Killing Big Bucks Where it's ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE with Swamp N Stomp

Show Notes

When you dream of hunting big bucks, saw grass and palm trees probably don't come to mind. But that's  the backdrop for a crew of die hard deer hunters taking big bucks in South Florida known as Swamp N Stomp. As you can see from their videos, hunting South Florida is a challenge unlike anything else a whitetail hunter can do. If the 100° temps don't get you, the alligators, snakes and other critters that would love to eat you just might. But Florida also offers whitetail hunters a ton of great opportunities, like cheap out of state tags, ample public land, liberal bag limits, and the ability to extend your season into July and on into February. If you're up for the challenge and decide to give it a shot, you just might be rewarded with one of the most unique hunts, and some of the best hunting memories, you'll ever make. 

In this episode, Mark Barton, Danny Perez, and John Menor from Swamp N Stomp share their different tactics and strategies for getting on deer, and some great bucks, in South Florida. The guys discuss everything from map scouting to the importance of observation sits to making sure you're prepared for all that South Florida hunting may throw at you. Whether you plan on hunting South Florida or not, there's a ton of great takeaways in this episode. Enjoy!

Find Swamp N Stomp on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok.

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Southern Way hunting Sportsman's Empire podcast network. I'm your host Josh Raley, and on this show you'll hear hunting tactics, stories, and strategies from hunters across the South. Our aim is to sharpen our skills as hunters and outdoorsmen, become more efficient and effective in pursuit of our craft, and even have a little fun while we're at it.

And of course, no matter the pursuit, we focus on doing things

Hey, thanks for tuning in to this week's episode of the Southern Way Hunting Podcast. I'm really excited about this episode. I got to catch up with the guys from Swamp and Stomp YouTube channel. Now, if you've watched their YouTube channel, you know these guys are killing bucks in some of the most difficult terrain to hunt in the U.

S. I got to chat with John, Mark, and Danny to hear their overall approach to hunting in the deep south. [00:01:00] And by that, Southern Way. Florida. So we cover all kinds of good stuff, including where they start on a piece of public ground, how they use observation sits. We cover exactly what kind of sign and what kind of location it is that they are looking for, that's helping them get on deer and then towards the end of the episode, they actually announced a giveaway that they're doing.

So you want to hang around for the end of the episode for that. As always, thanks for coming back for this week's episode. I hope you enjoy. All right. Join me for this week's episode of the podcast. I've got the guys from Swamp and Stop on the line. I've got John, Mark, and Danny. What's up, buddy? I guess guys, I said, what's up, buddy?

Which one of you did I call buddy? I don't know. What's up guys. How you doing? Good, man. Good. Or so did you guys have to take a break from hunting to come in and do this thing? I know you guys got started pretty early this year. Honestly, I don't think we stopped. I don't think we had to take a break. We've just been going so hard.

It was actually nice to have a break. Yeah, very welcoming break after past few weeks. Yeah, so what are [00:02:00] the temperatures like where you guys have been hunting? Right at the beginning of the season, we were hunting in about 100 degrees. The high, yeah, the highs for the day was 100 degrees.

Heat index of 110. Yeah. We had about four days where it got into the 80s during the day. That was nice. But now it's back to 95, yeah, it's like the humidity stays around 95, 98. Luckily, there's a front coming through right now. Hopefully we'll drop like two degrees. Yeah. Oh my gosh.

Dude the weakness of these southern fronts, man. The people in the Midwest don't even understand. Like when I hear them being like, oh, you gotta wait until there's like a 15 degree temperature drop. I'm like never. What do you, yeah. What are you talking about there? That's not gonna happen.

Yeah. You don't, you like a seven degree drop is oh my gosh, here we go. Oh yeah. When I was in a tree stand, like a, when we had our cold front come through, and it was like in the high eighties, like it felt amazing. It was so good. We had this north wind, which we'd never get as early as we had. And we were [00:03:00] all texting each other, our group chat.

And we're like, this breeze is it actually had the humidity down a little bit. It did. We made it a little dry. Back in the 60s, it was so comfortable. 60s? No, it wasn't 70s. The humidity went down. Oh, I was about to say, whoa. It was like 80, 80 degrees, 60 percent humidity was amazing. It was so good. It was so nice.

I got it in a stand. It was only one day I actually hunted it because I had, I was super sick. I got in the stand, I shot a buck after 30, 45 minutes, and then I just stayed in the tree. I just didn't want to get down because it was so nice. Geez. I just figured I'd wait for a hog, which never showed up.

Oh man. So when do you guys, actually let me jump off with this. Why don't you run through and introduce me to each one of you individually. We'll start from my left, your right. And just go down the line who you are, what you do, how you got plugged in here with the old swamp and stomp.

So my name's John. I'm mostly a deer hunter done the whole [00:04:00] outlast elk thing twice unsuccessfully. And I met. I met Mark through through a buddy of mine that was my best man at my wedding. And we did a small game hunt for backcountry hunters and anglers in our south zone.

And Mark and I guess I met Danny there too. I think you were there. It might have been your birthday? It was actually like, really coincidental how we ended up linking up after that. Yeah, and then and then they were like, Yo, you need to get a camera in your hands. We need content.

And they hooked me up with one of their old cameras. And and yeah, so it all just worked out from there. And now we're on what season is this season two. Three? Three. Season three that he's been working with us. Three? Is it three? It's three. Yeah. I guess the first one he he did get.

I, I, yeah. I did. I missed record on all of them. Filming's hard. It's hard to push that little button. Yeah. When your adrenaline's going. Oh, for sure. [00:05:00] And so yeah. But this year's going so far. And I'll add to that, like he's like our we have a couple other guys in the group, but he's just been awesome.

He's been really trying hard and supporting us and in a lot of ways, so it's been really fun having him on board. Something you believe in, I think we're really based on trying to teach people how to do this in Florida. I was lucky enough to grow up doing it. Here in Florida, where like you weren't.

That's a great segue. Yeah. Yeah so I'm Mark and I did not grow up hunting. I actually grew up in Europe. I moved to the States when I was like 22. And in Europe, you don't really have the opportunities to hunt like you do here because they've taken away all the freedoms to do it there.

And there's no... Yeah, there's basically no public land. The hunting opportunities that do exist are all private. And Yeah, it's, it requires money to do it. There's tons of game, because you can't kill it. But yeah I came over here and after years of trying to get somebody to show me [00:06:00] how to do this and not finding anybody that wanted to take me, because let's be real, nobody wants to share their spots that they worked, years for to find.

I just started plugging away, trying to figure it out. I had some minor success in the beginning and eventually I met Danny and he really helped me put the pieces together. Started having a lot more success, once I got to that stage, Danny had talked about starting this YouTube channel.

And for me I just really wanted to create the resource that I was missing when I was trying to learn how to hunt in Florida. And so that, that was like the big motivator for me. I think we both had similar motivations, but and to this day, that's still the goal. Like we just want to create that resource because most of the content that's out there, the Midwest stuff, it just doesn't apply here in Florida.

And we still, we get questions every day. People asking us like, Oh, how do you do this? [00:07:00] How do you find bedding areas? How do you like, what kind of food sources should I be looking for? Cause they're hearing, Oh, you got to find all the Oaks and the Oaks is where it's at. Focus on the Oaks.

I'm not saying deer don't go into the Oaks here, but everything just looks different here. So that, yeah, that's how this whole thing got started, and... And on top of that, I think all of us hunt differently. Very differently. And we have different tactics, and I don't think you...

There's some overlap, but... Yeah, and I don't think you can say any of ours are any better than the rest of them. But they're definitely different tactics than you would use up north for the most part. And I think... What's that? I said, that's why we suck up North. I was going to say, even for a lot of the South I'm sure some of the stuff that you guys do is very different than the guy in the Alabama pines or very different than the dude in Tennessee or very different than me here in the Piedmont region of Georgia.

That's just, you're not going to, you're not going to hunt the same way. Danny, man, let's hear about your your [00:08:00] background just a little. Yeah, so I'm Danny and I pretty much I grew up with my uncle and my cousin and my dad. Really, we used to hunt the Everglades and the swamps and stuff like that.

