Welcome Y'all

Florida duck hunting on Lake Okeechobee has always been excellent even in years when duck migrations were poor. Lake Okeechobee is roughly 750 square miles with a shallow depth and a vast array of water plants which is perfect for attracting migratory ducks. Ron's Guide Service is considered to be the best in all of Florida and perhaps the nation when it comes to duck hunting. You can expect to limit out on duck, or run out of shells trying!
There is so much to learn about duck hunting, especially for first time hunters which is why we recommend you read this entire page for the most detailed information on our duck hunt. You can also use the "section shortcuts" found below to view a specific section. If you need help or still have questions don't hesitate to contact us. See ya soon!


1. Success Rate

2. Fully Guided

3. Hunting Times & Season

4. Recommended Hunting Time

5. Hunting Length

6. Duck Species

7. Bag Limits

8. Weapons

9. Ammunition & Shot Regulations

10. Duck Hunting Boat

11. Hunting with Decoys

12. Hunting with Dogs

13. Florida Duck Hunting History

14. Duck Taste

15. License

16. Age Requirements

17. Experience Level

18. Non-Hunters

19. Duck Cleaning

20. Taxidermy

21. Transporting Meat

22. Transporting Weapons

23. Hunting Zone

24. What to Bring

25. What to Wear

26. Lodging & Campgrounds

27. Nearby Airports

28. Map & Directions

29. Guest Policies

Success Rate
According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, marshes along the Western shore of Lake Okeechobee, from Okeechobee to Moore Haven, provide the best duck hunting in South Florida. The easiest waterfowl hunting occurs at the edges of Lake Okeechobee. The thickets along the marshes provide more coverage making it very easy for our hunters to get a good shot.

 

 

 
Fully Guided

Our duck hunts are fully guided and perfect for new and experienced hunters. We do not drop hunters off in the lake to fend for themselves. Your guide sets up decoys, calls ducks, retrieves all downed birds, and can assist you in identifying species. Retrieval happens after the hunt is complete, as soon as all of your ducks are down in the water. The captain will pull the duck boat right up to them and retrieve them for you. We limit the number of hunters we take out at a time per boat (3) which creates a more personal experience and allows individual attention, although we do accommodate larger parties on multiple boats.

 

 

Hunting Times & Season
Season:
11/23/13 - 12/1/13
12/7/13 - 1/26/14

 

Monday-Sunday:
5:00 AM 2:00 PM

 

 

Recommended Hunting Time

Duck hunting and sleeping late don't mix! Most hunters will agree that daybreak is one of the best times to duck hunt, however ducks tend to move throughout the day, especially as it gets colder. No matter what time you choose we have had success with both our 5:00 AM and 2:00 PM hunt.

 

 

Hunting Length

Our duck hunting lasts about four hours or until you limit out on ducks. Don't be surprised if the captain keeps you out a little longer!

 

 

Duck Species
Most often our hunters bag a mixed variety of species. Wood ducks are not common on Lake Okeechobee. Some of the most commonly bagged species include mottled ducks, ring necks, ruddy duck (blue-bill) and teal.
Bag Limits

2013-2014 Hunting Season Bag Limits From the FWC:

Duck – The daily bag limit of ducks is six. The six-duck limit shall consist of no more than one black duck; one mottled duck (Florida duck); one fulvous whistling-duck; two canvasbacks; two pintails; two redheads; two scaup; three wood ducks; four scoters; four mallards (no more than two of which may be females). All other species of duck (except harlequin ducks) may be taken up to the six-duck daily limit. The possession limit is three days’ bag limit. Taking or attempting to take harlequin ducks is prohibited.

Coot –The daily bag/possession limit is 15/45

 

 

Weapons
Shotguns not larger than 10-Gauge are recommended (by law) for duck hunting. Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells must be plugged to a three-shell capacity with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun. A shiny gun barrel is the number one cause of ducks spotting a hunter and not coming near the decoys so we advise wrapping them in Camo tape. Our hunts are only conducted with shotguns.

 

 

 

Ammunition & Shot Regulations
We strongly recommend steel shotgun shells (50 rounds per each hunter) in sizes such as BB, 1, 2, or 4.
If you are planning on using other shot types please make sure they are nontoxic.
Nontoxic shot regulations apply only to waterfowl, defined as the family Anatidae (ducks, geese, [including brant], and swans) and coots. Nontoxic shot is defined as any shot type that does not cause sickness and death when ingested by migratory birds. Coatings of copper, nickel, tin, zinc, zinc chloride, and zinc chrome on nontoxic shot types are also approved.

