Don't Be A Jail Bird! Turkey Hunting Q&A With The FWC

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Hunting ethically and obeying the laws set in place should go hand in hand. But I have found a lot of people see the FWC as bad guys that are out to ruin a good time. The fact is that they have a job to do, but their job is to protect wildlife, which as hunters that should be our goal as well.  Good people do make mistakes , mostly because of not fully understanding the laws. So if you enjoy a clear conscious while feeding your family this turkey season, then this interview is for you.

Q&A with FWC Officer Eric Meade by A.J. Neste 

Hey Eric, I appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions. My goal is to enjoy our spring season and harvest a turkey with complete understanding of our laws. 

Q) So right off the bat, can you explain to me why we have seasons for game, and how those dates and bag limits are decided?

A)  Yeah A.J. , Seasons and limits are done by scientific study and by FWC Biologist. Game laws, seasons and bag limits are put in place in order to keep and sustain a healthy population of game, let it be non migratory or migratory, so a species does not get over harvested. As to maintain the species for future generations and for the future of Florida.

Q) When talking about Turkey Hunting in Florida, what is the most common broken law that you run into while patrolling?

A)  The most common laws violated that I encounter are no hunting license, no turkey permit or stamp and hunting turkey within 100 yards of bait. Other Violations encountered are shooting turkey’s before the season starts, using electronic turkey calls, Illegal taking of hen turkey and shooting turkey’s off the roost.

Q) What is the exact law on using bait for turkey, can I shoot a turkey that is within 100 yards from corn if I am physically outside of 100 yards? And what is considered bait?

A) Yes, You can shoot a turkey if the hunter is 100 Yards away from bait. The Hunter has to be 100 yards away from bait.  Not the turkey. We consider bait to be corn, wheat, grain or any other food substance deposited besides normal agricultural harvesting or planting. So any kind of food that lures or attracts an animal for the purpose of harvesting it. But ultimately whole corn, cracked corn and bird seed are what I find the most.

Q) How many turkeys can we shoot in a Spring Turkey Season this year and has anything changed on our limits?

A) A hunter is allowed two Gobblers or bearded turkey’s per season.  Also, now you can harvest two Gobblers or bearded turkey’s in one day. Once you harvest your two birds for that season, whether you do it on the opening day or throughout the season, you are limited out. Some Wildlife Management Area Regulations differ from private land, so check the bag limit regulations for each Wildlife Management Area that you are hunting as well. 

Q) Do you have to report when you killed a turkey or is your personal limit on an honor system?

 A)  There is no tagging or reporting requirement for Turkey’s in the state of Florida.

Q) What are the legal means of shooting a turkey, and is there a maximum round and a minimum? 

A) Shotguns, Centerfire, Rimfire Rifles, Bows and crossbows are allowed to hunt Turkey’s on private lands. No maximum or minimum round on private lands. However, most Turkey Hunters consider it unethical to hunt turkey with anything but a shotgun

Q) Can you use thermal vision to locate turkey’s roosting at night to set up on them in the morning?

A)  You can use thermal vision to locate a roosting turkey at night. But be prepare to be questioned by a Wildlife Officer if you have a gun with you while doing so.

Q) What is a legal sized gobbler you can shoot?

A) There is no Size Limit on turkey’s. The law states that only gobbler’s or bearded turkey may be taken.

Q) What are the shooting times for Turkey?

A) Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to Sunset. On some Wildlife Management Area’s the legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to 1:00 P.M.  So check the specific Wildlife Management Area before hunting.

Q)Do you have any advise for someone that makes a true mistake and breaks the law?

 A)Turning yourself in is always the most honest and ethical thing to do.  It makes our job a lot easier and sometimes different approaches to the situation can be taken. It is a lot better to do than not to do, than if a Wildlife Officer finds out about it. Everyone makes mistakes, but please make sure you identify your target before pulling the trigger.

Q) What do you feel is a common misconception about the FWC ?

A) The biggest misconception is that we are out to give everybody a ticket and that we are there to ruin a hunting or fishing trip. We like to educate and talk to people to see how they are doing and if there is anything we can help them with. I want to stress that we are approachable, talk to us, we can help.

Q) Any last advise for someone that is going Turkey Hunting this spring?

 A)  Have fun!  Enjoy your time in the woods and take a kid hunting. Let’s try to get more people in the outdoors and Turkey hunting is great way to do it because it's so exciting. Be careful with your firearms and identify your Target and what’s beyond it. Best of Luck!

 

For more info on Hunting in Florida visit : www.myfwc.com

Wildlife Alert Hotline 1-888-404-3922

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Canada Goose Ciabatta Sandwich

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Most hunters we asked told us that they usually just take their goose breasts and do the same old cheese stuffed "poppers" that we see over and over again in the waterfowl community. If cooked correctly, Canada Goose is a delicious meat that when seasoned, seared and sliced is an excellent substitute for beef. That's right beef. You can take any steak recipe you enjoy, and replace the beef with medium to medium rare goose and unless you tell someone, they will never know the difference. No soaking in milk is needed, just follow these steps and everyone will be wanting more.

  • Set your Traeger on High and allow 30-40 minutes of warm up time before use
  •  Most important step is to trim your Goose breast. Take any membrane off, anything that isn't meat on both sides needs to be taken out. In the middle of each breast is a vein that needs to be pulled out. The vein is right on a seam that separates the one breast into two pieces. At that seam there is also some sinew that we take off. Your goal should be that all you see is meat, nothing else at all.
  • While trimming, place your seasoned iron skillet on a burner on a medium high heat
  • rub your trimmed goose breast down with extra virgin olive oil
  • season with Traeger's "Fin & Feather" seasoning -Sear both sides of the goose breast for 2 min each side
  • After flipping to second side of Breast transport skillet to your Traeger
  • Let finish cooking on Traeger for 8 minutes on high
  • While Breasts are in smoker, sauté one red pepper and one yellow pepper till soft
  • In a pulse grinder Throw a bunch of parsley, one clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil, pinch of salt, pepper & grind to make a chimichurri sauce
  • Pull meat from smoker and slice
  • Toast Ciabatta bread -Lather Bread with Chimichurri Sauce
  • Layer Goose Slices
  • Top with organic sliced pepper jack cheese, sauteed pepper slices, chimichuri sauce
  • Place back in smoker to melt cheese
  • Serve & enjoy

#Girlswhohunt #Hunting #Wild #Food #nature Provides #Traeger #recipes #Canada #goose recipe by @captchris1 @traegergrills #Meatmadness

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Spearfishing 80 Feet Deep On One Breath

Spearfishing 80 Feet Deep On One Breath

A shark came out of nowhere, I immediately let go of the line so the doggie could run hard again and shake the shark loose, which it did. Then I was holding the fish of a lifetime. It was mine. Prayers answered. I threw my head back and screamed as loudly as I could. The wind died, the sun came out with a rainbow, and my pregnant wife was right there, watching the whole scene and hearing my victory yells"- John Dornellas