John's Journal...


Click to enlargeMississippi River Swamps

Editor’s Note: Although outdoorsmen mainly think about hunting deer in southern swamps, swamps, bogs and flooded timber exist across most of the U.S. The deer that live along flood plains throughout the nation often have different movements and behavioral patterns than deer holding away from the water. These swamp bucks often defy reason and usually will be bagged by the men who understand why these deer do what they do. Let's look at the men who hunt swamp bucks across the country and the tactics they employ to take these animals.

Click to enlargeA few years ago Will Primos of Primos Game Calls in Flora, Mississippi stalked a buck that often waited in a slough in the Mississippi River swamps near where he hunted. But Primos never could get a shot at the buck. Finally he took a stand in the water. During the late afternoon, he watched the buck wade in the water and look back toward land. Just before dark the buck bedded down on the edge of the water. From this vantage point, the deer could see and hear anything coming from the land to him. "To get a shot at this buck, I threw a limb on the land near the buck to spook him back into the water," Primos said. "When the deer came within bow range, I took a shot but missed." To successfully hunt swamp bucks, get in the water with them, and put up a stand over the water. Click to enlargeThen climb in your stand, and wait for the deer to come through the water. You can go back and forth to your stand by boat or canoe and take more bucks.

Primos also scouts for deer in the water. When the water comes up and floods scrape lines, Primos still hunts over those same scrapes. "If you know where the scrapes are before the land floods, then locating them will be easier than if you have to wait for the water to recede to find those same scrapes," Primos promised. "If you don't know Click to enlargewhere the scrapes were before the water came up, as you scout flooded land, search for rubs on the sides of trees out in the water. Then look near a rub for an overhanging branch that may have hung over the scrape on the ground. Under flood-water conditions, bucks still will visit the overhanging branch and leave a scent from their eyes, mouths and foreheads. You can hunt scrapes even when you can't see the scrape on the ground because of the water."


Check back each day this week for more about SWAMP BUCKS ARE DIFFERENT...

Day 1 - Flooded Plains for Deer
Day 2 - Mississippi River Swamps
Day 3 - Northern Wetlands
Day 4 - Midwest Flooded Areas
Day 5 - Southern Swamp


Entry 280, Day 2