Mathews Inc.
Florida Slaying
Bowfishing
Contributors to this thread:
huntinelk 09-Mar-24
huntinelk 09-Mar-24
huntinelk 09-Mar-24
4nolz@work 09-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
4nolz@work 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
t-roy 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
Tejas 10-Mar-24
drycreek 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
bghunter 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
huntinelk 10-Mar-24
Zbone 10-Mar-24
BUTCHER 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
JTreeman 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Scoot 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
sticksender 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Swampbuck 11-Mar-24
bghunter 11-Mar-24
Brian M. 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Zbone 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 11-Mar-24
Brian M. 11-Mar-24
t-roy 11-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
Zbone 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 12-Mar-24
midwest 12-Mar-24
iceman 12-Mar-24
huntinelk 13-Mar-24
Nick Muche 13-Mar-24
t-roy 13-Mar-24
huntinelk 13-Mar-24
krieger 13-Mar-24
Zbone 14-Mar-24
Lewis 14-Mar-24
Beav 14-Mar-24
APauls 15-Mar-24
huntinelk 16-Mar-24
huntinelk 23-Mar-24
JTreeman 23-Mar-24
huntinelk 23-Mar-24
Jeff Holchin 24-Mar-24
Huntiam 24-Mar-24
Saphead 24-Mar-24
huntinelk 24-Mar-24
Huntiam 25-Mar-24
Bwhnt 25-Mar-24
njbuck 25-Mar-24
huntinelk 27-Mar-24
huntinelk 31-Mar-24
huntinelk 06-Apr-24
huntinelk 13-Apr-24
Missouribreaks 13-Apr-24
Coop 13-Apr-24
CaptMike 13-Apr-24
Paul@thefort 13-Apr-24
huntinelk 14-Apr-24
From: huntinelk
09-Mar-24
With my son Cody in college and working now with adult life creaping up, we decided to take advantage of spring break for a diy Florida iguana hunting and bowfishing trip.

I left home early Saturday morning with the boat to head down and get a couple scouting days in before Cody and a friend flew down Tuesday afternoon.

Prostituting Cody's utube channel as I traveled...

From: huntinelk
09-Mar-24

From: huntinelk
09-Mar-24
Getting the error msg when trying to post a pic. This story will be picture heavy, will check back later

From: 4nolz@work
09-Mar-24
try later I think pictures have been down for a couple days

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: 4nolz@work
10-Mar-24
looking forward to the pics and story

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
I also had to fulfill my sponsorship contract obligations by wearing the correct swag on the trip.

From: t-roy
10-Mar-24
Those hats available in a flatbill version?……asking for a ponytailed friend.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
We were doing this trip on the cheap, lodging for 2 here and setting a tent up for Cody's friend Nathaniel. Would be basing from a campground to have access to shower facilities and electricity for charging boat batteries.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
I got into iguana country late morning on Sunday and headed to the first spot I wanted to scout. It turned out pretty good.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
I figured since I was there I should try the gear out too....including my Christmas present bat.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Everything worked well, but to make sure it wasn't a fluke I figured I should double check it.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24
Everything checked out for the second time. Just before a big thunder storm rolled in, I loaded up to head towards the campground to get ready for some fish scouting.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24
Those hats can be ordered extra flat with pony tail exit slot if desired

From: Tejas
10-Mar-24
We’re headed to FL in less than 2 weeks to chase Osceola! If we kill a bird early enough, I hope to get some iguana hunting in.

From: drycreek
10-Mar-24
Lizard killing…….my cats’ favorite thread ! ;-))

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
After the rain almost quit I put the boat in the water in a spot that was supposed to hold some snakeheads and a variety of other shootable fish. I had never shot a snakehead and was hoping to change that. However I soon realized that a long winter break and fast moving Florida fish didn't mix too well. I saw a bunch of snakeheads, talapia, gar, cichlids, shad and armored catfish.

My shooting definitely needed some work, luckily I found a few armored catfish to break the ice, they are good for poor shooting, they will usually just lay on the bottom. I finished the night with a gar.

