Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

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Singing Bridge
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Singing Bridge » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:32 pm

Cedar swamps and conifer swamps are definitely places that bucks can get some age on them. If you look at the buck's bed, the wind and the swamp protect his backside. The swamp is so thick, nothing can get near him without him hearing it... and we all know what a buck's nose is capable of. On the front side he is protected by the pond. He can see in that direction, and any predator wanting to come from there is going to have to swim, which the buck can see and hear with ease.

Escape trails? He can go any direction into that swamp, he can run up and down the ponds edge, he can run the dams on either side of him. Worse case scenario for the buck he blows directly across the pond.

It doesn't get much better for a buck than that. 8-)


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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby stash59 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:41 pm

Singing Bridge wrote:
stash59 wrote:
Singing Bridge wrote:Here is an example of one of my hunting areas. The left side of the picture is cedar swamp, which is fronted by some beaver dams and ponds. The right side of the picture is boreal forest and upland, and is also the direction I approach from to hunt.

On the left side of the picture, the cedar swamp, the shiny spots are standing water inside the swamp that reflect the sky:

Image

In the picture below:

Red = Primary Buck Bed
Yellow = Gun Stand
Orange = Bow Stand
Blue = Beaver Dams


Image


Thanx SB! One more question: About how far is the gun stand from the bed?


It's about a hundred yards across there, give or take.


Thanx Bridge!! Just needed a little better perspective. Great job on the follow up posts to the podcast.
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby HighNtree » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:17 pm

Scott,
When the pressure is on, do the Bucks move into the cedar swamp to bed. And if so, do you actually go inside those dark, water-filled areas to hunt them? My idea of a swamp was an area with moist, damp soil! How do you get around in such a place?
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Justin85 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:57 am

Solid gold!

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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Singing Bridge » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:19 pm

HighNtree wrote:Scott,
When the pressure is on, do the Bucks move into the cedar swamp to bed. And if so, do you actually go inside those dark, water-filled areas to hunt them? My idea of a swamp was an area with moist, damp soil! How do you get around in such a place?


Some of the bucks will definitely move into the interior of the swamp if hunting pressure heats up. To answer your question, yes- we routinely go inside big swamps to hunt. Hip boots are a standard tool for me, and I pick my way through ground that is high enough that I don't get wet when going through the area. When I hit an area that is too deep for hip boots or waders I make a bridge across it, normally with trees that are already down. This can be a lot of work, but the bucks get back there with ease. My trails are staggered right to left on the way back in as I shift from high ground over to a bridge and back, etc.

Here are my standard swamp hunting / scouting tools:

Image
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Jackson Marsh » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:22 pm

Well done SB and Mario! I really enjoy the podcasts, I've learned something from all of them.

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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby HighNtree » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:28 pm

Thanks Scott,
I usually hunt on dry land but it is good to know that there are other terrains to hunt. I don't know anyone around my area that hunts in wet swamps so this might be the ticket to tagging a mature buck. I'll try hunting the edges of the swamp this season.
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby sunset samurai » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:15 am

Singing Bridge wrote:
HighNtree wrote:Scott,
When the pressure is on, do the Bucks move into the cedar swamp to bed. And if so, do you actually go inside those dark, water-filled areas to hunt them? My idea of a swamp was an area with moist, damp soil! How do you get around in such a place?


Some of the bucks will definitely move into the interior of the swamp if hunting pressure heats up. To answer your question, yes- we routinely go inside big swamps to hunt. Hip boots are a standard tool for me, and I pick my way through ground that is high enough that I don't get wet when going through the area. When I hit an area that is too deep for hip boots or waders I make a bridge across it, normally with trees that are already down. This can be a lot of work, but the bucks get back there with ease. My trails are staggered right to left on the way back in as I shift from high ground over to a bridge and back, etc.

Here are my standard swamp hunting / scouting tools:

Image

How do you find tracking differs after the shot, in swamp vs dry ground? Are looking for blood higher on vegetation or physical tracks in the mud, and what if he runs through open water? Thanks just curious.
Also, in the pic are those the hip boots offered by Dans briar proof Clothing or another brand, Im in the market but wana make sure I get good quiet ones. Thanks

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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Singing Bridge » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:44 am

sunset samurai wrote:
Singing Bridge wrote:
HighNtree wrote:Scott,
When the pressure is on, do the Bucks move into the cedar swamp to bed. And if so, do you actually go inside those dark, water-filled areas to hunt them? My idea of a swamp was an area with moist, damp soil! How do you get around in such a place?


