Musical Chairs of the Swamp Property
Let’s dive into the first new stand, or musical chair, taking place at the swamp property. In the first part of this series I began explaining how diagnosis of sign, sightings (both on stand and cams) and further map studying led me back to the same area my gut had upon my first time at the Swamp Property; the Oak Flat. (Map to right from Part I now labeled for this stand)
Setting about 26 feet up a maple tree there is now a stand along the Northern side of the main trails which run East – West between the food plot and the open canary grass field. Now this isn’t the exact maple tree my father and I had a stand in from our first walk; which would later be taking down (but that’s explained in Part I)…this one is about 30-40 yards East of that one for the simple fact the woods open up a touch more and are not right in the huge swamp oaks with their millions of limbs which would have to be cut for shooting lanes. This spot also just like the other has a great short entrance from the canary grass field to the North, making entry and exit about as non-intrusive as possible.
This Oak Flat is a corridor of constant travel…however we will do everything we can to fight the urge to hunt it often till the good pre-rut movement and on into seeking occurs. We go in too early and too often (or
LOCATION OF STAND DISCUSSED HERE
with the wrong wind) and this main artery of deer movement which has occurred for years [ancestral trail] could be tainted to movement for the year.
The awesome thing about this stand is it covers every single season all in one location. Early season this trail is the connecting corridor from the Northern bedding to the alfalfa to the East and corn to the South and not to be forgotten holds many mature acorn producing oaks (many within bow range). Come post gun season when ag fields are harvested this stand is a mere 100 yards off from the brassica/oat/rye plot which will be hammered in the late season.
However, the most encouraging thing about this spot is the fact trail cam images last year had mature bucks on hoof during all hours using this as their choice of cover when seeking was occurring…at times heading to the Northern bedding then back down towards the South and back to the North during the same day…needless to say if hunted smart, this stand could easily produce not only a buck for myself but pops as well!
So the plan of attack is as follows…
-Hunt it no sooner than the 3rd week of the season…only breaking this if trail cam images are showing consistent and predictable movement of any of our target bucks. If this occurs I’d prefer it be that very first week of the season and then pulling out for weeks till sign says seeking is beginning.
-Only hunt it sparingly prior to Halloween weekend…it is from this point forward (as we lose this property come gun season) that this stand will see a lot of action and stand time should the wind play nice for the set up as seeking bucks will show up at any hour it would seem from past documented instances.
I've since writing this completed a short video where I visit the area just to the North of the stand discussed above...check it out below or at the Insider 2015 Page.
Kicks from 2013, represented a lot in the growth of understanding the Swamp Property. However, if anything it proved just how much we had yet to learn in order to close a chapter on one of the truly mature bucks running around, Kicks was estimated to be a 3 1/2 years old. With a lot of new stands hung for the 2015 season we have high hopes something much older hits the dirt come this fall....only time will tell.