Merritt Island Report

Discussion in 'Florida Flyway Forum' started by CUT'EM ALL, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. CUT'EM ALL

    CUT'EM ALL Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    N.W. FLORIDA
    Hey dakota 31400 you are all upset about the nonlocals, but your location says, "Location: ND/GA" Are you one of these nonlocals or just have the wrong location?
     
  2. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    I grew up in Merritt Island. Graduated from MI High and college from FIT in Melbourne, conducted my thesis research trapping waterfowl on the refuge and have hunted that river for over 30 years...I still do, and I'm still working blinds I built back in the 70's. Some of the guys on this net have hunted them too. A few make it a point to call me when they plan a trip to MI just to see if I'll be there as to avoid double booking one of my blinds. Thats all I ask...just a little curtesy...and it's worked for a long time.

    Only problem is.. this year is the first in which I ever had to put up with weekend warriors and a buch of jerks on that river. Combined with the huge numbers of flats fishermen that are just as inconsiderate, hunting MI is becomming a Joke. Just glad I had my time over the years with it...Cause knowing none of you will ever experience what it really was back a time ago makes me feel good. Comparatively, even at MI's best today, it sucks:nutz

    If it wasn't for my 11 year old daughter, I'd simply continue hunting a couple of weeks every year in North Dakota and let ya all have the river...but she deserves more......so next year, don't be surprised if some of ya get an education from this LOCAL Old Timmer:tu
     
  3. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    It's not about the place, it's about inconsideration. I have no compassion for the guy that insists on setting up 100 yards away with 20 miles of shoreline at his disposal. Nor will I tolerate the guy that sets up inside the refuge, rips up the flats/grass beds or shoots every thing with feathers in sight.

    Take Mottlers attitude....I'll run on in......the Marine patrol won't wade in after me.

    What he doesn't know is that if push comes to shove up there, some of us old dinosaurs might do the wading for them.
     
  4. CUT'EM ALL

    CUT'EM ALL Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    N.W. FLORIDA
    Hey dakota I feel your pain on the blind situation. I used to try to keep jerks out of my blinds, but when it comes down to it, we have no legal right to that blind. funny how in the past law didnt matter as much, people knew whose blind was whose, but now if they can legally set up in your blind they will. I abandoned my perminant blinds and got me a good boat blind. my boat blind looks just as good as any perminant blind and I dont have to worry about anybody bieng in it in the morning. also makes you much more mobile. Waterfowling has become more enjoyable since I quit fighting for my blind.
     
  5. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    Cut-em,

    It's not for me anymore...it's for the kid. I'm about done with the sport..down here anyway. My other kids and grandkids are still up in North Dakota. I get my fill every year hunting with them. My youngest however is just starting, so Merritt Island is the closest and most familiar place to work with her at. My diversability is limited due to health reasons, so the days of bush-whacking into new holes are over for me. Firm footing is essential for my restrictions and imperative for a youngster starting out with a firearm (IMO).

    I have already made new accommodations on the river....Simply digging into the stash of old haunts that went by the wayside over the years. They don't produce as much shooting opportunity anymore, but they do provide a peaceful scenario in which my girl can be with nature one on one without the side show of some jerk in the backdrop urinating into the wind.
     
  6. N. Cook

    N. Cook Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Tequesta, FL
    Dakota....I can relate to not being able to "bushwack" out there anymore....very frustrating.....but all the good times are not yet gone!
    Newton
     
  7. Pirate91

    Pirate91 Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,625
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC/Land O' Lakes, Fla.
    Don't let all this crap ruin your good times. There's still plenty of places to go and plenty of memories to be made. I've hunted the past two Saturdays with a 'fuge member and have seen zero other duck hunters and heard as many shots....
     
  8. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,261
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Location:
    Merritt Is. Florida
    Take my attitude for what you want, but I can only have so much crap shoved down my throat from manatee clubs and flats fisherman pole only zones and yankees moving down here and telling us how we need to change laws before it starts coming back up. When they are the ones that have created the problems in the first place.
     
  9. dakota31400

    dakota31400 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    ND/GA/FL
    No Mottler...I can remember when you could walk across the rivers on the backs of ducks......and couldn't wade it because the grass beds were so thick....I watched that go to non-existant waterfowl and bare sand bottoms in the 80's. Now it's starting to recover.

    As far as the Manatee goes....When I was a kid, on any given day I could jump in the canal behind my house in Merrritt Island and swim with one....Now, If you can find one in those canals, jumping in would probably make you sick.

    Self control, respect for the resource and courtesy toward fellow man is whats important......Heck, I've probably eaten more crap than you've ever had to choke on. If you can't obey the law, then find another place to trash. But keep your skeg off the flats.

    There is only one scenario I can see where running above slow speed in a manatee zone is justifiable....Thats if your caught out there and the wind picks up......Then in deep water only, you would need to idle up for your safety....Remember, that's going home, not out to the blind.

    And it wasn't the Yankees that trashed the ecology...It was the Old South mentality....The Yankees fixed it. As far as the money situation goes, again the old south is responsible. Maybe if a guy could make a decent wage, he could compete. But the ole Southern Boss-Man ain't gonna comply! He's a beast and still likes slavery..only in this century, color doesn't matter.

    This is the land of opporunity...Just because they out-witted you doesn't make them the bad guy....heck, I made all the wrong decisions too, but I've come to realize I only can blame myself.
     
  10. mottler

    mottler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,261
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Location:
    Merritt Is. Florida
    It wasn't motors that killed that grass it was pollution and it is a IRL wide problem trust me there is still plenty of grass flats and more of it gets killed by winter and low water every year than all the trails combined. You cannot hardly fish a top water bait anymore because of all the grass. Unless it is less than 6" deep the skeg on my boat isn't touching anything a Gator trax tunnel with pods don't need much water. It's the flats boats with 200hp motors that are way over populated by the refish fad and weekend wonders not knowing how to stay in deep water with bay boats and larger that make the problems. As far as the damage goes I'm not sure the trails are such a bad thing. It is a accepted technique to pole along them and sight fish the fish now that love to lay in them as do the baitfish that use them to hide in. The shrimp and crab is as good as it has ever been. We have had our best crabbing the past two years than we have in the last 20. They do regrow grass it takes a little while but a trail has new grass growing in it the following spring. Just because you can spot alot of trails from a plane does not mean the damage stays forever. It's only pollution that does that and that comes from runoff by developing to much waterfront. You can still walk across the blue bills from patrick to MI. Your just not allowed to hunt the patrick side of the river anymore. Not that I'm a fan of prop scarring but I just see a first hand on the water everyday view and it seems to be a little different than the conservationists portray. The damn manatee's are so thick now that you wouldn't want to jump in some canals with them because of all the floating logs they leave. Not to mention the grass the overpopulation of them is consuming. But lets restrict everything else when it's them that are overgrazing the habitat. You are right a man that makes a decent wage at the space center cannot afford to buy himself a median priced home in this area. The property value's got pushed up that high in the last 5 years. As high as 10x what they were just 5 years ago. No way that wages are going to keep up with that and the property taxes. That is what is ruining the town you once knew. It is gone forever.
     

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