And pretty much, like Mark said we, a mutual friend put us together. At the time I was filming off of a little GoPro because I wanted to show all my friends and my family and stuff. You can tell somebody a story, but showing them it's way better, and I'm not that great of a storyteller I can show with a picture.

If you watch some of the earlier, the real early videos, it's like pretty much all recoveries and, or zero raw footage, zero editing. I didn't edit anything. It was like right on YouTube, four hours of GoPro. But yeah, once me and Mark started doing everything together, we really kicked it up and started actually, we came up with a, the channel name and started actually editing video.

And doing all that stuff, it's been it's been really fun, but the whole learning process and [00:09:00] every time you're in the woods, you learn. So I've learned a lot over the past few years, just doing hunts and being able to go back and look at what I did, what I could have done differently. When you make mistakes, you had it forever.

So you get to learn from those every time you watch it. But yeah, that's pretty much. So I'm curious for you too, that. Grew up hunting there. So John and Danny grew up hunting in Florida. How has your strategy tactics approach to hunting changed over the last couple of years? Maybe as a result of kind of accelerated learning that happens when you're videoing everything and constantly critiquing it with a group of guys.

Oh gosh, it's changed entirely. I think the way I grew up hunting at least with my father I hunted, I learned to hunt just sign, initially. And a part of the issue with that from, not, I don't want to say issue[00:10:00] Hogs in Florida, leave a lot of sign, right? And deer sign is much more subtle.

And so I grew up hunting like hog and deer sign, but mostly it was just sign in general, whether it was hogs or deer, because we didn't seem to care. It was just getting out there and hunting and it was all part of the process. And I've really transitioned more towards deer. I'm not as excited about hogs and I'm nothing against it.

Just personally, I don't. I don't find it as exhilarating as I do. Dear, these days, I don't even know. I'd struggle to go kill a hog if I wanted to right now, like really just to target one. Because I left that, that, that direction. Like I said, it just doesn't excite me. And maybe it's because it got ruined on a big one that tasted bad.

And I was like, ah, I'm not interested in that. And he's shaking his head no, because he's they all taste [00:11:00] good, but I'm not saying they all taste good. But I know, I just have this in my mind I'll never forget it. It was just a big rank boar hug, but not to get off topic. But yeah, so it's entirely changed of how I hunt.

I don't, how deep do you want me to go here? I know you didn't ask this question to me, but I can point out something that I think speaks for both of them. So it's something that every person that films a hunt has to learn is you start hunting in places where you can see a lot more.

Oh yeah. Because, except for this weekend, you just, like the last thing you want is to be surprised by a deer, and when you gotta oh I gotta get the camera, and I gotta get this, and I gotta do that, and I gotta push this button, and that button, and this button you need time to do it You definitely learn early on in filming, is that, especially on a, if you're part of a YouTube channel, that it's almost more important to get it on film than it is to actually kill something.

And you have to take that to heart if you really want to produce content. To go, all right[00:12:00] not bow or gun first camera first. And like you said, true. I definitely I definitely don't hunt as thick normally as I used to. I used to hunt tight quarters. Oh, I used to hunt tight quarters and I don't as much anymore.

But for the most part, what I like to hunt currently is I like to hunt. What I call pinch points, travel areas something with a really hard edge where it would be really difficult for the animals to travel through, or they either are going to travel on the edge or out in the open.

And the majority of the time I find that edge to be where I'm going to hunt deer. I got a quick follow up on that. So if you're hunting in places that are more. More open where you can see further for the sake of the film, right? How has that increased or decreased your number of encounters because I think common expectation if you're just [00:13:00] taking in normal hunting content that's out there.

They're gonna say oh, if you're not in the thick stuff You're not gonna see the deer. I think Yeah outside of your range

It produces more content, if nothing else. What I've done, what I've learned to do is I'll actually set up on new areas and open it, in an open scenario. And then I'll... Keep a visual on everything around me and whenever I see deer moving in a particular spot, I'll move into that area and get closer to where they're moving.

And I have found that produces success very well. That's worked really well for us. Yeah, we've done that quite a few times and that's how I approach my first hunt and on a new area, I'll sit somewhere that I'll find it on the map first. Figure out where I see a lot of transition and game trails and such on the map.

Make sure it's true on the ground and then set up there. But I want to be able to see multiple different spots from that tree, right? You might not pick what you think is the most ideal. You might pick that, that, that spot. It's a [00:14:00] little bit. Further away, just to observe sometimes. So I always say this, if you go hunt a spot and you see nothing, then all that, is that there was nothing where you could see now, if what you can see is a much larger area, you learned a lot more about that area.

If you go straight into some thick stuff and you see nothing, you learn a lot less than if you were sitting out in the open. And you could see, yeah, if you can only see 50 yards. And that's also part of the difference in, in Florida, right? We don't get that season change that the Midwest gets where all the trees.

Drop their leaves and even if you're in like thick stuff you're you can see you know 150 yards through the timber or whatever you're sitting in And in Florida if you're sitting thick stuff the swamp it doesn't Yeah You might have 30 yards max. You know that you can actually see something [00:15:00] so and on top of that like When you think about, like it, people define thick stuff very differently, here in Florida, you can be sitting on like a pine flat with like palmettos and gold berries and like all this shrubby stuff where it's open and that, that shrubby stuff, it's hiding everything.

It's taller than a deer. So like it's thick, if you're sitting really high up in a pine tree, like you might not even see a deer walking through there. You'll only see a glimpse of them every now and then. That's still thick, but you get high up in that, that pine tree, you could still see a really long ways and catch parts of the game trails that are going through there.

That's the kind of habitat that I have found a lot of times the deer are bedding in, it's not necessarily that. Thick, nasty stuff that you can't even walk through. It's all the shrubby, grassy, I think you Northern people call it CRP. And I think that's one of the things that I've seen that's consistent.

So I've hunted [00:16:00] quite a bit of pine Savannah type stuff, which looks a lot like what you guys are hunting a lot of times, tall grasses and stuff like that, sparse pine trees. And then when you do have that thicker stuff, it's like just that thick scrubby junk, but it's like little pockets of it.

And where I find like small pockets, and then an open space, and then another pocket, and then an open space that's where I find deer bedding. And that doesn't matter if I'm down in Louisiana I hunt deer in Wisconsin the exact same way. Where you've got this scrubby kind of marsh area. I would say that applies very similarly in Florida, I will say that the Wisconsin marshes are thick in a totally different way. Floating grass and weird things like that. We hunted Wisconsin a couple years ago. Oh, okay. Where at? Near Green Bay. Near Green Bay, okay. Alright. And, we loved it. It was so cool. We really want to go back, but we had our asses handed to us.

We both had, me and Danny both had giants. Giants. [00:17:00] In range and just, I don't know, I, I just didn't think the one I was looking at was as big as when I looked at it on video and I went what the hell did I not shoot for? It was just like this giant eight point, but in my mind I was looking at the size of the body and the size of the rack and I'm like, yeah, the rack's not that big, like 40 yards.

It was chilling. And I was like, man, I'm not going to shoot it unless it comes to 20, and then later on looked at it and it's oh crap. It was like. A 250 pound deer, I saw the video. I'm like, what were you thinking? I want to shot him six times. I want to made an arrow. That's awesome.

And then he had a giant 13 point come in and it was a heartbreaker. But the footage of all that still needs to be posted. We haven't edited it. It's just been we've had too much content, it's a good problem to have the only person that killed a deer. That, that whole trip was my dad.

He killed. A little button, like 150 pound beer, [00:18:00] it's just like big for our gear. And then our button butts are like 60 pounds here. 50, 60 pounds. The last day, the very last day, like we're about to get on this airplane. Then he shot a devil. Oh my gosh. It's dad, we gotta leave. We literally hung up the quarters like overnight.

