The Success Story

The alarm clock goes off at 3:30 AM, the opening day of Buck Firearm with plans to lay down a big ten-pointer. We pull up to the gate of public land, and trucks are parked everywhere. The blaze-orange army of hunters was just trying to feed their families. I knew to have any luck in the world, and I would have to push harder, walk further, climb higher, and go further than anybody else was willing to go.

After 7 miles of walking, I come to a crossroad wetland. The swamps of West Virginia deer tracks like an interstate. With 100 pounds of gear on my back, I pushed onward, trucking through waist-deep mud, water, and vegetation. Finally, I came to a point that was open and semi-dry. I get the stand-up 20-foot high bullets firing like the World Wars. 

After a while, the bullets stopped for what seemed like an eternity. I began to hear footsteps through the water that sounded much like a deer! Looking over, I saw him 50 yards away, closing the distance, one step at a time. Forty yards, then thirty yards, he suddenly caught wind of me. He quickly turned back and began circling behind me. I knew there would soon be no chance to harvest this buck. After a few seconds that felt like hours, I decided to take my shot at the buck of a lifetime. I took aim and held my breath as I lined up the shot. Shaking from intense adrenaline, I calmed myself to make an accurate shot. I slowly pulled the trigger, harvesting my first buck ever with a firearm.

Are Public Swamps Useful?

Buck in the swamps

Hunting Pressured areas is hard. People hunt dangerously close to each other as they push deer further away. In this case, you must go further than anyone else is willing to go to get a better chance at harvesting a deer. Even in heavily hunted areas, swamps produce big bucks because they simply feel comfortable. Older deer beds where predators can't reach them, and bucks rarely leave these sanctuaries during daylight hours. If you're willing to go the extra mile, you can kill mature bucks in swampy habitat. Sometimes, deer prefer the swamp because of the cover. Mature bucks will lock down on a swamp to ensure their safety. 

Picking The Best Bucks Hunting Locations in Swamps

Not all wetlands are the same. Some are wet, some are wet in certain areas, and some are dry islands with oaks. That's why you need to scout out your wetlands before you hunt them. You never know; you could be 100 yards from the absolute best hunting experience of your life. Hunting wetlands is way more superior in my opinion, but you have no idea about your wetland until you put boots on the ground. Wetlands are like snowflakes; many of them are the same, and a lot of them are never seen. 

In Conclusion

You could've been hunting the same thicket for years with little success and be 100 yards from your buck of a lifetime. Maybe he is locked down in the wetland or just passing through because he feels safe. Just because it's wet and just because it's muddy does not mean that deer will not use it. Some of the greatest hunts happen because of a discovery nobody knew about. If you have never had the chance to hunt a swamp or wetland, try it this year because I know you will succeed.


Braden Hodge

Braden Hodge


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September 08, 2023 — Braden Hodge
Tags: Deer Hunting

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