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Osceola WMA

FEFIVFEFIV FloridaPosts: 26 Greenhorn
I just found out about this place and am interested in it. I live and hunt in S. FL but really want to do some deer hunting up there this year. Does anybody that has hunted it have any pointers or can lead me in the right direction to get started on such a big place? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Replies

  • creekgeekcreekgeek Posts: 1,040 Officer
    Do some searches on the forum.  There should be quite a few older threads. There deer there but not a super strong heard IMHO.  I think you have get on google earth, pick a small area or two and go look. I'd stay out of the dog hunt area if still hunting but there are deer there two obviously. 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,434 Captain
    You may enjoy the excursion into some remote woods in north Florida. 

    But it will be hard to be successful unless you live nearby and can hunt it hard.

    Dog hunting is heavy, and there’s a couple of outlaw dog hunting clans that keep
    people ran out of their respective “territories.” Poaching is widespread.

    The deer are very nomadic. Some of the most nomadic deer in the nation. They have to travel hard to follow the food sources in the flatwoods. 

    Hunting pressure is heavy but otherwise human presence is low compared with, say, the Ocala National Forest.  You’re not likely to walk up on a camp of hobos or sex offenders like you are in Ocala. 


  • jmac7469jmac7469 Posts: 158 Deckhand
    It's a tough tough place to hunt. But extremely rewarding if you are successful. Poaching is a very serious issue out there. There is a fence that separates the Forrest and a club that fence row runs through I big stand of white oaks. If you find it start there just saying. Be prepared to burn some fuel and watch for bears.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,434 Captain
    My FWC officers estimate that the poaching harvest within the Osceola is double the legal harvest. 
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,515 Captain
    edited August 2019 #6
    Five deer limits and tag and report will fix the poaching that antler restrictions didn't.
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 2,155 Captain
    edited August 2019 #7
    Who knew antler restrictions were meant to fix poaching?!?! LOL

    Do you believe poachers will report their poached deer?
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 2,145 Captain
    Who knew antler restrictions were meant to fix poaching?!?! LOL

    Do you believe poachers will report their poached deer?
    I’m sure the penalties are very stiff and outlaws will be shaking in their boots. It’s worked for the former trades of drug trafficking and prostitution. 
  • GlennGlenn GeorgiaPosts: 1,737 Captain
    If you drive all the way to North Florida to hunt then just keep on going to Georgia. 
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,515 Captain
    I knew someone would not see the forest for the trees....
  • Walker DogWalker Dog Posts: 2,155 Captain
    Yes. And that someone is you.

    You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that it’s easier to document as illegal and prosecute if it isn’t logged/reported. That wasn’t the case before. 
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,515 Captain
    edited August 2019 #12
    LMFAO! I hope you're correct. Can't wait to see the big uptick in  convictions... Only time will tell but I'm willing to bet they're won't be much change . Without sufficient police work in the field all this talk about prosecutions and convictions is just utter nonsense...
  • FEFIVFEFIV FloridaPosts: 26 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like i need to get up there and put some boots on the ground. Now..where to start with that..
  • creekgeekcreekgeek Posts: 1,040 Officer
    Google earth...
  • relicshunterrelicshunter Posts: 605 Officer
    Yes. And that someone is you.

    You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that it’s easier to document as illegal and prosecute if it isn’t logged/reported. That wasn’t the case before. 
    A poacher can easily write the deer down like he intends to report in every time he drives home with on and then throw away the paper every time he makes it home without being checked. If they are stopped and the officer helps them log that one, oh well. It's a stupid system, but I hope something good comes out of it. 
  • relicshunterrelicshunter Posts: 605 Officer
    Big Mak said:
    LMFAO! I hope you're correct. Can't wait to see the big uptick in  convictions... Only time will tell but I'm willing to bet they're won't be much change . Without sufficient police work in the field all this talk about prosecutions and convictions is just utter nonsense...
    The fine needs to be larger also, I think it is like $250 or 300 to take a deer illegally. 
  • nofishtodaynofishtoday Posts: 1,318 Officer
    Big Mak said:
    LMFAO! I hope you're correct. Can't wait to see the big uptick in  convictions... Only time will tell but I'm willing to bet they're won't be much change . Without sufficient police work in the field all this talk about prosecutions and convictions is just utter nonsense...
    The fine needs to be larger also, I think it is like $250 or 300 to take a deer illegally. 
    The fine needs to be larger also, I think it is like $250 or 300 to take a deer illegally. 

