Contributors to this thread:
I recently lost the last little bit of private land I was allowed to hunt on and consequently I will be hunting public land exclusively this season.
I've been doing a lot of scouting and trying to find places away from areas I think will receive a lot of pressure from other humans. This inevitably leads me into the swamps.
I've hunted swamps before as a means of getting away from the over crowding that takes place especially around crop land. But I've never done great in these locations. Also my trail cams are not getting many pics. In fact I haven't been able to get any pics of bucks until just this past week. And he's just a yearling 6pt.
I know some guys swear by hunting the swamps, but perhaps not all swamps are created equal?
One particular swampy area I've been scouting is really nasty. Walking through it is darn right spooky at times. I never know if on my next step my foot will sink three feet deep into the muck or not. I've learned some trails to get back into this area that make it a "little" easier to get in there to hunt it. There are little islands where I could set up a stand. But tracking and dragging a deer out would probably be a big time job. Don't think anyone will bother me back in there though. Theres even a rumor going around that theres a body buried somewhere back in there. I guess some guy murdered his wife and they suspect he buried her back in this swamp. Otherwise its a very pretty area with lots of waterfowl.
I guess my biggest question is, is it worth all the effort to hunt such an area? Do you think deer will use these areas more once hunting season begins and pressure increases?
Anyone here who hunts swamps? Has it been good to you?
I have hunted swamps in North Carolina. For the most part you are right the pressure is what drives the deer into the swamps. Why would deer want to go there before the season when they are not being pressured and they can have a easy liven right next to the food and water sources. Let the pressure hit and they don't mind walking a couple miles at night to get to food and water if they have the cover. Ide say your swamp will be best very late season. The problem is getting in and out without busting them out of there. I found it best to move in way before daylight with a climber and a full pack and set up and stay all day coming out well after dark. If I couldn't stay all day I wouldn't go. I hope it pays off for ya. good luck.
Used to hunt a big swamp in NJ years ago. Biggest problem was you could not pattern the deer. They literally wander around. Food, water, cover everywhere, so they walk aimlessly. Great hunting, but it can be hit or miss.
Sometimes when the water was high you could tell deer were coming from the ripples on the water.
Whenever I hunt public land I hunt on the edges near the adjacent farmers crop fields. Many public areas in the East are near private farms and that is where I'll be hunting as the deer work back into the woods from the crops. Good Luck! C
Charlie, the area I'm hunting is surrounded by farm land. All along the higher ground by the crop fields there are tree stands and trail cams. There seems to be good numbers of deer by the crops, but it is obvious this area is going to get pounded by other hunters come opening day.
Hunted swamp bucks for years. Doubt they will be in there to begin with. I would find a high odds spot near the crops for the first few days and then head deep. It will not take long for the big boys to feel the pressure. More than likely they will lay up on the little islands you are talking about. Find an easy route to and from the islands and hunt those. Also, don't slog right in on top of them. Hunt only as deep as you need to to catch them on their feet during daylight or you will blow them out of their new sanctuary!
Look for a high spot somewhere in there.Even if its just a small amount, 1-4 acres. Thats where i have had more deer come by than anywhere else. It also gives you a better vantage point to see where they are coming from.