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Previously Featured Questions 'n Answers

Q: Just got on a lease in Hamilton Co FL and was curious how the deer hunting would be in Dec and Jan. I have been told Nov is the best time to be in the woods, but I want to get another trip or two in. Thanks, Donavon

A: The FWC has taken some collection samples from pregnant does to learn “when” the deer were breeding around certain parts of the state, and the mean (average) conception date for female deer in Hamilton County was October 23. This marks that area’s historical beginning of the rutting period, which normally... Answer

Q: Who holds the world record for a Osceola turkey taken with a bow. And the most taken with a bow? Robert

A: The highest scoring bird taken by bow is... Answer

Q: Is it legal to use a cast net in fresh water for the taking of blue Tilapia in florida waters with a valid fresh water fishing license? Rob Booth

A: Nongame fish (which include blue tilapia) may be taken by the use of cast nets in the South and Northeast regions, in Citrus County, and in the Southwest Region, except... Answer

Q: Recently I have been scouting out turkey's for this years season and I have noticed that I am calling in bobcats also. Is this a normal behavior and will these bobcats mess up my turkey season?

A: Shannen: It's very common to see bobcats come in when calling turkeys in the spring. Unfortunately, bobcat season closes March 1 annually and precludes us from being able to harvest them during that time... Answer

Q: I'm hunting a small patch of private land this year and was told that I could hunt 2 extra weeks because it was private land. Is this true that private land hunting is 2 weeks longer than WMAs? Thanks, Dave

A: There are more than 150 WMAs in Florida, and they all have their own unique set of rules, regulations and season dates, so you can’t just lump them all together and make a statement like that. It is true, though, that... Answer

Q: Which lunar phase produces the best opportunity for hunting deer? Thanks, Bo

A: It has been widely discussed and agreed that animals move and feed best at dusk and dawn. The theory is that animals will be most influenced by the moon and the sun when each is closest to the earth. When all three are in closest proximity usually occurs during the peak moon phases of new moon (no moon) and full moon. The trick is to... Answer

Q: How often do you use a grunt call and when are the best times? Also when is the best time to use a doe bleat and how often do you use that? Thanks, Derek R

A: Derek, I started using a grunt call back in the mid-eighties and had little success with one. I still carried it to the field regularly, but rarely employed it due to a lack of confidence in it as a real effective tool on the hunt. However, that all changed after... Answer

Q: I live in Pinellas county and have a house in Lafayette County. I was wondering where good public hunting land was near these two locations. Also what are some tips to help me get my first buck and/or hog. P.S. I have a 12 gauge shotgun. Jack

A: I've three favorite WMA's within an hour and a half from your home in Pinellas County; the Richloam, Homossassa Springs, and Upper Hillsboro WMA's. You can find area maps and hunt info on each of these three WMA's at... Answer

Q: I'm trying to find best crop to plant in our area North Florida in the Live Oak area. We have 147 acres of pines and hardwoods with no farmlands and extremely sandy ground, next to Suwanee River. The goal is to grow healthier, bigger racks. We want to grow trophy bucks, not just to hunt, but also to watch. We have already planted peas and rye. If you could offer some insight I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks, Chester

A: I don't do a heap of planting myself but have some buds who regularly plant food plots. They have at one time or another planted about everything in an attempt to grow some attractive plots. I know they have used rye, winter wheat, clovers, different brassicas and several different "blends" specifically designed for... Answer

Q: I have been hunting Lochloosa and grove park area for over 20 yrs. Im guessing when it comes to being lucky, i dont have much of it for big bucks...One 8 pt so far and a lot of skeeter bites. How can a guy that lives in St petersburg with very little time to put into scouting due to gas and travel time improve the odds... I do fine during turkey season, but for some reason, I've got a black cloud following me around from October through January. Please Help! b4 i just hang up my bow and 3030... Douglas

A: I can't give you any direction without knowing a few things first such as the land your hunting, how you're hunting it, and the quality of bucks in your area. I can tell you about scents, calling, scouting with maps, and such, but the things I suggest... Answer

Q: I was wondering what advice you might give someone that hunts the wildlife management area specifically Ocala and the Lake Delancy section? It seems that with so much land and the inability to food plot or feed it's harder than that of private land? What specific target areas or terrain would you suggest for setting up stands for archery through general gun seasons? Also, is there an antlerless season in WMA? Thanks, Jason S

A: Ocala is unique in that it is both a WMA and a National Forest land so it is governed by both FWC and USFW, with assistance from the State Forestry Division. The terrain in most of Ocala, including Lake Delancy, is primarily sugar pine, sand pine and loblolly pine mixed with pin oak, scrub oak and blackjack oak flats. Because the entire area is... Answer

