Hunting Creek-bottoms
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
stick n string 01-Oct-19
stick n string 01-Oct-19
drycreek 01-Oct-19
APauls 01-Oct-19
Rupe 01-Oct-19
Bou'bound 01-Oct-19
Buffalo1 01-Oct-19
BR 01-Oct-19
t-roy 01-Oct-19
stick n string 01-Oct-19
APauls 01-Oct-19
Franklin 01-Oct-19
GF 01-Oct-19
Tonybear61 01-Oct-19
GF 02-Oct-19
So, ive steered clear of creekbottoms in deer hunting for the most part. I view them as almost complete death traps due to fickle winds and swirling. Having said that, ive killed a couple decent bucks at a stand i have in a bottom that i used to hunt during the rut just because it can be a high traffic area and if the wind is right at the right minute, ur good. But that has been a “stars-aligning” situation.

My brother and i checked out some new public property this weekend and its mixed ag/woods that rolls down into some creek bottoms that leads to swampy areas and ultimately to a river. Long story long, the area we chose to hunt within is an area that has thicker woods up top and not many trees to climb and no mast trees. But i found a spot down lower that has mostly oaks, a nice tree to climb with good cover. Their is a subtle “gut” that rolls 60 yards down to the creekbottom which just past that gut gets very deep with steep banks quick, essentially creating a nice pinch point and trail that gets heavily used. There are heavy trails that parallel the creek bed with steep sides coming up from the river, the one on the stand side goes by at 20 yards and the one on the other side cuts right up around onto the creek crossing trail and up towards the thick stuff. Above the stand towards the top, the thick stuff and the oaks make a pretty obvious edge paralelling the creek.

I have been doing some research on “smoking” clothes to help with scent but i firmly believe that you cant fully beat a deers nose with anything, hopefully im proven wrong with the smoke. And ive really gotten into the “milkweed” pods the last few years to see what is actually happening with scent away from the tree and trying to hunt places where the wind gets carried over noses or thermals help to take scent up. Ive used nosejamer with some great results, some bad but i also know in the bad results, i woulda been busted anyhow. I cant seem to find anything i feel helps me understand how to best fight the swirling winds of a bottom.

This spot seems like a dinomite spot, one that needs to be frequented during the rut. But i also know the mirage that bottoms can be.

Any personal experience from anybody who has a successful strategy hunting bottoms? Or anybody have any podcasts in mind that deal with such a topic.

Any info is appreciated

I should add, this “bottom” is around 75’ in drop over 225 or so yards on both sides of the creek. So definitely rolls into a bottom but its not super steep.

From: drycreek
Yep, but you may not want to hear it. I guarantee that you can get away with hunting creek bottoms from an enclosed blind if you use an Ozonics unit and use it correctly. The hogs, coyotes, and deer that I’ve killed in my creek bottom prove it to me. Those who don’t believe don’t have to, makes no difference to me, but I know it works if used CORRECTLY. In a tree, all bets are off !

From: APauls
I don't know anything about bottoms. We don't have those here. It's all flats lol. But I do know that there are some situations in the rut in the right spot where I throw caution to the wind and just hunt them. I'm also the same guy who dropped out of my stand and packed up last night with an hour remaining because of a wind direction change that screwed me right at prime time.

There are some times where you just gotta give it a go. That stand sounds like that situation, and in the rut when animals are moving, and you have the chance a mature buck is concentrating more on ground scent might be the time. His guard is down a bit, he's moving way faster than normal etc. Especially on a clear cold night, where you know you may have a massive warming thermal in the morning saving your bacon.

I had one tree where I killed a ton of good bucks from in the rut, but I never knew where they would come from, so I just sat it regardless of wind, but I'd wait until the rut to do it. The tree was just in the right spot. Good luck with the hunt!

From: Rupe
I love hunting creek bottoms.

From: Bou'bound
Great areas. Worth the risk.

From: Buffalo1
Creek bottoms a buck travel zones. Watch for the rubs along creek bottoms.

