Old info but still relevant - someone asked me the other day, 'was that story about the missing hunter on Joyce true?'
Yes, it was back in the mid 1980s if memory serves me correctly. I've hunted Joyce since 1976 when mallard limits were the order of the day, and wood ducks were everywhere. Had what we called 'the walk-in' hole about 2 miles south of the nature boardwalk, was good for about 15 minutes of shooting like clockwork from dawn to 10-15 minutes, walk out with 2 woodies per man or more if you were illegal. North Pass to Middle Bayou, then as far north as you could go in the motorboat, then push pole for 30 minutes North Northwest, hunt duck from a tree blind, shooting them at 20 yards and 3 feet off the water, or let em land and shoot on the jump. Best mallard hunting other than what I experienced off of Reserve Canal. Those days are long gone, my friend.
Back to the lost hunter. Yes, this was in the mid 1980's, he went in on Kliebert's Ditch, they found his pirogue and some clothes hanging on a tree. My guess is hypothermia or cottonmouth, too cold for gators. Or, drowning. Let me tell you there are some bottomless holes in that swamp - I have many times had to pull myself out by clinging to the branches of a nearby bush or tree. You WILL NOT walk this swamp once you're north of Owl Bayou. Owl Bayou and the little sloughs north of North Pass area has a fair amount of bull tongue and other plants with large root mass that you can walk on - you'l learn pretty quickly which vegetation is safe to walk on and which is not.
If you go, tell someone where you're going and when you'll be out. Bring GPS and batteries, don't think you're a wussy if you use flagging tape, but take it down on your way out or you'll blaze a trail for everyone else! Good Luck!