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09 Jun '18

Hunting at the Everglades, Florida

Posted by S. Sosa

Florida is a touristic destination all year long, not only because of its beaches, but also due to a warm weather 365 days a year.

Most of tourists look for beaches, shopping and fun, but hunters have a plus: The Everglades.

Everglades National Park is the biggest national park in Florida and the third bigger in U.S. after Death Valley and Yellowstone; with 1,508,538 acres (6,104.84 km2) it's the biggest subtropical wilderness reserve; a paradise for exotic species and a big chance to hunt on a very different way than in the mountains.

Even when today Everglades area represents only 20% of its original extension, it's still a vast extension to cover when hunting, but size isn't the only problem but terrain characteristics. Almost all the Everglades are partially flood, so there's no chance to hunt in there on your feet, but from a boat.

Additionally wild creatures are spread over a very large area, making difficult, if not impossible, to locate them on a regular basis (walking), so hunting from airboatsAirboat hunting on the Everglades becomes necessary.

People accustomed to hunt  in the mountains might find this hunting way a little noisy and atypical, but it's the only way to hunt on the Everglades. Using airboats allows to cover big extensions of a very tough terrain during daylight or night; otherwise it would be impossible to locate big games fast.

Old fashioned hunters still prefer to hunt using a canoe, but this requires to be out in the glades up to a week, camping on the isles and living from what nature has to offer.

Instead, hunting from airboats is faster and easier, allowing hunters to go back home (or hotel if you are a tourist) each night.

But, what can be hunted on the Everglades? Well, there are many options, from ducks and other waterfowls up to alligators, in the middle you can find deer, wild boars and even giant snakes such as pythons, however these exotic snakes are protected and can't be hunted, same as Florida's panthers and black bears.

Nevertheless there's plenty to hunt on the glades, including raccoons, rabbits and wild turkeys.

The best way to hunt on the Everglades if you are not from the area is hiring a hunting guides company. They know the area very well and know which are the best locations for hunting; in addition provide you support and experience on a potentially deadly location as the Everglades.

This national park is so vast and the terrain is so hard that it's easy to get lost and even die, so don't try to move deep into the glades alone; if you don't wish to hire a guide, it's mandatory to get into the glades with a hunter fellow who knows the area; if it's a group, better.

Remember that you will need a Florida Hunting License, otherwise your hunting will be illegal and you probably find problems with the law, leading to a sudden, negative end of your hunting trip.

Once everything is set (permissions, guides, etc), it's time to find and airboat and enjoy the journey. Hunting from a mobile platform such that will be a new, exciting experience, one you will wish to repeat soon.

Don't forget to use sunscreen as well mosquitoes repellent, otherwise you could regret of getting into the glades without proper protection. Additionally take enough water with you. The sun and high temperatures plus an exhausting physical activity may lead to dehydration soon and even when you will be surrounded by water, it's not safe to drink it, so be sure to have enough with you.

If you plan everything well and count with proper professional support, hunting on the Everglades will be a lifetime experience, so don't forget to take a lot of pictures too.


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