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View Full Version : Pointers, newbie FL bow hunter



Teh Wicked
July 31st, 2009, 08:27 PM
Just curious if anyone would be willing to share some tips or trick to hunting in FL?

I was an avid bow hunter in WV growing up, then I joined the military and havent hunted since.

One thing I notice is our heat here is outragous! so im sure light camo is a major thing to invest in. Also, what about the bug problems? our bat sized blood suckers have to be a problem.

Is it more benficial to hunt with the rut in your game plan, or just kind try and zero in on other habits?

QuickReflex
August 1st, 2009, 12:17 AM
Bugs & heat are major issues , youll need to stay hydrated & get yourself a T- cell ASAP if you havent already as it is nearly impossible to be still @ day break & dusk w/o one.

Depending on where your hunting the rut may or may not be worth the effort as here in the southern region its about done now. however some central & northern areas its not yet there. CK out the FWC website for more info for your areas predicted rut.

By the way Welcome & good luck hope this will help.

FredGarvin
August 1st, 2009, 09:03 AM
Just curious if anyone would be willing to share some tips or trick to hunting in FL?

I was an avid bow hunter in WV growing up, then I joined the military and havent hunted since.

One thing I notice is our heat here is outragous! so im sure light camo is a major thing to invest in. Also, what about the bug problems? our bat sized blood suckers have to be a problem.

Is it more benficial to hunt with the rut in your game plan, or just kind try and zero in on other habits?


Welcome bud!

Here's a couple of suggestions:

1. I always seem hear from out of state hunters about these fantastical mocassin/poisonous snake, alligator, swamp thing stories...

No, I've never had a snake chase after me :smile:

It just means that you need to pay a bit more attention as to where you step. And you know what? It's a good thing to move slower because you just might sneak up on a group of pigs or a deer and give yourself a decent shot ;)

2. Buy a ThermaCell WITH the holster. In the A.M., fire it up IN THE TRUCK because it takes a few minutes to get going. By the time you get to your spot it'll be going good --- the butane lasts about 10hrs, the pads last about 3-4hrs.

Get the holster to strap to your pack when you are walking. If you are walking slow enough, it will work/be effective. You can also strap it to your tree stand.

3. Wake up a bit earlier to give you some time to hydrate. Water is good, I prefer to chug some Gatoraide. Get a pack that has a hydration bladder or strap a large water bottle (Publix supermarkets sells a perfect sized one that I strap to the top of my lumbar pack).

4. Google earth or MSN maps are your friends. :shade:

From my experience on the ground, I tend to find buck rubs along the outside edges of Cypress heads. With that said, many of my setups are in and around cypress and where possible, oak stands in proximity.

Where are you exactly and where do you plan to hunt? (Public land or lease)?

Good luck bud!!!

Duckbill
August 1st, 2009, 11:06 AM
Welcome!
The 1st thing to do is to FORGET EVERYTHING you know about deer hunting WV.:wink:

I concur with what the other two fellas said. Scent is the biggest enemy and, for me, the toughest part of bowhunting in FL. It's impossible to remain scent free. The problem I notice is that your scent tends to linger in the flatwoods rather than blow on out. Especially between cypress ponds, the winds seem to swirl around a bit.

I look for areas where a cypress swamp, slough, or creek borders hardwoods. I find that the deer tend to travel on these edges.

The thremacell is an absolute necessity.

Wet is good. As a lifelong Florida hunter, one of my favorite sounds in the world is that of a deer walking through water. Especially if the sound is coming in my direction.

Good luck and be careful

FredGarvin
August 1st, 2009, 11:19 AM
Welcome!
The 1st thing to do is to FORGET EVERYTHING you know about deer hunting WV.:wink:

I concur with what the other two fellas said. Scent is the biggest enemy and, for me, the toughest part of bowhunting in FL. It's impossible to remain scent free. The problem I notice is that your scent tends to linger in the flatwoods rather than blow on out. Especially between cypress ponds, the winds seem to swirl around a bit.

