New to Flordia hunting and need help

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New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby tony8378 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:28 am

Guys, I just moved here from Alaska and am stationed at Tyndall AFB. I am excited to have the opportunity to hunt in FL but am very nervous about the gators. I am more worried about my family pet and hunting buddy them I am myself. Although I am not sure if that's sound logic. Everyone I have asked has told me to stay out of water or my dog will be eaten, but I refuse to believe that duck hunters in flordia don't use dogs or let them get eaten every year.

Also can anyone point me In direction of where to hunt at in the panama city area? I am not looking for honey holes just a good bearing. Something else I thought about do people lease hunting areas like I have seen for deer?

Finally if you are not the Internet posting type and would prefer to talk over a beer let me know and I will buy us a few rounds.

Thanks

Tony
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby JAXDuckMan » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:55 pm

myfwc.com look up underwaterfowl hunting that will get you started. Pick a hunt spot near where you live. most bodies of water are open to hunting you have to be 100yrds from homes to shoot. all major lakes are list there also and hunt days if its a restricted area. Asking for help isnt really going to help you here as most people are not going to give up their favoite spots to you. Good luck! myfwc is about all you need anyways....
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby tknight006 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:39 pm

JaxDuckman,

In no way whatsoever am I saying this in an argumentive way but I just wanted to share something I learned las year

In regards to distance from homes you have to be, I learned last year that that is different per county. Duval countys statues states that there is no required distance you have to be from ones property, only that your bb's cannot land on their property. This came in handy in the river as I was literally about 10 yards from a house on the bank of someones house and shot some woodies, ensuring I shot towards the center of the river. With that being said, the folks will quickly call the police so it's important to have the county statutes saved to your phone or printed out lol

Just thought I'd pass that on since it could come in hand for some pet mallards.
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby waterdogds » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:18 pm

:welcome:

Yes, anywhere and everywhere you find water, you'll find some gators. When its below 45°, it slows them down a bit. On warmer days, leave the dog at home. If you've never hunted in florida with a dog, I would get a season under my belt before taking the dog. It will help you learn your area, and you'll be able to asses any concerns or risk for yourself. Good luck, and welcome to Florida. :thumbsup:
Last edited by waterdogds on Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby tony8378 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:20 am

Guys thanks for all your help so far. I will check with the website and see do some research. As far as the gators go do they bother you when you are hunting. Point being if I shoot a duck will they steal it from me, or try to bite as I go to retrieve it. Sorry if it's a dumb question but I have never seen one besides the tv or zoo.

Thanks again

Tony
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby vpadfsu » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:47 am

http://jacksonville.com/sports/outdoors/2012-09-15/story/teal-wood-duck-season-tap-florida

Found this last night when i was searching for migration reports....perfect for what your asking...
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby waterdogds » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:41 am

tony8378 wrote:Guys thanks for all your help so far. I will check with the website and see do some research. As far as the gators go do they bother you when you are hunting. Point being if I shoot a duck will they steal it from me, or try to bite as I go to retrieve it. Sorry if it's a dumb question but I have never seen one besides the tv or zoo.

Thanks again

Tony


They'll definitely steal a downed bird. But usually, they are likely to move on when you start moving around in your boat. Most are more afraid of you than you are of it. BUT...you can occasionally run into one that isn't afraid and has no problem approaching your boat, watch out for one that's not shy. Chances are, someone has feed it, and it has lost its natural fear of man, and it will associate you with food. Not good. Here's a pic from another member here in Florida.
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby Tuff5254 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:34 am

tony8378 wrote:...As far as the gators go do they bother you when you are hunting. Point being if I shoot a duck will they steal it from me, or try to bite as I go to retrieve it....


YEAP!! I have had several dead ducks stolen by gators. Fortunately there is only 1 lake that we have a big problem with them in so on those days the dog stays at home.

waterdogds wrote:... If you've never hunted in florida with a dog, I would get a season under my belt before taking the dog. It will help young learn your area, and you'll be able to asses any concerns or risk for yourself....


X2, it took me 5 yrs of hunting to be comfortable enough to get a dog and use one. It’s a big investment to have taken away by a big lizard. Just be smart and you’ll be fine!!!
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby EZ66 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:00 am

I have to agree about them being shy. Hunger quickly overcomes the shyness though, and like waterdogs says, the ones that approach are the ones you have to be careful with. I've had quite a few scares but they almost all came when I didn't see the gator, and it didn't see me and we scared the carp out of each other.

You'll get over it after a couple of trips. I'd be just as terrified fishing in Alaska, and dealing with those brown fuzzy monsters you guys have up there the first few times.

Oh, and I'd leave the dog home.
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby hunt-chessies » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:20 pm

man i REALLY think people blow the whole gator thing out of proportion.... Yeah they are out there and yes you got to pay attention to them. I have my dog in the water ALL year long everywhere from the STA's to north Florida. I always scan the area befroe hand, i pay attention while im in the water hunting/training, and i have a trained retriever!! that's the real key i think. He's got to be steady incase it's a situation i should not send him into, he's got to be able to recall when i see a problem, and he has to be able to handle out of harms way if the situation arrises. If you have this ability, a good set of eyes, and a lick of common sense then your fine!! DONT swim him in rim canals or highly concentrated areas. DONT put him in when you see one lurking. And for God SAKE dont let him go blind into areas you haven't checked. But sitting in a pocket over dekes..... %95 of the time it's a non-issue. I've had more problems at boat ramps and retention ponds than i have in duck blinds!!

Just my $.02.... i hunt with a retriever every time i go out
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:53 am

I agree with hunt-chessies...I think the gator threat is easily avoidable as long as you keep an eye on your dog and maintain good situational awareness. Don't send your dog if you know there's a large gator nearby, avoid deep water, and don't send your dog on retreives into thick cover. Until we get some cool weather, I would be much more concerned with snakes. If you take your dog with you, keep them at your side until it's time to make a retrieve.
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Re: New to Flordia hunting and need help

Postby waterdogds » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:37 pm

tony8378 wrote:I have never seen one besides the tv or zoo.

Tony


Bare in mind guys, tony8378 is from Alaska and has never seen or experienced a gator or the lakes and rivers they inhabit. For his dogs sake, he should exercise extreme caution.
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