Duck Hunters Out In Numbers, Urged To Wear Life Jackets
Florida – -(OutdoorWire.com)- Law enforcement officers are unsure why, but they're seeing more duck hunters out on lakes around Tallahassee than any time in the past few years.
“This weekend we checked 150 hunters on Lake Jackson and 60 on Lake Miccosukee,” said Lt. Kent Harvey, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) area law enforcement supervisor. “Maybe it's the fact that permanent blinds are banned from four lakes around Tallahassee, but more duck hunters are out this year.”
Harvey said duck hunters typically hunt out of smaller boats that can be hidden or camouflaged easily. He said they often wear waders and heavy clothing and go out before daylight to set their decoys and put up their blinds.
He said it's a good idea for duck hunters to wear life jackets, particularly any time their vessel is moving. Hunters today have the option of wearing the newer, over-the-shoulder, self-inflatable or belt-pack models.
Harvey said hypothermia can play a role this time of year with the water temperature in the low 60s. He said duck hunters should travel slowly, and if possible, hunt with a buddy.
Like anyone who goes out boating, Harvey said, duck hunters should always tell a family member their intended location and when they expect to return. In the boating world, that's called a “float plan.”
“If they are overdue or if their families suspect there's a problem, it helps us in our response time and to know where to look,” he said.
Florida's waterfowl season runs Nov. 22 – 30 and Dec. 6 – Jan. 25, 2009. The Canada goose season is Nov. 22 – 30 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 30, 2009.
Additional hunting regulations for waterfowl and other migratory and resident game are available at MyFWC.com.
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