I look for areas where a cypress swamp, slough, or creek borders hardwoods. I find that the deer tend to travel on these edges.

The thremacell is an absolute necessity.

Wet is good. As a lifelong Florida hunter, one of my favorite sounds in the world is that of a deer walking through water. Especially if the sound is coming in my direction.
Good luck and be careful

Without a doubt, so true!!! You can hear a group of pigs trotting thru a cypress way before you'll see them. And really, this is the MAIN benefit of a ThermaCell --- before all I had was a shannon's bugtamer jacket, which works great but you couldn't hear a dang thing with the squitoes buzzing next to your ears.

Forgot to mention in my previous post about my mosquito "system"....

I use both a ThermaCell and Shannon's bug tamer. Especially good when trying to setup a climber at O'dark :30 and the mosquitos just make it difficult. Keeping my pack on my back, with the ThermaCell running and a Shannon's jacket on works great. I just take it off when I get settled in.

RE: scent control...

I concur with Duck. It's simply impossible to not sweat, I don't care what time it is in the A.M. --- it's the humidity that gets ya. So here's my "system"...

I wear a short-sleeve camo shirt going in. No doubt it's saturated wet with sweat, so I pack another camo shirt in and change shirts when I get settled into the stand. Between switching shirts, I wipe down with unscented baby wipes, and stuff the wet shirt into a ziplock and then into my pack.

Not real sure how much it helps to cut down the scent, probably not much, but it sure makes sitting more comfortable. :shade:

Duckbill
August 1st, 2009, 01:23 PM
Without a doubt, so true!!! You can hear a group of pigs trotting thru a cypress way before you'll see them. And really, this is the MAIN benefit of a ThermaCell --- before all I had was a shannon's bugtamer jacket, which works great but you couldn't hear a dang thing with the squitoes buzzing next to your ears.

Forgot to mention in my previous post about my mosquito "system"....

I use both a ThermaCell and Shannon's bug tamer. Especially good when trying to setup a climber at O'dark :30 and the mosquitos just make it difficult. Keeping my pack on my back, with the ThermaCell running and a Shannon's jacket on works great. I just take it off when I get settled in.

RE: scent control...

I concur with Duck. It's simply impossible to not sweat, I don't care what time it is in the A.M. --- it's the humidity that gets ya. So here's my "system"...

I wear a short-sleeve camo shirt going in. No doubt it's saturated wet with sweat, so I pack another camo shirt in and change shirts when I get settled into the stand. Between switching shirts, I wipe down with unscented baby wipes, and stuff the wet shirt into a ziplock and then into my pack.

Not real sure how much it helps to cut down the scent, probably not much, but it sure makes sitting more comfortable. :shade:


I might just have to try your system this year. :shade:

The Bug Tamer deal is the same for me. I wear it until I get settled in the tree. There's nothing worse than trying to mount your climber to the tree with the skeeters mauling you.
The same for Spring Gobbler...unitl you get settled into a blind long enough for the Thermacell to work, the Bug Tamer will save you a pint of blood at least.:D

FredGarvin
August 1st, 2009, 03:12 PM
The Bug Tamer deal is the same for me. I wear it until I get settled in the tree. There's nothing worse than trying to mount your climber to the tree with the skeeters mauling you.

Oh, forgot to say that the bugtamer gloves are worn as well when setting up the stand in the A.M. --- some of my setups are ladderstands, but I have a few spots that I pack in my climber for and the gloves help tremendously in the A.M. for the mosquitos.

Teh Wicked
August 1st, 2009, 11:06 PM
Plan on hunting the Green Swamp land with my bow this year, its a WMA area. thats my only plans, but its kinda limited cause you cannot go in there and scout till the season actually opens. No food baiting, only scent.

I got the Dream Season scent lok deal out of the military BX. Im waiting on them to get a Thermacell in.

Teh Wicked
August 1st, 2009, 11:16 PM
Is this the ThermaCELL I need?

http://www.mosquitorepellent.com/realtree-appliance.asp

Duckbill
August 2nd, 2009, 12:21 AM
Is this the ThermaCELL I need?

http://www.mosquitorepellent.com/realtree-appliance.asp


That's the one!

