: FWC officer at SW FL WMA
September 23rd, 2010, 10:47 PM
Spent the entire day at Babcock 3 days ago bow hunting. Got in at 0700 and checked out at 2020. As I am just getting back to the truck (sunburnt, bug bit, and mildly dehydrated) an FWC officer approaches me quickly in his vehicle. He gets out quickly and says "Have any luck?". At this point, I begin to dig for my wallet for my hunting lic and permits and I respond "No, just all day of dehydration and frustration not seeing anything." His next comment surprised me. He barely lets me finish when he responds "Well about 200 yards back down the road there is the biggest 8 point I have ever seen in this place. He is with a doe and didnt spook when I passed. You have about 15 minutes of legal hunting time left so if you hurry up and ease in back there you may get a shot at him.". Didnt ask for my license. Didnt ask for my permits. The guy was being extremely friendly and helpfull and appeared to genuinely want to see me have a good hunt. Now I am not going to speak poorly of anyone, but I will say a few previous experiences with encountering FWC officers were no where close to as pleasent. I am in the public safety business also and work daily with the public. I have to say the officer that day was a credit to his department. I did not catch his name but I hope to run in to him again at a later date to thank him.
Oh, and I did what he said but could not find the deer. It did nothing though to take away from the experience and I hope all future encounters with the FWC will mirror this one.
September 24th, 2010, 08:28 AM
I know the officer and the story. I have known him for years. He was in my shop on Wednesday and told me the story. He has seen that deer twice in the same spot. He said he didnt think you went far enough down the road to where he saw the deer.
September 24th, 2010, 09:26 AM
thats funny small world/ I actually think I went too far, he said it was only a few hundred yards from where we were but I drove slow probably a quarter mile or so. It was gettin dark quickly so I probably past right by him.
Well we you see him again mention to him this post if you dont mind and that I appreciated the heck out of him trying to help me out.
Oh, and I will be back to that spot during general gun, hope that buck makes it through ML season. Its not in a part of the WMA where most are hunting.
September 24th, 2010, 11:11 AM
I have had bad experiences with FWC officers myself. Nothing over the top, but never a pleasant experience. You try to be nice and they just don't want to return the favor. Not that its their job to be nice, but they don't have to be jerks either. That was until the weekend before last. I also hunted babcock and ran into two officers. Both of which were very pleasant and informative. Actually chatted with both of them for 5-10 mins at seperate times during the weekend.
How many hunters were out there last weekend? I only saw about 5-6 trucks opening weekend. Less than half the quotas were used opening weekend. Any harvest data. When I checked out there was 1 doe and 3 hogs shot. Hopefully things pick up there, my buddy has a muzzleloader and I have a general gun for out there. We saw a couple of big bucks, had it been ml or gen gun we would've had a shot, but it still seemed slow out there compared to last year.
September 24th, 2010, 11:11 AM
I will let him know. Good luck! He said the bucks rack was real wide. Hope you get a shot.
September 24th, 2010, 11:20 AM
I have had bad experiences with FWC officers myself. Nothing over the top, but never a pleasant experience. You try to be nice and they just don't want to return the favor. Not that its their job to be nice, but they don't have to be jerks either. That was until the weekend before last. I also hunted babcock and ran into two officers. Both of which were very pleasant and informative. Actually chatted with both of them for 5-10 mins at seperate times during the weekend. How many hunters were out there last weekend? I only saw about 5-6 trucks opening weekend. Any harvest data. When I checked out there was 1 doe and 3 hogs shot. Hopefully things pick up there, my buddy has a muzzleloader and I have a general gun for out there. Last year seemed to be more productive out there.
This same officer told me they issued 40 permits and the most hunters they had show up one day was 20.
September 24th, 2010, 02:23 PM
I only hunted on tuesday tthe last day of season. The woman that checked me in said it had been a slow season for hunters showing up as well as hunters checking any game. I saw four does driving in, and not another deer the entire day. I was there till the last minute of hunting. I was told there was four hunters that morning, dont know how many that night but I saw three other trucks other than myself. One guy was at tha first gate saying he was looking for two deer that he had shot, a buck and a doe. Dont know if he was telling the truth though.
Its my first year hunting there so I dont have anything to compare it to. Pretty area but for at least that day it seemed fairly void of deer. I will be back in gen gun season, I did not get drawn for ML. Good luck
September 24th, 2010, 02:37 PM
My lease borders Babcock and Evans. It has been slow there too. I crushed all day Saturday on the buggy and only saw 5 does, one small buck and no hogs.
September 25th, 2010, 12:59 AM
Scott26, it has seemed slow but I did lay my eyes on two nice size deer. One was on the move and we just couldn't catch up. The other saw us and spooked off. If it were general gun one of us definetly would have had a shot on the first one, maybe the second one too if we could have gotten him to stop. Good Luck to you too.