And then in the morning we just like. Grabbed them like whole and just shoved them in a cooler and left. Oh my gosh. Yeah, it was pretty cool. That whole experience was neat. We were able to actually do a goose hunt and everything. We'll try to get that footage together at some point.

Yeah. We're sitting on it. Nice. Nice. I'm headed back. Yeah, no, we were talking about how strategies and tactics have changed as you guys have accelerated your. You're learning over the last couple of years. Danny, you're the only one that hasn't chimed in too much on that front.

So like you grew up hunting the stuff. How have you changed over the last couple of years? Because from the outside looking in, like you guys are way more successful than I would anticipate a group of dudes from Florida being [00:19:00] just because of how difficult the hunting down there is. Yeah, so it is tough.

So early on and I pretty much started off hunting the what you call sawgrass. The Everglades is pretty much is just sawgrass. You can hunt off of A frame ladders and, or... Tripods. Makeshift tripods and things like that. I grew up hunting that and then... Eventually we got a piece of private land.

So then we got spoiled with the corn and I veered away from public land. And eventually I got bored of that and got back into the public stuff. Hunting the grass again and all that. Now that kind of stuff, you're pretty much hunting game trails. You find an area where you have game trails that come together and intersect.

And you set up near those and you'll hear the deer coming before you see them. More often than not, you hear them flapping their ears because of the mosquitos as they get closer. Jeez. Eventually, once I got away from the grass just like John says, I started hunting transition areas.

Spots where I can see a long [00:20:00] ways and then I just started doing it that way and moving in on the deer as I saw them. Once I think right around when I met Mark is when I started using game cameras. So it's more like six years ago, six, seven years ago, I started using the game cameras and probably eight years.

But yeah, I would try to set them up on spots where I saw game trails and such and sit close to them. So I can see how the deer are using that area and then adapt accordingly. So I got to know and I'll just be upfront with you guys. I shared this before we started recording. As I look at like places to kill a good buck, I've got to say Florida is the hardest.

Like it just has to be like, just look at the terrain. Look at the size of the deer. Look at like the stuff that you've got to hunt. Like it's just really difficult. Like you talk about this sawgrass stuff and I'm like. What do deer even eat in there? Is there edible stuff in there? I don't even know.

It looks like just freaking six foot tall [00:21:00] soccer. I've got a good answer to this question. I think I, Maybe you've got a different perspective on this. Unlike A lot of other places, basically the majority of the rest of the United States is, you don't hunt food in Florida. You can, don't get me wrong, seasonally you can.

There's some as of right now, early season what's Common for our area is Palmetto berries. But the Palmetto's are everywhere, which essentially means that they're basically out in the wide open, just wandering around munching wherever they want to. And and on top of that, you also can't as reliably hunt bedding areas because they're everywhere and because they don't have those like farm fields and things that they go to every day that they can, they just wander in Florida, in my experience don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's some patterns that you can [00:22:00] find but that's why I've taken to things like what I call the pinch points, the transition areas in between whether it's thick or immovable areas where the deer aren't going to walk unless they have to now don't get me wrong.

I do firmly believe some of those bigger, smarter bucks. Stick to some of those really thick areas. And that's where you rely on things like the rut to let them slip up, chasing the dose. But which can happen at any moment, we don't get a week of it throughout, even within our zones that vary so much you get a random month or two months where they can be running anywhere from.

Beginning of that month to the end of the second month. And it, we call it as what, in Florida we call it a dough by dough basis, one dough might rut a month early, one dough might rut a month late. Because we don't get those [00:23:00] temperature changes that you're talking about.

Nothing like, nothing spikes it off that says, alright, peak rut is now. This is, it's not first week of November. It's not... It's not first week of December or whatever, that a lot of people count on in the northern states. We end up, we can't count on the rut is essentially what we're getting at.

We get lucky with it. I think we have So there's published dates in Florida for if you look at the map of like peak rut, that's based on studies that they've done where they've looked at like the developmental stages of fetuses in does. And so from that they can tell like an average, like when they got pregnant.

Yeah. And our peak rut dates are an average, of like when most does are and he, like an asterisk. It's really hard to predict. And for instance, this area that we hunt, it's like right down the road, our backyard WMA two weeks before the season. I had bucks running back and forth at this one [00:24:00] spot, chasing does, and then it just went dead.

So there was a hot dough in there and then it went dead for two, three weeks, and then suddenly it picked back up again. I had this buck. The buck I ended up shooting a couple of weeks ago ran back and forth in front of my camera twice that day. Like it was coming every day multiple times. The day that I shot it, it had already passed by twice.

And then I went in and it came by a third time. And so again, there was a hot doe in there. And then that hot dough either gets bread or she gets chased out of that area. And then you're just like, great now I got to go find an area that has a hot dough and you never really know where that's going to be.

To bring it back to your question, your original question before you went off tangent there, the a lot of the deer here actually eat water plants, like in areas that like sawgrass, not only that you have the sawgrass, but you'll have a lot of water vegetation. And we actually have video of them with their heads under water, [00:25:00] and they'll come up with a mouthful of what looks like seaweed, and they'll eat all that.

In a stomach deep pond, just munching. Yeah, and then they'll eat from the water. Or maybe into their back. Also within those sawgrass places, you'll have myrtles, and you'll have different plants that also eat that. So it's not just sawgrass. You have little islands in those sawgrass areas that do have a variety of different plants, but they do not.

shy away from water plants, plenty of them in there. That makes a ton of sense. All right. So if we're not, I just want to piece together here, like what I would take away, just summarize, like what we just said. Oh yeah. Yeah. So john said this we don't have These like target food sources, which is what you have up North.

You have these ag fields that like he was saying, dear, go to it. Every night they gorge themselves on corn or soybeans or whatever. And then they go find a bedding area. That's nearby that has some water [00:26:00] where they feel safe. And then once they find that spot, they just go on this pattern. They stick to that.

But here, because they don't have that target food source, it really doesn't matter where they are. And they're just nomadic, so they just move around a lot. And yeah, like he was saying, we focus on the pinch points because we're just looking for a place where the likelihood of a traveling deer coming through that area He's higher, right?

And that's where you're most likely to find that big buck coming through just because he happens to also be traveling, but you're also not going to pass that six point, that little basket rack six point that came by right before him. And if you only get to tag one a day, you never get to see that big bucks.

We also have a five year state limit. So as hunters in Florida, we're not like. We only get to shoot one buck a year. We do only get one a day. Yeah, we get one a day. [00:27:00] What a bummer. So honestly, I'm safe to say all of us here are meat hunters. Don't get us wrong, we like trophies. Don't get us, but and yeah, we're meat hunters, but we also don't get to shoot a 200 pound doe.

Our does an average dough for us is like 70 pounds, like 80, 90. They're not, they're 90 pounds. Okay, sorry. 120 for a buck, 90 pounds for a dough. And we're talking whole weight. Yeah, we're not talking about dressed. Not gutted. And we're definitely, that's not a whole lot of meat when you think about it.

We're shooting what we can shoot and it's just part of Florida hunting. Yeah. So it sounds like number one I grew up in Alabama. So I remember the days when our yearly limit was one deer or antlered buck. Which was just like the craziest, thinking back on that now, after having lived in Wisconsin, it was like, that's nuts.

No other like States can't just, you can't support that. But so thinking about what you guys are doing [00:28:00] though, I'm thinking, we're more patterning like a spot or a location and how the deer use that, then we are patterning. Maybe a specific deer because he may come through there like in a big wood setting.

He may be through there every seven days, 10 days, two weeks. Who really knows? And with the way they're traveling down there, I'm guessing like One picture, oftentimes, is as good of an intel, as, is as good of intel as you're going to get, maybe on a specific buck. You get one picture of him here, one picture of him there, you're not how common are you going to get him?

Honestly we try to focus on areas where we're getting multiple pictures a week from individual bucks. Maybe not a specific, maybe not a specific one, but... Multiple different bucks. Yeah if... You find a good pinch point, you're going to get... if I'm like, if I'm like looking for a spot that I really want to hunt and I get camp, I get pictures.

