Wild Pigs in South Florida

kwidingkwiding hollywoodPosts: 5 Greenhorn
  Looking for info please on great spots to start hunting wild pig on foot closest to South Florida area.  I plan on working my way throughout the state and elsewhere eventually, but I have a lot to learn over next few years and I'd like to find some spots I can hike and hunt and just learn that is somewhat close.  First time to the forum - if this discussing has been exhausted please point me to any threads.  

My end goal for the purpose of this post is to learn to hunt pigs (live in S. Fl) with both my bow and gun.  A lot to learn with a bow, but I'll be putting in the work on the range.  Looking to meet people in S Fl that know and love this sport to pick their brains and just learn.  Athlete and father of soon to be 4 babies under 5. We are an outdoors family and it is a mission of mine to learn to hunt wild pig and teach my children down the road to do the same and to appreciate the meat they put on the table.  Learning my bow over next year and in the meantime wanted to start figuring out where I can go and just get a better understanding.  Any info is truly appreciated. 

Replies

  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 739 Officer
    Not to be smart. But get a lease. 
  • kwidingkwiding hollywoodPosts: 5 Greenhorn
    Not to sound dumb, A lease?
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 739 Officer
    So you can hunt public land, buy your own land, get permission to hunt someone else’s land (likely impossible), or you can lease hunting rights to private land for a fee. 

    By your question, I’m guessing you don’t have any hunting experience. Is that correct?
  • jamesbrownsplitjamesbrownsplit Posts: 207 Deckhand
    I’ll just throw this in. The ability to shoot a bow well, while very important, is like .5% of the whole thing. 

    I got way too obsessed with becoming a good shot and not enough time learning how to scout and read sign.


  • kwidingkwiding hollywoodPosts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thanks.  This is a big reason I am coming to this forum...  Where to go to learn and where you can potentially succeed nearest South Florida.  I know Big Cypress is right here and some other spots, but curious what successful hunters believe to be good pig land in S FL.  Thanks in advance to anyone offering info. 
  • MCSHunterMCSHunter Posts: 350 Deckhand
    The Big Cypress would have been a good start if you were here 10-15 years ago. Not many pigs left due to those darn Texas cougars that the Federal Govt. calls panthers. IMO, next closest public land would prolly be either Corbett or Dupuis. 
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 403 Deckhand
    edited May 22 #8
    Love the enthusiasm!  Thanks for the intro too, instead of just jumping on here and asking 'where' (which btw, noone is gonna tell you lol).  Four under 5!!!!  Just forget about it bro.  Just forget about it... rotflmao

    Just kidding kwiding :D  Seriously tho, you really have to scout a lot.  I fully encourage you and hope you can manage to swing it.  But it does require quite a commitment and, frankly, hard work.  I'm not trying to discourage just giving you a realistic expectation of what it will take to be successful and really learn as you say is your intent.

    There is a ton of great info on this website.  Just start scouring this hunting sub-forum.  You can search for pig/hog/boar and find all kinds of useful info.

    I'm happy to point you in a direction, especially since you've not only introduced yourself, but came back and responded!  What does seem to be exhausting around here is people jumping on and asking "where can I hunt X" and then never posting again.

    First thing you have to keep in mind is that this is a public form.  A big and popular one.  And indexed, seemingly, immediately by google.  No One is ever gonna tell you where the gettin is good.  Maybe by PM... long after you've been around and deemed to be worthy.

    Also, you will probably read a lot on here about there not being pigs in south florida.  I haven't spent enough time down there to say one way or another.  It's hard to believe though.  They are pretty much out of control everywhere else.  But that doesn't mean it's easy either.

    Before we go any further..

    Can you entertain a lease?  Or do you want to hunt public land? 

    Any hunting, fishing? Outdoors experience?  You're talking south florida.  You comfortable wading waist deep in the swamp? 

    Also, if you want to start with pigs, you might really be better off with your gun to start.  Shot placement is more critical on pigs with an arrow.



  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,290 Officer
    edited May 22 #9

    I wouldn't pay any attention to anything like "Get a lease" LOL There are plenty of places to Hog hunt in S Fla on public land. Its not like you are trying to bag a 10 pt Buck. Pick a WMA close to you and learn it. There are opportunities to Hog hunt during Archery, Muzzleloader, General Gun, Small Game, and even Turkey Season. Some even have a Hog Hunt Still Season. Go, get out,  learn. Make your success.

