View Full Version : Advice for first time deer hunter.

August 21, 2005, 20:35
Hello, I'm 25 and this year will be the first time I go deer hunting and I'd like to know if anyone here can recommend me a good outfitter in Florida, Georgia, or the near by states to go to or a good area of public land. I've already done several searches on the internet for outfitters but without someone's recommendation I'd hate to dish out almost a grand to go hunt and end up somewhere thats been completely burned out.

I live in Florida and there are deer here but for the most part they are very small. I've also scouted some of the areas in Southwest Florida for deer and have seen a couple of does but no bucks. So if any of you can give me some pointers I'll really appreciate it, especially if you can recommend an area to me.

August 23, 2005, 18:35
Chico, sorry it took so long to address your questions.

First, I haven't a clue about outfitters/guides in your area but asking around at your local sprting goods stores for that info may prove benefitial.
I'd also ask those who you know that hunt, just what info they could pass along on the subject.

As for being a first-timer, set realistic goals for yourself to keep interest if things don't as planned on the first outing. Many hunters come home empty for many reasons as they hunt and not simply shoot. Are there any co-workers or family member that could possibly take you out with them and give you a feel for what is expected?

There are MANY sites out there that offer references as well as deer population numbers by county/specific location. I know Texas dept of parks and wildlife has a site that reflects the numbers of deer taken per county, the size, the sex, etc. from previous hunting seasons that help establish the places to go and to stay away from.

Also, find out if your area of interests are better for tree stands, self supporting stands, walk-abouts, etc. Learn what you need from those who have hunted these areas to get you up to speed. Nobody starts out being a trophy hunter and knowing everything right off the bat, so you will find other who "lend a hand" just like they had help in the beginning as well.

Maybe somebody here knows about the locals you ask and can offer more specific info than I.

I wish you luck and I expect to see posts of your progress. :biggrin:

Plain George
August 23, 2005, 21:02
A grand to go tiny deer hunting in FLorida.????
God I am glad I live in Colorado...:fal:

August 23, 2005, 21:20
One good way to approach it is to check with the game commission and get their kill-stats for each county. Then try to find some public land in that county. Hunt on doe day.

Also scout the game-checking stations during deer season. The checkers tend to know about local hunt-clubs you may want to pay to join. The game warden in that county might be a very good source of hunt-club info too.

I'd feel odd paying a grand to an "outfitter" for just a chance at shooting at a Florida whitetail. Sounds like a rich man's extravagant day trip.

Happy trails!

August 23, 2005, 21:44
If I have to pay to hunt, believe me that it'll be in another state. Here in south Florida there have been people that have bagged some large bucks but they end up going into the middle of no where on an airboat into the everglades.

Thanks for the advice, I've already found a few websites on public lands in Georgia and the counties with the highest percentages of hunter success.

August 23, 2005, 21:54
Lots of times, the hardest thing about hunting public lands is finding a place to securely park your vehicle near where you enter the public land. Consider the possibility of befriending a farmer adjacent to the land you want to hunt on. If you can convince the landowner that you are not a nut, he might even let you hunt on his land. Don't show up for the first time at dusk, with camo-paint on your face, and driving a truck with a bed full of beer cans.

Be sure to repay the farmer's generosity.

Jon Frum
August 27, 2005, 22:22
Public land is a tough hunt here in Georgia. I saw one deer last year on a WMA which I harvested, two days after Christmas. Late season is best-they all give up. Check FL WMAs for Quota hunts too.

13th Warrior
August 28, 2005, 00:20
Your problem is where you live. I live in central florida and killed a nice buck last year. it scored 114 and 2/8 and weighed 150. True, it was an exeptional buck. Our deer might be small but all my rich friends say they get their eating deer in this state. Something about the diet I suppose. Cant wait for bow season to stock up!

August 28, 2005, 11:25
As a new hunter, you should spend as much time in the field as possible. Learn the habits of the deer, what they are eating, where they bed down etc. Hunting magazines often have good info on field craft for beginers.

I was in the same position you are about 20 yrs ago. I set out to go bowhunting. Did'nt do very well the first couple seasons because frankly, I did'nt know what I was doing. Once I learned how to ambush the deer on the way to their food source I was in the money.

I used these same skills when my boys began hunting. My youngests first time out I had him sitting on a five gallon bucket in a ground blind with the 20 ga. ( he was very used to this firearm and the shots would be close). At any rate, he took a nice doe right through the heart after waiting for long moments for her to turn and give him a good shot. He told me that she heard him take off the safety and looked right at him. He had to lower the shotgun because he started shaking while waiting for her to turn. He said he decided to wait until she turned and then "shoot her like a clay pidgeon". Bingo! He learned a great lesson there.

Best of luck to you and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers.

Para Driver
August 28, 2005, 14:11
if you can research a decent county, that has some favorable kill stats.. I might suggest hanging out in the local cafe, and befriending some farmers.. maybe post a note on their bulletin board..

farmers like nice respectful folks who appreciate their land.. if you shoot something share a hind quarter or whatever with the Farmer and you'll get invited back on...

another tip, is to offer your services as a varmint hunter, in exchange for deer privileges.. pop a few foxes for a chicken farmer, and you're probably in good graces.. you might also consider shooting a few wild pigs too...

August 28, 2005, 14:15
Thanks for all of your help guys, I haven't been able to get online for about 3 days now because the hurricane pretty much left all of South Florida with no power. The funny thing is that since it was considered a weak storm, hardly no one was prepared but luckily I still had supplies from last season so it wasn't that bad for me expect for being without AC is the summer heat for 3 days.

The friend I'm planning on going hunting with has been scouting public lands for about the last month now every weekend. Just last weekend he spotted an area with several does and two bucks so what we might end up doing is setting up some food plots in that area to see what happens. I've also been talking to some hunters and I learned that the rut here in Florida doesn't take place till mid January because of the temperatures but I'm going to give it a try as soon as gun seasons opens up.

I have also bought several books on the subject just to educate myself on deer hunting and two months ago I was in Georgia on a trip and managed to buy several hunting magazines off the shelfs that have been great. The only thing that dissapointed me a bit is that there's a WMA in Georgia that there was an article on that is located East of Atlanta I believe and it is composed of 37000 acres. Well during last gun season about 3000 hunters went to that area and only 147 were taken according to the stats. This is what pretty much put hunting with an outfitter on my mind but before I do that, I might end up just hunting around here just to gain more experience.