If you could do it all over again...

Hello all. I have been lurking around for a while and in that time I have come to respect the opinions of people on this site. So I would like to hear all-ya'all's opinions on my situation. I live in Montana, am an Air Force retiree, and am currently going to school to be an RN. After I complete my program my wife and I are considering moving to Florida. I enjoy hunting and fishing, my wife is an accountant, and grandchildren MAY be involved in the equation. So here is my question...if you had the chance to do it all again/move/start over, or stay right where you are, I want to know where and why; or maybe where to stay away from. I'm not looking for neighbor-bashing or chest pounding, just thoughts with where and why or why not. With the wealth of first hand knowledge of Florida on this site, and maybe even the surrounding states, I'm sure I will get great input. I have intentionally left out much of my info so as not to effect anyone's comments. So, anyone who would like to weigh in on the subject, let me hear what you have to say. I will be posting this in all of the regional forums so I can get everyone's thoughts.

Thank you in advance for your input...and good luck out there.

Replies

  • badonskybuccaneersbadonskybuccaneers Posts: 123 Officer
    I'm not much of a hunter (my stepson is), and we have property north of Mobile, AL, that he hunts. So hunting may prove to be a bit trickier without owning or knowing someone with hunting acreage you can hunt on- joining a hunting club or something like that. But as far as fishing and hunting, I would guess the northern gulf coast probably provides one of the best locations to do both. And fishing is almost year around too (depending on your preferred target species). I've been here most of my life, and have enjoyed most of it (only broken up by the occasional hurricane- tolerable- and mostly mild winters with colder winters only every couple to few years).
    But I was born in Miami, FL, and claim my south Florida blood with every arctic blast that makes it to our area. My ideal of the best area to live might be at a latitude a bit further south with more snook and tarpon-
    JMHO- good luck
    Mike
  • nonboaternonboater Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    I am a Chicago Rat. Born, bred, raised in Chicago. Grandma and Grandpa Retired to Englewood, Fl (Just south of Sarasota) just after I was born. Spent many summers growing up fishing Lemon Bay. Tried living w/wife and baby in Englewood 80-82. Didn't work out so came back to Chicago. In my older years have spent a lot of time in Destin area. Fishing is #1, Golf is #2. I've always thought about retiring to Fl but realize I'm Chicago. Only thing I'd do different is not live w/gram. Coulda, woulda and shoulda!! We can only do what we think is right and not live w/second guessing. Florida is still my 2nd home and now that I'm retired I can spend more time down there I'll still come home to Chicago. So the question is how attached to Montana are you? Hope this helps.
  • Red FishRed Fish Posts: 1,163 Officer
    I was raised here in the Panhandle. It is home to me. I thought I couldn't wait to leave here. When I did, I couldn't wait to get back.

    It has the best mix of fishing, hunting, and outdoors I could ask for. Where else can I kill a deer, go surf, and catch redfish in the same day? Granted it is small deer, small waves, and not LA style redfish but again, where else can I go and get all three? Living in the Panhandle has a lifestyle that I have never found anywhere else.

    All that being said, I have always said, "one day I am going to move to Montana". I think I could do it and be happy but my wife would hate it. She wouldn't even consider moving to Freeport so Montana is out of the question.

    If I had to do it all over again, I would. I am pleased with where I live. It is growing so fast and I think in my lifetime (28 yrs) I will see the panhandle completely morph into SoFL.

