: Little help, which side is downwind if I'm hunting a cypress head?
June 7th, 2012, 11:06 AM
Hunting good old central Florida public land and have managed three deer in three years by just sitting there long enough. This year I want to actually hunt like I have a clue what I'm doing rather than just hoping, so could use a little help from some more experienced Floridians. I'm looking to up my odds on does (meat) for the most part but advice on buck behavior is of course well recieved.
I generally hunt the edges of large cypress heads that transition abruptly to palm brush, but I don't know which way I want the wind to be blowing as I'm not sure whether the deer is going to hop up out of a bedding in the palm brush or wander out of the cypress edge thickets to feed on palm sprouts. I've seen deer appear out in the palm brush during the day and walk towards a cypress head, but I've also taken one that was content to stay in the thicker edge of the cypress head when I used to hunt inside them.
To simplify I guess the question is do I want my sent blowing out toward the open palm brush or into the cypress head. Or does the plan change with morning and evening?
Any advice or experience appreciated.
June 11th, 2012, 06:15 PM
that would depend which way you are counting on the deer to be coming from. i hunt from climbers and like to hunt atleast 20 feet up. being that most cypress heads are going to be too thick to see into, i am guessing you are hunting with your back to them and over looking the palmetto flats. generally in the mornings, the thermalls will be travelling up as the air temp. rises. meaning if the wind is really light to non existant then i wouldn't worry about it's direction too much. now in the afternoons the thermalls tend to fall due to the cooling temps. this means your scent will more than likely travel towards the ground unlike in the morning where it will usually rise. i would keep the cypress head to my back, sit near places where multiple trails converge or near buck sign (rubs and scrapes). since you are hunting these transition lines, you should be finding plenty of buck rubs. make sure you practice good scent control. i wash all of my hunting clothes in scent free/UV killer. i then hang them outside to dry. i also wash with scent free soap/shampoo the morning of my hunt. try to get you some rubber snake boots if you don't have any right now. rubber will not hold scent as much as other boot materials like leather and canvass.
during the summer when i scout, i will take pruners with me to clip out my walking trail to the trees i tend to hunt. this way you don't make a ton of noise walking through palmettos to your stand in the morning.
June 12th, 2012, 08:40 AM
Thanks Camocopc, that is basically what I'm doing now, my real concern being I don't know from which direction to expect the deer. Not that I would really want to spend the day staring into a cypress thicket, done that, it is boring.
I have Danner water proof snake boots for getting through the swamp I think they are rubber/canvas, I keep them in the hunting bin so they should be fairly scentless. For some reason I never thought to clear out much of the brush while scouting, that is a great idea, I'll have to start bringing my clippers when I take the wife "bird watching" in a couple of weeks.
June 21st, 2012, 09:08 PM
Sounds like you're hunting 3 Lakes or Bull Creek. You're doing the right thing for that type of habitat. I position myself on the edges where I find trails. All you can really do is observe and adjust. Wind is really unpredictable around cypress heads.
June 22nd, 2012, 11:09 AM
Thanks Duckbill. Yea, I'm hunting three lakes, it isn't the best but it does offer some opportunities for those willing to take a longer walk. Do you often hunt three lakes? Would love to chat with anyone who is successful in these areas.
June 23rd, 2012, 11:38 PM
Well basically in Florida we have 2 types of general winds. The predominent wind is the southeaster. When it cools off in December or so,we get a general northWESTERNER.
I set up as best I can anticipating deer or hog intersecting me so that my scent wont blow over where the animal is more than likely traveling,,,usually a trail. Heat does make things change as was mentioned thermal climes,,,but also SWEAT !!! lol Walking long ways makes u sweat more.
For a strange area,if it were me? I'd get up some of the tallest Australian Pines as high as I could and sit and glass during prime hours,,,early morning and late afternoon to find and see what the critters do. Stand time is key in a strange place. After getting your game plan,get up in a good tree and intercept the next critter. Deer and bucks particulaly ,like to bed right on the edge of swamp "ponds". I'd try to locate a few of those around those palmettos and outside of the oak hammocks. Oak hammocks hold acorns,which all critters gravitate to. There is always alot of action in any cypress swamp but if u cant get too far in,the oak hammocks usually will be good feeding areas to browse acorns.
June 25th, 2012, 11:35 AM
Thanks Mikey. Those points bring to mind a couple of spots that are between swamp ponds, oaks, and bedding areas. I'll have to look close at these when I'm scouting next month.
June 26th, 2012, 12:48 AM
Joe, you're not too far from Green Swamp W.M.A. and Richloam W.M.A either. have you ever looked into these?
June 26th, 2012, 08:48 AM
CamoCop, I have looked at the data and regs for those areas but have never actually been out to hunt them. Last couple of years I have only hunted three lakes and just stayed there after archery season because it is close to home (Palm Bay) and I have a couple of good areas (so I think)....but, last year I just didn't enjoy gun season there and will be looking elsewhere. So, this year when archery ends at Three Lakes I will be looking for somewhere with a later archery season including Green Swamp and Richloam, (also Apilachicola).
The harvest data for both of those looks quite a bit lower than Three Lakes. Not sure if that is accurate or if they just don't have manned check stations all season. Do you prefer these WMAs over Three Lakes? Would appreciate any info on them, especially just a general comparison to Three Lakes- hunting pressure, deer population, and just overall are they enjoyable to hunt.
June 26th, 2012, 08:08 PM
Green Swamp is manned throughout the entire season but Richloam is only manned the first 9 days. i have taken numerous hogs out of Green Swamp and deer out of Richloam. Richloam is a dog hunt area, so you have to put up with that. however the dogs keep the deer moving around all day. Green Swamp is only a still hunt area that gets hunted hard the first part of the season. about mid ways through the season it empties out. both have great hunting if you do a little walking. if you plan to hunt Richloam, you will need a 4wd with some kind of good mud tires. Green Swamp has maintained road system. if you do end up scouting here, let me know. i can give you good starting points.
June 27th, 2012, 08:39 AM
I have a 4wd tacoma with good 33" mud tires, but she's no trail rig. Haven't put lockers or a winch on it since it is my daily driver, the tires are bad enough on the highway with an old truck. It's just enough to get me down the worst roads at Three Lakes at the beginning of the season when most others won't venture there due to the high water and muck.
Richloam and Green Swamp archery seasons start just as Three Lakes ends, and there are no dogs allowed in Richloam until general gun in Nov, this could work out very nicely for two months of archery. Green Swamp is only open weekends so I may lean towards Richloam if I can get the vacation time and a camping spot which appears to be limited there.
I'll start google earth scouting, but would appreciate any pointers. PM me if you don't want to post it.