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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Iguana Hunting

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Iguanas love soaking in the Florida sun, but they’re not native to the state and they’ve become so much of a problem that numerous cities in South Florida are discussing paying out bounty money for every iguana that’s turned into an official, dead or alive. I hope they do, I can use the extra income.

The iguana population is growing year by year along with a whole set of problems associated with the reptiles. The giant lizards are causing costly structural damage and even power outages.

Iguanas are eating gardens, getting into pools, and even finding their way inside toilets. The iguanas have a reputation for passing salmonella on to pets and burrowing near lakes and canals, which is causing erosion.

West Palm Beach shelled out 1.8 million dollars in 2020 to fix a dam that had been compromised from all of the iguana burrows in it. In Lake Worth Beach, the iguana population has gotten so out of control that the lizards are getting into electrical substations, triggering multiple power outages. Last year, iguanas caused 16 power outages, down from 20 in 2021 and 28 in 2020, according to the City of Lake Worth Beach.

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So what’s the answer? Hunters! Communities are welcoming hunters with arms wide open and armed with an air rifle or archery tackle, no firearms, you can spend a day enjoying some mighty fun shooting.

I began hunting iguanas, less for their devastatingly negative impact they are having upon theSouth Florida economy, but rather, because they’re delicious. I promise, if you dust one lightly with Everglades seasoning and stretch him out above a bed of coals, you’ll be mighty glad that you did. A clean, all white meat, critter, they taste like the best batch of chicken wings you’ll ever encounter.

Cook it any way you would a chicken, it’ll taste great and make you feel good to help out our Southern neighbors. But wait, they’ve popped up in our county as well. There were two shot at an Aripeka boat ramp and one spotted roaming a neighborhood in Spring Hill. They don’t tolerate cold weather very well and that’s what has kept them south of us for so long, but with this string of warm Winters we’ve experienced, the iguanas marched north. Now, each female can hatch up to 70 eggs at a time, so you can see, they’ll overwhelm an area fast.

Ryan and I did our part, stalking the city owned canals with pneumatic rifles. We picked up a good many iguanas to fill our freezers, but the cool part is the $4.00 paid for each skin. It covered the cost of gas for sure, allowing my friend and I to have so much fun at no expense to us. Do you need more of a reason to go and give iguana hunting a try?

If you have any questions or concerns, please give me a shout out at [email protected]. God Bless and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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