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Old October 25, 2009, 08:07 AM   #1
frolic1
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shooting off shore

I live in Florida. We go off shore fishing all the time. Is there any law against shooting from a small boat? I'd like to go 5-10 miles off shore, make sure no one is near and then do a little target shooting if the fishing is bad. I'd be using a shot gun so it's all short range. I was thinking of using some balloons and letting the wind take them 30-50 yards away and then fire on them. Is there any law against this?
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Old October 25, 2009, 09:12 AM   #2
hogdogs
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Once in federal waters (+9miles IIRC) I don't think any law exists. Inside florida waters, I think the law says "No firing at game animals from a moving vessel." or some such wording...

We have taken clay pigeons and stacked them in a 5 gallon bucket and filled it with menhaden oil and let them soak for a week... Got off shore and used a hand slinger to launch them... the ones we hit chummed the top water and those we missed brought the tuna and lower level fish seeking... 'Twas a great day!
Brent
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Old October 25, 2009, 10:27 AM   #3
MTT TL
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I would check your local and state laws. In SKIRIOTES v. STATE OF FLORIDA. The court rules that the state may regulate and police inside of territorial limits (currently 12nm). Outside of 12nm you just have to deal with the coast guard "enforcement" as they see fit. And pirates .
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Old October 26, 2009, 11:05 AM   #4
frolic1
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Thanks for the update, I'll be sure to stay 9 nm off shore on the gulf side.
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Old October 26, 2009, 03:11 PM   #5
MLeake
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With a shotgun...

... and in open water, at the distances you're talking, you should be fine. Closer to shore, bear in mind that handgun and rifle rounds will bounce farther than you might expect after skipping off the water.

The other issue would be to make sure you are not in any bird sanctuary areas before you uncase the shotgun. Again, if you are going 9-12 miles out, this shouldn't be a problem, but you have to have the weapon unloaded and stowed if/while you transit any sanctuaries.

Have fun.
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Old October 26, 2009, 05:34 PM   #6
birdshot
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duck hunter

duck hunter's shoot from boats all the time. most shoot inside of the international waters.

Last edited by birdshot; October 26, 2009 at 05:34 PM. Reason: wrong tense
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Old October 26, 2009, 05:51 PM   #7
MLeake
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Duck hunters

typically shoot in approved hunting areas.

The OP is talking about just taking the boat out somewhere and doing some shooting. For those purposes, knowing where you are is critical; Florida has a lot of sanctuaries along the coasts, and you can get into trouble with the Marine Patrol guys if you have an uncased/loaded shotgun while in or transiting those.

Chart and LORAN / GPS are good to have.
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Old October 26, 2009, 05:58 PM   #8
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You start to loose sight of land at about 5 miles. If you are beyond that point and there are no other boats on the horizon, then I don't see where anybody is going to give you any grief.
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Old October 26, 2009, 06:17 PM   #9
MLeake
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Doyle and others...

... shooting out there shouldn't be an issue. The catch is what waters you transit en route. It's not legal to transit a sanctuary with a loaded or uncased shotgun.

Transit is legal if the shotgun is cased/stowed and unloaded.

If there are no sanctuaries to transit, also not an issue.

But going back to my original point, depending on where in Florida the OP lives, he may have to transit sanctuaries on his way off shore, and so navigational accuracy and proper storage could be important.
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Old October 27, 2009, 09:06 AM   #10
publius42
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hogdogs, the flavored clay pigeons are BRILLIANT!
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Old October 27, 2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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Our concept was a deviation from "sand balling" in which you mix sand and macaroni with the pogy oil into a ballable mix and just throw them overboard. May as well have fun doin' it was my intent...
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