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What am I doing wrong--Green Swamp--

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What am I doing wrong--Green Swamp--

Old 12-31-2013, 10:41 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Default What am I doing wrong--Green Swamp--

This is my 3rd year hunting at Green Swamp. I typically enter on the Rock Ridge side but I have tried the 471 side in the past. I live in Pinellas. Typically, I wake up at 3am on the day that I wish to hunt. I shower in d'ead down wind shower soap'. I put on my Realtree AP camos that are washed in DDW detergent, air dried outside, and then sealed in a plastic garage tote. I usually get to Green Swamp gate at about 5-515am. I choose a spot, usually near the river (either side) or Orange Lake. I walk in, using my headlamp. I ALWAYS choose a different spot/tree for my stand, and I try to get in the thickest stuff I can find. I've hunted the clearings. I've hunted the bayheads (or at least what I interpret them to be.) I've hunted the palmettos. Sometimes I sit in my stand all day--pre-sunrise to dark. Literally all day, except for maybe climbing down, walking 200 hundred yards or so, and peeing (girls can't pee into water bottles too well). Other days I stay in my stand until noon, return to my vehicle to eat, and then walk deeper into the woods or go sit again...I've seen ONE doe in 3 years. I've seen lots of turkeys, lots of squirrels, and a bobcat. NO hogs, NO deer, although the hog sign is just ridiculous out there, to the point that I think the hogs tear it up all night and literally become invisible during the day. I think I am quiet. I walk slowly to my spots, taking many stops along the way to listen and observe. I hunt during the week, and sometimes I hunt on weekends. I just don't seem to have any luck, but each time I come home, it's like I can't wait to try it again. Some kind of crazy addiction. I'm very frustrated and often people tell me to "go someplace new" and "stop wasting your time." Somewhere inside, though, I can't help but think GS has a lot of game---I would be thrilled to just get a shot at a buck or a hog. Can ANYONE help me out? I must be doing something wrong, but at this rate, I am never going to figure it out. Thanks for reading!
redbike22 is offline  
Old 12-31-2013, 03:06 PM
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Spike
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Redbike22: You are correct in terms of the game at the swamp. Believe it or not is one of my favorite WMAs but because I've been hunting a North Florida lease for the past 2 seasons I haven't been there in a while. I started there in 2006 with no knowledge of the area and no knowledge of hunting at all (I never hunted deer or hogs before) since I live in the Tampa area and is the closet to my house.

The first 2 years I didn't see anything, not a single living thing. However, I spent on average 75 days of hunting there per year, sometimes camping for 14 days straight. I sat from 5 am until dark, nothing. I made a lot of friends there and some of them gave me good pointers. The third year I also hunted 70+ days and saw a few deer and killed a 95 pound sow. The fourth season (2010) I killed 3 sows in 4 days, 185, 105 and 85#s. I also spent 70+ days there.

What I learned is that, you need to stay with one area and learn it very well. Similar to you, I hunt Orange lake and I walk 1 1/2 from the parking area. I have well over 20 spots where I see hogs all the time. I've also seen nice deer including an big 8pt I was unable to shoot.

Look for areas where wet (swamp) and dry (bay heads, oaks) meet. Around those areas look for clearings in the middle of the thick stuff (no matter how small they look. I don't know why, but game like those spots. I had a camera there in 2011, although I didn't hunt the swamp that year, and had a lot of game hitting that small clearing to get between the wet and dry grounds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsHRKE9J4EI

Hope this help.

Last edited by LoloBond; 12-31-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:13 PM
  #3  
Spike
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Thanks very much for your reply. I guess I don't feel THAT bad now...I have been very frustrated with the lack of game I see because I have to drive a considerable distance just to get there...and use a good amount of gas, etc. I know hunting is hunting, not killing, but it would be great to just get a glimpse at something besides a squirrel. I am going to keep at it. I will be there this weekend and I will also be out there next week. I tried Chass early this fall ,before gen gun opened in GS. I didn't mind it, but I really enjoy getting out in GS---so peaceful. I could spend days there. And from what you're saying, I just may have to! Next year I will commit some serious time. Maybe I can score a campsite. Anyway, thanks for the tips...I appreciate it. A game cam will be my next purchase...I can see how that can keep a hunter motivated. Oh, when you go out...do you prefer to sit most of the day? Or is walking more productive? Thanks again! Maybe I'll see you there one of these days...
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:21 AM
  #4  
Spike
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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I like to hunt palmettos and gull berry patches that are about chest high. Most trips I don't see anything but you will if you stick to it. I shot a buck there on December 1st but I generally don't see much until January. In January you can set up more in the open and see stuff if you are far from people and traffic. I had a camera set up last January on a walking trail that had about 20 deer (mostly doe) walk by it in the day light durring January.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:46 PM
  #5  
Spike
 
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Originally Posted by redbike22 View Post
Oh, when you go out...do you prefer to sit most of the day? Or is walking more productive? Thanks again! Maybe I'll see you there one of these days...
Sit. In my opinion the GS is not a place to still hunt, too much palmettos and impossible not to make noise.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:41 PM
  #6  
Spike
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Hunting any WMA is hard especially if you don’t live close enough to spend a lot of off season time there. I hunt mostly in my club and on private property but I do a couple of WMA hunts a year and I am pretty successful even in areas I have never hunted. My strategy is this: Homework, homework, homework.

The first thing to do is find out who the FWC Biologist is for that area, come up with a list of questions and call them. They are a wealth of knowledge on game concentration, what they are eating and when, where they have been being taken, normal rut times and a million other things you want to know. I have never talked to a Biologist who wasn’t friendly and helpful.

Get a good Topo map and do a terrain study along with google earth. You can pick out spots that need further investigation and eliminate other areas so they don’t waist your time. Look for natural funnels that will push animals into a smaller area and edges between different vegetation types.

Preseason scouting. You cant do enough. A good game camera is worth its weight in gold. All those tracks you talked about are nice but they don’t do you a bit of good if the animal is never there in the daylight. With a game camera you can hunt what you know not what you think, there can be big differences between the two.

Talk to the other hunters and listen to the ones who are successful.

You talked a lot about sent control and that is great but the most important part of any set up is wind direction.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:33 AM
  #7  
Spike
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Thanks everybody! I appreciate the tips...I went out there both Sat and yesterday. Saturday 5 bucks and a hog were taken from the 471 side by 130PM. Pretty awesome. Yesterday I went in through RR at 515AM--stayed until 6PM...no bucks or hogs had been taken all day. I will be back out there for the entire day tomorrow. As I left yesterday, a doe crossed the main road---so at least I've "seen" a deer in there this season
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