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Am I too deep in the woods?

3717 Views 33 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Garelval
I found a swamp, deeeeeeep in the woods. It's a good 1.5 mile hike getting back there.
It's far away from easy public access. People with adjacent private property are pretty much the only guys I've seen out there. They still aren't putting much pressure on the deer.
So I thought it would be a little honey hole.

I figured the deer would come out of the swamp, from bedding. But after 2 years of scouting (without trail cams) I've only seen one doe walking out of the swampish part.

First question. Do deer bed in swamps? Do they mind a little mud and water? (Picture of the swamp I wanna drag a trophy from)

Second part, is that I'm also far from most cornfields. So I'm wondering if I'm too deep in the woods. Too far from the easy pickings of the agriculture.
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In my experience, deer aren't going to walk in a bog unless absolutely necessary. They like an easy walk just like anything else. I'd look elsewhere.

I have seen one time where the deer actually bedded out in a bog however. It was one row of sparse pine trees connecting 2 peninsulas that were quite a distance from one another. The ground was only slightly higher then the rest of the bog. I walked out there mostly out of boredom and found a heavy runway, couple of beds, a 5 pt. shed that the mice had half eaten. I knew one guy had a tree stand at one of the peninsulas. The other peninsula was pretty thick and wouldn't have presented much of a shot. So I just moved on from the area. Still good to see for the experience though.
Is it a good 1.5 mile walk because you are avoiding private property? Not many areas where you can walk 1.5 miles in without walking out the other side. Maybe more common in the big woods of the UP.
I found a swamp, deeeeeeep in the woods. It's a good 1.5 mile hike getting back there.
It's far away from easy public access. People with adjacent private property are pretty much the only guys I've seen out there. They still aren't putting much pressure on the deer.
So I thought it would be a little honey hole.

I figured the deer would come out of the swamp, from bedding. But after 2 years of scouting (without trail cams) I've only seen one doe walking out of the swampish part.

First question. Do deer bed in swamps? Do they mind a little mud and water? (Picture of the swamp I wanna drag a trophy from)

Second part, is that I'm also far from most cornfields. So I'm wondering if I'm too deep in the woods. Too far from the easy pickings of the agriculture. View attachment 855391
i don't think you're too deep in the woods so much as in the wrong spot

if that spot was right next to a cornfield it still probably wouldn't be heavily used. Not enough cover AND its got some water? Nothing really appealing for deer
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Just remember, the more time in the area the more scent you leave.
I’ve hunted tag alder, cedar and spruce/fir bogs and swamps for years and done well in them and near them. Each of those most importantly provided cover that was often more secure than surrounding lands, and bucks will use that cover to bed and does being pushed will also sometimes head for similar cover to either avoid or breed rutting bucks. Each of those also had some degree of food in the form of browse but cover was the main draw.

A key thing in the areas I hunt is difficulty of access by people because it’s too wet, too thick or both and that makes it secure and also lowers visibility to where shots greater than about 25 yards are rare without shooting lanes cut. The spot your showing looks more like a cranberry or similar bog, and I’d listen to the guys telling you how use it by hunting around it, or scout more for other spots.

In seriously thick & wet cover distance is not so important.
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Too me it sounds like almost everyone says its not a good spot so forget about it.
Probably a perfect location for a really nice buck to hang his hat lol.
This is true, but it is pointless hunting a spot with no deer sign also. I’ve shot many deer over the years on public land by scouting in season and then setting up according to what I find. Just because you might bump a buck out of his security cover doesn’t mean he is gone for good.
Just remember, the more time in the area the more scent you leave.
I’ve hunted a similiar type of area in your photo without much luck years ago. The last 13 years I’ve been hunting a swamp approx 20 acres in size and water depth is 2-4ft deep with quite a few small dry islands. I been surprised by the amount of deer that bed on the islands once the hunting season starts. Thicker cover swamps with water and dry ground are usually a good bet. Deer have no issues going into water to get to dry ground in heavy cover swamps. Seen many good bucks while duck hunting thick swamps I couldn’t even move in, while deer cruise right on through no problem.


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Hunt the sign, not the area. I have found more areas that LOOK like "OH MAN, that is where they are!" then you get there and sign is scarce. You pass all kinds of sign on the way in and get all excited, only to be let down.

I still struggle with this, like most I am sure. But one of my best friends, and admittedly a much better hunter than I, with a ton of out of State experience told me, "Hunt the sign, the deer are where they are, don't overthink it." I repeat that to myself all of the time.

A lot of guys wanna get miles off the track, but reality is you rarely have to.

Not dogging you at all, but reading the OP just makes me think of myself so many times.
From his Rivian?
Guy on MS getting ready to sight in rifle...
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So many good opinions, thank you all. I can see now what y'all mean for sure. I always walked through the good signs to get to the 'heart' of the deer woods. In scouting I've found some good looking areas it's just not where I dreamt of pulling a trophy out of. Great wisdom guys, thank you 😊
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