Like at least one buck. That's a legal [00:29:00] buck a day in daylight. I'm hunting it. And it doesn't have to be the same buck. There might be five bucks in an area. If I'm getting a picture of something legal once a day. During shooting hours. That's great. 100%. Now. We're not saying that we always get that But if you are getting a picture of something legal to take every day, you're definitely hunting that spot.

Yeah, I Think that I would venture to say that the idea of patterning a specific buck in Florida is probably far more challenging than a lot of places. That said, there is one guy that we know that does it. You did a podcast with him. I did a podcast. But if you listen to that podcast, that is the most difficult podcast, or that is the most difficult process.

Oh yeah, he calls himself the white tail analyst and he like literally takes the data from his pictures and he starts analyzing the data to try and figure out [00:30:00] where he needs to be to find these deer. And it's actually like our most listened to podcast because everybody in Florida is confused about how to actually pattern.

He does it pretty good, including us very well. He actually shot at a giant, was it yesterday? Yesterday he shot at a giant, he hunts with a recurve from the ground and he He glanced his arrow off of a little baby pine and it went over its back. So heartbreaking, heartbreaking. All right. All right, big picture.

I want to back up talking strategy for a piece of ground, right? So it seems like finding concentrations of deer is going to be like the first critical step. So what are you guys doing? Because when you look at these maps sometimes, yeah, there are some really obvious hard edges. But for the most part, like, where do you even start when it comes to, a piece of ground, a piece of dirt on a WMA in Florida?

I think we [00:31:00] probably all have a slightly different answer to this, but what I do, like if, like you start with e scouting, I'll literally just look at the map and I'll look for those pinch points where I see what I think is going to be high diversity. of vegetation. So if I see, like different shades of green, that usually indicates there's different types of trees.

If I see a lot of edges, there's, there's probably going to be little corridors. I'm always looking for the path of least resistance. So if you see differences in vegetation, there's probably going to be an area where there's like low, easy to walk through. Vegetation versus like thick, nasty stuff you don't want to walk through.

So I'll look for those areas where there's a nice pinch point. And when I say pinch point, 99 percent of the time in Florida, we're looking we have a lot of these flag ponds, which are just like circular ponds. Or elongated, but yeah. So if you have two ponds. Then that gap, that [00:32:00] hourglass gap in between them is like a perfect pinch point because, they will walk right through the pond, but most of the time they're going to take the path of least resistance, which is right along the edge of it or on dry ground, unless they have a reason to not take it, they're going the easy way.

So that's the pinch points I'm looking for. And I'll literally just go on the map and drop pins. On a bunch of different potential pinch points. Now, when I get there, I simply just go straight to that area. And then I look for huntable trees, because if there's not a tree that I can get into, then I'm not going to be able to hunt it anyway.

So like I go find those trees and then I look around those for sign. And if there's no sign, I just scratch it off the list and go to the next one. And just work through it that way. I don't spend a lot of time just roaming around looking for sign because you could spend hours and hours roaming around, not finding [00:33:00] what you want.

I'd rather just focus on like a spot that looks really good to me on the map and then just jump from spot to spot. So that's like where I started. What's cluing you in? Say you've killed a couple of deer this year and you're pretty happy with your success so far.

What's going to key you in to say, Hey, there's a good buck in here. There's a mature buck or whatever your goal is. Like a top tier buck, let's say for your area. Because I think that sign in Florida looks a little bit different than it will even in other parts of the Southeast, given the size of the animals and just simply what they're physically capable of but also I think there's almost like a difference in demeanor, it seems in some deer populations.

And so I'm wondering what does, lights out sign look like for you? I think the only thing that really tells you there's bucks here is... Cameras. What? Cameras. Cameras will tell you, but the sign is... The only thing that's gonna tell you 100 percent there is bucks that have been here is a [00:34:00] rub.

Or... Scrape doesn't necessarily mean there's a buck, but if you find like a pretty gnarly scrape and there's those gnarly scrapes usually have pretty gnarly rubs right by them. I haven't found like a huge scrape that's definitely, getting pounded every day without at least a few rubs near it.

There's a property that I'm at up in central Florida and I haven't been there in a few years, but during the rut, like you'll find scrapes in the middle of the road. Like the bucks get, just get buck wild over there, to lack of better words. And I'm talking about you'll find some solid trees that are rubbed up and almost every time you find a scrape, right in that area, you're going to find some rubs.

So that'll tell you, for me, like that's some, there's some good bucks in that area. One of the priorities of the night. that we find a lot of scrapes is it's the same thing there. So what do you guys, what do you guys see in as far as like consistency of when that sign is made? Because with a really weird rut, it seems like it could go one of two ways.

Either one, there's just not a lot of sign or [00:35:00] two, they never know when a doe could come in and so they're laying down sign all the time. I think, no, it's not that they're just laying down sign all the time. Like I said there's like a peak rut time and it really depends on what area you're in.

But we have a general idea of which areas the rut tends to peak. When we're looking for the sign, like a lot of times, I think it starts with just. Finding deer sign in general, if you find like trails that are beat down and there's lots of tracks, if even if that's does, there's a lot of does in an area.

Chances are there's bucks nearby. So that would be like starting point number one. And then when you find those rubs and then you also find a scrape with it, like now you're like, okay, everything's here. And we always say, it's like when you see a deer from the stand. Don't leave because deer like deer so if you've seen one Chances are like it might have been a doe the first sit, but the next sit you might get a buck coming out So I'll [00:36:00] take that into the the, like what you just said, hunt deer where you see deer.

Pretty simple saying we in Florida have a rather low, our our buck to doe ratio is a lot different than up north. It's getting better though. It is getting better because they've put some more restrictions on those, and then I think our sign can be a lot more difficult to read specifically track wise.

Because a lot of what we find early season is underwater. A lot of what we walk into, we find dry patches, but a lot of what we hunt is ankle to shin deep water. And there might be a game trail that you see, but you don't see Oh, that's a deer track or that's a hog track. Yeah, it's hard to tell now.

Don't give me a rug hog tracks You find a hog game trail Or a game trail that hogs had walked by, walked down. You might find a trail that is beat to [00:37:00] nothing. All right. But it was a, it was a single pack of 12 hogs that ran through. Yeah. And just annihilated this trail. And I find typically, I try your trails are usually like, see that, if I see that, Now, it might have started as a deer trail, but the hogs just walked, alright?

Might have started as a human trail. Yeah, or whatever. And so sometimes that's what you find, but it's pretty hard to navigate that as far as just go, alright, this is deer sign when it's wet like we deal with. But for the most part like you said, we do we find those, it's rather subtle.

Alright. Cool. But I think there's also just like a feeling that comes with it. Absolutely. You find the trails But that's a gut thing you can't explain to somebody. You can't tell somebody how to do that, but it's a after you've seen enough deer from the stand, you really start to get an idea of just the kind of habitat where they're gonna be.

You find those game trails, you're like I'm pretty sure this this is an area where deer would hang out I'm gonna, I'm gonna bank on the fact this was [00:38:00] probably, or at least has deer walking along this game trail. Yeah, obviously hogs and deer will use the same trails, but and a lot of times there's, hogs leave a lot of signs, so if it's run down by hogs, chances are not too far from where that game trail is, you're gonna find more hog sign.

Yeah, but it's rooting or whatever, but I feel like we're on another tangent. You guys are just, this is really good because this is all under that topic of like discerning sign and what I think is a more difficult area because of the animals or because of what they're doing. I'm curious when it comes to some of these spots, have you know, we've talked about, looking for the, those pinch points.

Am I right that I'm trying to piece it together in my head, right? So you've got this edge, right? Or this some kind of habitat diversity that's going on right there along that edge, you're looking for the ponds like you're following this edge or whatever that is. You're finding these ponds.

Are you seeing any consistency whatsoever of betting. I know we've talked about how betting is [00:39:00] basically everywhere, but are you seeing anything consistent that's occurring over and over again that you're starting to key in on? Or is it still pretty much just look, we're looking for travel and that's what we're hoping for.

