John's Journal...


Click to enlargeMidwest Flooded Areas

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 Click to enlargewill 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.

Mark Drury, the creator of M.A.D. Calls from Missouri and the co-owner of Drury Outdoor Videos, hunts water bucks in northern Missouri and Illinois. "I mainly hunt flooded sloughs coming off the main river systems," Drury explained. "When a river floods and pushes water back into the woods, deer will funnel around the ends of these sloughs. Imagine a 12-lane highway barricaded except for two lanes. All the cars going in both directions must pass through those two lanes. You can expect with deer this same type of traffic jam when Click to enlargewoodlands flood and you hunt at the end of a slough that protrudes deep into a woodlot. A huge amount of deer traffic comes from both directions around that slough. However, I've also learned the biggest bucks in an area don't use the trails around the ends of the sloughs but usually either wade or swim across the slough 20- to 30- yards away from the end of the water."

Drury also mentions if you're hunting trophy bucks not to hunt main deer trails, even around flooded timber. "Because big bucks don't move like does, I look for the dim trails near water without as much traffic on them. I want to set up a tree stand for the wind to blow my human odor out over the Click to enlargewater away from the deer. Then if the buck comes from the land to the water, the buck won't smell me. Since I know bucks will walk in shallow water, I want the wind in my face carrying my human odor out over deep water. "When I'm hunting flooded timber, I like to approach my stand by boat. Then I leave no human odor in the woods to spook the deer. Also I can hunt from the same stand for several, consecutive days if the wind doesn't change."


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 4