Vinnie sent me this image from his Cudde and I thought, Man, good looking bucks for Florida. He said: This property is right on the Gulf and is by no means a trophy-managed area. It is surrounded by swamp, and everyone is a meat hunter. But as you can see there are some respectful deer. Those antlers have a good amount of growth left. BTW, I never saw an animal here for the first couple years, but then we put in a couple of feeders and small food plots and it is an absolute 100% success story. If you take the time to do a little work and spend a little money you can increase your odds of big deer dramatically!
I had never posted on FL whitetails before, so I asked Vinnie for more and he said:
Florida bucks average about 125 lbs. but can go 200-plus on occasion; does average 95 lbs. The biggest deer in FL come from the northwest regions up in the Panhandle. The largest typical (168 5/8) was shot back in 1977 in Gadsen Co. The largest typical last year (163) was shot in Madison Co. There are a lot of good deer killed in the 130- to 140-inch range. The bucks don’t have the foods here to make them grow into giants but they are decent by all standards.
Rut starts as early as September in central regions and runs January to February in the northern parts. Find the core areas. Best bet for big bucks is super thick cover. Bucks lie up and may get up to stretch 10 to 20 times a day, but they might move only 50 to 100 yards. Hunt feed near the bedding spots. FL bucks go nocturnal so it is best to be in the stand 1 to 2 hours before light. Morning hunts seem to be better than afternoons. When the rut is on, hunt all day. Vinnie from FL