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Business end of a bowfishing rigged blowgun
Made good use of a long overnight in FLL this week. Got a hold of Capt JP and he was kind enough to come pick me up and take me out for 4 hours of fun in the hot FL sun.
I blowgunned a bunch of lizards, shot some bigger ones with the bow. If they are not positioned correctly where you can get them into the water, you can't hold them with the lighter blowgun tackle..
This one is perfect blowgun size.
Big claws on these dudes! This is also the eating part.
You can see this one hanging by his tail in the dark green tree, I had stuck him once but he pulled out, got him off balance enough to keep him hanging, got another dart in him and down he came. He was 20' up at least, pretty proud of that shot.
He had a double re-growth on him, Ol' Two-Tail..
Pretty cool critters!
These were both very nice ones, just under 60" long.
They don't like being held, you have to persuade them a little first..
Cool skin patterns, JP says they don't tan well though, lose all their color..
Looks like great fun - thanks for sharing! Did you eat any?
This looks like a pile of fun thanks for sharing
I want to do that do you eat them?
Yes, you harvest the legs, as with most reptiles, they have bigger leg muscles and they must be flexed anytime they are not resting on the torso...
The tail is very tendon-y, not meaty like a gator. I will report back after we eat some. You can grill them with the skin on and then pull it off, similar to grilling a fish .
It's been awhile since I've had that much fun, very cool to stick stuff with a blowgun!
There were two large iguanas living on the canal near the house we rented in Sanibel this May. I enjoyed watching them, but they creeped out my wife, and few of our guests.
I never knew iguanas could swim until one of them launched off the canal bank and swam directly underneath my boat one morning. Surprised the crap out of me.
There’s a bounty on them in some ritzy developments in S FL. To many rednecks where I live for them to be able to survive
Saw a guy hunting them with a pellet gun and that looked like a riot.
How long did it take you to get dialed in with the blow gun....sounds like you were hitting on all cylinders in a short period of time.
That looks like a blast! That blowgun setup is really cool. Add another one to the list:-)
I’m headed to Florida do gator hunt in a few months, maybe I should look into adding a iguana hunt too!!!!
Hunted them in march was a blast
I have a friend in Hawks Cay who is a licensed nuisance sharpshooter and uses a pellet gun. He has literally shot thousands. He only shoots the bigger ones now unless called to a residence to remove all. He used to hire out to the nurseries in homestead Fl. as the iguanas would destroy the nursery stock. The numbers are incredible. Might be a cool p/t retired gig!
Zebra....what did that bad boy score....looks like P&Y easily.
Fraklin LOL IT was six feet long I didn't realize they were that big
This looks fun! I love shooting stuff, nd this is right up that alley. Kind of like scaley squirrels!
First trip was just a scouting trip for the upcoming family vacation. Got my 12 yr old on some good shooting.
Mom got the biggest one of the day, it didn't even move after she shot. I had just broken my line and was retying, the guide had her load up a couple more darts, without any line on them and she brained him on the second shot.
She rolled him down the bank, they do get wrapped up...
It was HOT by the time we got done.
Went frogging in the 'glades a couple nights prior, here we are waiting for dark. It's not as easy as it looks as the airboat never stops, it's like jousting. As you approach, point the gig, point point point and then a final light trust at 1" away. The boat never stops..... I thought the frogs would be bigger, but most of them were on the smaller size.
Mom soaked them in cream for a while before cooking, best frog legs I've ever had.
The night before our blowgun shoot, we got my babygirl her first gator. Nothing monstrous , perfect size for her to handle.
Nice! I LOVE frog legs. Used to catch them with a fishing pole and plastic worms on farm ponds in Oklahoma. They put up a heck of a fight.
So we were pretty tired the day we all went blowgunning, got 14 big one that day. I let the girls have a day off by the pool and went out with JP again. From my previous trip, I decided a precision bowfishing rig was needed to snipe the big ones out of the trees. You can't just flail away, unless you bring 3 dozen arrows...once you shoot up into the trees, you're not getting the shaft back...so only way to get your arrow back every time is to have an Iguana on the end of it. Enter the Athens , my bow I leave set up just for head shooting turkeys. Turns out it was tuned perfectly for the yellow-jackets. Threw a reel on it got it sighted in for 6 yds or so and called it good.
You can see how thick the brush is.
