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Where to live?

ChipBcflChipBcfl Posts: 5 Greenhorn
Hey everyone. I’m a 24 yo male getting ready to get out of the Army. I grew up in Volusia County but I’m not moving back there. However I miss FL, so I’ve been thinking about moving somewhere else in FL. I grew up Fishing around Central FL but recently got into hunting and it’s going to be something I’ll do for the rest of my life. Basically I can move anywhere I chose on the Army’s dime one time so I’d like to make this one count. I’m looking for an area with the most access to public land for hunting. Deer, Turkey, and hog and I’d eventually like to get into waterfowl. Also I’d like to be within a decent driving distance to the coast for fishing. I was thinking about Jacksonville but I’m not sure about the hunting in the surrounding areas. If you could live anywhere in FL to fulfill your hunting and fishing addictions where would it be with a decent population of mid 20s? I know that’s asking a lot but I figured asking the locals on here is the best place to ask and I’m open to any ideas. Thanks 
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Replies

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,161 Captain
    What does a “decent population of mid 20s mean?”
  • publichunterpublichunter Posts: 1,180 Officer
    I'd pick coastal panhandle over Jax.  Better deer hunting, good public ground, much closer bluewater fishing, and if you want to get into waterfowling you're close to La.  Hunt coastal salt marshes or flooded timber within a half day drive.  Jax ain't great for ducks.   Plenty of 20 something females in both places as long as you don't venture too far inland.  
  • ChipBcflChipBcfl Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    What does a “decent population of mid 20s mean?”
    Looking for an area where I can meet people in a similar age range with similar interests... and women 😂
  • ChipBcflChipBcfl Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    I'd pick coastal panhandle over Jax.  Better deer hunting, good public ground, much closer bluewater fishing, and if you want to get into waterfowling you're close to La.  Hunt coastal salt marshes or flooded timber within a half day drive.  Jax ain't great for ducks.   Plenty of 20 something females in both places as long as you don't venture too far inland.  
    Thanks man, I’ll take a look!
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 817 Officer
    Panhandle , fish the gulf and hunt Alabama 
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 2,235 Captain
    Again, the PANHANDLE. Everything that you've mentioned is here ten times over!

    How are you going to make a living? Get back in school and get an education or technical training to improve your station in life. You can do all of this in the Panhandle! 
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,359 Captain
    Tallahassee is a great hub. Fishing, public land hunting, hunt leases, Georgia, university (educational ops and 20 yr olds). Probably some decent job ops as well. 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 2,110 Captain
    Did the Army give you any skills? And thanks for taking the time to serve.
  • ChipBcflChipBcfl Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    Gary S said:
    Did the Army give you any skills? And thanks for taking the time to serve.
    No problem man 🇺🇸 But Yeah it taught me how to not get bored while waiting on directions from higher up 😂 for real though I’m a medic so I’m a nationally registered EMT (don’t want to do that long term) and I’m leaving with an Electrician Certification as well. 
  • MCSHunterMCSHunter Posts: 556 Officer
    Medic and electrician, you can do well wherever you choose. Good luck on your life journey and as Gary said, thank you for serving.
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 10,326 AG
    If you want to hunt the area for the rest of your life, don't go south of Ocala.  It's wrecked.
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 3,161 Captain
    I’d also recommend avoiding Ocala itself. Ocala wants to be a mini Orlando and much of the beautiful Marion county woods has been trashed by development over the last few years. 

    Go no further south than Gainesville and really consider the Panhandle. 

    Now there is a big difference between being within a reasonable driving distance of your hunt places and actually living in your hunt places. If you want to actually live in the woods, you’re going to have to give up the notion of having the conveniences and social life of the city at your doorstep. The places where land is cheap are also the places with little or no economy. I live in one of the poorest county in Florida with good reason; I was attracted to a place where land was cheap and the local powers that be shun development and industry. That’s great for a backwoods lifestyle. 

    Tally would be a good choice. With a good paying job you could get into a good lease in any direction from the city and be no more than an hour’s drive away from your hunt camp or stand. You also have the Apalachicola NF right there.  
  • Mr_WatsonMr_Watson Ten Thousand IslandsPosts: 114 Deckhand
    South Florida guy chiming in.  Agree with others regarding panhandle & the fall/winter weather is nice. 

    Don't discard though west Palm Beach county such as Loxahatchee. Or more south to Miami. 

