Welcome to the jungle!
Atchafalaya Delta WMA is in great shape for the 2011-12 deer season.
There is plenty of browse on the Atchafalaya Delta WMA going into the 2011-12 deer-hunting season.
I got an early start, and it was few degrees cooler than normal as I walked into the woods. First impression was all the mosquitoes that I didn't see or feel on the first trip wanted to make me pay today.
Yes, it was classic Delta skeeter time. They were very bad inside the myrtle cover, but less so out in the open. The deer flies were actually worse; they were relentless, and my head net was the only thing that saved me.
Hog sign at the first location was rampant. There were hog trails, wallows, rubbings and beds everywhere. After I moved in deeper, however, the deer trails mixed in with the hog sign.
Again on this trip, navigating through the myrtles and fields was not difficult. Now on your first trip, you might think I am crazy for saying that, but for me the difficulty is relevant to my past experiences.
Some years it has been almost impossible, because you had to hack your way in, through every inch, with brush 10 to 15 feet high. So this year it is not bad at all.
There was plenty of browse at this location, as well.
I did notice that walking in from where I anchored my boat, the mud was much softer and you sank deeper than normal. Usually the bottom on the river is very firm and hard, with little sinkage when you walk on it.
But after hurricanes, the tidal surge leaves a layer of sediment that is soft and lays on top of the river bottom.
Apparently, the spring flood did the same thing. The sludge makes for more difficulty walking in and out, but even more inconvenient is the fact, that if you sink far enough and the tide is high enough, you have to go in and out with hip boots on.
Today the tide was low, so I was able to get a pretty good look at the sandbar situation. I haven't seen any new sandbars; it's the old ones are just higher and wider now.
If you go down there at high tide, I would advise you not cut the "corners" too closely, like you may have in the past. Many of the sandbars stick out much farther into the channels than before.
My second scouting location was the Big Island. Getting in was fairly easy; again, I stayed in the middle of all the channels to be safe.
The channel coming in from the river to the game warden's camp seems to be very narrow and will be difficult when the fog starts to set in this fall.
I have some reflector tape that I am going to put on the poles that don't have any to help out the navigation.
The area I scouted on the Big Island did contain hog sign. Last season was the first time I, personally, found hog sign on the Big Island.
Deer sign was consistent with what I found last season. Same trails in the same places. Plenty of browse, mosquitoes and deer flies, but not quite as bad.
I finished up around 10:45 a.m., and was very satisfied with the amount of area I covered and the sign I found.
Looking forward to scouting trip No. 3 next week!
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