Having a sight on this rig was key. I only missed one out of 14 shots. I was able to head/shoulders pound them, knocked them clean off their perches. If notice the dart in this one, this is from knocking him back in the brush, him trying to scramble to the water, wrapping the line around 326 branches... since he's near the water and it's easier to bring him towards you instead of dragging him backwards through the brush, we would dart him, slack the bow line and then get him into the boat using the blowgun . Untie the arrow and the line comes back through the brush no problem, on it's own.
got a bunch of VERY nice ones...12 over 5', didn't get the 6'er I was after, one big one was broke off and regrown.
and how are they for eating ?
in Belize, they told me traditionally they'd kill a pregnant female, roast them whole and the eggs inside were a delicacy
^^^ This...What a blast, who would have thunk it!
COOL! Any pics of the parts you ate and how did they taste?
Way cool... Thanks for sharing...
I didn't even know there were iguanas in FL. They're not native, right?
Non native and you should see the size of some of them. They lounge on the side of the road as you cruise thru the Keys I gave up counting them.
Learn something new every day......cool !
I have 3 bags of legs in the freezer, haven't cooked any yet. Yes, they are invasive, and all OVER the place. Super cool hunt, never even owned a blowgun til 4 months ago, those things are SO fun to shoot, just can't get enough of blowing darts into these lizards.
The big ones require bowfishing equipment, unless they are on a seawall, right next to water and you can get them to jump quickly, otherwise they head to the brush and its ugly. Strong little dudes..
Thanks for the positive comments folks! Anyone interested in going, feel free to PM me and I will give you all the info I have.
Back to FL, can't leave these things alone.
They are nice and orange this time of year, not sure if this is the iguana rut or what, but they are definitely easier to see than back in July.
Kid shot this one, she's pretty good with the blowgun. Lots of times they don't even move when you dart them, until you put pressure on them. We paused before the 2nd dart to take this pic. You can't really control them in the trees with blowgun line, they are just too strong, 2 darts help.
This is the best way to handle them. They have a built in bullseye on their head, very kind of them to give a guy something to aim for. I need all the help I can get.
Actually, holding 1" above that circle is the place to be.
Amazing color on these, just a cool critter! They take an arrow like a champ.
I think we ended up with 21 in the boat, some get away, they are tough dudes.
My girl and tag teamed this one, she got a dart in it and I whopped him with the bow, this size is hard to control with just a dart.
Thaw some of them out, cook'em up, and tell us how they taste!!
Looks like a blast. Did you eat any yet? Fishy? Froggy? Chicken?
If there in rut are they still tastee?
They remind me of turtle, a little chewy but fairly light flavor. Not overwhelming at all, quite doable. However they don't compare to gator tail, I find the tail meat on a 6-7' gator is the best, I prefer it ( frog legs also) over the iguana by a wide margin, but they make up for it by being more numerous and providing more shot opportunities.
These all went to a leather plant, so they will be used. I'm not concerned if they don't get used either, they are invasive and create havoc down here. Where we got fuel, the marina owner stated that he had to replace a seawall at his condo community at the tune of 190k.....all because the iguanas dug behind it and it blew out after a big rain storm. Not to mention they have almost destroyed the humming bird population, they are egg eating machines. Imagine one of these pretty ladies down here, in a fancy house on the canal, babysitting a bunch of orchids in her back yard, only to have a grumpy lizard mow them off in a few hours, lol. I'm perfectly fine just shooting them, knocking them in the head and feeding them to the other critters, but if guys want to cut the legs off, that's great too.
Awesome thread! Thx for sharing. I also saw a Tim Wells video on this...looks like a blast.
My wife said they tasted like chicken lol. she really liked the eggs, said they were delicious. She is from Venezuela but ate the iguana when she lived in Brazil.
Some of the most succulent meat you ever tasted
Curried iguana over jasmine rice is da bomb
That looks like an absolute blast!
This looks like a blast! Something I’d love to take my boys to do.
I just caught up with the rest of this thread and this may be the only thread on Bowsite (except for the Yard Hoppers) that everyone agrees on. :-) This hunt is just too cool ! Good stuff Barry !
It looks to fun not to try doing this hunt. Might be fun with a stick bow.
Just curious....how old is a five foot iguana?
Jake, I found this online, so take it for what’s worth. But I would have guessed a 5’ iguana to be in the 5 year old range. And this chart seems to support that.
