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chewie146
April 9, 2012, 05:07 PM
Hey all,

I'm coming to the experts on The Firing Line once again. This time, it's about Northern Florida. I may be moving to the Jacksonville area sometime soon if I can sell my house and I get this new job. I'm looking at living west of Jacksonville in the Baldwin/Macclenny/Middleberg area. I'd like something a little more rural if I can manage it. I'm used to hunting in NM, and definitely won't give up on that pursuit. Where are some good areas to hunt, and how hard is public land hunting out there? I won't own enough land to deer hunt. Are there acreage requirements for private land hog and squirrel hunting? Can you even shoot on smaller private land in Florida (i.e. 10 acres)?

bswiv
April 9, 2012, 08:11 PM
Lots of public land opportunities here in NE Fl. Not that it is easy to get used to the rules and regulations but if you work at it, between the quota hunts and the open WMAs you can almost always find a way to be in the woods.

Start looking at the FWC website and getting familiar with the opportunities that are there. In general the FWC is really good about posting the how, when and where of applying.

On top of that if you are in West/NW Duval county you will be not to long a ride from the Georgia line which opens up a lot of other opportunities.

Finally, you will be living in a part of the state with some of the lower cost private hunting clubs. Lots of land gets let at 5-9 dollars a acre in this area, which is less than half of what it is in South Fl.

And a piece of advice......start researching insect repelents and snake boots.....you will want both......the repellent more than the boots most times.

Doyle
April 9, 2012, 08:35 PM
What he said. N. Fl has MUCH more opportunity for both public and private land hunting than S or SW Fl. I moved down here from Jax 21 years ago. Back then, there was a really good shooting club on the west side. You should check to see if it is still there and join if it is.

For any kind of serious deer hunting, most of the hunters in that area will get onto leases in GA. Lease prices up there are half what they are in N. FL and 20% of what they are in central FL.

chewie146
April 10, 2012, 08:54 AM
Thanks to both of you for the advice. I've spent a good amount of time in northern Florida when I was younger, but never hunted. I'm aware of the snakes and bugs, and frankly, they're worth it for the GREEN! We've had our 2nd major wildfire come through in 10 years here in the town of Lost Almost, and it's getting old watching everything turn browner. The nearby canyons where I'd take the girls squirrel hunting are closed and all the trails will be washed out soon. The elk numbers are down in my unit, and the deer are rebounding like crazy...but not where we can hunt them. I'm looking forward to trying some different methods of hunting. Do any of those electronic bug repellents work all that well? I've never tried those. We had OFF...and that's it.

Art Eatman
April 10, 2012, 09:54 AM
In south Georgia, Deep Woods Off has worked quite well in keeping skeeters away. This year happens to be one of the worst in about twenty years, from the mild winter and adequate moisture for an early spring.

This is a worthwhile monthly magazine: http://www.woodsandwatersmagazine.com/

Doyle
April 10, 2012, 11:44 AM
With regards to mosquitos, there are only two types of hunters in Fl - those who bring their Thermocel and those who wish they had brought their Thermocel. You've got a whole bunch of reeducation with FL hunting. The woods are far too thick to hunt "western" style. Down here, it is all about tree stands.

LSnSC
April 11, 2012, 07:46 PM
I hunt near Lake City (Jasper) a few times a year. Deer, pigs and turkeys. I grew up hunting the N Florida flatwoods. If you can kill a deer there, you can kill one anywhere. Its alot tougher than our deer hnting here in South Carolina, but rewarding. I love hunting down there, its unique.

SavageSniper
April 11, 2012, 08:12 PM
The Skeeters get alot of press, and for a good reason here in FL. They are early and bad here at the house. dont know why, its not like we have had enough rain, but it was a very warm winter. The ticks are what gets my attention. If you step out of my yard, you had better be dusted with sulfer.

chewie146
April 11, 2012, 08:45 PM
I know people around Jasper, and there's a possibility I may be able to hunt their land, but who knows. I'll probably try for public land. Florida is beautiful, but I know the bugs are bad. I'm looking forward to trying my luck hunting there. Hogs have captured my attention the most.

shortwave
April 11, 2012, 08:57 PM
there are only two types of hunters in Fl - those who bring their Thermocel and those who wish they had brought their Thermocel.