Yeah, I don't think any of us here is actually wouldn't call you like ourselves big buck hunters. We go for bucks in numbers. So if we find an area that has let's say four or five different bucks used in that area pretty regularly, that's where we're gonna hunt. Now if a big bucks come through, obviously we're not gonna give 'em the slide and not let 'em slip, but that was too big.

We're gonna let him go. Yeah. We don't target, I'm gonna go for, a 120 inches here or a hundred inch or whatever the case may. We're going for numbers. And with that, I like to target places that are overlooked, like I'll set up in spots right by parking lot, I'll set up in areas not far from the check station, where people are walking in and they'll continue going in for a mile past me.

I'll be, 500 yards to 300 yards from the truck in [00:40:00] some cases. Out of the truck, at least that's for me, I don't really find the need to go to the furthest edge of the property to find deer. And that's, I think, primarily because I'm not looking for that one majestic buck that lives in there and he's 13 years old.

Honestly, I feel like a lot of times we do we'll just, get like a, what's that saying? Get a hair up your ass or something and just want to like, do something crazy. And we're like, let's go walk like super far. And we do every time we do that. We're like, that was stupid. Yeah. We get out there.

It's there was way more sign back there by the truck. Like, why didn't we just walk three miles? Every time. So most of the time we are finding more sign. Closer to the truck. And it's you were saying like earlier, you were talking about, like what people should do, like what we're doing differently than other people, right?

And I think what it really comes down to is the fact that we are doing it differently than other people. That's our strategy. We're trying [00:41:00] to see Oh, it's a lot easier to predict what people are going to do and what deer are going to do. So you look at an area and you go, yeah, I bet somebody is going to probably go hunt over there.

Somebody is going to end up walking down this trail and end up over there. But I don't think anybody's going to end up. In this little spot, I'm going to go check that out. Like we're always trying to do it different than everybody else. And guess what? When you don't go to where people go, you find deer.

Oh, and I think there's two things to be said about those. So to your question, like the whole like bedding area thing that's something that I don't think as. I consider myself just a Florida hunter. I don't think that's something many people in Florida actually, like that hunt in Florida.

I don't think that's something they even like concern their minds with. I don't think we look for specific bedding areas. I think you're right on that. I think people that know what they're doing, they don't care. We get that question on Instagram so much. And we actually have a guy that [00:42:00] just.

shot of deer on our channel. Sure. But that, that, but I think that's specifically hunted just like you're talking about a bedding area. But that was different though. Like he, he did the old bump and dump trick where he walked in, he ended up bumping a buck out of his bed and he was like, you know what, a buck was bedding here, I'm going to sit down and hunt this.

And he did. And the buck came back and he shot it. But I think for most of us, like bedding and food sources, like all these things that people up north seem incredibly inconsistent in Florida. That's not what I was going to say. It's secondary. We're looking for. Sign that a lot of deer in the area and most often when you find the area where there's a lot of sign, you take a look around and you go we've got habitat diversity.

We've got lots of different vegetation. We have lots of different food sources. And we've got thick bedding habitat, but pinpointing where those are all going to come together is oftentimes really hard, but when you find where the deer are, most of the time they have [00:43:00] all of that. So it's like a lot of times you find an area and you're like, Oh, damn, this signs like great.

And then you start looking around and it just builds more confidence in your mind. This is the place you want to be because you're like the signs everywhere. And then. Yeah, like they have this, they have that oh, this is an awesome spot. And, having that confidence to stay in the tree, even after that first sit when you didn't see anything, is key to actually killing something in Florida.

Yeah. There's a lot of sits where you don't see anything. And that's where I want to go next. You're talking about these spots, you're finding, you're almost working in reverse of what folks in some other places would. You're finding the sign. And then you're like going down the checklist of like, all right, they got everything they need here.

So I've got confidence in this spot. Two questions that are kind of part of the same thought process, I guess you could say. Number one because of the way you're hunting movement rather than, bed to feed patterns or something like that. How important is that, first sit to you as opposed to giving a spot enough time, I think there are situations where you just got to give a spot time to [00:44:00] produce, right?

Like you gotta just sit there and wait it out. And then number two, pressure on these deer. How quickly are you seeing them respond to negative pressure? Just because. And I keep coming back to this spot. In Louisiana that I hunted, that was a pine savannah because it's the closest thing that I could think of, to what you guys are talking about.

But there, because of the way the cover was structured, I was able to get up high, look down into it. And it was like the deer felt very safe despite regular pressure and human traffic through one particular area. They were like, yeah, I don't care. I don't care that y'all are here. I'm going to use it. Yeah.

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. By the highway. We see it all the time. Danny hunts a spot like pretty regularly where people there's and we've had this happen in multiple places where there's like a main trail going from the parking lot and people are walking down it and biking down it to go out and hunt.

And then we're hunting right next to it, like a little ways off of it, you can see the people walking by and the deer are there, they just they [00:45:00] get used to that pattern of people going down that trail and they're like yeah, they're going to walk down that way. They're not coming in here because they're in some relatively thick stuff where you can't actually see them from ground level, right?

And they're they feel totally safe in there, And I always say like the perfect bedding habitat for a whitetail is gonna be Habitat where if it lays down or puts its head down and it's just standing there You can't see it from you know standing level But if they stick their head up they can look out and see what's out there, right?

Because I think they do that a lot, I think they just Look out and they're like, yeah, it's nothing to worry about over there. And then they go back to eating, I think to answer your question, I think that there is that first, it is incredibly important. Because one thing is that you don't want is if you do sit there the first morning or the first time you hunt it and does with funds or does with like their yearlings and stuff, cause that can be very confusing.

A pretty mature doe. Can lay down some pretty big tracks,[00:46:00] and then once you see the smaller tracks, you might think, oh, it's a bill and a buck. So I think it's important if you do sit there and then throughout the day, all you do is see that one doe with the fawns or yearlings going by, you might need to pick another spot because the sign that you're seeing is not exactly what you're looking for.

So that's really important to check that off the list to make sure that, okay, it wasn't a buck that laid down those tracks. Let me move a little further over this way or whatever. I think it's really dependent on the situation, too, though, because obviously whether you have cameras or not, if you have a doe and a fawn come by, but there's rubs in the area, it's okay yeah, there's probably a buck too, I've had a couple a couple bucks that I've killed where the first sit, I didn't see anything and I just had confidence in the spot.

I was just like, there's game trails here. This stuff is fresh. There's a rub here. That's fresh. Like deer are using this area. Yeah. They didn't come by that first sit, but I just have confidence that they're going to be here and I [00:47:00] stayed. And I did that a lot last year, actually. I decided I wasn't going to bounce around as much last year.

And I had a great year. And so I always try to keep that in mind that sometimes you just got to be stubborn. If you have the confidence, if you see everything that you're looking for in the sign, sometimes you just got to stay put, be lazy. Yeah more effort does not always mean more deer.

I'll take it to a different spot where I go. I guess it depends on what you're talking about. How much scouting I've done here. Whether I have cameras up or not. For me personally I have this kind of two and a half day rule. Where... And not often, in Florida, we, for our public land, we have what we call quota hunts.

And most of ours are three to four days for public land. A few of them are nine day hunts, you get two weekends. But depending on the area, if I've got, if I've scouted hard and I've got good intel on an [00:48:00] area. A lot of times I'm giving it two and a half days before I move. If I've decided on a location that I feel is good, I've got pretty good Intel on I'll hunt it two and a half days.

But I think a lot of that really has to come down to, you've got so many environmental factors. You just, you're wind, you might get, you, you get these dates on your quota hunt. All right. On public land where the wind may not be cooperating with where you've picked to hunt.

It's never cooperating in Florida. Do you get days that it does cooperate? That I try to pick a spot that I want to hunt and hang a tree. Or put my saddle in my throw rope up where I'm going to base it on the. The normal winds for that time of year where we have fairly predictable winds as it comes to the, this time of year right [00:49:00] now, when it starts to get a little less predictable, early seasons, fairly predictable for us we mostly get an east wind on the east coast and west wind on the west coast, northeast, southeast, it's basically what you're going to get but as These cold fronts start to push through, you get the northeast, northwest wind but I largely, if I'm getting intel on an area, I'm trying to figure it out how to hunt it, where's the best spot that I can sit it for those winds.