Some online charts indicated roughly 4' = 4 years old, 5' = 5-6 years old and anything longer 6-7+ years old
Can't just do one safari per stay! This is Day 2 action, mom stayed at the VRBO, took my daughter with me, she's a blow-gunning maniac.
The smaller ones are easy to handle with the blowgun, still they are so strong, and the bush is so think you have to pick your shots, it's best to stick the ones that are facing the canal, whop them and pull them into the water. They are great swimmers and they know it, so they aren't reluctant to jump in, but they can be handled much easier there.
Good shot placement here.
The darts never cease to amaze me. With a good stout blow, you can sink one clear through a decent size lizard.
This is not the best place to stick them, she doesn't listen to me all the time, lol
Got to see a manatee.
The big boys came out mid morning, we smacked some toads.
I try to head shoot them if possible, if not I try to at least get the front shoulder so you can steer them a little, quite a few I knocked clean out of the tree. They go from glaring at you and head bobbing to show their dominance to flying through the air, kinda funny to see their eyes get big, but they waste no time going from zero to max speed!
Cool stuff, I thought the blow guns were harder than the bow hunting. I’m probably not as an accomplished gunner as your daughter though! I missed more than I stuck and retrieved even less than that!
We saw a manatee when we were there too! Pretty cool.
Thanks JT, I think my kid is actually a little better shot than me, but I get more in the boat, I can shoot farther and obviously have a little more experience in finessing them off the trees and into the water, but she's darn good. Perhaps because it's fairly new to me, but for some reason the blowgun is my favorite method, the bigger ones are almost impossible to land though, that's where the bow and the Innerloc heads shine.
Just amazing colors/markings on them, they are all a little different.
The good news is, they are making them as fast as we were shooting them ! ;
Dock pic, we got 30 that day, had more shots taken than that, you can't land them all.
More smaller ones this day, as we blow gunned more, but we had quite a few that measured 5' 6". The pure 6'er was not seen however, good excuse to go back in a few months!
Jungle love, literally...
That reminds me, I need to order a bunch of arrows..
Hope you all enjoyed the pics and thanks for the kind comments, I encourage everyone to go down and give it a whirl, absolute blast!
Awesome write up. How about some equipment notes; like what blowgun and darts, fishing line type/weight. Typical shot distance with blowgun and bow? What do you do with a darted and very alive iguana that is back at the boat?
Very cool! I'd probably want to get one of the big orange ones mounted!
Looks like great fun! I ate iguana about 25 yrs ago in Honduras but never gave it thought again. Now it looks like I need to plan a winter trip and get in some shooting
Thanks Mike, the smaller ones in the trees in the morning are reluctant to give up their perch, you can get to 10' pretty easily, and sometimes even 6'. The blow guns I got are made by Cold Steel, I mount a spin cast reel on and use 50lb braided line ( Power Pro etc). 30lb braid shoots a little better, I've shot some at 15 yds with that, but they break it more readily.
Bow shots: The bigger males feel pretty safe higher in the trees, I've shot some as close as 4 yds, 5-8yds will cover quite a few of the encounters. Rarely do you have to shoot more than 15 yds. IMO, it's a precision game, I use a peep, single pin sight and drop away rest, just like on a hunting bow, and shoot a caliper release , I have this particular Athens Ace tuned very well, for the carbon or carbon splined shafts...the regular fiberglass fish arrows, I'm not a big fan of.. DW should be 35-45 lbs, more than that and you get hard pass-throughs and you have line on both sides of the lizard, they spin when contained, not unlike a gator,( but a lot faster, 25 turns is not uncommon) so it makes a mess. The ideal would be a 35lb bow and head shoot them, with just the tip sticking out the off side, much cleaner, IME. Although it might be tough to get a fish arrow to fly correctly at that DW...just have to tune for it and see how it does.
Guys that are much better instinctive shooters can feel free to use a recurve, I just found I was missing too much and losing arrows in the brush. I used JP's ( the guide) recurve the first trip, for the bigger ones, but wasn't happy with my performance, that's why I set up a bow and leave it down there.
The AMS type reels are friendlier to use, line is bigger, you can grab it with your hand, and you can stop the arrow with the trigger if you are quick enough on a miss. I don't feel they shoot as clean as a big spinning reel. However the 150lb braid or 200lb dacron line for those types of reels will cut you to the bone if you don't wear gloves, so there are trade-offs.
my wife would kill me if I hunted cows in Alaska and iguanas in florida the same year...
This looks like a blast, thanks for sharing