^^^This^^^...for the skeeters (don't know if Thermocell works for ticks or not as I always sprays clothing with tick repellant as well.

Don't live in Fla. but have spent enough time in the last 30 yrs. down there fishing. Back in the glades and reeds, towards evening, have literally seen clouds of skeeters come up out of the foliage. Thermal cell works.

1tfl
April 23, 2012, 05:11 PM
I use Thermocel like very one else.
This year I started using Permethrin on my hunting clothes and I must say it does work as advertised. Once I treat my clothes it works for about 4-5 weeks as long as treated clothes are hand washed and hung dry. Thermocel, DEET plus Permethrin makes life easier out there.

BIG P
April 24, 2012, 05:51 AM
Cant belive noone said anything about the NATS,You have to have the nat lip, or everybody thinks your being friendly when your really fanning nats.

Your arms will give out before your lip will,Its alot easier to blow them out of your eyes, Trust Me.:D It hard to carry a therm-a cell all summer.

SavageSniper
April 24, 2012, 06:59 PM
Knats are bad but the sandnats are the worse. Suckers have teeth atleast 3" long. Then you have the yellow flies. Welcome to Florida my friend, you will love it here.

chewie146
April 24, 2012, 11:08 PM
I may live in a desert but I'm no stranger to bugs. There are horse flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, ticks, red ants, scorpions, black widows, yellow jackets, hornets, bees, gnats, etc. It's not bug free out here. Also, we have diamondback rattlers that are prolific at lower elevations. I'm just wondering about the opportunities for the hunting. Look up the pepsis wasp. Those are out here, too. Thank goodness those aren't aggressive. Worst sting in the insect world darn near, so far as pain goes. Some nut even gave them all a rating after letting them sting him. It's good reading.

Doyle
April 25, 2012, 07:40 AM
The two biggest challenges you'll have to get used to are :
1. Learning to hunt in hot/very humid weather. I know it can get hot in NM, but at least the humidity is low. During archery season here it is almost unbearable.
2. Getting used to the idea that you cannot just walk through an area and stand a reasonable chance of seeing game (meaning deer and hogs). Even if you have an area with some open terrain, our animals will avoid that in favor of the thick stuff. They can move through the thick stuff but you can't - at least without sounding like a herd of elephants. That is why treestands over game trails are the norm here.

SavageSniper
April 25, 2012, 07:04 PM
I agree with Doyle. Ive live and hunted in FL for most of my 44 years. The longest shot on a deer that Ive ever taken was 207 steps. If you hunt bean fields or something like that you may get a longer shot. I do like to stalk deer and hog and you can do it successfully. I just move really really slow and have to be ready to take a shot in seconds. Really makes for a very challenging bow hunt. What you will really like is our longer hunting seasons than you are probably used to. If you bow hunt you can hunt deer pretty much from Oct to Jan. Hog are year round except on WMA's. Same with rabbit, coon, possum. Turkey here are good too. The fishing, well that is a no brainer lol

bswiv
April 26, 2012, 08:20 PM
What D & SS said about close and slow...........

Even if you don't bow hunt ( My body made me quit that about 5 years ago. ) the same basic experence is had if you forgo the big scope and the long shooting lanes. While its not as hard for me to pop one at 15-20 yards with the rifle it is as dificult to get them that close.

And there is the added bonus of not losing them when I do decide to shoot one.

Last thing......may have said this before......the hogs are the best eating thing in our woods. Don't let anyone spook you about sex or size as all you need to do is gut them quick, cool them down.....in essence handle them like you should handle any game and they will all be good.