Spring floods bring hunting opportunities
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Has your favorite hunting area flooded due to spring rains? Depending on how high the flood waters got and what sort of equipment you have access to, a flood might just result in some great hunting opportunities.
So, don't despair and read on to see how you can take advantage of a flood in your hunting area.
The first places to get hit during a flood are low-lying swampy areas. Since these places are often favorite sanctuaries for deer and hogs, the animals will quickly get pushed out of their hiding places to higher ground. Like most other mammals, deer and hogs can swim pretty well, but they still need dry land for bedding and feeding.
For this reason, a flood can work to the advantage of a hunter by reducing the amount of dry land available for the animals. Think of it this way: If you have 100 acres to hunt and water is covering 60 acres, then all the animals that normally live there will be compressed into the remaining 40 acres during a flood.
Put simply, if you're hunting those patches of dry land, then your odds of success go way up. Depending on where the dry land is and how high the water gets, you might be able to access the high ground without too much trouble.
On the other hand, you might need your duck waders and/or a boat to get into those areas. A word of caution, though: While you're probably going to be fine walking through standing water, don't ever try to walk through flowing water, especially when wearing waders.
Tracks will be much easier to spot in the muddy ground as well, so you should quickly be able to tell if you're in the right area. If you don't spot any fresh tracks or sign, move to another piece of high ground.
As always, the areas that are hardest to access are probably most likely to hold hogs and/or deer. So, if you're still not having any luck, you should consider using a watercraft of some sort to hunt other areas that are more isolated and difficult for other hunters to access.
Once you start finding a lot of fresh sign, the same rules as usual apply: Find food sources and cover, and you'll likely locate your quarry close by.
When the water levels start to recede, focus your efforts on hunting the flooded timber right along the waterline. Hogs in particular will probably be rooting near the edge of the water to get the first crack at any new sources of food exposed by the ebbing water.
If you have a canoe or kayak that you can use to quietly cruise through the woods early in the morning, you stand a good chance of ambushing some unsuspecting hogs. That same canoe can also make it much easier to haul a dead hog or deer out of the woods at the end of the hunt.
A flood can make for some outstanding hunting, especially if you're properly equipped and prepared to go where other people can't or won't go. Of course, make sure you use a little common sense and exercise caution when you're dealing with water.
All that being said, the hunters who are willing to brave some uncomfortable conditions by hunting during a flood are often rewarded.
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