Day one "scouting" and some shooting for myself ended around midnight.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Day 2 scouting, I headed to a different area hoping to find another good spot for iguanas. I didn't end up seeing many iguanas, but it did turn into a decent bowfishing spot and I did a little daytime fish shooting, getting a couple gar and talapia.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
I did see a few of these around

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Mid day I made a run for the fine dinning supplies for when the clients showed up the next day....

From: bghunter
10-Mar-24
Hunted and fished a ton in Fl. Glad I have only seen one snake while out and about in all my trips. Hell seen more of them at Disney.

Keep the photos and reports coming in.

Btw how is bowfishing during the day in Fl? I have only gone at night. Was told day is hard due to water visibility.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24
Daytime bowfishing wasn't too bad where we were, the water was stained , but the bottom was lighter color , so the fish popped out pretty well.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
For my last evening scouting trip I went back to try to redeem myself on the snakeheads. I switched up equipment for faster shooting and it worked pretty well. I ended up with 3 snakeheads, armored catfish, talapia, cichlid and a gar.

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
5 species night

From: huntinelk
10-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
On Tuesday for the time I had before the boys landed I was hoping to find another solid iguana spot. I ran about 6 miles of canal and didn't see big numbers. I still had a little time before they landed, so I started searching onx for boat ramps farther south, more into the heavier populated iguana area, one looked promising and not too far from the airport.

When I pulled in there was an iguana on the dock. After putting the boat in, the place looked like Jurassic Park, the trees were loaded with them.

I figured that I should make sure everything was still in working order before the clients landed, so I cruised around and picked out a couple good ones in decent bow shooting spots.

After loading the boat up and dodging through heavy city traffic I pulled into the arrivals area with the whole rig. While waiting for the boys to come out a guy came up to the truck and asked if I did gator hunts....guess I looked the part.

From: Zbone
10-Mar-24
How far south in Florida does one have to go to find hauntable populations of iguanas to slay?

From: BUTCHER
11-Mar-24
Just wondering what do you do with everything you kill.? Is it edible at all or just killing for sport?

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24
Iguanas are from roughly West Palm Beach south currently, but they believe they might be adapting to better handle the cold and moving farther north.

Iguanas and most of the fish are edible. The only thing Florida cares about is that you kill them quickly and humanly. If you catch an invasive fish on a pole they want you to kill it, not release it. We brought a bunch of iguana legs and fish meat home.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
An hour after getting off the plane the action was on. The boys were going to be using blow guns, they are very effective when rigged properly.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
We started late afternoon and went until almost dark. This is the first day take including the 2 I got before picking them up at airport.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Bucket o lizards

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
After the iguanas were taken care of we headed out for their first night of bowfishing. A good first trip to get shooting back in shape after the winter break with a bunch of different species taken.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Rainy morning at camp

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
huntinelk - You mentioned iguana legs, would assume they taste similar to frog legs?

What about the tail, looks like nice chunks of meat on the tail, maybe taste similar to alligator tail?

From: JTreeman
11-Mar-24
Can’t really eat the tails, not really any meat there. It’s all just like a sinew connective tissue type stuff. Basically just the legs is all you gonna eat.

—Jim

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
That makes sense, thanks —Jim

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Little tough to see, but these are wild/feral parakeets thar have established breeding populations in South Florida from pets that were released.

From: Scoot
11-Mar-24
Looks like a blast!

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Day 2 we headed to a different spot for iguanas and got into an area that had a population of spiney tailed iguanas. They are more of a meat eater and are definitely alpt meaner than the green iguanas.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
How do you catch iguanas on a fishing pole?

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Day 2 was an all blow gun day.

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
Blow gun with fishing reel attached? Wouldn't the line drastically slow the dart? Got any pix of this setup please... Thanks...

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's Link
Z, they are blow guns set up with reels and fishing pole eyes. They are actually perfect for iguanas. With a bow when you shoot in the thick stuff they live in it can be a nightmare getting the barbed arrow pulled back out of that jungle.