From: BR
Smoke em up. You are getting ready to be amazed at how well it works. Is it fool proof absolutely not, It will buy you some time in the worse case scenario and it usually fools them. I still hunt the wind and never ignore it but its like having insurance, its there if you need it. Biggest down side I see to it is it makes me hungry. I smoke a lot of ribs in the off season. Fyi in my experience the stronger smell of smoke the better.

From: t-roy
Very tuff nut to crack, for sure. Over the years, I’ve found some spots like you described, but the fickle winds would, almost always, cost me. The rare exceptions were usually always a hot doe running past, hard, with the buck in tow. Fortunately, I’ve got other options to utilize, so I don’t set those spots any longer.

Are there any spots up on the top edge of the flats above, or near the pinch points where you can see below, and could hang a stand and possibly brush it in a bit (if it’s naked) or put in a ground blind, and try calling, rattling, etc., to pull a cruising buck to you?

We didnt walk the top very thoroughly. We hit it when walkin in the dark, trying to get to where we had marked on our maps. But when we realized the jungle we were in wasnt something we could do anything with, my bro went lower one direction and i just went back to where we had come through, but was more mature and huntable woods.

We walked up to the thick edge when we quit hunting mid morning and im sure u could sit the ground somewhere. Being public, i wouldnt try to put a blind in early enough for the deer to get used to it and expect it to still be there but a ground ambush would be possible. Im not a fan of being on the ground tho.

But i can get a little higher on the ridge and probably still hear and be able to grunt at any bucks that cruise through and feel good about having a chance to draw it in. Was just hoping to hear some kinda magic death-trap beating info to be on that “X”.....;^)

From: APauls
Read Scoots thread...become the cougar!

From: Franklin
In a travel corridor during the rut a buck can come from anywhere. I would do the best scent control I can and hunt the stand. What are the %`s that the winds are in your favor....75%? I will take those odds.

From: GF
How high can you get in a tree?

Now... If you’ve ever studied fluid dynamics, this might go without saying, but if there is an open area exposed to the prevailing winds, the air currents where you are will flow on that direction. One sure-fire spot I have hunted many times just proves it; the scent-flow there is nearly 90 degrees off of the prevailing winds. So much so that I call that spot the fish-barrel; as long as I’m 10 feet up, it’s practically fool-proof. Another spot at the leeward end of the open area, the air moves 180 degrees opposite the prevailing winds. As long as you are Just Deep Emough into to woods. A few paces further and you’re toast.

Just find the tightest pinch-point that’s closest to an open area or otherwise presents minimal resistance to air flow in that direction - a power line cut is good, or just thinner tree cover.

Air currents at ground level will be more influenced by thermals; find a minor trail down-thermal of the scrapes that the bucks will be scent-checking and set up fairly high at a comfortable distance down-wind (based on prevailing winds sucking air out of the woods toward the open areas).

That’s what has worked for me, anyway...

Good luck with it!

From: Tonybear61
Love hunting creek bottoms, 2 of the 3 largest bucks came from the same one in a course of 8 years. Shot over a dozen does in the same area. Swirling winds, not really as the wind has a basic path up the creek I can count on , regardless of what its doing else where. Rocky bottom and plenty of background noise too. I have had bucks chase does into the creek, down it and across it, oblivious to anything else nearby. I can always hear them cross, sploosh, sploosh, sploosh, shake, shake, shake.. Plus they also travel up and down the banks a lot.

From: GF
“Swirling winds, not really as the wind has a basic path up the creek I can count on , regardless of what its doing else where. ”

Up? Usually, I see the cooler air flowing downstream.... have used that repeatedly when hunting Elk up high.

One afternoon I was easing along and saw A Leg swing off the trail up ahead. Coming my way60-70 yards up. So I hustled back to the last gully I’d crossed, climbed up about 50 yards then headed back in my original direction and came down on top of the herd from above while they were still looking toward where I had been seen and scented just earlier.... The prevailing winds and thermals had been pushing my scent up-slope, but in that cold gully, the local thermals were 100% down-hill.

It’s like using an elevator to leap-frog someone who’s looking for you to take the stairs.

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