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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys would you all be interested in meeting this Saturday, say around 9am to talk about a Florida Varmint Hunter Group? I believe Mike and Gary live in the Brandon/Valrico area. I live in northwest Tampa and I think Dave is the longest away in Hernando county. I can travel to where ever is best for all. Pick a place and let me know.
 

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I'm way down here in Collier Co.

I have plans for the upcoming weekend but keep me informed on your game plans. I have been hunting the Big Cypress WMA this fall. Snipe is the only game I have much opportunity at but it is good. There is a lot of coyote sign there and I saw two coyotes the last trip out. From my understanding the Big Cypress WMA closed it's small game season on Feb 4th so there is NO hunting there until this fall. Most of the agricultural lands here are large commercial farms and there is little chance to gain access to hunt it. Between the State and Federal Parks and "The City", Collier County is almost a no shoot zone. We have over 150 golf courses but not one public shooting range. There is a private range, down at Port of the Isles, that will allow a non member to shoot. It is $35. Doesn't matter if only sighting in or shooting several hours. 100yds max and it's an hour drive to get there. The last time I shot my Live Varmint rifles was over a year ago, up at The Manatee Gun & Archery Sports Club at Myakka City, east of Bradenton on SR64. Nice range but three hours away. Let me know if you guys get something going and remember Fuzz is up at Titusville.

John
239-438-7403
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is there a restaurant on 60 in Brandon..

.....where we can meet, have breakfast and talk? I have no problem driving to Brandon to meet.
 

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Bill there are tons of restaurants on 60

Not all are breakfast type, but here are some that are known for the mornin' meal
Starting from Valrico Rd going West we have an IHOP (over crowded and over priced), the we have Ben's (My favorite) Village Inn, and of course Denny's and the ever present Waffle Houses.

On Providence just South of 60 we have Mimi's (good quality food and coffee). If you leave there hungry, you're a big eater. Nice atmosphere and quiet enough to carry on a conversation.


I think the two best places to sit and chat are Mimi's and Ben's, simply because they're not as crowded and noisy as the other places. The food ain't too bad either...:) I would choose Mimi's.

Let me know where you would like to go and what direction you're coming from, and I'll get the address/directions for you.

Gary??? Do you have any preferences or a favorite??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ben's it is

Just get me the address and I will see you at 9am on Sat.
 

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John E

I have plans for the upcoming weekend but keep me informed on your game plans. I have been hunting the Big Cypress WMA this fall. Snipe is the only game I have much opportunity at but it is good. There is a lot of coyote sign there and I saw two coyotes the last trip out. From my understanding the Big Cypress WMA closed it's small game season on Feb 4th so there is NO hunting there until this fall. Most of the agricultural lands here are large commercial farms and there is little chance to gain access to hunt it. Between the State and Federal Parks and "The City", Collier County is almost a no shoot zone. We have over 150 golf courses but not one public shooting range. There is a private range, down at Port of the Isles, that will allow a non member to shoot. It is $35. Doesn't matter if only sighting in or shooting several hours. 100yds max and it's an hour drive to get there. The last time I shot my Live Varmint rifles was over a year ago, up at The Manatee Gun & Archery Sports Club at Myakka City, east of Bradenton on SR64. Nice range but three hours away. Let me know if you guys get something going and remember Fuzz is up at Titusville.

John
239-438-7403
I feel for you on the WMA thing. I retired from the Air Force in Oct '04. I spent most of my career in South Dakota and Idaho and harldy ever hunted on public land for big game. Also the crowds on the public land were just a bit smaller too:D :D For example, if one wanted to hunt a public walk in area (leased lands) that was 12,000 acres, you might see three or four trucks at the entrance. I think what kept most people from using them is the walk only rules...:) If a big game/bird season was not open, there usually wasn't anybody at all.

Public land prairie dog hunting was pretty decent. If one went far enough from the main roads, you could get great shooting. Most time when you did run into someone, they would either stop and talk for a while or give you your room and find their own area. Of course there is always the exception:mad: Public land coyotes were either smart or dead...

In Idaho we hunted coyotes, foxes, ground squirrels and my favorite, rockchucks. Rarely did we see another hunter in the areas that we frequented. Again, we weren't afraid to get off the beaten path and do some walking. At the end of the day sometimes you could see your truck 3-4 miles away and that 11lb rifle started getting real heavy. Many times I was real tempted to toss it to lighten the load ;) ;)

Unfortunately, WMA's are a different matter. Florida is crowded and hunting opportunities can be very limited. When we went bow hunting in the Green Swamp, it took over an hour to get through the front gate. When we did get to our stand sites, some jackass had taken down our markers and set up within 50' of our stands. As soon as it got light, the roads looked like a main thoroughfare at commute time. Needless to say, I wasn't real happy, but chalked it off to rude/lazy people.

