By Michael Bodenchuk, Correspondent(Editor's Note: In our March issue [see Article 3053] correspondent Michael Bodenchuk outlined the possibilities for free-range exotics in Alaska, Hawaii and California. Last month [Article 3093], he followed up with an in-depth overview of free-range exotics hunts in Texas and New Mexico. Those two stories covered most of the opportunities, but not all. In this final installment, Bodenchuk uncovers two more hunts that complete the picture. Enjoy!) FLORIDA
While Florida is home to a number of exotic species, most of them are plants or reptiles. For free-ranging exotic big game, sambar deer and feral hogs are the only choices. Sambar deer were introduced to the state in 1908 and have established themselves on St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge (see Article 1661
). This is a truly unique opportunity, likely the least-expensive sambar hunt in the world! Of course, for a number of reasons, this hunt isn't for everyone.
First, the hunt is archery or muzzleloader only (same season) and is held for only three days in late November or early December. For 2013, the dates are December 5-7. Aside from some areas of St. Vincent Island that are closed to hunting, hunters may choose to hunt anywhere, so you might encounter some competition.....