Green Swamp Questions

dizzie56dizzie56 Posts: 45 Greenhorn
Being that its all red tide out there and what not I decided that it was a better idea to not take the kayaks out this morning and instead do a little scouting over in the green swamp.  I hunt private land with a great club, it is just that it happens to be several hours away and I've always wanted to find a spot to go to that is a little closer for those times I can't take off 3 or more days from work/life. I busted my **** today scouting on my bike and saw a couple nice deer and a hen.  Even met another guy walking in as I was heading out who said he was new here and was having a hard time trying to figure out what the rules are on the brochures and what they exactly mean.  So hopefully, some people here can help me figure it out a little and thanks in advance.

1.  On the brochures, it says you can't intentionally drive spikes into trees.  I've figured that was the spikes for hand ladders but wanted to make sure that if I took my treewalker climber out (it has small spikes to set into the tree so I don't bust my ****) that it wouldn't be a problem.  I'm assuming its ok for climbers but as I was looking around at a couple spots I liked I could def tell I wasn't the first man to see that land by the ancient Bud Light cans and the ole small pork and beans can sitting at the base of a really nice pine Id like to set up in but it didn't have any spike marks either.  In fact, I couldn't find any climb marks on any of the trees I looked at.  

2.  I came in off of 471 and parked outside the gates as they were closed.  Can you hunt the area before the check station?  If so I'm assuming I have to check in first and then let them know I'm going back towards 471?  Doesn't seem to make sense to me for some reason as it says you need to check all animals before dismembering them and someone could just take off down the road with no worries.

3.  Which brings us to this one, can I gut em before I bring them to the check station?  I noticed a cleaning station there and was also wondering what everybody does with the waste when they are done (bones, hide, guts maybe, etc).?

4.  Also, how does the parking work during the season?  Can you park along the main paved roads going in?  I can walk/bike the rest of the way to the spots Id like to sit but if I have to haul a deer/pig all the way to the check station on foot that is gonna be a bit of a problem.   

I know I got more questions but seeing how I put in several miles on a bike today with a full pack and I haven't ridden a bike in god knows how long, I'm pretty **** tired and can't think of anything else at the moment.  Again, thanks in advance for the clarification.  Id email the FWC but the last time I did that they just emailed me back the exact wording of the rules I was asking about which was no help of course.


  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 1,311 Officer
    edited August 2018 #2

    1.  I wondered exactly the same thing when first reading through the regs.  All I can say for sure is, lots and lots of people use climbers.  Including myself.  No worries.  Maybe, if le wanted to be unreasonable, they could issue you a citation?  idk for sure.  I wouldn't worry about it.
    2. According to the brochure, it is fair game.  I'd pass now tho, since you posted it on here and there will probably be 100 people scouting it now ;p  Yes, you have to check in first.
    3.  The rule says
    No deer or wild hog shall be dismembered until checked at a check station
    Dismembered means quartered/divided/split.  I think they are intentionally vague because I think they prefer you to bring them to the check station for total weight, maybe other organ inspection?  I'm worried about my meat. So I'm guttin that sucker in the field.
    4.Should be able to park anywhere it's not posted that you can't.  Off the paved road (like 471, I've never seen a sign that says you can't), It's been a while since I've been there but I don't know of a paved road going in.  But def yes off improved road, as long as it is open to vehicles and not posted otherwise.  Usually any named road on the map.

    Good luck!
  • dizzie56dizzie56 Posts: 45 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the reply.  Hope to be able to get out there this year.
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 1,862 Captain
    Be careful on going in off 471. Used to be you have to go in and out only via check station. They would ticket you going in along the boundaries. Also driving metal spikes in to a tree does not equate to using a climber. A climber grips and may dig in but your not driving it into the tree. The reason they don't want spikes (nails) is they reak havoc on a saw blade when if the tree is timbered. The rule has been that way for a long time. Occasionally you can still encounter the remnants of an old wooden stand nailed up to a tree (usually an oak) when the property was private. Also, most of the time with a check station the attendant will need the entire animal before field dressing. If trained, they may be making a few observations on the critters internals. Kidney fat, and other. Be prepared - read the online WMA brochure and ask questions at the gate to be sure. That's a truly great property, though the taking of a buck can be a real challenge. Good luck and be safe!
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • dizzie56dizzie56 Posts: 45 Greenhorn
    thanks for the info.  i thought it would be ok to use a climber but just wanted to make sure. and im always up for a challenge.  

    another question i had was frog gigging out there.  anybody do it?  is it ok to go in at night and just go play whack a mole on some frogs?  i figure the more i get out there the more id learn about the place and i do like frog legs so i kinda wanna use that as an excuse lol
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 1,862 Captain
    On-line brochure has your answer. Just looked it up - took me 45 seconds....
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • MallieMoeMallieMoe Pinellas CountyPosts: 10 Greenhorn
    A question, can one enter and scout Green Swamp West before hunting season opens? I know some of the WMA's don't gate their entrances and some do. The WMA Brochure for GSW indicates under Public Access that it is open Year Round except for special opportunity hunts. Green Swamp Main Area Public Access says public access is limited to foot traffic and bicycles only, except during periods open for "scouting" or hunting. Unfortunately, the brochure says nothing else about "Scouting" anywhere else in the brochure? I am also questioning the vehicle access to the Campsites during Wild Hog/Dog season. The brochure states vehicle access to campsites is allowed after 4:00 pm on Wednesdays. The Hog /Dog hunt #9157 starts on a Wednesday and ends on Friday. Does that mean you cannot set up a campsite before the hunt opens? Very confusing!! 
  • dizzie56dizzie56 Posts: 45 Greenhorn
    There is a week or two in the summer when you can pull your truck in.  If you look on the brochure its the weeks for the special fishing season I believe.  The other week when I went the gates were locked and I biked in there.  Not sure about hog/dog season as I havent hunted there yet.
  • MallieMoeMallieMoe Pinellas CountyPosts: 10 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the info dizzie56! 
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