5 am, 2 pm
credit card deposit
Pay $75 now with your debit or credit card.
Balance of $125 cash not due until the day of your hunt.
Fully Equipped Boat
Duck Calling and Retrieval
The fine print… gratuities, license, weapons, ammunition, coolers, and ice are not included.
Loaner Weapons are not available for duck hunting.
Over 30 Years of Duck Hunting Experience
With over thirty years in the duck hunting business, Ron’s Guide Service is considered to be the best in all of Florida and perhaps the nation when it comes to hunting ducks. Florida duck hunting on Lake Okeechobee has always been popular 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. Duck hunting is perhaps one of the most challenging hunts because unlike wild boar hunting, ducks are flying targets! Some days ducks are flying and some days they aren’t, but that is the nature of hunting! 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. 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 about our duck hunt.
No Drop-Offs, Just Fully Guided Fun
Our duck hunts are fully guided and perfect for new and experienced hunters. We do not drop hunters off on the lake to fend for themselves. Your guide sets up decoys, calls ducks, retrieves all downed birds, and can assist you in identifying species. We limit the number of hunters we take out at a time to three per boat which creates a more personal experience and allows individual attention.
Florida Duck Hunting Season
Florida duck hunting is divided into two phases. Our duck hunts sell out quickly so make sure you allow enough time in advance to reserve your experience. Do you have a date and time in mind? Check out our book online page to see if it is available!
2016/2017 Florida Duck Hunting Season Dates
First Phase: November 19th – November 27th, 2016*
Second Phase: December 10th, 2016 – January 29th, 2017*
*season dates subject to change until finalized
A Florida Hunting License, Florida Duck Stamp, Migratory Bird Permit, and Federal Duck Stamp are required to hunt ducks in Florida. Some exemptions may apply, for instance, hunters aged 15 and under and over the age of 65 are not required to have a license.
|Florida Resident Hunting License||$17.50|
|TOTAL RESIDENT LICENSE COST||$47.50|
|Non-Resident 10 Day Florida Hunting License||$46.50|
|TOTAL NON-RESIDENT LICENSE COST||$76.50|
These are sample prices. Please check with the FWC for the most up-to-date pricing and licensing information.
All licenses and permits can be purchased upon arrival at the duck hunting meeting location. Licenses and permits are also available through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Walmart in the town of Okeechobee.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Walmart Super Center
2101 South Parrot Ave
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Recommended Hunting Time
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!
Each duck hunting time lasts about four hours or until you limit out on ducks!
Some hunters combine wild boar hunting, alligator hunting, fishing, or another of our exciting experiences with their duck hunt. Check out our value packages page for ideas!
Ron’s Guide Service is kid friendly! We allow youngsters who are at least 12 years old to duck hunt. Completion of a hunter’s safety class is required.
I call Shotgun!
Shotguns Are the Only Way to 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.
Ammunition and 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|
*All information subject to change, please follow shot regulation guidelines from the FWC, which can be found here.
**Ammunition can be purchased at the hunting meeting location for duck hunting.
Duck, Duck, and more Duck!
A Variety of Ducks
Our hunters bag a mixed variety of ducks. Some of the most commonly bagged species include mottled ducks, ring necks, ruddy duck (blue-bill), and teal.
Duck Hunting Bag Limits
Bag limits for the 2016-2017 waterfowl season have been released by the FWC. A summary of the limits can be found below and are subject to change. Please follow all bag limit restrictions found on the FWC website here. Your guide is well versed in the bag limits and will make sure to follow all bag limit laws.
2016-2017 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 eiders; four long-tailed 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
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).
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).
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).
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).
Dogs love retrieving ducks! During normal lake levels, hunters are welcome to bring their 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.
Duck hunting with decoys is conducted by standing in 2 to 3 feet or more of water, or sitting on the duck boat. Duck hunters will be taken out by boat or airboat and placed in a natural vegetation blind of reeds, around small floating grass islands, or remain on the boat. The setup varies based on the level of the lake. Decoys will be set out by your guide who will remain in view incase you need assistance. You can choose either stationary or mechanical decoys.
During high lake levels, our duck hunts take place off of fully camouflaged 17 foot aluminum boats. We place the boats amongst the natural vegetation. Tall reeds and water plants make excellent blinds. Our boats accommodate up to three passengers each.
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.
Your guide will retrieve any downed ducks at the end of your hunt.
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.
Due to higher than normal lake levels, waders will not be used during the 2016/2017 duck hunting season.
Duck cleaning is available by your guide and costs $10 per duck.
Availability varies by guide.
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.
Tasty Duck Taquitos at Palm Sugar in West Palm Beach, FL
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.
Know before you go
with Cousin Marie…
What to Wear
Camouflage is essential for duck hunting because you must get the ducks into close shotgun range without them spotting you. The most important camouflage clothing for duck hunting is that which covers the upper body, arms, and face. Stick to browns and greens when selecting camo color. Florida brush does not get light tan and light brown in the winter as it does in the North. Avoid wearing shiny jewelry and reflective sunglasses.
We encourage hunters to utilize all meat and leave nothing to waste. Meat not taken will be donated.
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.
Come Sober or Don’t Come at All
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.
Leave the Outdoor Adventure to Us, the Rest Is up to You!
We will help with planning your experience, getting you where you need to be, and making sure you have a great time. Where you stay and what you do after your hunt is completely up to you! Ron’s Guide Service does not provide shipping, taxidermy, lodging, or professional butchering. Our staff can offer recommendations but are not responsible for the quality of service you encounter with other businesses.
Visit our trip resources page to help you prepare for your experience and everything after it!