Ron's Florida Duck Hunt
Glide on a gentle lake and feel a sense of wonder as the full beauty of Okeechobee reveals itself on a fully guided duck hunt.
Wader use will be limited during the 2017/2018 duck hunting season.
During Ron’s Florida Duck Hunt, you’ll embark on a 4 hour excursion searching for Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necks, Ruddy ducks, and Mottled ducks on beautiful Lake Okeechobee.
Climb aboard a camouflaged duck boat as your knowledgeable guide takes you to local duck hunting hot spots. After coasting through a series of sawgrass, and passing by native Floridian plants, and amazing creatures of Lake Okeechobee, you’ll soon find yourself face-to-face with the opportunity to witness ducks flying high in the sky.
The adventure comes to a conclusion as your guide demonstrates his deep connection to the life force of Lake Okeechobee—and sends positive energy out onto the lake with a variety of duck calls.
Come Hunt with RGS
30 Years of Success
With over 30 years of experience—we know ducks!
Ron’s Guide Service is considered to be the best in all of Florida—and perhaps the nation when it comes to hunting ducks. Duck hunting is perhaps one of the most challenging experiences because unlike wild boar hunting—ducks are flying targets! Whether you are a new hunter or experienced, our professional guides will do their best to make your hunt a success—weather and natural migratory patterns permitting.
Fully Guided Hunt
Let us show you around the “Big O” on a fully guided hunt.
Listen closely as you and up to 2 others learn tips and tricks from your experienced guide. Your guide sets up decoys, calls ducks, retrieves all downed birds, and can assist you in identifying species.
An Intimate Experience
We limit the number of hunters we take out at a time to 3 per boat which creates a more personal experience and allows individual attention.
Get essential details on duck hunting license requirements.
Come prepared on the day of your hunt with all of your license requirements, or show up a little early to get all the licenses and permits at the duck hunting meeting location.
Resident licensing costs $50.00 and includes a 1 year hunting license, non-resident licensing costs $79.50.
Hunters under 16 years old do not need a license, and hunters 65 and over are also exempt. We highly recommend hunters’ safety courses but they are not required to hunt with us.
For more details on licenses and permits, visit our licenses page.
duck Hunt basics
Learn about decoys, duck calls, dogs, and waders.
Decoys will be set out by your guide. You can choose either stationary or mechanical decoys.
Your guide is responsible for calling ducks. You may bring your own standard mallard mouth operated duck call if you would prefer to call the ducks yourself.
Dogs love retrieving ducks! During normal lake levels, you are welcome to bring your furry friends free of charge! A body vest is vital in keeping your dog warm. A plastic lawn chair will allow your dog a place to sit above the water. Depending on lake levels, hunting with your dog cannot be guaranteed.
When out duck hunting, one of the most important pieces of clothing when trying to stay comfortable and warm is a good pair of quality duck waders. We recommend chest waders. With a chest wader you can always drop the shoulder straps and tie them around your waist when the weather is too warm. Duck hunting with waders is not available during high lake levels.
Best Time to Come
Sometimes ducks are flying and sometimes they aren’t.
Typically daybreak is one of the best times to duck hunt, however the afternoon can be just as successful. When it comes to choosing phases, the main difference seems to be the location of ducks. Earlier in the season ducks tend to be farther into the marsh. We have a good number of resident ducks such as Ring-necks, Ruddy ducks and Black Mallards. Once cold weather hits South Georgia and North Florida we see more Teal. A big factor when it comes to a successful duck hunt is weather which unfortunately we cannot control!
Join us on a 4 hour adventure—morning or afternoon.
Each duck hunting time lasts about four hours—or until you limit out on ducks!
Combine a boar hunt, alligator hunt, or freshwater fishing trip with your duck hunt for a full day of fun!
Read about duck history, taste, and other fun facts.
Duck hunting has been a major part of human history. Floridian history is no exception. 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. Keeping up the historic tradition of duck hunting is something that Ron’s Guide Service does with great pride.
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, 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.
Duck Hunt Essentials
I Call Shotgun
Shotguns are essential when it comes to a successful duck hunt.
Shotguns not larger than 10-Gauge are recommended 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.
Be prepared with a detailed list of approved shot types.
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|
|Copper-clad iron||84 to 56.59 iron core, with copper cladding up to 44.1 of the shot mass|
|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|
Ammunition can be purchased at the hunting meeting location for duck hunting.
All information subject to change. For the latest updates visit the FWC website here.
View a summary of bag limits for the current duck hunting season.
2017-2018 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 4 mallards (of which only 2 can be females), 4 scoters, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 black duck, 2 scaup, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck (Florida duck) and 1 fulvous whistling-duck. 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
Your guide is well versed in the bag limits and will make sure to follow all bag limit laws.
All bag limits are subject to change. For the latest updates visit the FWC website here.
Learn about Blue-winged Teal.
Average length: M 16″, F 14″
Average weight: M 1.0 lbs., F 0.8 lbs.
Male blue-winged teal have a slate gray head and neck, a black-edged white crescent in front of the eyes and a blackish crown. The breast and sides are tan with dark brown speckles and there is a white spot on the side of the rump. Most of the upper wing coverts are blue-gray, the secondaries form an iridescent green speculum and the underwing is whitish. The bill is black and the legs and feet are yellowish to orange. The male has a thin whistled “tsee tsee” uttered both in flight and when on water. Female blue-winged teal have a brownish-gray head with a darker crown and eye stripe. The breast and sides are brown, the upper parts are olive brown, and the upper wing coverts are bluish, but less vibrant than the drake. The bill is gray-black and the legs and feet are dull yellow-brown. The female has a high-pitched squeak.