 
Approved shot type
Percent Composition by Weight
Bismuth-tin
97 bismuth, and 3 tin
Iron (steel)
iron and carbon
Iron-tungsten
any proportion of tungsten, and >1 iron
Iron-tungsten-nickel
>1 iron, any proportion of tungsten, and up to 40 nickel
Tungsten-bronze
51.1 tungsten, 44.4 copper, 3.9 tin, and 0.6 iron,
or 60 tungsten, 35.1 copper, 3.9 tin, and 1 iron
Tungsten-iron-copper-nickel
40-76 tungsten, 10-37 iron, 9-16 copper, and 5-7 nickel
Tungsten-matrix
95.9 tungsten, 4.1 polymer
Tungsten-polymer
95.5 tungsten, 4.5 Nylon 6 or 11
Tungsten-tin-iron
any proportions of tungsten and tin, and >1 iron
Tungsten-tin-bismuth
any proportions of tungsten, tin, and bismuth.
Tungsten-tin-iron-nickel
65 tungsten, 21.8 tin, 10.4 iron, and 2.8 nickel
Tungsten-iron-polymer
41.5-95.2 tungsten, 1.5-52.0 iron, and 3.5-8.0 fluoropolymer
Duck Hunting Boat

Our duck hunts take place off of a 17 foot aluminum duck boat, which is fully camouflaged. Our boat accommodates up to three passengers, and we use multiple boats for larger parties.

 

 

Hunting with Decoys

Duck hunting with decoys is conducted by standing in 2 to 3 feet or more of water. Duck hunters will be taken out by boat or airboat and placed in a natural vegetation blind of reeds or around small floating grass islands. Decoys will be set out by your guide who will remain in view incase you need assistance. You can choose either stationery or mechanical decoys. You can also bring your own standard mallard mouth operated duck call if you are an experienced duck hunter and would prefer to call the ducks yourself. We will be conducting our hunts from a bass boat this year due to higher than normal lake levels.

 

 

Hunting with Dogs
Duck hunting with dogs is not recommended this year since lake levels are 2-3 feet above normal, which is very high and not very safe for the dogs. During normal lake levels, Ron's Guide Service welcomes duck hunting retrievers. You can bring your dog free of charge. A body vest is vital in keeping your dog warm. A plastic top 3 x 3 foot folding card table or plastic lawn chair will allow your dog a place to sit above the water.

 

 

Florida Duck Hunting History
Duck hunting has been a major part of human history, and specifically Floridian history. Duck hunting can be traced as far back as the paleo people who lived here 10,000 years ago, to the Seminole and Tequesta Native American tribes, through today. Duck hunting has been a major staple in early American settlers' diets because of the abundance of waterfowl. Hunting methods have changed over time, from spear and arrow hunting in prehistoric times, to using live ducks as decoys in early America, and using calls and shotguns in modern times.

 

 

Duck Taste
The most common duck species for eating are Ring-necked, Wood, Teal and Mottled. The flavor of duck species depends on what they eat. Avoid hunting fish eating ducks, stick to the dabblers, not divers. Fish eating ducks have fishy skin, and a very strong, gamey and fishy flavor that is not very desirable. Dabblers such as the Ring-necked, wood, and teal are all desirable because of their mild flavor which is similar to farm duck, but with a distinct, slightly wild flavor. Mottled duck is larger than other species and is popular with chefs because of the light flavor and texture of the meat. The more fat on the duck, the better the cooking and the more flavor the duck will have. Many people combine wild boar meat and duck meat to make sausages. The flavors are complementary, and the textures make a unique combination that will be all the craze at your next cookout.

 

 

License
Florida Resident Hunting License          $17.50
Florida Stamp                                           $5.00
Federal Stamp                                        $17.50
TOTAL LICENSE COST                         $40.00
 
 
Non Resident 10-Day Hunting License   $46.50
Florida Stamp                                            $5.00
Federal Stamp                                         $17.50
TOTAL LICENSE COST                          $69.00

 

A Florida Hunting License, Florida Duck Stamp, Migratory Bird Permit, and Federal Duck Stamp are required to hunt ducks in Florida.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
http://www.myfwc.com/
1-888-486-8356

Licenses can also be purchased at the hunting meeting location, which is called Fast Break.
There is also a 24 hour Walmart in the town of Okeechobee which sells all of the required licenses.

Walmart Super Center
2101 South Parrot Ave
Okeechobee, FL 34974
(863) 763-7070
Age Requirements

We allow youngsters who are at least 12 years old to hunt. They must have proof of completion of a hunter safety course.

 

 

Experience Level

Ron's Guide Service welcomes all levels of experience. Our guided hunts are perfect for first timers and advanced hunters. Our guides are experienced and patient to ensure you have a memorable hunt.

