This Ssssh stuff is hard!

Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
January 1st coming in hot & have not gotten my buck yet this season. Granted I only hunt General Gun in Big Cypress. Have been out there quite a bit this month but the only deer I see are does. Where are all the bucks!? Going out there one more time before season ends. Any late season tips for a novice (with empty freezer) or general Big Cypress tips (Turner unit)? 

Replies

  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Go find a big swamp , go to the middle of it , bring a chair and sit down.
    The Bucks have been hunted hard for months an their not walking around in the open  they like to bed on old mounds surrounded by water...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 7,631 Admiral
    And do that either on the afternoon when a front is bearing down such that it will be a wild and windy night or do it the afternoon after such a event.

    They don't move as much when it's nasty at night so use that to your advantage. If it blows and rains and is basically a mess all night and then you get a NW hard all the next day you can bet a dime to a dollar that as it settles right before sunset they will get out and about early.


  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Go find a big swamp , go to the middle of it , bring a chair and sit down.
    The Bucks have been hunted hard for months an their not walking around in the open  they like to bed on old mounds surrounded by water...
    A bit confused by this one. I'm mainly hunting between pines, cypress domes, & prairies. There are some areas usually within cypress tree domes that are covered with sawgrass & thick brush. Is this what you mean by swamp? 
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,581 Captain
    Turner Terror and bswiv give great insight.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • gladesmangladesman Posts: 1,362 Officer
    edited December 2018 #6
    Go into cypress/POPASH swamps with some oaks around  that are more open inside but don't go where I'm goin'.  ;) Only problem is if water is way down things will be very crunchy and footing real bad - grab trees/saplings as U go or use a walk stick. Get in b4 daylight and be careful of gators in dark. Shot a deer from my pirogue as he awoke and showed horns as his head lifted once in a swamp as described - sleeping on a mound at base of cypress tree.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,156 Captain
    When i was growing up, a buddy of mine, from Louisiana, brought a pirogue with him when he moved here.  First and last time I had ever heard someone mention one.  Nice!  Have thought of making one cuz of all the time I'm in the swamp.  But honestly don't know how I'd get in off the river though bc the trees are really too dense.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,156 Captain
    People are usually like, "A What?!"
    "a pee-row"
    followed by "never heard of it"
    :D
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Mr_Watson said:
    Go find a big swamp , go to the middle of it , bring a chair and sit down.
    The Bucks have been hunted hard for months an their not walking around in the open  they like to bed on old mounds surrounded by water...
    A bit confused by this one. I'm mainly hunting between pines, cypress domes, & prairies. There are some areas usually within cypress tree domes that are covered with sawgrass & thick brush. Is this what you mean by swamp? 
    YUP .You hunting ;The Open ;..
    I know there's lot's of Cypress Strands around your area...go sit in one , a big long thick one.
    They usually open up once your in the middle...or keep sitting out where you can see 100 miles and enjoy ..The Doe Show...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • gladesmangladesman Posts: 1,362 Officer
    spangler said:
    When i was growing up, a buddy of mine, from Louisiana, brought a pirogue with him when he moved here.  First and last time I had ever heard someone mention one.  Nice!  Have thought of making one cuz of all the time I'm in the swamp.  But honestly don't know how I'd get in off the river though bc the trees are really too dense.

    Probably the lightest ones available - https://www.pirogue.com/lahome1.htm  Have had my Ron Chapman 2-man model for over 20 years - no problems since no motor. ;) Almost due for a new one - that will be a 1-man version since it's 3 inches (big deal where I go) narrower and 15 lbs lighter (40 vs 55 lbs). One should never let bushes prevent access - that's what high quality (Fiskar) tree loppers and chain saws (possibly battery operated - for stealth) are for - right? Once purchased all one needs to do is pad critical areas of hull by gluing down 1/2 inch closed cell neoprene, same w/paddles and variable pole set and a 1 or 2 firearm rack easily accessible from paddling position (drivers seat). IMHO deadliest weapon (more important than the gun/rifle in a swamp at right time of year when water is close to lowest point to still use the pirogue. Could write a book on the kills this pirogue has facilitated. One cautionary note - mine has sustained damage from gators a few times..