  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 739 Officer
    Pinman said:

    I wouldn't pay any attention to anything like "Get a lease" LOL There are plenty of places to Hog hunt in S Fla on public land. Its not like you are trying to bag a 10 pt Buck. Pick a WMA close to you and learn it. There are opportunities to Hog hunt during Archery, Muzzleloader, General Gun, Small Game, and even Turkey Season. Some even have a Hog Hunt Still Season. Go, get out,  learn. Make your success.

    Fish eating creek east is ate up with the hogs. 
  • kwidingkwiding hollywoodPosts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thanks everyone!  I understand how it looks when someone just comes on here and asks where to go.  I fly fished for quite some time in Oregon and Ohio and I completely understand the need for privacy.  I guess my question was in hopes of just gaining a little understanding on what lands might even have potential near me or where to just avoid even moreso.  For example I have hear Big Cypress was good some time ago and just don't want to waste my time tackling land that most people seem to have written off. I also realize animals like these pigs can basically be anywhere.  I'd like to slowly meet some people and maybe someone who is interested in letting me hunt sometime just to walk and hike and see how they track.  Someone who really knows these animals if they are interested in passing down some knowledge.  ( keith@endoscopy.md ) It's just how I learn and like to learn and I enjoy immersing myself in the communities of my hobbies.  Ill also add that I am also interested in rabbit hunting (used to do this in Ohio), but that is a side interest.  I am determined to learn to pig hunt.  They are free food all across the country doing nothing but ruining crops and other animals habitats.  They are grass and bug fed and I just see it as a perfect way for me to work my way into this sport. There are only less and less kids exercising and getting outside and I want to make sure my kids learn this and possibly other hunting as I learn more by the time they are adults.  

    I look forward though to the hard work and learning a spot of land and how to track and hunt these pigs.  No issues with wading through swamps or just putting hard miles in.  I put all my time into sports and the outdoors and working hard but just haven't tackled the hunting end of sports much yet.  I just never put in the time with all my other stuff.  I have no issues with a gun and have shot since a kid.  I have .22 rifle I shoot well, .270 rifle, and shotgun.  I am not against using guns to hunt at all and as I get into this type of hunting vs Bow.  Just trying to wrap my head around all this and get my butt moving in the right direction.  Seems a bit overwhelming but that is why I am putting myself out there like this.  But to anyone reading this I am honestly not looking for your pig spot- moreso where not to waste your time and just areas where pig hunters are hunting.  

    As for the lease idea I have just never even thought about it so I dunno at this point.  Ill have to look into this and the places some of you have noted more to figure out what is next.  My thought with public land was just that it would be less expensive as I learn to do this and down the road look into other ideas. 

    Appreciate everyone writing back.  Ill be around and happy to keep responding to any questions. 

    Note:  Just purchased and started reading "Year of the Pig"  - Great book so far!
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 739 Officer
    I’ll give another opinion and see what you think. 

    My reading of what you just wrote leads me to believe you want to hunt as a means of getting into the outdoors and as a means of procuring another food source. You mention hogs I’m guessing because the plethora of hog hunting propaganda that abounds and rabbits since it’s the only type of hunting you’ve done?

    Wild pigs are not that abundant on public land close to us in south Florida and are nothing like pork from the store. There are better types of hunting and better sources of meat in south Florida. The propaganda makes pigs seem like ripe fruit hanging from low branches that anyone can easily pick and take home. 

    Might I suggest looking into duck hunting, frog gigging, alligator, turkey and then Spearfishing via freediving or scuba for fish and lobsters. If you lived north of Jupiter then pigs would be a more reasonable option but everything I’ve listed still available. 

    Residency at OSU?  What group are you with?

    Feel free to pm me. 
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 403 Deckhand
    edited May 23 #13
    Trust me, you are not alone in feeling this is overwhelming.  People who grew up hunting don't quite get this.  Even tho I'm a native and could say your typical florida boy, I only started hunting recently in life.  I was def overwhelmed.
    It literally took me a year to figure out the 'system.'  I think I can help you avoid that at least.

