River Bottom tips/advice

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upwind predator
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River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby upwind predator » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:26 am

Got a piece of river bottom public im gonna hunt some more this fall since for the 1st time in 2yrs the river dont have 3/4’s of it underwater. Any who how do you guys go about breaking down the ground, its your typical river bottom wide open timber thats alot of elms, some oaks, and river bottom grass and thick scrub trees. Any advice/tips would be great. Its just so monatnus and i get irritated trying to find sign, trails, tracks seem to go where ever in the timbered portions.


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kher
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby kher » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:29 am

based on my experience hunting river bottom, if you are looking at the fastest way to see sign, id look at edges and transitions. Id also look at high ground if a lot of the parcel is flooded. Last year I did some preseason scouting and found some great sign, the thing about river bottom is depending on how flooded things get it can somewhat change how the deer move through. I was hunting a oxbow last year and the water was high, I saw two bucks come in but the water was high separating the oxbow and where other side of private. I think things would have been different if the water was similar to my preseason scouting.

Another good thing to look at are deer tracks because most of the time the ground is going to be wet. Easy indicator for seeing what is going through the area and if you have any mature bucks.
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Chuck B
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby Chuck B » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:13 am

I will say this, in my early years of hunting river bottoms, I felt the same as you. Now, after 3-4 years of hunting river bottoms, I feel like there is more of a rhyme and reason to their movement. I thought it was always so sporadic. But, after watching the deer move in certain areas, then scouting before, during, and after season, I realized there is more rhyme and reason To their movement than I ever thought. Also, I coincided that with using google earth and looking back on older pictures that go back to different years and different times of year, etc. That was the other piece of the puzzle. Now, I still have more to learn on these bottoms, but much better now than I was. Hope you can start connecting the dots.
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MichiganMike
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby MichiganMike » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:29 am

A lot of times river bottoms are good in early morning to see whats moving in or about. I am assuming there is bedding around, so you can almost do an observation sit if its feasible in some some open timber/cedars etc. Try to get a good vantage point to where the cover is to see if/when/where they are entering. Get in there super early though. If you lay eyes on him in the morning- get in there that evening and pop him coming out. Sometimes though the bucks will bed in open timber areas in river bottoms where they can see also- so you have to be careful. If he beds down in the open timber near where your sitting, you may be stuck there all day.
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby MichiganMike » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:10 am

I wanted to add too that unless you know the exact tree you need to sit in and have it scouted well, stay out of bedding/heavy cover in the morning. You'll just blow out all the deer with your exit after your morning sit. thats why I think an observation sit is best at first to get the intel.
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:51 pm

I have a love/hate relationship with hunting river bottoms in my area. The love comes from I’ve seen most of my better bucks in them. The hate comes from unstable, swirling winds.

I don’t have any real game changer to offer. But a few small things that seem to help me a lil bit. I won’t even think about hunting the bottoms until after leaf drop so I can get my wind out of there. With a full canopy it is a nightmare.

I pretty much don’t pay any attention to wind direction when I hunt the bottoms. I am hunting thermal! I hunt high elevation in the morning and low elevation late evening.

I like subtle low spots through open bottoms. Sometimes they are so subtle they are hard to find. I like going in a day after a good rain. I look for the places that are holding the water.
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Wannabelikedan
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby Wannabelikedan » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:34 pm

I can’t say that the river bottom you hunt is exactly like the ones I do, so, this all pertains to my experiences in the ones I inhabit. You will want to find islands of thick cover within a monotonous expanse of mature timber. Whether that be at the banks of the river, areas of succession from blow downs of mature trees, or the higher elevations that join the flood plain. Aerial maps are more helpful than topo but subtle lines are not to be ignored if there is cover. Edge and cover is the name of the game. I have yet to see big bucks bedding anywhere but the thickest cover in riverbottom. Like boogie mentioned, winds suck in riverbottom so have milkweed with you at all times, even scouting. Good luck!
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upwind predator
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby upwind predator » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:03 am

Thanks for the advice guys, keep it coming, im not looking for that game changer just tips that will help me thru out the season. Im gonna hunt it some early and some during rut. The covid stuff shut down spring scouting it here in my state so only scouting iv done is some summer on it and alot of it on, onX, will be alot of blind sits. Ill attach a picture so ya got an idea of the public dont mind my pins the pic is just a reference of the piece not where i should go. Also very little terrain features except from what the rivers made from years of flooding.
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upwind predator
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby upwind predator » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:11 am

Also should add im not specifically bed hunting as well.
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby jmaas07 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:16 am

I like a spot in between the 2 oxbows, cheat towards where it looks like the field creates a pinch point, should get some cruising there
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby upwind predator » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:23 am

Boogieman1 wrote:I have a love/hate relationship with hunting river bottoms in my area. The love comes from I’ve seen most of my better bucks in them. The hate comes from unstable, swirling winds.

