John's Journal...

Use Swamp Fox Tactics to Bowhunt Wetland Buck Deer with Will Primos and Mark Drury

Day 5: How to Choose Your Equipment for Hunting Water Deer

Editor’s Note: The Swamp Fox of the Revolutionary War appeared, attacked and evaporated like a ghost without leaving a trace. No one knew when or where he would strike again. He became the most-feared guerilla fighter of his time. He lived in the wetlands and swamps, and no one knew these regions better than him. To take bigger, older trophy bucks, you have to go where others won't, at a time when others won't hunt, use tactics others don't know and practice the cunning and stealth of the Swamp Fox, Francis Marion of Georgetown, South Carolina. Here's what you can learn from this Revolutionary War hero and his fight for freedom that will enable you to take more and bigger deer along the flood plains of major river systems throughout the country.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe British Regulars didn't follow the Swamp Fox and his men into the Peedee and the Santee River swamps, because they had no trails to follow into and out of the unfamiliar waters. The fear of getting lost in a swamp and staying lost may prevent bowhunters from going into flooded timber. However, with a hand-held GPS receiver, you can venture into a swamp, mark stand sites in the water as waypoints and return to your vehicle by day or night without becoming lost. You also can use Bright Eyes fluorescent thumb tacks to identify your stand sites in the dark.

To hunt flooded timber, wear insulated waders, or use some type of boat. I prefer a canoe, because I can load it with my tree stand, my daypack, my bow and other equipment. I'll use my GPS to guide me and paddle straight to my tree-stand site. Once at my stand site, I'll throw lightweight camouflage netting over my canoe to keep deer from spotting it. I always put up my tree stand, generally a lightweight fixed-position one, at least the day before I plan to hunt and use screw-in or strap-on type steps. Any time I’m placing a tree stand, climbing in a tree stand or hunting from a tree stand, I wear a safety harness.

Too, just like you won't go into a tree stand without a safety harness, never wade or paddle into a swamp when bowhunting without wearing a personal flotation device. I recommend SOSpenders (, a lightweight, comfortable, flat, neck-and-chest life preserver that feels like you're wearing a pair of suspenders. If you step into a stump hole or a beaver run when wading or perhaps fall out of your canoe or your tree stand, you simply pull a cord on the SOSpenders to inflate the life jacket. I also take two waterproof flashlights and extra batteries with me.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIf you're hunting in high-pressure regions, you can expect the deer to move early in the mornings, coming from the land to their bedding areas out in the water. Then late in the afternoon when they leave their bedding spots, they'll move onshore to feed. They also may move in the middle of the day from one location to another, while most hunters eat lunch.
Successful archers who take big swamp bucks often resemble fishermen rather than bowhunters and don't worry about the hassles involved in hunting these types of places. If you'll make the extra effort to hunt where no one else does in wetlands, you'll encounter and take those older-age-class bucks that no one else ever even sees. You'll have to use extreme tactics for success, just like Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, did to help win freedom for our nation.

To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle books “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property” and "How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows”, click on them, or go to, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
Tomorrow: Know the Advantages of Hunting Deer in Water

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Check back each day this week for more about "Use Swamp Fox Tactics to Bowhunt Wetland Buck Deer with Will Primos and Mark Drury"

Day 1: The Techniques of the Swamp Fox During the Revolutionary War Will Help You Take Buck Deer
Day 2: Know the Advantages of Hunting Deer in Water
Day 3: Learn Water Tactics to Take More Deer with Will Primos and Mark Drury
Day 4: Hunt the High Spots above the Water Line and Scrapes in Water to Take More Deer
Day 5: How to Choose Your Equipment for Hunting Water Deer

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Entry 735, Day 5