Hunting iguanas from a boat the shots are usually within a few yards, the line doesn't effect the flight much

Here is a video setting up the fishing blow gun.

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
Way cool huntinelk, thanks for sharing video...

I like that kid, only he didn't show how to attach line to dart and how it fits down the blowgun tube?

Why am so interested, I bought a Cold Steel bowgun a couple years ago and messed around with it...

From: sticksender
11-Mar-24
Such a cool trip, keep it coming!

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24
He is a good kid/young man, but his dad is next level awesome....

He will be doing some videos from the trip, I will mention to him about explaining how he is trying them on. They were gluing the caps on to keep the darts from passing through and loosing caps every shot. They are loading them from the front with the line running down the barrel.

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
Thank you sir...

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
For the 2nd night bowfishing we headed to a new area, it turned out to be a great night.

Here is a walking catfish that Cody shot, another fish tank fish that shouldn't be there.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
For the 2nd night bowfishing we headed to a new area, it turned out to be a great night.

Here is a walking catfish that Cody shot, another fish tank fish that shouldn't be there.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
For the night we ended up with walking catfish, armored catfish, Mayan cichlid, Oscar, gar, talapia. I'm confident that for every fish in the picture there was atleast 10 that were missed.

From: Swampbuck
11-Mar-24
Word of warning, I wouldn’t eat any fish caught in Lake Okeechobee or any lakes or canals east, west or south. Blue-green algae, high concentration of mercury. As far as the iguanas, the buzzards won’t eat them, that says something. Enjoy at your own risk

From: bghunter
11-Mar-24
It is sad how many invasive species there are in Florida.

Looks like you guys are having a blast.

From: Brian M.
11-Mar-24
Are the iguanas easy to kill or do you get runaways?

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
Dang, how short is that little green bow?

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24
They are fairly easy to approach from a boat, some decide early that they aren't interested and jump back in the thick stuff. If you are on land trying to approach they are quite skittish.

It's a PSE D3, 30" ata

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Day 3 we were back after the iguanas again. Another good numbers day along with a couple a the bigger ones for the trip. We didn't see many of the really big one, thinking they have been picked off in these areas.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Night 3 bowfishing we spent a couple hours working on getting a couple fish with the blow guns then got serious with the bows after that.

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: Zbone
11-Mar-24
huntinelk - What's that black object on the one young man's bowgun, a light? Thanks...

From: huntinelk
11-Mar-24
Tactacam camera

From: Brian M.
11-Mar-24
By runaways, I meant cripples. Do they die quickly?

From: t-roy
11-Mar-24
A mixed bag bonanza! Good shooting, guys!

Are any of the different species of fish you’re shooting any good to eat?

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24
Most of the time they require liberal use of the bat for dispatching. They are very tough. It would be very tough to get many in the boat by relying on the dart to do all the killing without the fishing line tied to it.

Gar, talapia and snakeheads are edible.

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
For the last day time trip we decided to give the iguanas a break and go bowfishing. The talapia were much brighter colors during the day then they are at night.

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Talapia, gar, cichlids, iscarss

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Afternoon break at camp for some fish cleaning

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
And cooking

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
For our last evening we would be doing a shortened trip with an early morning departure northbound.

Cody shot this crooked tail armored catfish.

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
This dusky flat fish, which must be fairly new to the area, not much information on them other than they belong in Australia.

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
10 fish for our last outing. There are 7 different species in this picture, one of them is noninvasive to Florida.

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24
That's the end of our 2024 spring break trip. Hoping to be able to repeat it in the future.

From: Zbone
12-Mar-24
Thanks for sharing Gene, I enjoyed your thread... Hey, that fish you were grilling, was that talapia?

From: huntinelk
12-Mar-24
There was some gar and talapia, I think the piece that is open is talapia. The yellow tint is from the seasoning that was on it

From: midwest
12-Mar-24
Looking forward to the YouTube video, Gene. Thanks for sharin...looks like a hoot!