I pretty much don’t pay any attention to wind direction when I hunt the bottoms. I am hunting thermal! I hunt high elevation in the morning and low elevation late evening.

I like subtle low spots through open bottoms. Sometimes they are so subtle they are hard to find. I like going in a day after a good rain. I look for the places that are holding the water.

That is interesting i never would of thought that with the swirling wind and wind being inconsistent in the open timber. What causes that in your own experiance? tho mine might be different then yours this particular piece is very flat, no real hills. I also did notice the low channels the rivers carved from flooding, the deer intentionally used along edges, definitely put a damper kinda in entry and exit when i ran out of kayak paddling ability for some acess. I was gonna use them as access the rest of the way to.
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:19 am

upwind predator wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:I have a love/hate relationship with hunting river bottoms in my area. The love comes from I’ve seen most of my better bucks in them. The hate comes from unstable, swirling winds.

I pretty much don’t pay any attention to wind direction when I hunt the bottoms. I am hunting thermal! I hunt high elevation in the morning and low elevation late evening.

I like subtle low spots through open bottoms. Sometimes they are so subtle they are hard to find. I like going in a day after a good rain. I look for the places that are holding the water.

That is interesting i never would of thought that with the swirling wind and wind being inconsistent in the open timber. What causes that in your own experiance? tho mine might be different then yours this particular piece is very flat, no real hills. I also did notice the low channels the rivers carved from flooding, the deer intentionally used along edges, definitely put a damper kinda in entry and exit when i ran out of kayak paddling ability for some acess. I was gonna use them as access the rest of the way to.


In my case the bottoms sit so low there’s not much air movement. Scent pools and ping pongs off vegetation. In the summer u can’t even breathe down in those bottoms. Once the canopy opens up I can lift my stench out of there most days. I also have a bit off rolling topography in mine. Those rolling smalls hills often are covered in thick softwoods. They serve the same purpose as the islands that someone mentioned. I don’t see near the numbers of deer or deer sign down in there. But the ones I do see typically are pretty good ones.
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upwind predator
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby upwind predator » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:37 am

jmaas07 wrote:I like a spot in between the 2 oxbows, cheat towards where it looks like the field creates a pinch point, should get some cruising there

That is actually a spot i scouted sunday, i liked the funnel between the field and river, for rut cruising and possible all day sit and one funnel between two fields below it, had good sign tracks that is so that one ill pry throw an opening weekend hunt at.
upwind predator
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Re: River Bottom tips/advice

Unread postby upwind predator » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:39 am

Boogieman1 wrote:
upwind predator wrote:
Boogieman1 wrote:I have a love/hate relationship with hunting river bottoms in my area. The love comes from I’ve seen most of my better bucks in them. The hate comes from unstable, swirling winds.

I pretty much don’t pay any attention to wind direction when I hunt the bottoms. I am hunting thermal! I hunt high elevation in the morning and low elevation late evening.

I like subtle low spots through open bottoms. Sometimes they are so subtle they are hard to find. I like going in a day after a good rain. I look for the places that are holding the water.

That is interesting i never would of thought that with the swirling wind and wind being inconsistent in the open timber. What causes that in your own experiance? tho mine might be different then yours this particular piece is very flat, no real hills. I also did notice the low channels the rivers carved from flooding, the deer intentionally used along edges, definitely put a damper kinda in entry and exit when i ran out of kayak paddling ability for some acess. I was gonna use them as access the rest of the way to.


In my case the bottoms sit so low there’s not much air movement. Scent pools and ping pongs off vegetation. In the summer u can’t even breathe down in those bottoms. Once the canopy opens up I can lift my stench out of there most days. I also have a bit off rolling topography in mine. Those rolling smalls hills often are covered in thick softwoods. They serve the same purpose as the islands that someone mentioned. I don’t see near the numbers of deer or deer sign down in there. But the ones I do see typically are pretty good ones.

That actually makes alot of sense ill keep that in mind. Even with this area bein real flat. It still makes sense.


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