Green Swamp is a good tract of land, it's just heavily hunted. You've got to get WAY off the road to have success. I haven't hunted out there in a really long time. The Florida Sportsman forum has a "hunting" sub forum. There are several guys on there that hunt GS.

Teh Wicked
August 2nd, 2009, 01:27 AM
Well, if im reading the GS brochure correctly, the archery season opens on the 26th of September. And according to the litature they open the gates 1 day early. So That is when I will make my move. Go in early in the day and find my stake of land. scent it up heavily, hang the stand and lock it to the tree, makr it with my GPS and return the next morning.

Teh Wicked
August 2nd, 2009, 01:58 AM
Also, I been staring at Google maps for about an hour now and im having trouble locating the boundries of Green Swamp. 1 map im looking at says Green Swamp is up near Webster, Another says Green Swamp and Green Swamp west are right next to each other near Dade city.

Im using the maps funtion to hopefully give myself a little preparation. I plan on going in there pretty deep, try to find some water and food close to eash other. hopefully the rut will be nearing the end and I can still call or scent in some deer.

JPizzle
August 2nd, 2009, 05:45 PM
I have never hunted Green Swamp. You should really check out the Florida Sprotsman forum in the hunting section. Alot of guy on that forum hunt GS. From what I have hera, the rut in that area doesnt kick in till the end of Dec. Oh, and there will be water everywhere so it wont be hard to find it.

huntin' hard
August 5th, 2009, 01:18 AM
I have the boundries of several WMA's on google earth as polygons. I made them by doing an image overlay with the pdf maps from the fwc website. I currently have GS east and west, richloam and richloam baird unit as well as the upper hillsborough done. They aren't perfect but theyre close. If its possible I'll send you the polygons and maybe you can apply them to your google earth.

Teh Wicked
August 5th, 2009, 04:57 AM
I think i finally found a good map that outlines the boundries...Greenswamp basically uses the Highways for the majority of them. The stuff not bordered with a highway is so close to everything else im sure there isnt anything worth hunting in it.

1justright
August 10th, 2009, 01:41 PM
I think i finally found a good map that outlines the boundries...Greenswamp basically uses the Highways for the majority of them. The stuff not bordered with a highway is so close to everything else im sure there isnt anything worth hunting in it.

Im just saying...the bigest buck I have ever seen in FL was standing on the side of I-95 at about 6am in Cresent Beach. So you never know.
Last weekend in Jax beach on A1A a 10pt, full velvet,180lbs was hit by a car. Thats right on the sand dunes of the beach in the middle of a major city. So you never know where a big buck will be. Killing him is another story:teeth:

FredGarvin
August 11th, 2009, 04:45 PM
Im just saying...the bigest buck I have ever seen in FL was standing on the side of I-95 at about 6am in Cresent Beach. So you never know.


I've seen some great bucks on my trip to ThreeLakes off of 441. Usually don't leave until after work on Friday's, so I'll hit that last stretch between Yehaw Junction and Williams Rd at like 10-11pm --- man, there are some big deer feeding along the side of the road at night.

FredGarvin
August 11th, 2009, 07:07 PM
I was thinking about last season and it reminded me about another tip I thought is pretty darn valuable...


Just curious if anyone would be willing to share some tips or trick to hunting in FL?

Ok. So it's going to be wet for archery --- even if you aren't going to hunt near cypress, there is still probably going to be lots of standing water. Looks like a fairly good rainy season so far. Anyway....

If you are walking/stalking and decide to stop at a particular spot (to glass, to maybe even prepare to take a shot at somthing that you expect to walk by), or plan to just sit for a few. Use a bit of common sense, as I DID NOT DO :D

Specifically, if there is water all around except for the base of a pine or some other hardwood, it can be very tempting to stop and sit and lean up against the tree. The common sense part (that did not kick in for me) is that this particular spot is going to be the only dry land for lots and lots of critters that will bite the snot out of you. I was absolutely lit up by ants, but this tiny island of dry ground is also home to scorpians, spiders, fire ants, etc....

