ANYONE hunt Lake Harbor WMA this year?

Discussion in 'Florida Flyway Forum' started by BigBullGator, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. BigBullGator

    BigBullGator Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    Ft.Myers, Florida
    I am really Pi$$ed off. For the last few years I have hunted at Lake Harbor. It is not tops in duck population, but it is a very nice place to hunt. I like it because it is gator free and thus a good place to take the dogs.
    To hunt LH you have to call Monday evening and reserve a spot. The past three years I have never (with few exceptions) had a problem getting in.
    This year, however, I tried calling every Monday of the season and NEVER did get through. I never even got a human on the line. It is not for a lack of trying. I called on my home phone and cell phone at same time. My hunting partner did the same as did my daughter. That is a total of six phone lines trying to get through. After 6pm I would get the recording to call .......if this is a wildlife emergency.

    I was at a dog event a few weeks back and several guys from West Palm Beach talking were talking about how they had hunted there all season. I find it interesting that the Fish and Game office for the WMA is in West Palm and that these guys got in so many times.
    Anyway, just wondering if any of you had the chance to hunt there.
    Thanks BBG
     
  2. matthersjr

    matthersjr Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Location:
    Saint Petersburg
    I tried to get a reservation over at Goodwin this past season and did not get through. My attempt took 5 hours of hard core - dial then hang up - redial - hang up - redial - hangup - etc...
     
  3. Mehrenfl

    Mehrenfl Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Location:
    South Florida
    BigBull,

    The reason you couldn't get through was the number of people trying to call the same number to get reservations at STA-5. If you go to the check station data page on the FWC website http://wld.fwc.state.fl.us/duck/Check_Stations/Lake_Harbor/02_LakeHarbor/02_lakeharbor_1.htm you will see that Lake Harbor rarely had the maximum number of hunters. There were even a few days where only 2 hunters were there. You just got to keep trying until you get through.
     
  4. BigBullGator

    BigBullGator Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    234
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    Ft.Myers, Florida
    Mehrenfl
    Idid try, and try, and try........., using 2 lines, plus my hunting partner, and my daughter. I tried from 5 mins till five until after 6pm when they turned on the recording.
    I have seen the hunter data and know that it was rarely at maximum. I do believe, however, that what happens is that several people from the same party make reservations. My hunting partner got through once on the third week and was told they were full. If you check the data, you will see that they were not. The data, however, only states how many hunters showed up, NOT how many made reservations.
    At any rate, the system stinks and there really needs to be something better in place be it a quota type thing or whatever. Also, a system where those that make reservations and fail to show up cannot make a reservation for say two weeks or so. Last year I drove over to LH and was able to get in because they were not even half full, but they told me on the phone they were booked solid. I could have done the same this year, but that is a long drive for me at 3:30 am just on the chance I might get in.
    I have voiced this complant to FWC.
     
  5. N. Cook

    N. Cook Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Tequesta, FL
    Bull Gator......UNITED WATERFOWLERS-FLORIDA is supporting a more open system for all WMAs, including STAs, we would appreciate your ideas and support. Are you a member?
     
  6. Gus E

    Gus E Refuge Member

    Messages:
    96
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Not even half full!! I wonder when they start talking about more public hunting spots for duck huters and someone say's "LH was only running half full". Must make the policy people think twice about opening more spots. They do need to keep track of the reservations to get a true grip on the demand.
     
  7. darkwing duck

    darkwing duck Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    169
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    on my airboat in the marsh
    I have kept quiet about this subject long enough. LAKE HARBOR WAS one of the premier spots to hunt ducks in south fl. BUT the MANAGMENT of this place is not the best. I will say this again. How can you manage an area from over 100 miles away behind a desk. If this place is to be a premier spot agin then WE as the hunters that like this place need to be more involved. Also DU has had nothing to do with this place for MANY MANY years and I wish their name would be removed. Myself and a group of concerned hunters have made many attempts to help out with this problem but DEAF ears prevail if you don't follow the precios biologists agenda.

    Get involved with those who care and lets see if WE can make a difference.
     
  8. N. Cook

    N. Cook Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Tequesta, FL
    The fundamental problem at Lake Harbor is that it has a primary charter to be an "agriculture project" and duck hunting is just a possibility when agriculture processes allows it. You only have to read the documents to see why it has been very difficult to get any positive for hunting projects done. Perhaps Jeff still has those papers and can bring them to the MARKHAM event for those who have not seen them to review. Any ideas on an effective plan to change the charter are always welcome.
     
  9. Rad

    Rad Guest

    Darkwing, I don't understand your beef with the management of this place or why it is impossible to manage the area from a remote location. I wonder if you have taken the time to discuss the management plan for Lake Harbor with the biologists who are responsible for managing the area. If you had, I believe you would see the incredible potential for waterfowl and waterfowl hunters in south Florida. Please feel free to explain your experiences and concerns with respect to Lake Harbor so that others will not follow the same path.

    Rad
     
  10. Busta Drake

    Busta Drake Guest

    Pardon my ignorance, but I'm new to the area and this forum. I don't understand how someone not getting through on a reservation line is mismanagement. Would someone mind filling me in on what the REAL story is? Where is Lake Harbor and what is wrong with the place?

    Busta
     

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