    At first, I checked out a bunch of places.  From the everglades to the panhandle.  Initially, I settled on Big Cypress because of the size, difficulty of accessing the interior and the generally liberal regulations.  It was about a 2.5 hour drive for me.  You could get away with this, or even further, once you know what you are doing.  Until then, it's too far imho.  I'm in the worse part of the state when it comes to access.  I'm an hour and a half from my current spots and tbh, that is tough.  I try to make it out there no less than twice a month.  And spend all day when I do.  During season, it's more like once a week and overnight whenever possible.

    You need something as close and convenient as possible.  And you really need to learn that place. Look here and find a WMA (Wildlife Management Area) that is close to you.  These are Florida's public lands:
    http://myfwc.com/media/1380222/huntingwmamap.pdf

    Then go here:
    http://myfwc.com/hunting/wma-brochures

    And find the brochure of the area/s you have chosen.  This brochure will tell you the regulations for that specific property.  That is all you need to worry about.  If you start looking at state law/season/zones and think that's what you need to follow, you will be mistaken, or like me, seriously confused.  Just worry about the brochure for now.

    There are basically two types of WMAs.  One which is referred to as a Romp & Stomp.  These most closely follow state regulations and seasons.  They offer you the most opportunity and are more liberal in regulations (for example, some you can dress out a pig/deer in the field, which makes a big pig easier to pack out, instead of dragging).  The 'problem' is, that they are typically crowded.  Don't worry about that.  Find a way to work with that.  You will understand this more as you go along.

    The other type has a quota that requires you pull a permit from a lottery based draw.  They are limited hunts with limited opportunity.  The advantage is that with less pressure, you are supposed to have better quality hunts with more likelihood of success.  Supposedly.  I can say that the quota wma I have been learning has a nicer terrain and definitely has more action.  Sometimes they can be tough to access off season for scouting though because usually you can't drive them unless a hunt is going on.

    I would start scouting the romp and stomp you choose.  It will be easy, even for a novice, to quickly ascertain if there are pigs.  This is a great time to give it a look.  Generally speaking, season is over.  This means that the pigs will be more brazen and closer to main trails.

    What you want to look for is turned up ground.  It can be just a small patch, a few dinner plates in size.  Or it could be half a football field.  It will look like someone was running a tiller.  If there are pigs, you will find this. Also, make sure you are scouting at sunset with pigs.  Without people shooting at them, you'll likely hear and see them out and about.

    Good luck!  And let us know what you find!  Just don't tell anyone where ;)



  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 403 Deckhand
    Oh yeah, and be careful.  Pigs can be dangerous.  No need to be scared, just pay attention.  I don't go deep into the woods without a sidearm.  Just sayin.
  • kwidingkwiding hollywoodPosts: 5 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the responses everyone. Glad to know I am starting all this research and questioning during the off season.  Printing out brochures and taking everyone's input and just slowly wrapping my head around all this.  Again, thanks.

    Keith
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,075 Admiral
    Check the Yearly Harvest Data for Big Cypress..The pigs are pretty much Gone.
    We use to kill about 4 to 6 Hundred Hogs a Year , now maybe 2...Total..in the entire 90 something acres.
    I have a camp in far N. Fla and saw about 25 in one batch the other night..all 5 to 30 pounds.
    Go North for pigs.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,075 Admiral
    90 something Thousand Acres..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 1,155 Officer
    Welcome to the forum! Keep asking and reading. Spangler has provided useful info. Enjoy the challenge and good luck with all the kids/babies! 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 933 Officer
    Pm sent.
  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 117 Deckhand
    You guys think the pythons might be causing the pigs to disappear?
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 739 Officer
    Lol
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,075 Admiral
    Panthers love them some pork...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • gritsnhuntin1gritsnhuntin1 Posts: 766 Officer
    Wra22 said:
    You guys think the pythons might be causing the pigs to disappear?
    I heard something on the radio last week mentioning how the pythons have decimated the animal populations in the Glades. They discussed bringing in some sort of special python hunters to help with the population control and infact even finally killed the 1000th python. They never mentioned anything about panthers. How long can the snakes be used as a scapegoat?
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,075 Admiral
    As long as folks keep buying License plates with Panthers on them and little kids at school Adopt them , and Animals rights groups keep raising heck over protections and the NPS get's extra personal to study them...forever..$$$
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,075 Admiral
    Panthers are what's called an Umbrella Species ..Protect their wild areas and everything else get's protected as well...
    Killin and Grillin :grin

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