Q: I'm curious about the timing and tactics necessary to catch one of those honker black drum around the Ochlocknee bridge. Recently ( a week ago) I fished and incoming tide using fresh cut blue crab on the bottom right next to the pillars of the bridge to no avail. Any suggestions? Leland T

A: Hey Dennis, They move offshore during the winter need to fish for them during the summer. Water temp needs to be 78 degrees or higher you have a better chance. Your tactics... Answer

Q: What is the best grain for a .270 caliber rifle and the farthest distance you can shoot accurately? I am shooting a 150 gr. bullet and recently shot a hog at 300 yards. I don't know if I moved or the hog moved, but the shot landed a little low. I still got him though. Roy Amis

That's a great question. Knowing the limits of your firearm is critical to the success of your hunt. Countless stories circulate around every hunting camp of "The one that got away," and attempting long distance shots that are beyond the range of your rifle significantly decreases your chances of making a successful shot. Attempting long range shots to test the limits of your rifle, as fun as it may be, risks... Answer

Q: "Q: I hunt in the central part of Florida and have never had any luck with rattling, calling or the use of scents. Is this something that is not seen much this far south or is it still a good tool to use during the right times? Brandon

A: Dear Brandon, Florida is probably the most difficult place to hunt whitetails on the face of the earth. There are several reasons for this; each of them contributing to why rattling, calling and the use of scents is so unreliable. There are several factors affecting the reliability of these tactics, chief of which is... Answer

Q: "Q: Does doe estrouse work? And when should i start to put that out. I hunt in northern Indiana. Sam Domnoske

A: As a beginning hunter, versatility is definitely something to look for in when choosing a weapon. Since you plan on hunting so many different species, and most likely at the same time, I would suggest... Answer

Q: "Q: I am a beginner hunter and was wandering what is a good all around gun for hunting turkey, boar, and deer. I will mostly be hunting around the northern part of Florida." Jack

A: As a beginning hunter, versatility is definitely something to look for in when choosing a weapon. Since you plan on hunting so many different species, and most likely at the same time, I would suggest... Answer

Q: "How often does a buck check his rub? Also, is it possible for another deer to use that same rub? The reason for my question is where I am going to hunt this year I have found a rub this weekend went back and checked it and it was grown over and rerubbed." Dennis

A: Just to make sure we're on the same page, I'm going to define a rub as a bare spot on a tree trunk, usually a sapling or young tree, which has had the bark removed by the action of a deer rubbing his antlers against it. A scrape is an area of ground, usually located under a low hanging branch to which a buck deposits his scent... Answer

Q: "Is it true that bucks travel together before the rut begins? i have been told of people seeing several bucks at a time during bow season and the beginning part of general gun." Jed

A: Dear Jed, What a great question! The short answer is, yes it's true. Deer are basically social animals. During the spring and summer months, while bucks are still growing their horns, they frequently travel in small bachelor groups. They do this for several reasons... Answer

Q: "When does the rut usually start in ocala national forest?" David "When does the pre rut and rut start in florida around pasco county?" Bobby

A: David and Bobby, That information was in our October edition (Cover said "Hunt the Rut").We also have the article, with the rut map included, right here... Answer

Q: "If I am hunting in north Florida what time would i have the most success at getting a shot at a larger buck i have watched for years in the morning or afternoon, also what would be my best attractant hunting clear cut pines by a swamp?" James

A: It's a country wide fact that big bucks are at their most vulnerable during the rut. Not knowing what area of North Florida you're in, I can't tell you when the peak rut activity will be, but if you check the current issue of Woods & Water, you'll find the rut listings by region, that ought to get you in the right time frame. Also... Answer

Q: "I have been watching a group of about 12 turkeys...3 gobblers and 9 hens. I really want to take one down during this small month of archery season. Problem is, I can't figure out how they move.....do they usually follow the same path daily? Do they return to roost in the same spot every night? I just want to know what would be the best road to take to set up for a shot on my first potential Gobbler! Can you help me!!???" Michael

A: While turkey hunting is always a challenge, fall hunting turkeys is toughest at achieving success. While some birds can and do use the same trails daily, most of the time they simply frequent an area on a regular basis. However... Answer

Q: "When does archery season open in Florida?" John, Dixie County

A: Archery Season opens in the Central Zone (which includes Dixie County) on Sept. 20 and continues through Oct. 19. Check out this link to our new forum with the hunting dates... Answer

Q: "If a management area in Florida allows hogs to be hunted during small game can you use a compound bow?" James

A: Yes, you may use a compound bow to take wild hogs during a wildlife management area’s small-game season, if... Answer

Q: "Are there any conditions under which I am allowed to fillet, at sea, the fish I catch in the Gulf of Mexico EEZ?"

A: Federal regulations generally required that all finfish... Answer