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Q: I live in Pinellas county and have a house in Lafayette County. I was wondering where good public hunting land was near these two locations. Also what are some tips to help me get my first buck and/or hog. P.S. I have a 12 gauge shotgun. Jack

A: #1 Jack,

I've three favorite WMA's within an hour and a half from your home in Pinellas County; the Richloam, Homossassa Springs, and Upper Hillsboro WMA's. You can find area maps and hunt info on each of these three WMA's at www.MyFWC.com.

This time of year, this late in the season, I like to hunt the edges of thick cover on the upwind side allowing scent lures, either sexual or curiosity type, to drift into the thick stuff where I expect the critters to be holed up during the day. This can be deady for either whitetail or wild hog.

Your shotgun loaded with slug or buckshot will be plenty of gun. I'd set up within fifty or so yards crosswind of the scent station, with a clear line of sight to both the scents and a reasonable distace downwind of them. A treestand is a big plus here, not only to improve visibiity, but to help keep your scent out of the nose of your target critter.

I particularly enjoy hunting the small game seasons for hogs. Many of the WMA's offer hog hunting during the small game season and by taking advantage of that opportunity, you can enjoy a hunt on the WMA with little or no pressure from other hunters.

Consider eyeing the Fying Eagle, Citrus, Half Moon, as well as the Chasohowitzka and Lake Pannasofkee WMA's as well. For any particulars about any of these properties, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]

Toby Benoit

www.HeirloomGameCalls.com

DK Flatwoods Pro-Staff

A: #2

Jack,

I'm not familiar with public land in either of the locations you mention. Deer and hogs are pretty much the same no matter where they lay their heads though. Look for food sources, tracks, droppings, trails leading from feed to thicker bedding cover for starters. If you can find an ambush site along a trail between food and the bedroom you can certainly spend some time there.

Hogs and deer are both more active early and late in the day and with the season already in full swing the ones that are left are probably even more likely to only move at first and last light.

Buckshot is a viable option if you know and stay within the confines of the abilities of both your gun and you. Another option would be to try out some slugs and see how they shoot out of your shotgun. If possible try out a rifled choke tube which should aid in maximizing your accuracy.

If you have any specific questions feel free to shoot 'em my way.

Regards,

Paul Kish