From: iceman
12-Mar-24
Good stuff, Gene.

Also, lol at t-roy on the hats

From: huntinelk
13-Mar-24

huntinelk's Link
Here's a short iguana clip from our trip.

From: Nick Muche
13-Mar-24
No gators!? Nice looking trip you guys, congrats!!

From: t-roy
13-Mar-24
Enjoyed it, Gene! What licenses, etc are you required to have?

From: huntinelk
13-Mar-24
We got one gator to the boat last fall, hoping to get tags again for this year to try again.

No license required for the iguanas, regular fishing license for bowfishing.

From: krieger
13-Mar-24
Awesome trip! The blow-gunning is addicting isn't it ?? Very cool!

From: Zbone
14-Mar-24
Next time I'm in southern Florida, I'm taking my Cold Steel, 4 Foot .625 Big Bore Blowgun...8^)

From: Lewis
14-Mar-24
Thanks for sharing looks like y’all had a ball. I grew up in Homestead Florida and back in the day we didn’t have too many invasive critters not any more.Fun fact the native Indians preferred gar to snook as they didn’t skin their fish and the skin on a snook has a soapy taste.Again thanks for sharing Lewis

From: Beav
14-Mar-24
Great trip! Thanks for sharing.

From: APauls
15-Mar-24
Very cool. Those armoured catfish and cichlids are each about $300 in pet shops up here if they're that size lol

From: huntinelk
16-Mar-24

huntinelk's Link
Here's the video from day 1 and the hat unveiling.

From: huntinelk
23-Mar-24

huntinelk's Link
More iguana hunting and some cooking

From: JTreeman
23-Mar-24
I wish I could be cool enough to be invited….

—Jim

From: huntinelk
23-Mar-24
As long as you pay the application fee, you are welcome to apply again next year.

From: Jeff Holchin
24-Mar-24
Wow, THAT was a fun spring break.

My buddies and I bow fished for gators at night and armored catfish during the day last August in central Florida; next time we need to try for all those other invasive fish too.

From: Huntiam
24-Mar-24
How’s iguana taste?

From: Saphead
24-Mar-24
That trip looked like too much fun! Smiles everywhere. Way to go

From: huntinelk
24-Mar-24
The iguanas basically taste like meat, they take the flavor of whatever they are seasoned with very well. One of those things, if you didn't know what it was you wouldn't know.

The trip was an absolute blast, already making tentative plans for next year.

From: Huntiam
25-Mar-24
figured they wasn’t bad eating , I’ve had a few different kinds of snake they have all been good !

From: Bwhnt
25-Mar-24
That looks like something I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing it's got me thinking

From: njbuck
25-Mar-24
I dont know how I missed this but congrats again Gene, you and the boys had one hell of a trip!

From: huntinelk
27-Mar-24

huntinelk's embedded Photo
huntinelk's embedded Photo
Since I did such a good job reping the brand, Cody went ahead with a full hat order. They will definitely accommodate the flat in the front, floppy tail in the back crowd.

From: huntinelk
31-Mar-24

huntinelk's Link
Video from our second night of bowfishing

From: huntinelk
06-Apr-24

huntinelk's Link
Here is a video clip on how Cody is tying the darts on.

From: huntinelk
13-Apr-24

huntinelk's Link
More iguanas hitting the bucket and the air fryer

13-Apr-24
Great job guys !

From: Coop
13-Apr-24
Awesome

From: CaptMike
13-Apr-24
Huntinelk, I’ve bow-fished gators and fish in both salt and freshwater numerous times in FL. Been wanting to set up an iguana hunt for a while now. Sorry if I missed it in the thread but if you did not say, would you share the name of the people you used for your trip?

From: Paul@thefort
13-Apr-24
Tons of fun. I hope some of those fish taste better than they look, Especially the 4 legged ones.

From: huntinelk
14-Apr-24
CaptMike, we did this trip diy

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