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Hunting in cattails

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So I have a area by my house where I duck hunt,all creek inlets etc, well it turns  out the deer population past few years is getting  good in there. Lots and lots of does they will even be down on the shore while duck hunting they don’t even spook when shooting.  Just curious how to hunt areas that is like all cattail. Very few small trees nothing you can really set up in. Does anyone hunt similar areas just not sure how to go about it, I tried last season setting up a blind near some heavy runs but it doesn’t really blend in.   Just looking for any ideas 

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it would only be for bedding  so setup on entrance or exit trails and hunt it like any other food source.  Other than that, about all you can do with Cattails are an organized "drive" with a group of safe hunters.  

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blind and blend it in with cattails

  • Winner 1

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I tried solo unsuccessfully. I knew a buck was in there. Permit bow.  I called /rattled him right out. He came running. It was prime time rut.  I could hear him before I saw him. Problem was he came out 50-60 yards away. Downwind. He caught me. Lol. 

Maybe you set up on the run, have someone upwind calling/rattling. He's gonna try and sneak out. Smell ya before he sees ya. 

Good luck. 

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Where those small trees are there is probably a buck bed. The little bit of raised ground keeps him dry. The does will probably be at the transition line where the cattails meet the hard woods. If you walked that transition line I’m sure you’d see a lot of deer sign. Then just follow the trail in to the cat tails to find  out exactly where he is bedding. If there are no trees to set up in I would find a scrape or rub that is actively being used on the transition line and set up over that with an off set wind. I don’t hunt many cattails because there are not a lot by me but this is what I’d try. 

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I hunt in a dense swamp in Virginia that has a lot of cattails. I don't even bother to go into them. I know that the bucks bed down on small islands inside of the cattails. I have several stands on trails that lead into the cattails and I only hunt them when the wind is right. It has paid off in the past. Here's a photo on the outer perimeter of the cattails near one of my stands.

20171109_150743.jpg

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If you can,  find a spot in the woods along the edge.  They will come out.  

Edited by Nomad

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Just set up with 100 duck decoys and a layout blind. The 36 pointer will think your duck hunting and walk right out for an easy shot.

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Set a blind up just outside the cattails and catch the coming and going. Probably be a good morning spot as they come back to bed.

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Set a blind up just outside the cattails and catch the coming and going. Probably be a good morning spot as they come back to bed.

Great area especially when it’s warm. I used hunt the edge of cattails in a particular spot. You know what is coming out just by the sound, bucks antlers make a lot of noise coming through as opposed to does. One thing i found, although it could have been just particular at this spot was the bucks only came out where the wind was coming from behind them. Was weird but consistent


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Grunted two nice bucks out of cattails.  One I got, and the big one, I did not.:-(

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Have the same situation where I hunt.  Best advice is coming from those saying to stay out of them and hunt trails to and from.  The bucks will be in them unless you bust them out.  Trails are like a maze inside with beds throughout.  Even with the noise they make during high winds, you'll never get a shot off if you were able to get close to one in there.

Hunt between them and a food source.  Search nearby saplings for rubs, and look for scrapes.  That may show you which trails he's more likely to use.  If there's a small patch of cattails off of the main body, make a natural blind out of it by sitting inside of it with a few windows to shoot out of.  

Edited by Greybeard

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How big of a area are we talking that your hunting ?   Down in this area of the state we have large tracts of cattails and meadow areas that hold a lot of deer and you could hunt the edges all you want, for the whole season for that matter, and never get a crack at them. It's like their own little world and they live in there and hardly leave the core area except at dark or those rare times during the rut, sort of like the areas in some spots as MD.   Have you ever scouted the area in the off season to know exactly what you have inside that core area ?   Blinds blended in good will work if you have slightly open areas, or where several trails come together. If you have access or come across any decent used tripod style stands I've had decent luck with them in the past.  Just need to think outside the box and adapt to the conditions that you have, good luck

Edited by Silver Belly62
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silver belly is right i know guys that have hunted meadow deer for many years and consistantly kill nice bucks they put tripod style and wood ladders  stands  against a tree or put 4x4s in the ground on the runs and now set up cameras to see who and when the trails are being used ..good luck it may take some work but they have killed some nice bucks that way...

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last year i had what sounded like a tank coming thru reeds and he hung up on me.

This off season you could try scouting and making your own trails that the deer will use and would be conducive to a tree setup you have in mind.

Make a killplot outside the marsh with some buckwheat, alsike clover or jointvetch that grows in wet areas. Good luck!

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If you can find any trees in there for a stand that overlooks a lot of the cattails put a stand in it and sneak in there early, first day gun, otherwise stay out for the most part.

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