Hunting swamps

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by oldnotdead, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Weekend Warrior

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    We have a small swamp that is rather narrow. No gun hunting can occur but I bow hunt it every so often. Its been 3 years since I took my first swamp buck out of there an 8 pt I heart shot that field dress 174. First deer I needed help retrieving. Well I decided to hike down to the swamp and check stands along the way. The creeks were roaring and several new springs made the hike a slip and slide in places. Got to the stand and things are looking great beds everywhere,trails,and the stand it's self is good. The fern are chest high, but knocking them over as I walked kept me from sinking. a couple of trees fell blocking trails so I was able to move those. The underground stream was louder than I've ever heard and the wild rose kept me from checking out a small island wild apple. I will be doing a few hunts there this year. I had a blast getting that swamp buck but in 40 yrs of hunting it was the first and I hope only, inedible deer I have ever shot. Well that wasn't sick or wounded. He only made it 20 yrds and dropped. I center punched his heart with a G5.
    Have any of you taken bad tasting deer out of a swamp? There was just nothing I tried that would rid the meat of tasting like a billy goat smells. I have shot many a rutting buck and processed hundreds of deer. NEVER had a problem and many of them you could smell a mile away . That bucks meat was just NASTY every bit of it even the back straps.. Dogs ate good that winter, but even they reacted to the smell.
     
  2. CToutdoorsman

    CToutdoorsman Weekend Warrior

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    My only guess for the smell and taste would be whatever his diet was! I am not 100% the biology of it but there was probably some swamp plant he was eating that was doing it! Like you said if he wasn't sick or anything I am taking a shot in the dark but his diet would be my guess. Or maybe the swamp water just seeped into his body :confused:
     
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  3. arrowflinger1

    arrowflinger1 Weekend Warrior

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    I had 2 that were close, I made myself power through them, I was glad when they were all used up!
     
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  4. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    yes, although not quite as bad as you describe...and also on a swamp buck.
     
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  5. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Die Hard Bowhunter

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    The " small swamp" had nothing to do with the flavor!.
     
  6. TheFitHunter

    TheFitHunter Weekend Warrior

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    I have shot swamp bucks that smelled, however the meat tasted just fine. At least to me.
     
  7. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Weekend Warrior

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    I don't know your purpose in quoting my saying small swamp. That is just our property. The rest is on the nieghbors. With the certainty in your punctuation, I would have thought an alternative opinion was to follow.
     
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  8. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Weekend Warrior

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    Your lucky, his glands didn't smell as bad as the meat . I soaked it in milk, I tried jerky, summer sausae, italian, tried the crock pot. It made us gag just opening the food saver bags. Any how that's why I haven't hunted down there since. I hunt for the meat. The spot is loaded with deer ,doe and buck,and I've seen and heard some epic battles. Fun place to hunt just have that smelly rank taste in my head.
     
  9. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    My old man shot an older buck down in a Michigan cedar swamp a few years back. Just a goofy deer. Still had reddish hue like a summer buck and only 5 points although big mass and likely at least 5 yo. He tasted real gamey even though he was hung for 2-3 days in cool temps.
     
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  10. jstephens61

    jstephens61 Weekend Warrior

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    Shot a small buck in Mississippi years ago on the edge on a swamp. Stunk the whole house up when ya tried to cook it. Just figured it was the diet of cotton bowls and pine cones.
     
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  11. Hatfield Hunter

    Hatfield Hunter Weekend Warrior

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    did you field dress the buck, then drag through the swamp ???? sounds to me as meat tainted by dragging through the yuk !!
     
  12. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Weekend Warrior

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    I'm glad you asked that. No that is the only reason he is the only deer I have ever shot I needed help retrieving. Let me tell you the last 200 ft we had to use rope and the Gator winch. That wasn't bad but then my son ,thank God he's a strapping 6'4" , had to lift him up into the gator bed. Thank God the Gator has a auto dump . They sit way too high..lol
    His hide was a muddy mess but I immediately hung and hosed him down ,cut out the tarsels and then gutted and skinned him. I never skin before cutting out the glands and surrounding fur.
     
  13. John T.

    John T. Weekend Warrior

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    Thought- would have hosing the deer had something contact with the meat? Not an expert on field dressing.
     
  14. Mod-it

    Mod-it Weekend Warrior

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    I've never had a deer from a swamp, but will offer up info about a bad gamey deer I shot several years ago.
    I really think it's something to do with what they have been eating. I have two primary spots that I deer hunt. One is an agriculture area where the deer's diet consists mainly of crops...the best deer I think I've ever ate was full of garbanzo beans when I cleaned him out just FYI as I found that interesting...and the other area is forest at an altitude of 4200-4600 feet. Pines, Douglas fir, white fir, tamarack type forest. Between the two spots I really don't notice much difference in the deer's flavor, although one would think the crop deer would be better, but the only stand out one was the garbanzo bean one.
    I have taken one deer that was in a different area from the above two spots, and it was the nastiest deer I've ever had to eat. I shot it in one of my old elk hunting areas, this area is only around 3500-4000 elevation so pretty similar to my above forest hunting area as far as vegetation. The deer was a young buck, in September so no rut activity yet, and it was bedded right before I shot it. I noticed it stand up from its bed, quickly judged the distance, and shot it. It was a good hit and the deer ran about 60 yards and went down. I did nothing different with this deer than I normally do, gutted it, took about 45 minutes total to get it to a logging road I could access with an atv and then back to camp. Once at camp it was skinned out right away. It was then hauled home and hung in a cooler for 9 days and then cut up. This deer would absolutely stink up the house when cooked, you know that strong gamey smell that the bad ones have. It tasted like it smelled, just plain bad. I really think it just had to have been feeding on something that made it taste that way.
    I only hunt whitetail deer, but it is common knowledge in this area that the Mule deer that are shot in open areas with sagebrush, starthistle type terrain aren't very good eating but the ones that are shot around agriculture eat just as good as a whitetail. It really has to be what they are feeding on IMO.
     
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  15. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Weekend Warrior

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    hosed, then cut out glands, then gutted. Nothing contacted the meat and I never use a gutting knife to skin a deer and never use a skinner to cut meat. The meat is also aged in a commercial frig. When the gang was all hunting I processed 6-8 deer a gun season and my 2-4 in bow. A good many people in town ate venison and had zero clue at pot luck dinners over the years.
     

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