Some of the bucks will definitely move into the interior of the swamp if hunting pressure heats up. To answer your question, yes- we routinely go inside big swamps to hunt. Hip boots are a standard tool for me, and I pick my way through ground that is high enough that I don't get wet when going through the area. When I hit an area that is too deep for hip boots or waders I make a bridge across it, normally with trees that are already down. This can be a lot of work, but the bucks get back there with ease. My trails are staggered right to left on the way back in as I shift from high ground over to a bridge and back, etc.

Here are my standard swamp hunting / scouting tools:

Image

How do you find tracking differs after the shot, in swamp vs dry ground? Are looking for blood higher on vegetation or physical tracks in the mud, and what if he runs through open water? Thanks just curious.
Also, in the pic are those the hip boots offered by Dans briar proof Clothing or another brand, Im in the market but wana make sure I get good quiet ones. Thanks

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That's a great question - swamp tracking can be difficult at times.

Right off the bat, take advantage of the swamp environment. Because it is often wet, you can often hear the buck for a much longer distance after the shot. Pay CLOSE ATTENTION for at least several minutes following the shot. Sometimes you can hear a dying buck splashing around after its been quiet for a while. Right after the shot, you can hear the buck splashing away from you for quite a distance and it is very important to pay attention. If you lose the trail use standard searching / circling techniques from the last spot you found blood. If you have struck out, sweep the swamp toward the nearest identified bedding area. Then closely sweep the bedding area itself. If you have completely lost the trail and you are near any kind of a barrier (beaver pond / muck area / stream / small lake / windfall area of numerous downed trees, etc.) you will need to sweep that entire area (search it) carefully and methodically. For example, I have found a couple of bucks floating out in the middle of a beaver pond just under the surface- the buck wasn't visible to me until I went up a tree on the ponds edge to look out over it. If a lot of time has passed, pay attention to any noise from coyotes or ravens, or whatever birds / predators tend to show up in your area.

Just like you pointed out, watch for blood higher up in wet areas. Some of the swamps I hunt are drier than others.

Those hip boots were made by the Muck Boot Company- I'm told they are no longer made by them. When it comes to wearing hip boots, light weight and strength are what I would look for. Obviously when you approach a buck bedding area it is important to be quiet, make adjustments with your hipboots as needed.
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby sunset samurai » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:52 am

Thanks, and thanks for the podcast!

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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Singing Bridge » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:23 am

sunset samurai wrote:Thanks, and thanks for the podcast!

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Glad we could assist!

Also, I want to express a BIG TIME thanks to everyone who has taken the time to respond. All of your comments are appreciated- it helps us know that our efforts are worthwhile. 8-)
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby BigCedarJack » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:17 pm

I wanted to thank you Scott. I was out walking some future hunting area today. There is a riddle about bedding I'd been trying to figure out awhile. Even though I hunt "dry" forest with lots of terrain, some things you had said about barriers clicked in my head and with some application of your tips I figured out a couple pieces that I wasn't figuring out before!
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Singing Bridge » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:55 am

BigCedarJack wrote:I wanted to thank you Scott. I was out walking some future hunting area today. There is a riddle about bedding I'd been trying to figure out awhile. Even though I hunt "dry" forest with lots of terrain, some things you had said about barriers clicked in my head and with some application of your tips I figured out a couple pieces that I wasn't figuring out before!


Excellent- it sounds like you are right on top of it. 8-)
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby Singing Bridge » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:01 am

I should speak of barriers for a moment. They have the potential to be big buck hideouts in every type of terrain we hunt- swamps and marshes, hill country, big woods, agricultural areas...

For example, we lost a hunter that was a local legend around here a number of years back. Some of his biggest bucks were taken next to potholes of water in farm country. The bucks used the pothole as a barrier for bedding to protect themselves from approach on one side. In addition, there was seldom a good tree for a stand in these areas which made them difficult to approach. The bucks can bed up against the barrier / pothole of water in nearly any wind direction, which makes them beds that are used quite often. Most hunters do not give them a second glance, which also makes these beds "overlooked."
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Re: Episode #4 - Swamp Hunting with Scott Shawl

Postby BigHunt » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:39 am

Singing Bridge wrote:I should speak of barriers for a moment. They have the potential to be big buck hideouts in every type of terrain we hunt- swamps and marshes, hill country, big woods, agricultural areas...

For example, we lost a hunter that was a local legend around here a number of years back. Some of his biggest bucks were taken next to potholes of water in farm country. [glow=red]The bucks used the pothole as a barrier for bedding to protect themselves from approach on one side. In addition, there was seldom a good tree for a stand in these areas which made them difficult to approach. The bucks can bed up against the barrier / pothole of water in nearly any wind direction, which makes them beds that are used quite often.[/glow] Most hunters do not give them a second glance, which also makes these beds "overlooked."

this seems to be the common theme for big buck bedding...im seeing this in the cattail marsh too ...water or river behind them
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