind last fall into an area along a riverbottom that looked real promising. When I got there the sign was unreal and I did see a deer (just one) but it was a ways off.

I went back yesterday to scout the area and from all the rain and snow melt we had the entire area had flooded over pretty bad and left everything covered in a grayish-brown layer of mud upto 4 feet in some spots. It made finding anything but the freshest sign almost impossible. I was able to find some rubs from last season but finding any ground sign or beds was nearly impossible because of all of the mud, blow downs, and debris from the river cresting. However, I did identify some areas I based on deer scat (the doe scat was super easy to see even with the mud) which I believe are being used as bedding areas, though it was hard to isolate any individual beds.

What are you thoughts on areas like these? I assume up until the river crested and flooded everything deer were still in the area. I even found some fresh tracks and scat in the mud. The part i'm having a tough time with is how I can get on individual beds in an area like this? Right now it looks like i'll have to hunt transitions or hunt over available sign in the fall, or just make some educated guesses.

Regards,
d_rek


"I don't know what the f*** this is but it's weird as f*** so i'm leaving."
-The Deep
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Babshaft
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby Babshaft » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:45 am

Any chance to do some early season observations before moving in? Any potential cam spots or high spots you could climb a tree to observe it in the early season and start making some educated guesses from there?
First Sit
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby First Sit » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:44 am

I have a area by me that quite a few deer bed in its mainly a dry CRP marsh area. Some years a big buck is in there. The river near it is flooded and this area now has about 6 ft of water in it if not more its crazy. However some river bottom areas I scout after snow melt will hold water but I usually find the beds on the dry areas. I think it depends on how often the area has as much water as what your looking at. I've only ever seen that CRP marsh area flooded 3 times in 12 years in which 2 of those were completely flooded, its usually pretty dry in most of it. If the water level is uncommon you probably have beds underwater then if its somewhat common a good number of the bedding is probably on the higher ground.
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Boogieman1
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:23 pm

River bottoms in my area always have ample supply of big buck sign. These areas are the hardest for me to hunt, air currents are a nightmare in these spots and suspect that why a lot of big bucks love them. Just making it to stand undetected is a challange mix in swirling winds, eddies and multiple wet drainages snagging your thermal. It's the test of all tests if u ask me. Good Luck!
“When standing on the walls of the Alamo the outcome has already been decided. All that’s left is to kill as many as you can.”

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d_rek
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby d_rek » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:30 am

The flooding that occured is certainly uncommon. We had 2"+ of rainfall, higher than average temps, and 12"~ of snowmelt in a 72hr period. I would expect it not to be nearly that bad if the weather wasn't so screwy. Like I said in some spots it look like the river had crested almost 4ft up some of the trees.

I definitely found some good rubs, and identified a couple of bedding areas, just no individual beds. I think i pinpointed a real good bedding-to-bedding funnel though based on my observations from last fall. I suspect it might be a good rut funnel.

It's hard to observe this area from high ground due to ground cover, forest density, and steep terrain. I could sit at the top of the ravine but when it greens up my guess is it will be difficult to see more than 100-150 yards through the woods.
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Bonehead
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby Bonehead » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:38 am

I hunt a sticker marsh that floods and washes all the sign out
Occasionally.
Perhaps come back for a Mid summer scout after it dries out for awhile?
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tgreeno
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby tgreeno » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:46 am

I would give it some time to dry out, and get back in there before green-up. You should still be able to figure out if there's bedding, once the water recedes.
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Jonny
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby Jonny » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:36 am

I hunt a similar type area for gun season.

In season scouting is your best bet to find exact beds. Bedding locations are typically textbook for a river bottom, but you won’t see it following a flood since a lot of the ground sign is washed away
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llcooljames
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby llcooljames » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:48 am

Most of the land I hunted last year is underwater right now. Ill be back as soon as it dries up a bit to see where they are moving through in the fresh mud
d_rek
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Re: Scouting Flooded Riverbottoms

Unread postby d_rek » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:43 am

Thanks for the advice. I was able to find some big, big tracks in the fresh mud and I did walk them back to what I believe is a buck bedding area. Several spots looked like they would have made great buck beds, but again hard to tell with everything being covered in mud along with all of the debris from the flooding.
"I don't know what the f*** this is but it's weird as f*** so i'm leaving."
-The Deep


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