I would like to get permission on private lands to hunt varmints, but I don't like the idea of a lease.

I also do my shooting at the Manatee range. I really like the people down there too. They now charge $18.00 for non-members. For me it's about an hour away. The range in Lakeland is much closer, but I just haven't made the trek over there.
 

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Hello John Bill Mike et al,
I would be very interested and will do my best to be there(where ever "there" is). My son is here visiting from Camp Pendleton CA. for a week or so and I'll need to check his schedule first. Highly unlikely that there will be a conflict for any time before 1200 hrs as he sleeps long hard when at home:) . I think he is trying to bank some Zs to take with him on deployment. I don't mind where we meet or what we eat (to a point):D So just give me a time and place. I appreciate the ride offer, however I'll drive myself just in case you guys turn out to be some kind of nuts.:D <just kidding of course,well sorta.
 

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All of us have to be somewhat nutty to

live in FL. Since you have two places, does that make you twice as nutty?? :D :D

See you guys at Ben's
704 E Brandon Blvd (AKA HWY 60)

Short directions: Going Eastbound on 60, just past Lithia Pinecrest, cross Bryan and it's on your left (North side)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nut? yes.......

Hello John Bill Mike et al,
I would be very interested and will do my best to be there(where ever "there" is). My son is here visiting from Camp Pendleton CA. for a week or so and I'll need to check his schedule first. Highly unlikely that there will be a conflict for any time before 1200 hrs as he sleeps long hard when at home:) . I think he is trying to bank some Zs to take with him on deployment. I don't mind where we meet or what we eat (to a point):D So just give me a time and place. I appreciate the ride offer, however I'll drive myself just in case you guys turn out to be some kind of nuts.:D <just kidding of course,well sorta.
..well I have been called a "gun nut" for years. Does that count?
 

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Breakfast at Ben's sounds good

Howdy gents,

See you at 9 A.M. - I'm old, grey and with a short beard, if you see me wandering around, just trip me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well we may have an identity problem.....

...I am old, grey, and have a short beard. Hope the rest are younger and carry our stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great to meet Mike and Dave, sorry Gary couldn't come

....looks like a good start. I will PM Dave and Mike with address, phone. We all will be looking into avenues to get permission to hunt private properties. Gary, if you want, PM us your personal info and we will arrange another meet soon to discuss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
John we met and...

I have plans for the upcoming weekend but keep me informed on your game plans. I have been hunting the Big Cypress WMA this fall. Snipe is the only game I have much opportunity at but it is good. There is a lot of coyote sign there and I saw two coyotes the last trip out. From my understanding the Big Cypress WMA closed it's small game season on Feb 4th so there is NO hunting there until this fall. Most of the agricultural lands here are large commercial farms and there is little chance to gain access to hunt it. Between the State and Federal Parks and "The City", Collier County is almost a no shoot zone. We have over 150 golf courses but not one public shooting range. There is a private range, down at Port of the Isles, that will allow a non member to shoot. It is $35. Doesn't matter if only sighting in or shooting several hours. 100yds max and it's an hour drive to get there. The last time I shot my Live Varmint rifles was over a year ago, up at The Manatee Gun & Archery Sports Club at Myakka City, east of Bradenton on SR64. Nice range but three hours away. Let me know if you guys get something going and remember Fuzz is up at Titusville.

John
239-438-7403
we are all looking to see if we can get some permission from private property owners to hunt their land. Send one of us a PM with your contact info and we will make sure to keep you up to speed and invite you to our next get together. If you know Fuzz, invite him as well.
 

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....looks like a good start. I will PM Dave and Mike with address, phone. We all will be looking into avenues to get permission to hunt private properties. Gary, if you want, PM us your personal info and we will arrange another meet soon to discuss.

I apologize for my no show. I wish I had some really exciting excuse but I don't. In all honesty I simply forgot and over slept. I was down south and up late, I drank four Michelob Ultra lite beers and just can't hang like I could back in the day<so my son tells me). I am very interested in getting access to some varmint hunting land and would be willing to assist in anyway possible. I am actually working on varmint hunting only access down in Okeechobee county and will share all the info with anyone interested. Personal info PM on the way.
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We did meet.....

....Mike, Dave and myself, unfortunately Gary could not make it. We probably need to meet again and catch up on what we have found out and plan a shooting session. So I will open this up for advice from all the others, including Pilot Teacher, 10mmGary, and any other FLA varmint hunter interested.
 

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That's great I'm old and grey too, that's if I had hair.:D Have a Hulk Hogan moustach but not as heavy. Has there been any goals and objectives set yet? I'm planning and designing a predator type of web site. Anyone can PM me.
 
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