ok buck masters i need your help. i lease 100 acres along river that routinley floods into my lease. theres only about 35 acres of hardwoods thats dry, the rest is wet willowy marshy stuff thats soft and deep, to deep to really get into even with waders. i hunt about 100 yards outside this crap in area of maple and white oaks along a creek flowing out of the swamp. my cams show many big bucks around my stand from 9pm to 2am but you never see them during legal hours. my sons who are much more agile than i, wore waders and tried entering the wet area and saw the trails from my stand to the swamp but as soon as they stepped in they sunk to their stomachs in muck and water so they turned around? i lie to you not when i say i saw 3 different bucks in the 150 class on my cams but how do i hunt them?
best tactic for this scenario
One will make a mistake and follow a doe at some point. They always do. Some bucks may only see daylight hours a few times in that Oct to mid Nov timeframe, just have to be in the woods when it happens. It's not easy...or everyone would be shooting 4+ year olds. Smart, old and hard to kill. That's why you see so many 2 and 3 year olds killed. they are smarter but not wise... They are a different creature once they hit 4.
Id sit tight and only move if you see a few deer doing the same thing twice. Be there on the third.
Last week I moved a stand at 3:30 PM cause I saw 3 bucks, different times pushing does. I was back setup by 4:30. It worked out, I saw a few more but nothing to shoot but now at least I could have killed every deer that walked by.
That's where a good set of sticks and a hang on is nice. I was just lucky that set I used sticks.
I wouldn't be chasing those deer in muck to your a hole. I hunt a river system, deer seem to avoid the water at all costs unless they have to.
Not a 150, but all my pics were night time and then bam, a fresh scrape is just in front of this deer. If your scrape(s) are on a trail that is in your range just wait it out cuz I don't think they are quite in lock down yet. That means they will check "fresh scrapes" and that could happen at any time of the day at this point.
And don't always trust that your cams are telling the whole story. I had an encounter with the biggest buck I've seen while on stand last year about 5 minutes before the season opened for the day. He was walking right towards my camera to get to me. No pictures.
Now that you had some scrapes open up, I'd put a cam on one of them. I'd bet you will get daytime pics at some point of a big buck.
Does on cams during the day? If you have does on cams, especially during the day, I would simply wait it out. You should be in stand now as many hours as possible until gun season. With multiple 150's in the area, I'd be shocked if you didn't have multiple encounters in the next couple weeks if you have enough hours in the stand. And hopefully, one of those encounters is close enough to get a shot off.
If you never see does in any of your sits, then I might consider getting "desperate." Decoy and calls. I call it "desperate" as I think anytime you start making noise or using decoys you run the risk of spooking as much or more than your chance of actually attracting anything.
What do you guys recommend for scents?
thanks for the tips guys. today was the first day i saw scrapes but no rubs. there are does on cams.
I agree with icefish and xrap. Set up some type of mock scrape with scent (don't cheap out either). Set a stand or blind. Let the spot rest a day or two. Sneak in using all precautions. Set your azz down, and don't get up fer nuthin'.
Oh yeah, and let us know how it turns out.
Set up near swamp, get in early, wait until shooting hours and use doe in estrus to try and get them to come to you. Had good luck doing that in similar situations. Also-the can-doe bleat-had really good luck. Better than grunting buck.
Even though all your pics are night time, now is the time for that to change. My cams just starting showing that last week. With the upcoming full moon starting now those bucks should transition to being on their feet for more hours of the day than they are not. My question to you is do you have does on cam? As long as you have does I think the magic of the rut should give you optimism that the night time thing will change. As hard as it may be (is for me anyways) time on the stand from here until gun season is what I suggest. This weekend I will start doing all day sits as those big boys will be on the prowl searching for love and you may be shocked to the activity you may have in the middle of the day. Good Luck!