    Deer Hunting is pretty costly imho 
    if you jack one for $250/$300 
    Its cheaper to take Illegally then legit 


    you you just have to have NO Conscience 
  • Cracker23Cracker23 MelrosePosts: 311 Deckhand
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 10,438 AG
    H20dad said:
    Who knew antler restrictions were meant to fix poaching?!?! LOL

    Do you believe poachers will report their poached deer?
    I’m sure the penalties are very stiff and outlaws will be shaking in their boots. It’s worked for the former trades of drug trafficking and prostitution. 
    Hey, prostitution isn't a trade.  It's an art.
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 2,145 Captain
    Hard tags...
    That would be proof to me the Fwc looks to target poachers and track harvest and isn’t interested in mountain lion food as their primary ends. 
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,515 Captain
    Hard tags are coming soon, so everyone relax!
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 2,145 Captain
    Big Mak said:
    Hard tags are coming soon, so everyone relax!
    Will they have gps tracking or rfd?

    kidding.....
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,515 Captain
    H20dad said:
    Big Mak said:
    Hard tags are coming soon, so everyone relax!
    Will they have gps tracking or rfd?

    kidding.....
    One day.....

    Not kidding....
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,880 Captain
    Osceola National Forest is Big Country. Almost twice the acreage since I began roaming the Forest thanks to additional conservation lands program expanding the boundary north to the state line, adjacent to Okefenokee Refuge.
    Benefits from prescribed fire, and much acreage not so prescribed, wild fires.Longleaf restoration and other Forest Management activities.
    There are many choices for areas not pressured, particularly within the northerly area.Once one begins to explore and go forth one realizes why you are Alone.
    Consider not using designated trails, use landscape borders, tree lines, clear cut edges etc for off road walk travel route.

    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,880 Captain

    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • awFSUducksawFSUducks Posts: 258 Deckhand
    Don’t waste your time...ESPECIALLY if you have to drive all the way from south Florida. I’m sure some still hunters kill some deer but by and large it’s a very low deer density area. In my experience it’s the kind of place where you can put a camera on a fairly solid game trail and only have a couple pictures in a week. 
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,880 Captain

    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,880 Captain
    edited September 28 #29
    200,000 plus acres

    Review Wildlife Commission law enforcement arrests re Osceola Poaching. Illegal take estimated to be half of annual take.Illegal take often involves baiting- and the illegal take includes mature nice rack animals- which suggests nice Bucks are there, for the Wild Lands Hunter.
    Personally, I ain’t never taken one, but then again I have not tried much.Years exploring, not much hunt. Now looking forward.


    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • needtohuntmoreneedtohuntmore MelbournePosts: 368 Deckhand
    Hard tags stop poaching.  If you are out there without a tag $500 fine and no hunting for a year.  Second offense no more hunting, easy!  If you are leaving the woods with an animal that isn’t tagged same approach.  If they are caught with hunting privileges revoked take their truck, guns, dogs, etc.  
  • WildManWildMan Posts: 95 Deckhand
    Hard tags stop poaching.  If you are out there without a tag $500 fine and no hunting for a year.  Second offense no more hunting, easy!  If you are leaving the woods with an animal that isn’t tagged same approach.  If they are caught with hunting privileges revoked take their truck, guns, dogs, etc.  
    I don't believe anything will stop poaching.  The tags along with stiff penalties would likely reduce it however, but there would need to be enough LE presence to frequently check hunters in the field to increase hunters perception of the likelihood of getting caught. A true poacher is going to be a poacher regardless of the regs.
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