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I hunted Big Branch Saturday 10/28 southwest of the Monique Rd. Access point. I saw no deer or hogs. I did see a little bobcat and a few squirrels. I saw very few acorns in my scouting after I got down from my stand. So far this year I have only seen one deer this year. I bumped a doe walking it in the dark opening morning. I've seen some pig droppings, and a few squirrels each trip. I've hunted twice prior to Saturday. I would like to thank the gentlemen who replied to my forum post. Deer hunting in Big Branch has turned out to be challenging. I enjoy some aspects of that. I wish I had the time to really scout the area a thoroughly as I would like. I'll post reports periodically if I see anything worth noting.

October 29, 2017 at 11:42pm

I am hunting in Big Branch for deer and hogs. I hunted several times last year. I tend to stay in the western section of the NWR. So far I have seen one deer in all my hunts (Opening morning, in the dark walking to my stand) and a bunch of pig sign. I have seen a reasonable number of squirrels for those interested. I could use some help as I feel like I am a bit clueless hunting this particular habitat. I have scouted out some areas with decent oak trees, Swamp Chestnut Oaks (Cow Oaks), live oaks, and various red oaks with decent visibility. I haven't found many acorns on the ground. Can anyone provide guidance on the deer and hog patterns in the area. What food sources seem to be used and when? I have another place to hunt in MS, but I want to harvest a couple of deer close to home and save my quota of deer at the other location for guests and new hunters I'm trying to introduce to the sport. I would really like to kill a hog as I have never killed one. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

October 15, 2017 at 8:07pm
A comment titled: Re: Deer hunting Big Branch in response to a report titled: Deer hunting Big Branch

I have a question on hip waders. Do you feel they offer a real advantage in Big Branch? I typically wear knee boots. My experience with Big Branch has been that the mud is so soft that there's little advantage to hip waders. If I went where the mud was that deep then the walking was too dangerous to be carrying a climbing stand. Has your experience been different?

October 31, 2017 at 9:09pm
A comment titled: Re: Deer hunting Big Branch in response to a report titled: Deer hunting Big Branch

Interesting, I'll see what I can do to check those areas out. Thanks for the input.

October 30, 2017 at 7:28pm
A comment titled: Re: Deer hunting Big Branch in response to a report titled: Deer hunting Big Branch

I really appreciate the response. I don't have as much time as I would like to scout, but I do what I can. I have generally tried to follow the approach you mentioned. My scouting has taken me to the edge of the large timber/ marsh and I have followed the edge noting locations with good oak trees (swamp Chestnut oaks, live oaks, and various red oaks) with reasonable visibility. I am trying to use a climbing stand. I am trying to find locations as close to the marsh as possible where I can climb and achieve reasonable visibility (30 yards). So far I have only seen one deer that I walked up on in the dark opening day. I did see a little bobcat this past Saturday. I have not seen many acorns yet. Can you tell be when to expect them to fall? I found just a few swamp Chestnut oak acorns and a few from red oaks. Do you know when the various species drop their acorns?
Are there any signs I should pay particular attention to, Acorns on the ground, deer droppings, etc. I am not hunting for bucks. I would prefer a doe or a hog if I had my choice due to my family's preference in table fare. I am really hunting Big Branch because it is close to home, and I want to save my deer at my lease in MS for guests/newer hunters. If I can figure out the right habitat to hunt and sign to look for it would help a bunch. I really appreciate the assistance and any advice.

October 29, 2017 at 11:25pm
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