    I will move when it gets then.
    Genesis 27:3 - Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
  • Red FishRed Fish Posts: 1,163 Officer
    ..................................
    Genesis 27:3 - Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
  • crcattypccrcattypc Posts: 632 Officer
    I grew up in west palm beach and moved here (PC) in 2008. I don't hunt, but have many friends that like to kill mammals and birds. I prefer killing fish, bivalves and crustaceans. Saying that, the winters are colder here than south fl, and the fish really do leave for the most part in the dead of winter. But, come spring, this place lights up and the spring/summer/fall fishing is amazing. I sure hope Redfish is not right about this place becoming like south fl. Maybe like the keys, that would be ok... except for the criminals on the run. :) All in all, the panhandle is beautiful, the water is great for diving and fishing. And from what I hear from my buddies the hunting is pretty good also. All of Florida is great, but in some places the people are not. That is not the case here. And I hope it never is.
    :fishing:grin
  • crcattypccrcattypc Posts: 632 Officer
    And the bottom fishing is better here than anywhere in the state with the exception of the dry tortugas. Any the Tuna in Louisiana are close enough to do if you have a big boat or good friends!
    :fishing:grin
  • MI_boyMI_boy Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    First post to the site, but I figured this is a fitting place to start.
    I grew up in Michigan and love to hunt and fish.
    Been doing to since I could walk.
    I've lived in SE Mich, the "UP", and West Mich
    Fort Worth, El Paso, Maryland, Houston, Fort Worth, Albuquerque, and SE Alaska, and have in-laws in NJ.
    It's a cool deal to work for an outfit that works nationwide. New wife and 4 y.o. aren't necessarily fans tho...
    I have considered going back to MI or NJ, but I'd like to do a job in FL to test the waters before I commit to settling there on a whim.

    All that said, I'd move to Alaska tomorrow, but I'd be a bachelor. Lady says she's not going. No way, no how.
    If I had to pick a place to be forever, I'd go to Maryland. Good (like the best I've ever done) and salt water can be as close as you want.
  • Red FishRed Fish Posts: 1,163 Officer
    MI_boy wrote: »
    If I had to pick a place to be forever, I'd go to Maryland. Good (like the best I've ever done) and salt water can be as close as you want.

    I lived in MD for a year. It was a tough place for me. The eastern shore was nice but I lived in Bethesda, right outside of DC. I still have nightmares. Haha
    Genesis 27:3 - Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
  • RedhunterRedhunter Posts: 435 Deckhand
    Red Fish wrote: »

    If I had to do it all over again, I would. I am pleased with where I live. It is growing so fast and I think in my lifetime (28 yrs) I will see the panhandle completely morph into SoFL.

    I will move when it gets then.

    Redfish,
    I do not think you in your lifetime will ever see the Panhandle get anything like Central or S. Fl. If the deal goes through with the Mormans that will definitely keep this area from growing to fast. I grew up 10 miles from the RAT (Disney) and watched it go to you know where. I moved up here to get away from that 15 yrs ago and it was the best thing I ever did. Close to great hunting, great fishing other than going into the larger towns the traffic is no problem. Oh yea, the main language is English. The bad part for me is in my work I have to go down state once a month or every other month and I always dread it.
  • donald811donald811 Posts: 479 Officer
    "If the deal goes through with the Mormans that will definitely keep this area from growing to fast". Whats happening with the Mormans?

    Read more: http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?143641-If-you-could-do-it-all-over-again#ixzz2tEXoks36
    Life is a lot simpler when you plow around the stump.
  • Red FishRed Fish Posts: 1,163 Officer
    Let's hope that deal goes through. The last thing I want is st joe to start liquidating assets to a developer. I like NWFL the way it was and I hope it is very slow to change.
    Genesis 27:3 - Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
  • BlackcoBlackco Posts: 29 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the input everyone. Both my wife and I are looking forward to one day living where it's warmer than here in MT. I like what I hear about English as a primary language. I also like the (almost) year around fishing. We have several months of good fishing but it's hard most of the time. Not enough ice to ice fish lots during the winter but too much ice to launch a boat. As for hunting...every animal has it's positive aspects; deer may be smaller but hunting is hunting...and there's hogs and gators and bowfishing, and...and the fishing :thumbsup

    I do want to be close enough to the salt water to swing by whenever I want to, to take a look at the conditions. But I think the cost of living right on it might be higher than we are willing to pay...maybe.
    Thanks again for the input...keep it coming.
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