  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Gladesman...Just bought me one of the Kayaks from Wal Mart.
    Fixin to beat up the N. Florida , Taylor County swamps with mine.
    Them boys up there are afraid of water...but the Bucks ain't...
    I seen thru the years how you do it. I'm a quick study...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • gladesmangladesman Posts: 1,362 Officer
    Silence was the key that made it work for me - I mean SILENT. Post some photos when it's all outfitted - gotta be careful though - don't want to get everyone doing this.  ;)
  • gladesmangladesman Posts: 1,362 Officer
    OBTW is your compadre JR still hunting?
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Meet him at my Camp every Smokepole season opener. He's 72 now and stll going strong as ever. He lives up in Black Water Forest along way from Town. Got Corn or Peanut fields all around him...He's not hurtin for deer.
    And , It's Dry Ground...But I know he misses the beauty of the Glades , It's a special place and we talk about it often...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Mr_Watson said:
    Go find a big swamp , go to the middle of it , bring a chair and sit down.
    The Bucks have been hunted hard for months an their not walking around in the open  they like to bed on old mounds surrounded by water...
    A bit confused by this one. I'm mainly hunting between pines, cypress domes, & prairies. There are some areas usually within cypress tree domes that are covered with sawgrass & thick brush. Is this what you mean by swamp? 
    YUP .You hunting ;The Open ;..
    I know there's lot's of Cypress Strands around your area...go sit in one , a big long thick one.
    They usually open up once your in the middle...or keep sitting out where you can see 100 miles and enjoy ..The Doe Show...
    Haha.... Have definitely been enjoying the doe show.

    So sit ground level deep in a cypress strand or should find a pine to climb? Last time I went into a cypress dome I saw alot of tracks, some fresh .I could see how sitting on ground would make sense with such limited visibility. Just making sure that's what you mean by "sitting".  All dry as bone nowadays, a few mud/wet parts at times. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Not Domes...Strands. No pine trees in a Strand. Ladder stands or climbers work well too.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Got it! Thanks for all the tips. Looks like I have a plan for this week. Have a cypress strand picked out and will be walking in with climber. Plan to arrive before first light & try a different spot for the afternoon if no action. What's your take on grunting in S FL? 
  • awayaway Posts: 337 Deckhand
    My opinion is grunting is mostly a waste in FL
  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Hadn't made a difference for me yet. So may agree with you there. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Rut has been over for months...Don't do it...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • TeddyEatsMeatTeddyEatsMeat South FloridaPosts: 1 Greenhorn
    Interesting thread.
    Seems you all agree that hunting these swamps makes sense this part of the season, when it is dry and the rut is over.
    How about the earlier part when its wet and rut is happening? Does it make sense to go out in more open areas then?



  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Hunted deep in cypress strands & walked "into" some of the "swamps" or ponds that kind of dot all of the landscape. They seem very promising. I wish i would have thought to hunt these ponds earlier in the season, very hard to get to as they are surrounded by very thick ferns/brush but could see how a deer may head into these areas. Hiked about 8 miles deep in the cypress, always a good time! Consolation price for no deer this season are the turkeys I spotted during these walkabouts. Thanks for all the tips!
  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Interesting thread.
    Seems you all agree that hunting these swamps makes sense this part of the season, when it is dry and the rut is over.
    How about the earlier part when its wet and rut is happening? Does it make sense to go out in more open areas then?



    From my experience scouting earlier in the season while the rut was still going on, you would see more deer randomly running across the road even while driving in. Also on cameras. I think during rut you do have a better chance of seeing a buck in the open however seeing a buck 200 yards away when you are hunting archery wont do. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Rut down here lasts for months. You find a Hot Doe and it's Rut , Don't  matter the time of year.
    Bucks bed in the Strands all year long . I'd start the first 2 weeks out in the open ..then head inside the strands, and Stay there...
    My best stand I can see and shoot maybe 20 yards..but I can hear the deer coming for 75 yards or so thru the water.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Rut down here lasts for months. You find a Hot Doe and it's Rut , Don't  matter the time of year.
    Bucks bed in the Strands all year long . I'd start the first 2 weeks out in the open ..then head inside the strands, and Stay there...
    My best stand I can see and shoot maybe 20 yards..but I can hear the deer coming for 75 yards or so thru the water.
    Wish I knew this a month and half ago! I spent the whole season hunting the open. Lol
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,276 Admiral
    Yea but the view was nice and you got to see all the does...
    You should watch where them Does are headed to late morning to find their bedding areas..
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,359 Captain
    It's very hard to teach experience so chalk up this season as "lessons learned". Some excellent tips on here for your area! Don't lose hope as it makes the success sweeter with the effort expended! 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 113 Deckhand
    Now that you mention it I do know where the does seem to be heading at several spots. Had a great time in any case & who doesn't like getting to watch views like the one below  
  • awayaway Posts: 337 Deckhand
    We've all been there while learning.  You will look back and laugh one day.
Sign In or Register to comment.