Hope that helps. As with most things related to hunting, I've learned it all the hard, and painful, way.


Good luck!

QuickReflex
August 11th, 2009, 10:36 PM
A couple years ago I was walking around a flooded field & got tore up by ants they were floating on the water in a glob . About knee deep by the time I saw them it was too late , needless to say I got wet quick as I dove in the nearest ditch even then they still ate me up. No T-cell gonna help you there.

Welcome to So. Fl hunting in the wet seasons. Good luck guys

Teh Wicked
August 24th, 2009, 08:56 PM
Well, here is an update...I have some very good fortune this past few weeks.

Been spending ALOT of time at the range shooting the bow as much as possible. Anyone who shoots at these indoor ranges know the conversation's usually take off pretty easy about hunting and work and such.

Met a nice older gentleman who is always there shooting his recurve. Me and him get to talking and he is a disabled vet. Cool, I relate with him seeing as im a vet. and we get to talkign about hunting. He wants to ground blind hunt this year which is why he is practicing with a really short recurve, but he also has a nice Hoyt long bow that he plans to use in a treestand. He tells me he has been hunting in the area I want to hunt since he was my age. Gives some GREAT advice where to look for deer, and how to get away from the crowds at the WMA. pointed out some great areas to scout, and even very descriptive on how to get to them and where too look on a map such as Google Earth, this way I can mark with my GPS and go straight to them.

Gixxer
August 31st, 2009, 09:41 PM
Like mentioned before, it was wet. Wicked and I made it out to GS yesterday to do some scouting (BIG mistake, sucked super bad). Lots of standing water all over the place. Lots of hog sign in areas that were dry during the drought years a couple back. One thing is for sure, with so much water the pigs should be strewn all ove the place and not concentrated around the river. we tried to get to an area I hunted a couple years ago that was promising, but it was under 10" of water this year. Kinda disheartening cause it was a well used game trail in plain forest in betwen palmetto fields (no not a fire trail). Anyhow we finally settled on a couple spots and got greeted by a 200lb+ blonde and black boar. Like 15 feet away. Lots of hog sign, saw that hog, heard hogs tearing it up in the palmettos along main grade, lots of turkeys too. For those that are considering scouting GS, get ready for a workout. GPS said 15mi round trip from the front gate to our spot and back. That bike ride sucked. Anybody got a handheld GPS for sale for cheap? I left mine on the back bumper of the truck and left it somewhere between Valrico and CR54...:mad: That emoticon does not even put it into perspective. Wait till I get home so I can really show y'all what I really think.

camorobb
September 1st, 2009, 10:57 AM
Man gixxer that sux. I lost my t-cell last year in one of the swamps scouting, not that helps. I plan to hunt bow at gs this year also, im here in largo. If the guy from the indoor range is disabled they have some disabled trails to go deeper in gs so you dont have to walk so far.If your planing to hunt with him it would be nice not to have to walk that far in the good ol fl. heat. Were in st. pete are you shootin at?

Teh Wicked
September 1st, 2009, 07:32 PM
We either shoot at work, or when I shoot indoor I goto ArrowHead Archery over near the Hard Rock Casino.

camorobb
September 1st, 2009, 09:48 PM
oh ok I go to lake park its free to shoot and its outdoors in the woods. you can soot up to 100yards if you want its on north dalemabrey.maby ill see you out there some time or if you want we can meet up if you want let me know.

Gixxer
September 2nd, 2009, 04:36 AM
Told ya I would get back to ya...

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d41/gixxer01/punchself.gif

Yup, like Wicked said we pretty much shoot at work every day, weather permitting. We can shoot to 50yd (well it is more our confidence stopping us at 50, and lack of pins) there. Extremely convenient, keep the target in the back of the pickup.

camorobb
September 2nd, 2009, 05:52 PM
Thats cool wish I could have done that. I can shoot 40 at the house thats good for me no need to shoot mutch farther than that.