The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

Check Logs For More Than Snakes

One of the difficulties with public hunting lands is the possibility of two or more people scouting or even hunting the same area. Even if the area is remote and difficult to access, if you are willing to get out there, chances are someone else is too.

While scouting some public hunting lands which I thought was very difficult to get to, my son spotted a tell-tale sign someone else had been to the area before us.

Why was the area difficult to get to?  For one, it is a river bottom swamp area that is only accessible by boat.  If someone came in from the main river channel it would be around a half-mile walk.  If someone came in through the slough as we did, it was about an hour and a half boat trip from the nearest boat launch.

Using Google Earth to pre-scout, I thought the hunting location was remote enough it would be doubtful anyone would be in the area.  After my son and I fished our way through the sloughs and finally arrived at the location, we got out of the boat and walked around 30 feet, which was when my son spotted a cigarette butt on a log.

Cigarette butt on log

Let’s just say I was dumbfounded; how did the person get there?  We had not seen any other boats, which meant the hunter tied his boat off on the main river channel, crossed several creeks on foot, and walked at least half a mile.  When he arrived at this location he sat on a log, had a smoke, then possibly headed back.

The land is not that difficult to walk as there is little undergrowth.  Along a bog there was fresh rooting from wild pigs.  Even though there was a lot of pig sign, my son and I did not see a single deer scrape or rub.  This is a typical Southeast Texas river bottom with oak and sweet gum trees, along with snakes and mosquitoes.

River bottom hardwood forest

The question any hunter would probably ask themselves: Should they scout deeper into the area, or risk running into someone by going back to that same location?  Maybe this was a one-off and the person was in there squirrel hunting?  There is always the possibility that next time I go there, someone may have a tree stand set up.

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