Saturday, July 30, was the opening morning for the new archery season in Florida’s Zone A, as established by the Florida Wildlife Commission. I took the five-and-a-half hour drive south to a farm that I’d been invited to go hunt on. To make a long story short, I returned home empty-handed, but sporting a big-ol’ grin.
Right at the first light, a threesome of mature does came in to check out my scent wicks. I’d hung the wicks fifteen yards off of the ground and soaked them in Rebel Yell curiosity attractant. Then, I really enjoyed being so close, eye-to-eye, undetected. Well, undetected until I attempted to draw my bow, then one old doe caught movement of it and took off with her sisters in tow. I sat there heavily reflecting on how I could have done things differently when I looked up and saw those same three does returning from down wind, noses in the air, drawing closer and closer to my scent wick. This time, however, they were being trailed by a pair of curious bucks. As if the heat hadn’t already placed my pores on free-flow, I really began to sweat as the quintet stopped at the wick only about forty-five feet away. I had crawled into a thick screen of myrtle bushes and sat with my bow erect for a long time, waiting for an opportunity to draw. Finally, I thought I had an opportunity with all eyes diverted, but once again, got caught drawing my bow and the tiny herd set off for parts unknown. No kill, but man what an adrenaline rush, I just wished I could have ended the morning with a deer to report!
Which reminds me, if you do get out and get lucky enough to take a deer, please understand that you have to report your harvest to the Florida Wildlife Commission within twenty-four hours. Sounds simple enough, right? Just don’t forget that even though you have a whole day to report it, you have to have it logged in before you move the carcass after recovering it. Write it down on the log sheet the FWC can provide you, log it in on the MyFWC.com website, or call it in on the 1-800-number that’s provided on their website.
Last year, a lot of guys were ticketed at the check-in stations in many of Florida’s Wildlife Management areas when they brought their deer in to be logged in by FWC volunteers. Mister Game Warden was on-hand, as well at each station, to check and see if the deers had been logged-in prior to it being recorded. If you had not logged in your deer before turning it in at the check station to be recorded, as the law also dictates, you’re committing a violation. So, let’s abide by the rules to avoid being ticketed.
I’ll be back in South Florida next Thursday to hunt deer for a couple of days, then I’ll be moving my camp east into the Everglades to begin my ten days of python hunting. It is sure going to be some fun times and I surely thank you for all of your input and as always, if you have any feedback, give me a shout at Toby@hernandosun.com. God Bless and good hunting!