Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

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Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby 18javelin » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:47 am

I have Family there and a condo done some fishing for reds down in my bass boat out on the Lagoons. looking for some info on duck hunting. I have look on the FL DNR website and know what i need as far as permits and such. just looking for items a midwest guy may need for FL ducks. Areas to avoid? Areas to start (general)... anyone here hunt space coast ducks?
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby chris_k » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:00 am

:welcome: to DHC!

what you just did .... yeah .. don't do it on these forums
It's called cyberscouting :fingerhead:

Go out yourself, and scout it out.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby quackhunter99 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:13 am

myfwc.com will be your best friend. Costal hunting can be good but I very tricky. Buy yourself a chart, and of you don't have a gps learn how to use a compass. My gps has truely saved my life more than once. Also leave the mallard call at home, you will end up pissing people off. I don't know about the actual hunting at Merritt island though. The fwc website should have what you need.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby 18javelin » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:52 am

I didnt do any cyber scouting? Plus Im 18 Hours away kinda hard to just drive down and scout... I just asked for tips of general areas a year AHEAD ? Like Ramps that may be Bad so avoid them, around here some ramps collapse and have big drops off on them hang a trailer right up on the axles... Kind of ducks i may be hunting? Certain calls? I already said i would be hunting Merrit Island so Not looking for a SPOT just some General ideas Points? bays? just looking for habbits of the ducks where they like to hang... Here in midwest its a little different.

Brackish water VS Fresh? one better than the Other... Thanks for the welcome Chris I do my own scouting no matter the game.
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby Tuff5254 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:53 am

Start here:

http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/Hunting2012.pdf

Shoot me a PM if you have any other questions.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby 18javelin » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:06 pm

Thanks i have already looked at that. What kind of spreads do u use? Boat/ bank... any danger with the gators and dogs? I have redfished there 3 times kind of know my way around a Little. One time had a gator wouldnt leave us alone we left, but dog on retrieve and one shows up? Im not comfortable with them like u all are. LOL My wifes cousin wades everything down there and has no fear. but how about dogs?
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby chris_k » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:20 pm

18javelin wrote:Thanks i have already looked at that. What kind of spreads do u use? Boat/ bank... any danger with the gators and dogs? I have redfished there 3 times kind of know my way around a Little. One time had a gator wouldnt leave us alone we left, but dog on retrieve and one shows up? Im not comfortable with them like u all are. LOL My wifes cousin wades everything down there and has no fear. but how about dogs?


Gators are around all year, some days more active than others. I've seen them out in 25F and 90F. You are however more likely to see them active during the hotter days. But if you are gonna use a retriever year round in Florida, be ready to take the risk of losing your dog. Keep a gun with buck shot, slug or a pistol to put your dog out of his misery quick if he were to get snatched. Attacks are not common, and rarely ever happen ... but they do. A friend of my dad's lost his pup to a gator while making a retrieve in one of the STAs in South Florida.
All of us Floridians wade in our waters, and have gators, water mocs and snapping turtles in them. I've had a gator as close as 2 ft from my elbow while wading. They are always present. And no, I've never been attacked.
I've lost quite a few birds to gators before. So if you have gators in your deeks, be quick to retrieve the bird.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby 18javelin » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:34 pm

if gator are in my dekes im not sure me or my dog will be rushing out to them. LOL without a few rocks chucked out there first. LOL But thanks for the tips i didnt figure it would be a huge problem but dont hurt to ask. Me and a buddy turkey hunted Alabama a few years ago and walked in a swamp and 2 gators took off we hadnt even wondered if gators were there. LOL scared the Hell out of us.

after that i try to learn all i can about a area. LOL
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby quackhunter99 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:51 pm

just use your common sense when your in an area gators could be. If its been 50 degrees or below consistently for a few days, you should be alright. Ive barly taken my pup this year because the temps have been so warm. if there is a gator, usually a round of steel across the head with scare him off. Just keep an eye out. Ive lived in florida all my life, and while i do keep an eye out for gators, my biggest concern are the cottonmouths (water moccision), your probebly not going to see them until your almost stepping on them. but if the temp has been below 60 for a few days, you dont have to worry about them to much either.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby marshnole11 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:28 pm

If you hunt merritt island you will need a boat to cross the rim canal that borders all of the impoundments. after that you can pretty much slog around anywhere. If you are only using paddle power that is fine but a mud motor is best.

I would definetly bring either widgeon or pintail decoys and coots..... considering that is why most people go to merritt island this time of year. to shoot a stud drake. youll need a whistle. you can only bring 25 shells per person the refuge. the ones in your truck count too so dont have more than your supposed to or they will bust you.

gators at MINWR are BIG. there is no gator season there. I have seen some 12 foot plus monsters laying in nothing but a puddle. just because it doesnt look like a big gator will be somewhere, they might be. Keep your dog away from the rim canals and deeper potholes. If a pothole has no vegetation in it at MINWR it is usually waist to chest deep in some areas. I wont send my dog any farther than a normal retrieve and never into any thick brush. The rim canals are they worst, thats were the dinosaurs live.

if you have any more questions PM me, I can at least point you in the right direction on where to shoot a decent bird. your not going to crush it, but you might get a shot at a wallhanger.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby 18javelin » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:48 am

Thanks for the info, despite how it may have sounded i wasnt trying to scout.com just wanting info like posted above. I have a 18' bass boat now and hopefully by next fall i will have sold/traded it for a decked out Duck/Fishing rig. I am Bowfishing/hunting out of my boat alot more than i am tournament bass fishing so the shiney rig has to go. LOL

Any other tips guys?
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby Belly up dux » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:44 am

There has not been much rain this year so it is very salty. There are ramps but they are dirt and better suited to jon boats and such. There is areas you can walk in up around Peacocks Pocket. I will tell you that without the cold up north, we don't have a lot of birds like years past and many areas have been hunted hard. I hate to say it but I put up my deks a week ago. I will hunt woodies and that will be pretty much it. There are some bluebills down there as well as sawbills, but not much else because there is little food. You do need a hunters safety card to hunt that area besides the permit.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby 18javelin » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:11 am

It will be next Nov or Dec before i come down, wife is due with our 2nd baby in feb. so we figured we would drive down next fall/winter to let the family get their time with him and i could slip out and do some duck hunting.
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby wigeon_call » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:13 am

I've done decent there. like any spot, weather/migration/hunting pressure dependant
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby jeepfreak304 » Fri May 25, 2012 7:11 pm

LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE HOTEL ROOM!!!
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Re: Merrit Island... ducks hunting?

Postby 18javelin » Sat May 26, 2012 2:29 am

Is it that bad? if so i will just leave her at home, and pay to have someone to keep her. I hate hunting without her though, seems its only half a hunt without my dog.
jeepfreak304 wrote:LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE HOTEL ROOM!!!
Underradar wrote:Well, its sad really. One day he's happily posting pics of road killed coyotes he posed as if he shot them, the next, he's stomped down the shower drain like a soft turd.
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