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Waterfowl in the STA's - new to it all and looking for guidance

bcontentobcontento Posts: 124 Deckhand
I've decided it's time to learn the art of duck hunting in SOFLA (and so that I can teach my son and daughter), so I put in for the STA draws and got three (2 @ STA1 end of November and STA5 in Jan). So, I guess it's time to start educating myself. I've found some good resources and will spend some time pouring through it, but of course there are some things that articles and youtube videos just can't provide. I'm hoping to hook up with a hunting buddy that can show me the ropes.

So, what are your primary DOs and DON'Ts for hunting the STAs?

What are the "must-have" resources (canoe, certain kind of waders, etc)?

thanks all!


  • Catalina26Catalina26 Posts: 231 Officer
    I commend you for wanting to learn but it will take a while to learn the ropes.. Waterfowl ID is a must and a must! If you can't identify birds in flight then you are way behind the eight ball.. Need a shotgun that holds no more then 3 shells and they must be non toxic or steel shot only.. Another must know is the range of your shotgun. Just because your shot gun can "shoot" 60 yards doesn't mean you should. You may get lucky every once in a while and hit at 60 but the likely of you killing it rather then wounding it is very slim. Waterfowl ID and knowing your range are the two hardest things to learn. And hunting the STA you'll see people shoot 100+ yards at birds just because they pass by and they have a gun so why not shoot at it...... Nothing productive there. Try and get away from people while hunting so your birds will come into your decoys better chance at closer shots. Blind up well also. This is a start and I'm just scratching the surface
  • bcontentobcontento Posts: 124 Deckhand
    I appreciate the reply...good info. I'm pretty solid in Waterfowl ID from photos, but I'm sure in flight will take some time. I'm fine on the firearms side of things.
  • eorlandoeorlando Posts: 560 Officer
    Give me a call I would be more than happy to help. 239-225-3093
    Anytime after 3
  • 139sst139sst Posts: 342 Deckhand
    If you are serious about getting into waterfowling, hiring a reputable guide would put you years ahead, especially with you trying to educate your children. you would also be better served starting your kids off in public waters versus the sta's. I have a friend with kids and if they don't get drawn for the sta's, they don't want to go (spoiled). Another reason you should learn how to hunt public water is what if the Sta's become off limits or you dont get drawn one year? Im not saying dont take them to the Sta's, I just think it should be a treat, not where you hunt your whole season, at least with new hunters. Just my opinion. Have fun and good luck.
  • Healy0201Healy0201 Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    Well you got lucky with 3 sta permits! I got skunked this season. Might be best to have someone on the forum go with you. Maybe take son for one hunt and daughter for the next. Fwc will check your birds and no one wants a fine. There are plenty of great guys on the forums that will probably go with you especially if you have a permit.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 2,323 Captain
    You will need waders,I recommend breathable waders,mine are cabelas brand . You will also need a swamp seat,they are sold or you can make one. I use 2 milk crates zip tied together. Also need to carry life preservers,and a throwable for canoeing in the Stas. It's nice to hear your getting your kids involved. safe,and enjoy!
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 3,883 Captain
    Bryce get in touch and Ill tag along with you. Only condition is you have to bring one of your kids!
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,314 Captain
    Good idea to take someone like Pinman up and have them "meet you at the gate" and help the first time. Best the person has scouted and knows the better Parking Spots along the levees which are assigned at check in to help spread the hunters out in the marshes....since the cattails have expanded knowing the open areas is important. The STAs do not require a lot of expensive toys.....a canoe or kayak, some teal and ringer decoys, with a couple of mallard hens to act as "mottled ducks" and some coots....This is wading style hunting...hiding in standing cattails with decoys in the open water. Paddles off the levee can be difficult through the thick hydrilla..and may include pushing through cattails..

    I always suggest new (and for that matter "old") go to:

    Along with the national group of your choice, ie., DU, United Waterfowlers-FL has a lot of folks willing to help a newcomer....and a Forum for meeting other duck hunters....
  • bcontentobcontento Posts: 124 Deckhand
    Thanks everyone. Great info.
    Ron, I might take you up on it!

    As I understand it, I can bring 2 guests (hunting or non-hunting) correct? May seem like a silly question, but can we have more than one canoe/boat?

    Breathable waders, homemade swamp seat, decoys, flotation device (I have an inflatable 2 man kayak that we use for fishing. How would you think that would do?)

    How deep is the water typically. I'm not so concerned about me (even though I'm a whopping 5'7" on a good day) as much as my son who is about 5'3". Any issue with water depth, chest waders, stability for him I should be concerned with?

    Great link to the UW-F! Plenty of reading to do now.
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 2,323 Captain
    As long as you don't walk into any holes,you should be fine. Water is usually about knee deep in most areas. As newton said scouting, or taking someone who knows the area is necessary.
  • BatemasterBatemaster Posts: 1,701 Captain
    I am going to highly recommend you go out there with someone who's been there done that before. Duck hunting is addicting!

    Try not to step on any gators. :rotflmao
  • evilman00evilman00 Posts: 265 Officer
    Ohhh another year of Fun on the STAS speacily on 1, what a great stories, Good luck with you're hunts there is really nothing hard about hunting the stas basic staff, waders,decoy,shotgun,ammo and canoe the rest is luxury,pretty much everywhere you go you have a fair chance of bag some duck's, good luck again I'll be on the other line this year since a got skunked.
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 2,323 Captain
    Batemaster wrote: »
    I am going to highly recommend you go out there with someone who's been there done that before. Duck hunting is addicting!

    Try not to step on any gators. :rotflmao
    Yep!.....and don't forget where you leave your canoe after dark!.....
  • BatemasterBatemaster Posts: 1,701 Captain
    Yea are you'll be dealing with "the man"
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,265 AG
    Plenty of people will "volunteer" :rolleyes to take you....

    Tell them they need to take you to lunch after the'll still have a line of people wanting to "take" you...You may not learn much about duck hunting...but you'll have lunch....:rotflmao
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 3,883 Captain
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    Plenty of people will "volunteer" :rolleyes to take you....

    Tell them they need to take you to lunch after the'll still have a line of people wanting to "take" you...You may not learn much about duck hunting...but you'll have lunch....:rotflmao

  • Fowlplay87Fowlplay87 Posts: 226 Deckhand
    Well sta's I don't think are the best place to get a feel for duck hunting in my personal opinion it will spoil a person bad as it has done to my GF I started out on lake O and river etc. not saying it's a bad hunt sta's are great but once you get a feel for it try to branch out and work for it in wma's lakes and such will give you the real feel and satisfaction of waterfowl hunting. And how the hell do you get 3 permits first try I get skunked 3 years running lmao

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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