And if I find something like that's going to work for me, I'm giving it two and a half days before I'm moving, if I'm confident in it. And so that's my best answer for your question there. Yeah. That makes a ton of sense. That makes a ton of sense when it comes to other folks, pressure, so it sounds like you're using it a little bit, but like a couple of guys running through your area doesn't sound like it's really going to deter you.

No. If you watch the Kentucky book video. That we did was a three or four years [00:50:00] ago, I actually had a hunter walk right through where I was hunting and I don't know, maybe an hour later, I ended up shooting a frigging pretty decent buck. I think that's a theme in most of our videos.

There's so many videos where we have people walk by and then pretty shortly after that, we shoot a buck, I remember once, so there's an area that we hunt where you're allowed to use swamp buggies. And it's well known for it. People drive their buggies around like everywhere and they don't follow the rules ever.

They do whatever the hell they want. And, you'll be sitting in a spot where they're not supposed to go, but here comes a buggy, crushing around, driving through stuff. I remember one time I had a buck coming my way, and I'm like texting Danny. I'm like, there's a buck heading my way. He's 500 yards out.

He's coming straight to me. There's just like this perfect little pinch point, like he was coming right at me. And here comes this buggy, drives by him at 50 yards, the buck sees the buggy coming, lays down, and and the buggy drives right past him. And then, buggy passes by, he gets right back [00:51:00] up, comes straight to me, and I shot him.

Like they're pretty used to pressure. They're used to the kind of pressure where people are passing through. They don't care. The difference is when you're staying in an area, that's the kind of pressure where it makes them nervous and they're like, I gotta get out of here. Yeah. And I think the spot that you hunt is a perfect example of that.

But over the last week, he was getting pictures of bucks and does. Every day, multiple times a day. And he was just sitting on it for what, three or four days straight. And then all of a sudden they just gone. No Miller. And have they started showing up again? Yeah. Yeah. Two days ago, they started showing up again after a couple of torrential downpours from the area and they're like, okay, it's fake again.

So you think it was your pressure. I think it was me and there was two other guys that were walking in there pretty regularly. Not to mention we weren't tracked to Doe all throughout there. We also on Monday I shot and back whacked the Doe and we couldn't find her. We spent a couple hours in there walking around the area trying to find it.

[00:52:00] And I think when those bugs crossed that crossing... They ended up going into where we, we did all that tracking. They're like, Oh, something's going on in here. We need to go ahead and stop using this spot. All right. Like now someone's saying like on the highway, if you see those bucks on the side of the highway, I've done it numerous times where I pulled over to take a picture or.

Did you turn to come see them again? You slow down. As soon as you slow down, they're like, zoink, got to go out of there. And I think a lot of it has to do because it's not the, it's not what they're used to. Something changed about what they're used to. So I want to talk just a little bit about your scouting now.

It sounds like you guys. Pretty much scout all the time. Like it's a never ending kind of thing. So do you guys set aside time for Hey, we're post season scouting. I know it's never really cold where you guys are. There's no such thing as winter, but are you worrying about post season scouting?

Are you saving all that for in season? Pre season. Pre season. The problem we have is [00:53:00] that every, the location and the movements of the deer are so dependent on water levels if you go immediately after season, you might still get some decent intel, but for the most part, if you try and go during the off season, it's bone dry out there and the deer will be.

Everywhere. They just completely different areas. They go wherever the hell they want and they go into areas where they couldn't get to before. This is South Florida. North Florida's a little different. Central Florida's very different as well. Yeah. Okay. Like South Florida, it's super swampy. There's a lot of areas that they're probably not gonna go to during, the summer and the early season.

And there might still be good food sources there. And so I think during the winter time, when it gets drier, I think they go to different areas. I don't know. You'll find them in places like, how many times have we found deer like during turkey season? And it's just Oh my God, we got to come back here.

And then you go back in deer season and you're like swimming through it. And you're like, where's all the [00:54:00] deer? Oh my gosh. So our general rule of thumb, when it comes to scouting we've, there's been so many years where me and Danny are like, we got to get an early headstart on scouting and really figure this out.

We start scouting, we put out cameras and then we'll start getting deer. Cause we saw a sign there and there's all these deer on camera and then season starts getting closer and they just disappear. So a lot of the seasons that we do the best are the ones where we go scout two weeks before we go hunt.

Exactly what I was going to say. I was going to say about two weeks before we go hunt. And a lot of the areas we hunt here in South Florida. They're in velvet and bachelor groups up until two weeks before we hunt. And until they basically lose that velvet, you're not seeing rubs, obviously, and you're not seeing them really divide up into their own individual areas until those last two weeks.

And if you go out... A month before season in what we call Zone A for [00:55:00] Florida, that south zone it, it's completely changes. And it's a little tough, you have to go, all right, I got to dedicate these last two weeks for a season. What, I don't even say the last two weeks, we might only do one or two days in those last two weeks where we go scout something.

And you go, all right I'm starting to see some different sign here. I'm starting to see some rubs. And then you can pattern or not pattern, but you can justify hanging in some cameras from there. Not to speak to post season. We have a guy that he, unfortunately he's not here on this podcast.

Cause he's, he was at a hunt down South, but he. He preaches this like he'll go out and we all call him crazy for it because he'll go out after season and he'll go deep down in the swamp and he'll try to find rubs from this season. That old roads for that they were just made and stuff and he's, he calls it post just like you were saying post scouting and he'll make a note of that.

And this guy, he always has big bucks on camera and he's [00:56:00] gone, he's had a couple, rough 2 years, but that actually does work very well. If you're doing it right after season, if you go out and actually are able to find. Rubs from this season, more than likely if that buck didn't get killed, you'll find them there for the following years.

So I was gonna say the same thing if you're gonna scout in the offseason, look for rubs. But don't look for them in the places where you're finding fresh deer sign. Because a lot of times they're not gonna be in the same place. But if you can find those old rubs, chances, like a lot of times, if there was deer during season in an area, the next season, there's probably gonna be deer there again.

So if you already have spots that are good, like a lot of times we just go put our cameras up spots that we know, spots that we know are going to have deer. We'll put the cameras up and just, we don't even scout. We just throw the camera up and we're like, yep, there's going to be deer in here at some point.

But if you are going to do post season scouting, look for the sign that they made during [00:57:00] season, which is pretty much going to be rubs. Don't look for tracks because it's not going to, it's going to give you the wrong impression and you're going to get really depressed when the season starts. I want to pivot just a little bit here.

I've got my mind just cranking. I've never had the opportunity to deer hunt in Florida, but it's something that, that intrigues me a lot when it comes to, finding areas where does are going into heat. Do you ever try to find or, pattern, let's say when these does in a given area, go into heat and try to hit those spots key in on those historically? Yes I actually discussed this with the guy we were just talking about, Mug. He's one of our other guys. Okay yeah, yep. We were talking about this because I've read some studies. I have some friends that are deer biologists. And there's a lot of evidence that shows that deer does, even though the time they go into heat differs.

And this is the same for up [00:58:00] North as well. Like it might differ by a week up there here. It might differ by months, but the same doe will tend to go into heat the same time. And so with that in mind, like we were talking about it, we were like, we don't really want to kill those in our spots anymore because.

We know when they go into heat, so we know when to be there. And so this year we didn't kill any does in that area. I tried not to she caught an arrow. She took an arrow. She survived. She survived though. So we, there you go. But we did talk about it before he decided, before he took that shot.

Like we were like maybe we shouldn't kill him in here because like that way you really get to pattern when you gotta be there. And we see a pretty similar pattern there. Like it's like my spot, which is like seven, 800 yards away from the spot. He hunts, like I was saying, it'll be popping off two weeks before the season starts, then right when the season starts, his spots usually popping off.