    In Palm Beach you can learn to hunt JW Corbett and can drive a little north for better hunting land. Miami is expensive but the fact that you be in depths of the Everglades / Big Cypress during day and  have a drink in downtown Miami that evening is a pretty good perk.  Not to mention proximity to the Keys & Ten thousand islands fishing. 
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 1,498 Officer
    edited September 2019 #16
    After living in South Florida all my 50 years except 2 , I strongly disagree with Mr.Watson on this ..... stay north of Ocala for sure!....thanks for your service and good luck with your decision.
  • Hunter85Hunter85 Posts: 86 Deckhand
    edited September 2019 #17
    My vote would Lake City reasonable distance to either coast and Osceola wma just north  or Ocala south with several smaller ones close by 
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,649 Captain
    edited September 2019 #18
    Ive lived in Florida all my 57 years and Northern Palm Beach County for last 44. Don't move to Palm Beach County. Everything around it is crowded,  its becoming Dade / Broward North. Im ready to leave. If I had to move to somewhere in Florida it would probably be Panama City Area.  I went to Florida State, had 2 sons graduated from there and have a daughter there now. Was just up there this weekend, joined a lease near there, but I just don't think I could live in Tallahassee. But Im 57.....it sure was a lot of fun when I was in my 20's
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    edited September 2019 #19
    I'm in Taylor County , Panhandle Backwoods.
    Hunting is everywhere , Coastal fishing is Rocking.
    Plenty of 20 year olds...wearin Daisy Dukes with a 90 inch waist , Stupid Tattoos , Belly hanging over their little T shirts and Flip flops.
    Jobs are low pay , Saturday night Sport is getting drunk and ridin the Woods Roads..maybe a good fight and every now and then a minor Gun Battle.
    I'm retired and live in The Bush so it's comical to me.
    If I was your age I'd be in Talla or Panama Beach.
    Boy I never thought being raised in far South Florida that I'd have all this Hunting and Fishing...Life is good , Poo ,tang and making money are no longer my priorities.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • ChipBcflChipBcfl Posts: 5 Greenhorn
    I want to thank everyone for responding. The more I search this forum the more I realize that this was an unusual question with no specific forum for it be placed in, but you all have given me some great information. I’ll definitely be looking into the Panhandle area. Thanks again.
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 10,326 AG
    Plenty of 20 year olds...wearin Daisy Dukes with a 90 inch waist 
    Girls, right?
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,666 Admiral
    Hard to tell sometimes...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Hunter85Hunter85 Posts: 86 Deckhand
    Plenty of 20 year olds...wearin Daisy Dukes with a 90 inch waist 
    Girls, right?
    This day and age ya never know! Boy I’m glad I’m married! 
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,649 Captain
    If I had to live in South Florida it would be Sebastian.
  • awayaway Posts: 342 Deckhand
    Since it sounds like you can't be talked out of Florida then my vote is N FL as well. Jax or Tally. 
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 3,756 Captain
    edited October 2019 #26
    I was born in Miami- Everglades/ Big Cypress 
    Great
    Moved to Northeast Florida
    Great
    Skip all of the Above

    Panhandle

    Speak with Preston Robertson Florida Wildlife Federation

    Suggest pursue Public Lands but be mindful, keep an eye out for private lease, perhaps purchase small acreage within conservation corridor.

    Panhandle.   Hands Down

    Lucky You!....... Better than Colorado, Bend Oregon declining deer population.......among many examples.

    Settle in......  and monitor County Future Land Use Maps...... FLUM..... Skip “ Plan”.



    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    Anywhere on the army's dime?  An emt/electrician?  Dang, Move to Hawaii!!!
    You won't get to waterfowlin but they're overrun with Axis deer and hogs!  Nevermind turkey, pheasants, sheep, mountain goats and things I never knew of.  The fishing is pretty good too ;) 

    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,363 Captain
    edited October 2019 #28
    I lived and swordfished in Hawaii for 7 years... NOTHING is cheap, most haoles are not welcomed, the political climate is Tulsi-esque, and you'll eventually get burned out on island life....

    On the flip side, IF you can manage to break the ice with a few of the locals, they are exceptionally kind and generous. They may offer up some hunting and fishing....  Every night is a Saturday night in Honolulu. The party never stops. There are beautiful women of every mix and culture imaginable, all over. Many of them have a plane ticket home so they aren't looking to lock down forever. Pakalolo is more common than Marlboro. The climate is unmatched. The scenery is beautiful. The surf is fantastic.... Among a few other things....

    If that's your thing...

    If it wasn't so **** crowded on Oahu, I could see Turner River Terror showing up there and thinking he found heaven.... 
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,709 Captain
    I'm a tad envious of your life Big M.  I shoulda worked a boat but life is funny sometimes. I did work on a project in Hawaii for a month and fell in love. Been back to visit a few times and always talk about moving there. It's expensive for sure tho.
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • jmac7469jmac7469 Posts: 157 Deckhand
    Panhandle for sure number 1 No question. Dealing with the hurricanes can be a pain, but it's worth it. Yeah there's no shortage of girls out there. Might even find you a keeper. As someone born in raised in Neptune Beach Jacksonville is number 2 on the list. Lots of fun good fishing and not a far drive to good hunting. Downside to Jacksonville it's really crowded and not all the crowds are people anyone in their right mind would want to be around. 
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 3,363 Captain
    If I was starting out now, and FL was my only option, I would beat feet to the panhandle area as well. I went to college in Gainesville and I wouldn't even slow down or stop to see old Bull Gator as I was on my NorthWesterly course.

    I've traveled all over the world and always called FL my home. I'm a South Florida native living in northern Palm Beach, in what iused to be a semi rural, equestrian area with world class entertainment and amenities.... a convenient 20-30 minutes away. Today, there are multiple, freedom stripping, gated communities developing around me at a pace I didn't think possible. The traffic is getting worse. The stop lights are popping up everywhere. Everything just got busy overnight and the problems associated with bigger cities and higher population densities are already looming on the horizon, if not knocking on my door. I'm not happy with it. It  ran me out of Pompano years ago. I'm hoping to get another 10 years outta this place, then I'm gone. 

    It's unfortunate because I have great airboating, decent public hunting, and pretty good fishing opportunities within easy striking distances, but each activity is becoming too crowded, and I'm enjoying them on borrowed time.

    My advice would be to really think long term... What you want, and will it still be there long enough to enjoy it to your life's fullest. Chances are it will not, but if you only look ten years down the road, you'll be lucky to get 5. Factor in not just the short term pursuits like hell raising, but also think about family, jobs, growth, education opportunities for kids, recreational opportunities, long term residential plans for the area, etc. Simply put, i think the panhandle would be hard to beat in this day and age.... IMHO



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