 

 

Non-Hunters

Our $50.00 per non-hunter rate permits a friend or youngster to tag along and watch, film, and participate in the excitement of the hunt.

 

 

Duck Cleaning

Duck cleaning is available by your guide and costs $10 per duck. Visit our butchers page for more details and a list of local butchers.

 

 

Taxidermy

Your guide can assist you in finding a local taxidermist.

Ron's Guide Service DOES NOT provide taxidermy. Aside from skinning, cleaning, quartering, and taxidermy preparation, anything else that happens AFTER your experience is not the responsibility of Ron's Guide Service. We are not associated or affiliated with any taxidermists. Ron's Guide Service strictly handles your actual hunting, fishing, and tour experience, not what comes after it. We are not responsible for any recommendations made by your guide regarding taxidermists. Any arrangements you make regarding taxidermy is between you and the taxidermist. It is your responsibility to get the contact number of the taxidermist or your guide if he is handling any taxidermy request.

 

 

 

There are many options for getting your meat back home. Visit our transporting meat page for detailed solutions.

 

 

Transporting Weapons

Visit our transporting weapons page for detailed solutions.

 

 

Hunting Zone

According to the Florida hunting regulations handbook Glades County is classified as the south zone and Highlands and Okeechobee County are classified as central zones. These areas are considered to be the finest hunting zones in Florida.

 

 

What to Bring

Bringing a poncho or raincoat is advisable in order to be prepared for the temperamental Florida weather. Drinking plenty of liquids such as water during your Ron's Guide Service experience is also recommended. Light snacks like trail mix can tame hunger pains. Sunscreen is essential anytime you go out into the Florida sun. Bug repellant will keep away pesky mosquitos. A hat and sunglasses will also help keep the sun out of your face. Over-the-counter pain medications help to soothe aches and pains after a long day of adventure. If you plan to rent a car or drive while in Florida, bring small bills and coins for Florida's many toll roads. Bring your camera, extra batteries, the charger, and extra memory cards or film. We recommend a large ice cooler (60 qt. or larger) to pack your meat in. You will also need to supply your own ice. It is important you purchase your ice before arriving. We are not responsible for spoiled meat if you come unprepared. There is no ATM and most of our guides do not accept credit cards so make sure you bring cash. You will want to bring the exact balance due plus additional cash to tip your guide. Most licenses can be purchased upon arrival but some you can purchase in advance which will save time. You are welcome to bring your favorite weapon if you are not borrowing one of ours. Ammunition can be purchased without a license anywhere in the state of Florida.

 

Coolers, ice, ammunition and other items are not available for purchase at the hunting site.

What to Wear
Camouflage is essential for duck hunting because you must get the ducks into close shotgun range before you can shoot them. The most important camouflage clothing for duck hunting is that which covers the upper body, arms, and face. Also, avoid wearing shiny jewelry and reflective sunglasses.

 

 

Lodging & Campgrounds

There are plenty of nearby accommodations to fit your needs and budget. Some even offer discounts to our clients! Visit our lodging & campgrounds page for places to stay.

 

 

Nearby Airports

We are located about 70 miles from Palm Beach International Airport and about 13 miles from Okeechobee County Airport.


Palm Beach International Airport
1000 James L Turnage Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33415


Okeechobee County Airport
2800 NW 20th Trail
Okeechobee, FL 34972

 

 

Map & Directions

The wonderful thing about Ron's Guide Service is our experiences are conveniently located to all popular Florida vacation destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Key West, Vero Beach, West Palm Beach, and the Walt Disney World Resort. In order to know exactly how far we are from your starting location click on the attraction you are interested in using the map below. A bubble will pop up. Select "Directions". A new page will open in Google maps. Enter your starting address and click "get directions".


Every experience must be reserved prior to your arrival. Do not come to any of our locations without a reservation.

 
Wild Boar and Alligator Hunting Location
1921 Fulmar Terrace, Okeechobee, FL 34974

 

Lake Okeechobee Fishing, Duck Hunting, and Tours Location
Fast Break Bait & Tackle at the Marathon Gas Station
1505 Florida 78 West, Okeechobee, FL 34974
 
Cudjoe Key Fishing Location

Cudjoe Gardens Marina
477 Drost Dr, Cudjoe Key, FL 33042


 

Guest Policies
  • We encourage hunters to utilize all meat and leave nothing to waste.
  • No alcohol of any kind is allowed to be consumed on our hunts or prior to your hunt. If you are unable to come sober, please don't come. You will not hunt and you will forfeit your reservation deposit.
  • Ron's Guide Service does not provide shipping, taxidermy, lodging, or professional butchering and is not responsible for the quality of service you encounter. We are not affiliated with other businesses and are not responsible for any recommendations made by your captain, guide, or other staff.