And then two weeks later, it's back to mine, there's definitely a pattern there. And, it's been like [00:59:00] that has happened consecutively for. Four years with the exception of last year was a really weird dry year. We actually had no storms, no hurricanes that hit us. So last year was.

Unnaturally dry. It was insane. We were able to drive our two wheeled vehicles without four by four back to our regular spots. No problem. It was that dry. Now with that said that though, that I just backlash maybe not even 15 minutes, maybe six or seven minutes after she came through, but follow her.

And Oh, no kidding. Yeah, it was it was too dark to be able to shoot him or anything like that. But yeah, sure enough she walked in. I don't think he was following her, cause he didn't go in the direction that she ran after I shot her. I figured if if she was in heat, he would have followed her smell.

He actually went in the opposite direction, but yeah, sure enough, that boat came right after her. I bet, I don't know if you'd actually... So I can't, I don't think you can say that was just hurricane. So I just, we just [01:00:00] had low rainfall early last year. It's just been it was a weird dry year last year.

And El Nino, or El Nino, La Nina we've had a few years of La Nina this year. It's El Nino. So we're getting a much wetter year this year. But we have solid dry years, but on the idea of the patterning, the dough, I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but last year I hunted an area which is new to me which John told me about and I went in there I killed a nice buck and I couldn't kill another buck that day or during that hunt.

And so I went back out that afternoon because I was staying at a friend's house who needed me to be out of the house. So I was like, all right, I guess I'll go hunt. And then an even bigger buck chased a doe right past me and I couldn't shoot the buck. So I shot the doe and he was very disappointed after that.

Yeah. It was actually funny because when I went to [01:01:00] track her, he was standing over her dead body, like waiting for her to get up so he could do his thing. But anyway, so I killed that doe and, after seeing all these deer in there last year, I was like, this spot's going to be money.

I went in there, scouted it, put a bunch of cameras up and it's been dead this year. Like I covered that whole area in cameras and I haven't gotten a single buck. I would take, I would actually take a shot at it yet. So I don't know, like maybe that was the one dough that was in estrus during that time in that area.

And I just screwed it up, and this year I got to start from scratch and find a new area where a doe is in heat. I don't know. We'll find out. Cause that hunt's coming up in like two weeks. Nice. So maybe suddenly I'll start getting pictures of bucks in the next week or two, but I don't know.

It's definitely looking different than it did last year. Man, we guys, we've covered pretty well. I feel like. The differences of hunting South Florida. I [01:02:00] think if people were confused thinking that hunting in Florida was like hunting in the rest of the country, even not to mention just the rest of the Southeast they've been corrected if if they thought that it could be similar, make the case for me, man, because I'll be honest with you.

I told you guys when we first got on I think hunting and killing a buck in Florida might be the hardest place in the entire United States to kill a buck. And I'm pretty convinced of that. The deer are also smaller. It's also a hundred degrees. There are also things that want to kill me and eat me that are out there.

So yeah lots of them. So I don't think that we've really built a case for why people should come to Florida to to hunt. But I do think that it allows for some pretty unique opportunities. I'm actually heading down that way. This this spring to hunt Osceola's so looking forward to that. I need to be convinced though that I should come down for deer.

Why don't you make the case? I think that florida, just like any other state has [01:03:00] its challenges. We went to Wisconsin thinking that we were gonna be able to get out there and just shoot a bug off the porch kind of thing. Like it was gonna be that easy and it was not. Wisconsin definitely put us on our place.

And it showed us that there are different challenges for different places because the age class for deer in Wisconsin is going to be very different from what you have here in Florida, where that buck that he was talking about earlier, the 13 pointer that I saw. He made a decision as soon as he saw something that was weird in the area, he saw either my camera or he knew somebody had hunted that tree in the past and he had a memory of it.

He saw something in and right there in that book made his decision. He was out of the area from 65 yards. He was. He was like, sure. Okay. I'm done with this spot. Got to go. I pulled him in off of a soybean field with my little tube, a little deer, deer in the can. Now my experience with deer in Florida, even mature bucks that I've killed, [01:04:00] you usually get a pretty good opportunity at them.

Like they'll, if you're able to call them in or they get them within, a few yards. As you draw up, they're not typically going to just disappear, get out of the area. They're like pretty curious and not really sure. So I think every state has its own set of challenges. Ours are obviously going to be the swamps.

The deer numbers and the challenge to find them where vegetation is abundant all year long and bedding is abundant all year long. He said, make the case for why people want to hunt here. Once you understand those challenges, once you understand those challenges and the way that we approach and are successful every year in killing deer, then you can apply those ways that we hunt.

And you're going to see them, if you set up in spots, like we were talking about pinch points, transition areas, overlooked spots, you're going to be able to see bucks and you're going to be able to move in on them. And you may not kill them in the first two cents, but in the, if you start seeing them on the first or [01:05:00] second or third day, you can make a move for that.

If let's be real, if you're coming from out of state, you're not going to sit here for one weekend. You're probably coming for a week at least. Yeah. So using those little tips and tricks that we use. You're going to get close to deer and you're going to be able to at least try to have an opportunity at one.

Yeah. And building on that, I think, like you said, we have these, the different challenges. I think in the Midwest the challenge is the deer themselves. They're smart. They're used to being hunted and they figured out how to not get killed by humans. They look into trees. Yeah. Look up.

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Our deer don't look up. Our deer are younger. They're not as smart. They haven't been around the block as many times as those big bucks up north, but the challenge here is more in the habitat, the terrain, the predators that want to take your leg, the mosquitoes that can carry you out of your tree.

It's more of a, like a mental game here, trying to keep yourself in the game long enough that you'll actually see a deer and [01:06:00] get a chance at it. Or just dealing with the heat. I think dealing with the heat is what's... But again that's like another, it's like a mental game. It's like a mental game.

You really need to like... You need to prepare yourself for it to be miserable because I always say this, like hunting in Florida, you either you've got to love it because if you don't, you're going to hate it. You need to love that challenge. Now that's enough talking about why it's miserable.

Let's talk about why it's awesome. I said this before, Steve Rinella made the coups deer, this like thing that lots of people want to go do why. It's not because they're big bucks because they're not they're tiny, they have tiny racks People go because one it's really easy to get tags It's cheap and it's a cool experience.

You get to do something that's completely different than what you're normally doing while still chasing after an animal that's somewhat familiar and that's the exact [01:07:00] same thing you find here in Florida. They're still whitetails, they still act like whitetails, but there are some differences between them.

The habitat you're in is completely different. You get to scout and experience, just explore completely new habitat. And if you go home after shooting, even a little six point, like you, it might not be something that you can brag to about, Oh, look how big this buck is. But you can tell your friends, like I killed that deer in Florida of all places.

Like people think of hunting in Florida, they're thinking alligators and pythons. Like people are usually pretty surprised when you tell them you hunt deer in Florida. It's just a really cool experience. And then on top of that, a out of state license is, I think it's 50 bucks and that gets you five tags.

And we have, I think 11 percent of Florida is public land. That's a, gosh, that's a big chunk of public land. [01:08:00] Like we have hundreds of WMAs. Yeah. Yeah. And, most of them are quota permits, so you have to apply for them, but there's quite a few that you can hunt without a quota permit and you just show up and go hunt them.

And that goes for the whole state. You can hunt non quota property from all the way down from Immokalee, South Florida to Jacksonville or Tallahassee. There's, they're spread out and they're everywhere. There's a lot of management area that you can hunt without a quota. And. There's something, okay go ahead.

And. The rut generally happens in archery. Everybody wants to kill him with a bow. Or a muzzleloader. Archery and muzzleloader. Archery, sometimes it happens in muzzleloader. There's just, it's just a cool experience. That's really Jeff, yeah. One of the things I want to add to this is that There is something really cool about we'll just say sitting in a tree stand or there's saddle tree stand, whatever Florida is a lot different in that sense of you're, a lot of what you're doing is in the swamp and that's a [01:09:00] different feeling of sitting in the tree stand.

