Is no-frills hog hunting possible in South Florida?

alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn
I live in Miami, and I'm thinking about getting into bowhunting for hogs. Thing is, I'm having trouble finding a starting point. I've been doing a bunch of Googling, and all I can find are private hunting clubs/ranches/guided/canned hunts. Is it possible to have a half-decent chance at a hog on South Florida public land? I don't mind driving a bit, but was hoping to find something within 2 hours of Miami. I've done some hiking in Big Cypress and Jonathan Dickinson. Never saw tracks in BC. I did see tracks in Jonathan Dickinson, but I've never actually seen the pigs.

I'm not looking for someone's honey hole; I'm just not really sure where to start that doesn't involve paying someone to put me on them. No offense intended to people who provide those services; I just prefer DIY.

I've already done the hunter's safety course (I know that's usually the recommended launching point).

Replies

  • 22donk22donk Posts: 425 Officer
    Your best bet is to apply for quotas for archery. Hogs feel pressure quick and go nocturnal. Can be very challenging on a romp and stomp WMA. Can't point you in a good direction as far as anything close to you, sorry. DIY bowhunting public Florida hogs is a huge challenge for a beginner or novice!
  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn
    When hogs go nocturnal, are there opportunities for them at dusk and dawn, or do they come out long after sunset?
  • jimglassjimglass Posts: 83 Greenhorn
    I have found hogs are often unpredictable. I see the most hogs at dusk about 30 minutes after total darkness and same with morning hunts, an hour or so before sunrise.

    My trail camera sees hogs visiting my bait pile all night long. Not very often I see hogs during the day but last November I saw them frequently before sundown and after sunrise.

    If they hear a gunshot they seem to write a new schedule.

    Last January of 2017 the hogs were scarce on my lease. The trail camera saw them from 11:00pm to 3:00am so we hunted all night a few times and still saw no hogs. I learned you are just as far ahead to hunt from sundown to about 9:00 pm and 4:30 am to sunrise. Hunt frequently, as often as you can, eventually the hogs will show up when you are there. Hunting all night did not improve my odds of seeing hogs.

    I have also learned sometimes the hogs are hungry and sometimes they are not. Locals said the fall of 2016 and winter of 2017 the Florida jungles had a tremendous acorn hatch. This could explain why the hogs were indifferent toward my bait pile. November of 2017 was completely different. I would dump a 2 gallon pail of cracked corn bait and the hogs were into it in 45 minutes. My trail camera saw hogs in the bait pile all night until the bait was gone. I saw hogs on 90% of my hunts. I think the hogs were hungry in November. I have no other explanation. Could be the hog population increased. I'll be back in Florida on 12/28, I shall see what the hogs are up to at that time.
  • TheSnookManTheSnookMan Posts: 430 Officer
    Don't waste your time on public land in South FL. Cougars have nearly wiped them out

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 4,991 Captain
    Go on FWC and check the Hog annual kills for the last 15 years in Big Cypress....been ZERO for the last couple
    Down from about 600 a season back in the day.
    To hunt hogs here you either need a private Lease or drive North out of panther range.
    I hunt far NW Fla. and we got a bunch. Saw 20 groups of over 20 this summer...all about 10 pounds.
    100 pound Eaters get shot off Feeders all year long...Regular....by me and Friends , and Neighbors , and Folks down the road , and half the County..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • jimglassjimglass Posts: 83 Greenhorn
    Don't waste your time on public land in South FL. Cougars have nearly wiped them out

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

    Sooo, cougars don't go on private land??? 230 cougars are not going to have much impact on the feral hog population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_panther
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 1,604 Captain
    230?
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 922 Officer
    42 confirmed deaths in 2015, 42 in 2016, and 30 this year..... I think they forgot to put another zero on 230!
  • jimglassjimglass Posts: 83 Greenhorn
    Well, the 230 panther population is on the rebound but I was shocked at the 230 number as well.

    23rd panther death this year:
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-reg-florida-panther-killed-20170921-story.html

    Florida panther population on rebound:
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-florida-panther-population-20170222-story.html

    Back to hog hunting: I have read the hog kill data on the WMA's and the numbers are down but fewer people are hunting hogs. Fewer people hunting period believe it or not. People are more interested in their Iphones. We need to encourage and help new hunters to join the sport
  • joekat46joekat46 Posts: 1,848 Captain
    Sometimes that dawn/dusk/dark will fool you. Note the time. This was during a turkey sit when we had heard nearby gobblers in the area so these piggies got a pass. Nose of the third pig just coming into the frame. Truly giants. One was popped later in that week.

    Thread now back on topic:wink
  • TheSnookManTheSnookMan Posts: 430 Officer
    jimglass wrote: »
    Sooo, cougars don't go on private land??? 230 cougars are not going to have much impact on the feral hog population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_panther
    No didnt say that. Most private land have cattle. I would guess a calf is a lot easier to kill than a hog.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn
    What about spring turkeys? I've been out camping and hiking three times this winter, and I've heard shotguns that did not sound like target shooting. I'm assuming (maybe poorly?) that people are bagging birds this year in Big Cypress?
  • Mick8008Mick8008 Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    I’ve been looking for a spot for 15 years that not a guaranteed hunt or lease. There isn’t any near south Florida.
  • MCSHunterMCSHunter Posts: 347 Deckhand
    Time of day is when they feel like eating. I was on an archery WMA hunt last week and shot a 95 LB sow at 11:30 AM.
  • clay467clay467 Posts: 36 Greenhorn

    i hunt a lot on public land in central florida and most of the hogs i kill and i usually get a couple a year are between 8:30am and 200:pm but i usually only hunt in still hunting areas or in the still hunt areas of the mngmt areas

  • alansb1982alansb1982 Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    What is the definition of a still-hunt area? Is it that tree stands are not allowed?

  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 7,380 Admiral

    where did jimglass read people hunting hogs is down, because that's correct who is gonna go hog hunting when no hogs exist in some places...DUH

  • wilburzwilburz Posts: 931 Officer

    still hunt = no vehicles allowed. look through the fwc management areas links that are within 2 hours of your house. you will find some that still allow hog hunting until march 4 or frst week of march. get boots on the ground and start looking yer running out of time.

    Happiness is a belt fed weapon!

  • shempshemp Posts: 490 Deckhand

    Still hunt = no dogs.

    It's an term that's been in use at least since the late 19th century to effectively refer to slow stalking but you can use a stand, ground blind, walking around (wear your orange even if regs say not necessary), etc. just not hunting over dogs

    Wilburz is right too a lot of dog areas have a ton of vehicle access and still hunt areas generally require a lot more hoofing.

  • spanglerspangler Posts: 351 Deckhand

    The "Still" hunt thing always confused me too. I was concerned that it meant I wasn't allowed to stalk and should be staying still lol

    I thought 'slow stalking' in florida referred to as 'slippin' or 'slip hunting'

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