Migrating and Wintering
Blue-winged teal are generally the first ducks south in the fall and the last north in the spring. They migrate from the Prairie Pothole Region to wintering areas in Florida, the Caribbean Islands, the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, Mexico and Central and South America. Wintering habitats are diverse, including mangrove swamps, fresh and brackish estuaries and shallow wetlands. In the United States, the highest winter densities occur in southern Texas and peninsular Florida. Blue-winged teal are common in winter from Central America, the Caribbean and South America south to Peru and northeastern Brazil. They also stay regularly in small numbers in the Galapagos Islands and are vagrants to Chile, southeastern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina (Scott and Carbonell, 1986).
Learn about Ring-necks.
Average length: M 17″, F 16.6″
Average weight: M 1.6 lbs., F 1.5 lbs.
Male ring-necked ducks have an iridescent black head, neck, breast and upperparts. The belly and flanks are whitish to grayish, with a distinctive triangular white wedge extending upward in the area in front of the folded wing. The bill is slate with a white border around the base and nares, and a pale white band behind the black tip. The “ringneck” name is derived from a faint brownish ring around the base of the neck, which is visible only upon close inspection. The legs and feet are gray-blue and the iris is yellow. Ring-necked ducks are silent except in display, when a low whistling note is uttered. Female ring-necked ducks have a brown head with a black crown, light brown cheeks and chin and a white eye ring. A narrow white line extends from the eye to the back of the head. The bill is slate with a faint white band near the tip. The neck, back, sides and flanks are brown and the belly is white. The legs and feet are gray-blue and the iris is brown. Female vocalizes a soft, rolling “trrr.”
Migrating and Wintering
The majority of ring-necked ducks migrate through the Central and Mississippi flyways to inland wintering grounds along the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Atlantic coast of the United States. In winter, ring-necked ducks use a variety of habitats, such as fresh and brackish marshes, shallow lakes, estuarine bays and coastal lagoons. Ring-necked ducks are winter visitors to Central America and the northern Caribbean, and vagrant to Trinidad and Venezuela (Scott and Carbonell, 1986).
Learn about Ruddy ducks.
Average length: M 15.4″, F 15″
Average weight: M 1.20 lbs., F 1.19 lbs.
Male ruddy ducks have brilliant rusty-brown backs, rumps, necks, scapulars, chests, sides and flanks. The crown, rear ear coverts and hind neck are black, and the throat and sides of the head below the eyes are white. The bill is bright sky blue and the legs and feet are grayish. Although relatively silent, the male will give a “chuck-uck-uck-uck-ur-r-r” when displaying. The Andean ruddy duck has the white side of the head spotted with black in varying degrees. The Peruvian ruddy duck is larger than the other two subspecies and has a completely black head. Female ruddy ducks have grayish-brown neck and body plumage. The sides of the head and neck are dull buff-brown with a single dusky horizontal stripe crossing a pale-gray cheek patch. The bill is dark gray and the legs and feet are grayish. Females are relatively silent.
Migrating and Wintering
The Pacific coastal states and the western coast of Mexico winter 55 percent of the ruddy duck population in North America. Roughly 25 percent winter on the eastern coast and 20 percent in the interior of the continent. Ruddy ducks are thought to travel at night. The nominate subspecies breeds in northern Mexico and is a fairly common resident in the Caribbean; also a common winter visitor to Mexico and Guatemala. O. j.andina is confined to the Andes of northern and central Colombia, where it is scarce and local. O. j. ferruginea is common in the Andes from southern Colombia (Nariño) to Tierra del Fuego (Scott and Carbonell, 1986).
Learn about Mottled ducks.
Average length: M 22.5″, F 20″
Average weight: M 2.18 lbs., F 2.06 lbs.
Male mottled ducks have a bright yellow to olive bill with a black spot at the base. Female mottled ducks have a dull orange bill with black blotches.The speculum of the mottled ducks is a more greenish hue than that of mallards or black ducks. A narrow, white edging usually is present on the trailing edge of the speculum and is rarely present on the leading edge.
Migrating and Wintering
Mottled Ducks are the only dabbling ducks that both nest and winter in large numbers along the Gulf Coast (Stutzenbaker 1988). They also are the only non-migratory dabbling ducks in the conterminous U.S. (Bellrose 1980). Two populations of Mottled Ducks occur in North America. One population is a resident of peninsular Florida and the other is a resident of the Gulf Coast from Alabama westward to Veracruz, Mexico (Moorman & Gray 1994).
Plan Your Trip
Know Before You Go with Cousin marie
View important information including recommended attire, experience details, and cancellation policies.
- Recommended attire includes camouflage clothing which covers the upper body, arms, and face. Stick to browns and greens when selecting camouflage color. Avoid wearing shiny jewelry and reflective sunglasses.
- Gratuities, licenses, loaner weapons, coolers, ice, professional meat processing, taxidermy, and shipping are not included.
- Hunt occurs rain or shine, with the exception of severe weather or lightning.
- Hunt itinerary, content, duration, and availability are subject to change without notice.
- Our duck hunting experience does not guarantee a kill or that you will see ducks. We will do our best to make your hunt a success—weather and natural migratory patterns permitting.
- Reservation deposits are non-refundable. If you need to cancel your experience your reservation deposit will be treated as a credit on your account and will expire one year from the cancellation confirmation date.
- You will forfeit the entire reservation deposit of your hunt if you no-show or cancel the same day of your reservation.
- No alcohol of any kind is allowed to be consumed on 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.
- Please leave rude behavior at home. If any of our staff feels you are being disruptive or disrespectful you will be asked to leave.
- Read the terms and conditions for all Ron’s Guide Service experiences.