Hunting along Streams and Rivers

Thom from Michigan asks,

I recently purchased a home with 13 acres to start my own little cabin in the woods in Southwest Michigan. It is small but mine and a dream come true! A 4 ft deep 20 foot wide trout river runs through the middle which dumps into Lake Michigan and the closest ag is a blueberry field a 1/4 mile away and the only corn or soybean is 1-2 miles away. Any suggestions on how to hunt a river bottom with fairly thick understory and mixed Ash, Elm, Boxwood & Pine? How does a river affect deer movement?

Bill responds,

Topic: Hunting along Streams and Rivers:

Hunting Along Streams

Deer will walk the banks of creeks, but they will also cross in convenient locations. These crossings can represent good stand sites.


Sounds really nice. I am sure you will love it.  To answer your question, deer tend to follow streams and rivers when traveling.  They will cross them, of course, but they usually cross in convenient spots and otherwise will walk along the bank a few yards from the water. You should find a trail there. If you can find a crossing, that would be a likely spot for a stand, so you can cover the crossing and the trail along the bank.

If you are interested in making the property hunt better, there are two things you can do: 1. you can make the cover thicker so the deer feel more secure there and so you can sneak in and out easily without being seen.  That will make the property hunt bigger. If possible, creating some kind of small food plot would also really improve the hunting.  Given the lack of any ag in the neighborhood, even a 1/2 to 1 acre clover plot would be really attractive to the deer.  Hope that helps and congrats on the new property. Have a great day. (4/30/21)


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