I have hunted the Midwest a couple of times or either ag land, whatever you want to call it. You get a lot of different noises, and everybody loves, that first light of the morning. If you don't love that, you shouldn't be hunting. But just all those, what you hear, the noises, everything else.

From gator growls. Oh, gator growls. Panthers. All of it. It's really cool. And it's a different experience. I love it, and I hear it every time I go. Also we don't really have CWD. We just got our first CWD case in the panhandle. But if you go to South Florida you don't have to test your meat.

That's a bonus. At least not yet. Not yet. It's coming. It's coming. But yeah, so to get back to that it, it really is a it's a really different experience that I don't think you're gonna get anywhere else in the us. And it you're playing capable of being successful. We have[01:10:00] a good number of deer and I don't they're different to hunt as far as environmentally what you're gonna have to deal with.

Temperatures and things like that and mosquitoes. I personally, I run two thermos. Keep the mosquitoes away. And it works just fine for me. I don't get eaten up. The temperatures are rough. He, he does. If you watch his videos, you'll see them. I just let him eat me. It's just part of the experience, but but yeah I definitely think people should come give it a whirl.

And you're going to have fun on your Osceola trip and it'll be. It'll be different for sure. Let us know if you need any help. I'm really good at finding them I'm not good at killing them, but i'm pretty good at finding them. All right Yeah, I probably will need some help because I will be lost down there where are you going to or what don't say it out loud.

Tell us after you stop recording. Yeah, we'll talk. We'll talk after afterwards, but I met a guy a couple weeks ago at a show here in georgia That was like hey Or I might be able to, [01:11:00] help you get on some birds, help you traverse some of the area. That's a little bit more difficult.

But so I want to sum up with one sentence, what we just said. One. Okay. If you are in deer hunting, cause you want to kill a giant buck, don't come to Florida. If you're in deer hunting because you want a cool experience and to explore new habitat. Florida is where you want to be, right? Agree.

And I think if you can go to Florida and get it done, or if you can start to sharpen some of the tools that it takes to get it done in Florida, I think you can probably get on deer in a lot of other places. And one thing you didn't mention that is one reason that the Coos deer is so awesome is because you can hunt at different times.

Like, when did you guys open up this year? July. Last week of July. Last week of July is when our season opens. Freaking July. And when does it close? It depends on what part of the state you're talking about. Yeah, February. End of February, yeah. I have, so archery starts in our south zone [01:12:00] in end of July.

Yeah. And it opens in another zone the first week of archery. I got two hunts the first two weekends of archery up there in December. Yeah. And there's even ones that open later than that. You got it. All the way to the tip of the panhandle, where you're basically in Alabama. You can hunt all the way to the end of February.

Like I re I remember being a kid and in Alabama, cause I was right down there on the coast in Alabama. And literally I'm like looking at these extended seasons. That's before Alabama went to February 10th. So I'm like, Oh, I could jump over into Florida, hunt almost to March. And I'm like, wait a second.

Two weeks later, it's Turkey season. Like literally, in Alabama back then it was starting March 15th. So I'm like, man, I could just keep this thing going year round. There are places in Florida where it switches from deer season to turkey season without a gap, like one week. One weekend to the next, it goes from deer to [01:13:00] Turkey.

That is insane. That is insane. All right, guys, I've kept you long enough, but this has been awesome. I, yeah, we're definitely going to talk cause I need to pull off this Osceola thing, but. I also need to learn a little bit more about getting on some of these deer because I think that would just be incredible.

Even pushing myself to July doing one of those really early hunts I feel like could be really cool. Although I've watched a couple of your videos and it looks like you guys have a dog tracker that's helped y'all a couple times. And y'all are going to, y'all are going to, y'all are going to kill the Facebook page that you can find the tracker on, right?

Did you guys use the same guy twice? Yeah, he just, he was just a cool dude. And we just, he just wanted to come out and help. Yeah, you guys are going to kill that man. We almost did the first time I was watching those videos. I'm like, dude, that poor, like he's gonna, he was in pretty bad shape during that hunt.

The thing is he lives in central Florida and it's a little bit cooler there. It's not quite as human. And all those tracker guys, they're just so excited to get their [01:14:00] first track in. So this was like an opening weekend hunt. And it was a big buck. And so I posted on the group, I said, we got a big buck, I'm pretty sure it's down, but we can't find blood.

And this dude was just so gung ho, he drove three hours to come and track it for us. And he was just not prepared for how hot. That was during a period when we had an extreme heat warning going on. It was a heat index of 115. That's wild. And so we are tracking in the middle of the day, two, three o'clock in, in the afternoon when it's as hot as it gets.

And we're walking in a swamp, so it's as humid as it gets. And yeah, he was in bad shape. He almost had a heat stroke and we had to, we had to get him into the water and cool him off. And, and it took us two and a half hours to get back to the truck, what took us 15 minutes to get out there.

But this is an old dude that's he's 65, but he's an old military guy that like, he doesn't know quit. He's like pushes his body to the limit and [01:15:00] that dude's tough, man. If I can be that stubborn and that tough at his age. I'd break it. That'd be pretty damn good. . He is such badass.

Like he was even telling me he lives like in a, like an assisted living, like in an old folks' home, basically. Yeah. He's a Sapp. Yeah. He, and he was like, I can't wait. Like during I forget what he said, but it was something along the lines of oh, I can't wait for the next bingo night to tell everybody about this.

I was like, wait, what , sir, we've gotta get you to bingo night first. Like we, we gotta get you outta here. Like I watched that video, I was like, Oh man, it is not going well for him. He learned in the next track, he went and tracked for him not even a few days later. And he was like, he drank a ton of water and like electrolytes.

Yeah. And that helped him a lot. Now don't get me wrong. It was still rough conditions then. It was. Hayden X didn't change much, it was like 112 that day. But I think, I'm glad you brought this up. Because if somebody did hear my little advertisement a minute ago about [01:16:00] coming to hunt Florida, these are things to keep in mind.

Hydration is the most important thing. Drink a ton of water before you start hunting. Like when you get up in the morning, drink electrolytes, drink a lot of water and you will be setting yourself up to, not get dehydrated. Even better. Anybody who's. Active. Electrolytes do way better the night before.

Way better. Water in the morning, electrolytes the day before. That's really the key. Just comes down to pre hydrate is all of it. Pre hydrate. I'm going to bring a little electric fan. Just to sit up and sing with me. Then you just have the mosquitoes pelting, you, . You're just giving them more momentum to get that thing deeper into your neck.

They're really getting lodged in there at that point. So also, I promise, after you've walked out to your tree in Florida, you're gonna be trying to minimize the amount of weight you're carrying. Oh, I bet. Yeah. If you're not a saddle hunter when you get there, you will be by the time you leave.

Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure of [01:17:00] that. Guys, you guys where, number one? Where can we find you? And you've got a giveaway coming up that we wanna talk just a little bit about. Oh yeah, the giveaway. Okay. So people can find us on Instagram. We've recently got a tick talk YouTube all of the things just look up swamp and stomp that's within the letter N not the word and all the same on every one of these platforms and the giveaway.

We are going to be giving away a set of X two sticks and the invader platform from XOP. Altogether these come out to, I don't know, about 400 value. We recently used them at one of our workshops and absolutely love them. And we don't even have them yet. And in fact, I'm actually thinking about.

Entering the giveaway myself, just so that I can get these sticks and platform. The way that you enter you just become one of our Patreons. And we do giveaways for the Patreons every six months. Just go patreon. com slash [01:18:00] Swamp and Stomp. And yeah, go from there. Awesome, guys. Hey, I really appreciate you coming on the show.

Thanks for telling us a little bit about Florida. And yeah, man, let's let's talk a little bit more on off air here when we're talking talk about these turkeys just a little bit. Sounds good, man. Thanks for having us on. Thank you. That's all for today's episode. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig this show, please go subscribe to this podcast, wherever it is that you get your podcast.

And if you can leave us a review, I would really appreciate that until next week. Let's keep doing things the Southern way.