View Full Version : Confused in Florida

December 2, 2004, 10:28 PM
I stumbled on this forum a couple days ago, so when I was tearing my hair out over Florida Fish and Game paperwork, I thought I'd see if anyone could smarten me up a little (I hope so!).

My husband and I moved to Tampa (from Minnesota) this summer. It was a military change of station, so we're residents for all wildlife law purposes. We don't have the luxury of living on a nice spread of land out in the sticks - we live in South Tampa.

So when this time of year rolled around, even though there wasn't any snow, we had that "it's time to go HUNTIN'" feeling. We figured we'd like to hunt hogs. Chased a lot of deer up north, thought we'd try something different.

And for the life of me, it sure seems (reading the paperwork the state puts out), like there is NOWHERE to just go hunt on the spur of the moment. Now, we're both hunter safety eligible and more than happy to buy licenses, but it looks to me like every piece of public land with anything larger than a goose on it is subject to some sort of "quota" system that would have required us to mail in applications in JUNE?!?

Now, beyond just irritating the heck out of us, this seems like a pretty dumb system when the sport of hunting desperately needs new hunters, and also needs to lure back those of us who used to hunt but now don't own our own property on which to do it.


So - does anyone know if I've read the rules right? Is there really nowhere south of the panhandle and north of the glades to hunt big game if you didn't make a reservation in the spring?

Thanks for any help, folks. I wouldn't have gone on so long if you all didn't seem so darn knowledgeable about your hunts and your favorite territories!

December 3, 2004, 11:29 AM

This may not be exactly what you had in mind, but it may get you through this hunting season and give you more time to plan for the next one. I'm from St. Pete and I am going to hunt hogs on a ranch in a couple of weeks. The price is between 200 and 400 depending on if you take a meat hog or a trophy hog. As far as I know, this is a "canned" hut. You won't get a lot of stalking and the like. But, if you want to hunt hogs, and you aren't sure that you can get through the paperwork/find a place to hunt in time, it could be the next best thing. Generally, no hunting licenses are needed on these ranch hunts, and room and board is included. They usually have a lodge of some sort and will put you up etc.

The one I'm going to is in Eustis. It's the Bear Bridge Ranch. Their phone # is 407-589-6803. We've also looked a ranch in central Florida called the Brady Ranch. Their web site is www.bradyranch.com.

Hope this helps.

DT Guy
December 4, 2004, 01:42 AM
I had read (although I certainly could be mistaken on this) that hogs were considered 'vermin' in FLA and no permits, seasons or limits applied?


December 4, 2004, 06:24 PM
The management areas that are subject to 'quota' have that restriction only for the first 9 days or so. Any one that is licensed can hunt there on the second monday of the season through the end of the season. Ocala National Forrest is a good place to go.
Hogs are 'game animals' when hunted on management land. They are fair game on private land.
Finding a place to hunt in Fla is much like anywhere else. Go out and meet some folks.

December 6, 2004, 08:48 AM
I DID finally manage to figure out it (one confused call to Fish and Game later). :)

We went out and tromped around the Green Swamp this weekend (I have NEVER hunted and been attacked by mosquitos at the same time - welcome to Florida, huh?).

I like to hunt wherever we go, but it takes a certain willingness to ask LOTS of questions and put up with quite a bit of "you ain't from 'round these parts, are you" stuff. I find most people are happy to help you out once you establish that you just want to learn how to do things in their corner of the world.

Appreciate the advice, guys.

December 8, 2004, 10:30 PM
"I had read (although I certainly could be mistaken on this) that hogs were considered 'vermin' in FLA and no permits, seasons or limits applied?
Larry that only applies to private property and then they are basically considered livestock. You can kill hunt trap them as long as you don't do so inhumanely. There are regulations (seasons and limits)for feral hogs on state land as well as most all the WMA(wildlife management areas)lands.

Hello Abby and welcome to the sunscam state. I once called south Tampa home myself. If it wasn't for all the traffic and people I would still call it home more than likely. I take it your husband is stationed at Macdil AFB? About the only hunting in your area is for critters with fins or scales. You correct regarding public hunting in fla sorry to say. But give it time and you'll find some good areas or meet people that know of some. Big Cypress Perserve and Green Swamp are both good places. The swamp angel problem (mosquitoes)should take a turn for the better as soon as we get our first really good cold front. Just wait to you run into your first swarm of noseeums<(nasty little gnat which is nearly invisable to the human eye). They make mosquitoes seem like peace loving vegetarians :D I have actually witnessed people at the boat ramp dive into the water to escape their attack. Next time your planning to hunt send me an email and I'll see if there is anything I can do to help out. Good luck and welcome to west central florida.