Outdoors

The Wood Stork

The Wood Stork is a very strange looking bird found in Florida. The head lacks feathers, it has long thin legs, black/white feathers, and pinkish feet! Although unusual looking, I have developed a fondness for this most remarkable species of wading bird. The Wood Stork was on the brink of extinction. In the 1970s there were only 5,000 pairs recorded. Loss of wetland habitats and food base were primary factors in the sudden decline. In the everglades, nesting failure was also a contributor. In 2014, the U.S.

Hide N Seek

I do all of my hunting, while on the ground using whatever cover is available as much as I can, to hide myself.  As a fat guy, I honestly hide better on the ground by blending into the landscape than skylighting myself up a tree.  I think that for some folks, treestands or other elevated platforms can be a distinct advantage, but let’s face it, even camo’d and in the treetops, my big behind isn’t really fooling much.  At times, I could almost hear the deer discussing it….  “Hey Ned, that a hunter up there?”  

“Naw, too big, I think it’s a giant squirrel’s nest.”  

Talkin’ The Talk

As fall progresses and the days continue to shorten, darkness begins much earlier each evening and morning arrives a bit later.  It’s this photoperiod, which triggers whitetail bucks to enter the rut, a period of heightened breeding activity.  And I’ll tell you folks, if the fresh scrapes I’m finding while out hunting and scouting is any indicator, our first rut period is now!  From now up until our peak rut in mid-January, bucks will be most receptive to deer calls.  They’re going to be on their hooves looking for does and challenging other bucks to territorial disputes in their testostero

It’s Gator Time!

That’s right folks, it’s gator time and I’ve only made it out onto the Withlacoochee River once now for a freezer full of swamp-chicken.  I’d like to tell you I filled a tag already, but the only g bull I caught up with tore free of my line and escaped into thick hyacinth cover and escaped.  But, my companion Cheyenne made pretty good use of the downtime though, by multi-tasking while shining for gators; she got busy catching catfish, so the night wasn’t a total loss.

Asian Swamp Eels Anybody?

Last week I told you about my latest hunt for the Burmese pythons while filming the pilot episode of a new Adventure series I’m producing for the Carbon TV network, Invasion Everglades.  Our show isn’t strictly about the pythons, but rather each of the seventy-two species of invasive animals plaguing our native ecosystems.  One of those species, we stumbled onto accidentally, was the Asian swamp eel.  

Burmese Pythons on the Prowl

I just arrived back in town from an incredible trip to one of the most, unique arts of our state; the Everglades.  Our Everglades, composed of an enormously varied network of interconnected ecosystems has been under attack for a very long time.  Mostly due to developers and engineers altering the flow of water and pollutants dumped into the aquifer via corporate farms and housing developments.  A huge issue has been the arrival of invasive plants and trees, such as the Australian pine and Brazilian peppers.  

Meeting the People that Manage the Withlacoochee State Forest | Forestry Supervisor

The Withlacoochee State Forest is 164,073 acres of pure Florida nature. Sandhill habitats to luscious swamps deep within the heart of the forest which spreads through sections of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Pasco, and Sumter counties. This forest is home to thousands of wildlife and plant species as well as opportunities for recreational adventures and land stewardship.

Opening Day Blues

That’s right, I’ve got the blues….  It’s opening day of archery season this weekend in the Southern portion of our state and I’m going to have to sit it out.  Heartbreaking, right?  Oh, I’ll survive I suppose; just one of those times where work just gets in the way.  Oddly enough, though, work will be taking me south for a few days next week, so I guess I’ll just carry my bow along and sneak off for a hunt or two if I get the chance.

The People that Manage the Withlacoochee Forest | Behind the Screen

Brooksville- As mentioned in my previous article, there are a variety of responsibilities surrounding the Withlacoochee State Forest, one of those duties is to keep the public informed.

Judi Tear, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist & Information Officer at the Withlacoochee Forestry Center, is the one who keeps the public informed by providing essential information.