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  1. #1
    New Member therumpus's Avatar
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    Ocala National Forest

    I am looking for information of water availability, hanging options, is December off limits because of hunting season in the Ocala National Forest.

    Any one have any information?
    "Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new." Henry David Thoreau's Walden

  2. #2
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    You could always stealth hang. Dont see why it would be off limits just because of hunting season. Been a good while since I passed through there. Went to Orange lake.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
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    My understanding is that everything's pretty dry right now. Of course, after Fay that might not be the case. However, if you'll remind me (as I have a tendency to forget) I'll be hiking from Juniper Springs Rec Area on the 26th of Sept. I'd be happy to give you an update after that.

    As for being off limits it's not. However, since it is hunting season you'd be smart to wear blaze orange.

  4. #4
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    http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/florida/recr...oca.shtml#hike

    "Primitive camping in the general forest area is prohibited during the general gun deer hunting season, which usally runs from November through January. The only exception to this regulation allows primitive camping within the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, which is closed to all hunting."

    General gun season is Nov. 8, 2008, through Jan. 18, 2009 (http://myfwc.com/hunting/).

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Hmm. Looks like I was wrong. I thought I read something different at the FTA site. Now I'll have to double check. Perhaps it was Juniper I was reading about and that's why it said what it did.

  6. #6
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    You probably were reading about Juniper. Didn't mean to make my prior post so abrupt, just in a hurry before work.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    Hanging options are abundant, at least I've never had a problem. Water - it's kind of a catch-22. You can always tell if there is enough water because you pretty much have to hike in it when it's available. We've learned to live with it.

    The Florida Trail Association has an agreement with just about everyone to allow hiking on the Florida National Senic Trail all the time, including hunting season. Use to be that a large portion of our trail was closed off during the best part of hiking season. It's been in effect for about two, maybe three years. But, some of the places don't allow camping during the season along certain parts of the trail. This can make for some very long hiking days. For a slow hiker like myself, it can have you hiking at dawn or dusk around people with high powered rifles - not a great idea. Even with blaze orange. When it starts to get dark, orange is one of the first colors to disappear.

    Not sure about the best solution. Preventing hunting isn't an option here as the hunter's supply far more money for land acquisition, etc. than any other users. I'm told through licensing, etc. they supply more money than all the other users combined (although I would think fishing would top hunting in that area). It's hard for politicians to ignore. Plus, I'm sure someone is going to mention, it isn't the only reason to allow hunting. We would be over run with pigs, deer, alligators, etc. if there wasn't any hunting.
    Last edited by bear bag hanger; 09-01-2008 at 08:45. Reason: needed to add comments about water & hanging

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Back to the hunting threads... I think the use of a flashing headlamp and maybe even throwing in a red tail lamp from the bicycle around dusk and dawn is one of the best ideas I have seen. Unless someone is out to do in Rudolph for his reindeer skin... in that case leave the tail light at home
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I hiked all over the FT during hunting season; made me want to invest in a Blaze Orange tarp, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

    Ocala has plenty of campsites in that section. The regs talk about "primitive" camp sites; no stealth. One of my favorite sections, hope you enjoy.
    Trust nobody!

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