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The passing of a friend and the impending sale of the property she was generous enough to let me hunt on these last five years has me scouting for new spots. In an effort to find some big deer and get as far away as possible from other hunters I'm venturing into the swamps. I'll be hunting on the ground with crossbow/rifle and a ghost blind for maximum portability. I've located some well used trails where deer are moving from the swamp out into farm fields; another promising spot involves paddling up a creek in my kayak (lots of sign near the edge of the water). Does anybody have any good general wisdom for when deer typically move into and out of cattail cover or transition areas between swamp and field? Any particulars kinds of features to focus on/ set up near? Any and all advice welcome.
 

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When we use to hunt the swamps late season we would find the trails going out or and sit in the swamp back away from the fields they were hedding for. Most time the deer would come out of the deep swamp and mill around just inside the field lines just before dark
 

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stay all day if you can and calling in situations like that can be effective because the bucks can't see what is making the noise so they sometimes will come investigate.
 

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Twice I've shot nice buck headed towards my buddies bait pile at about 3 - 4 P. M. while I was 1/4 mile away at an unbaited site. I hope this helps.
 

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Be in the swamps on opening day of rifle. The bucks will gravitate to them to get out of the line of fire.
If you have to hunt heavily hunted public land during gun season thick swamp stands can be very good. It does usually take some preseason scouting to find travel routes and if you don’t need at least hip waders to get in then it’s sometimes not as successful, but just finding good spots inside very thick cover where shots are very close (25 yards is a long one) can surprise you. I concluded many years ago that the vast majority of deer hunters want to set up where they can see a long way and there are situations where the opposite is far more successful for good hunting. It’s not just opening day of gun season, but is certainly a good bet then in many areas.
 

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Watch Michigan Gone Wild's deer season videos. They get way way up in a big white pine, and watch down into marshes, not so much swamps. With a rifle, it works pretty good. My best rifle spot is very similar, way up high so I can see into cattails ect.
 

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Dan Infalt has some viable techniques using hunter pressure and good scent control. If he starts down the road to a rant about CWD, turn it off and move on to another video. Off season scouting is the key, and scouting during rain events is a must.

One Magic spot is a transition zone where three types of vegetation converge-usually old field grasses, cattail marsh, and lowland conifers. These are usually found in old beaver floodings that have been abandoned and started to transition back. Look for small pockets of high ground and some rubs around any buck beds you find Most of the time these bucks will get up and rub near their bedding spot, so if you find a rub line of impressive marking on 3-6" diameter trees, just play connect the dots and head in the direction your compass points to on the rubbed sides of the tree

I've told this story numerous times, but it is a good illustration of how patient these deer can be with humans around. I was grouse hunting down the Friday Creek Flooding in south Marquette County, east of Rock. While working the transition cover of semi-wet ground on the back of the flooding along a line of spotted alder that graded-over to wrist thick aspen stands I came up on a thick blow-down of an old spruce about twelve feet across and four feet high. My dogs swung around and hesitated staring at the blow down. My first reaction was...porky, so I got the gun up and moved closer staring into the flow down when I saw something move; an ear flick! But it just didn't register until this buck blew up out of there. All I could see was rack, which I would guesstimate at low 140s. There is a deer club about a 1/4mile north of this spot with multiple blinds and four food plots (counted 'em via Google Earth) so I never put any time in on trying to kill that deer, but I did register the spot. I have kicked two more bucks out of that exact spot over the years prior it being cut over.
 

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. . . One Magic spot is a transition zone where three types of vegetation converge-usually old field grasses, cattail marsh, and lowland conifers. . . .

I've told this story numerous times, but it is a good illustration of how patient these deer can be with humans around. I was grouse hunting down the Friday Creek Flooding in south Marquette County, east of Rock. . . ..
Small world. One of the best spots I hunted was on state land just north of the Friday Flooding just like this. There was one point like the center of a pie. Two opposing wedges were recently select cut hardwood, one wedge was a field the DNR would occasionally cut, and the fourth wedge was a cedar swamp. Usually there was a scrape near this point.

I set up about 200 yds. down wind of the point, and the bucks would come out of the cedar swamp about 1/2 way between me and the point. BTW, Friday Flooding is actually in Delta Co.
 
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Small world. One of the best spots I hunted was on state land just north of the Friday Flooding just like this. There was one point like the center of a pie. Two opposing wedges were recently select cut hardwood, one wedge was a field the DNR would occasionally cut, and the fourth wedge was a cedar swamp. Usually there was a scrape near this point.

I set up about 200 yds. down wind of the point, and the bucks would come out of the cedar swamp about 1/2 way between me and the point. BTW, Friday Flooding is actually in Delta Co.
Ooops! You're right! I won't tell you how many years I have hunted grouse down there and referenced it as Marquette county.
 
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