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28
Sep 27, 10:46 PM

Quail season opens Friday on preserves

BY BILL SARGENT
FLORIDA TODAY



Florida's quail season doesn't open for another six weeks. But wingshooters can get a jump on the season at licensed shooting preserves starting Friday.

Quail Creek Plantation near Okeechobee is only a 11/2- hour drive from Brevard, and it offers some of the top preserve hunting in the state.

As a licensed Florida wingshooting preserve, Quail Creek has a quail season that extends through March 20.

The regular statewide season approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on private lands and wildlife management areas opens on Nov. 13 and runs through March 6.

Fred Fanizzi, the manager of Quail Creek, said the wingshooting and shotgun sports complex will offer morning-only hunts in October, and in November will offer morning, afternoon or even full-day hunts.

Half-day rates will be $300 for two or more hunters, and $350 for one hunter. Full day hunts are priced at $500 for a minimum of two hunters.

All rates are per person and include guides, dogs and lunch.

Quail Creek is set in a natural south Florida habitat of oak hammocks and slash pine.

Soon after opening in 2002, Quail Creek quickly developed a reputation for one of Florida's finest sporting clays facilities, with courses that cover more than 40 shooting positions at various levels of difficulty, including a mix of ground stations and towers.

The facility even has a covered five-stand range for competitive warm-up and practice sessions.

Quail Creek Plantation is on SR 68E, 5 miles east of U.S. 441. It is 19 miles west of the Florida Turnpike and 20 miles west of I-95.

For more information call (863) 763-2529, or visit www.quailcreekplantation.com


Women's championship. Women who profess to be pretty good fly fishing anglers can prove their prowess at a world championship in the Florida Keys.
The ninth-annual Women's World Invitational Fly Championship Bonefish Series will be Oct. 5-8 at Islamorada.

The all-release fly tackle event targets only bonefish for the three days.

Headquarters will be at Lorelei Restaurant and Marina at mile marker 82 bayside. Fishing each day will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The tournament entry of $400 goes for scholarships to Florida Keys high school graduates pursuing studies in marine biology, environmental science or law.

Awards will be given for the grand championship, second and third places, largest bonefish, plus captain and angler team champions.

For more information, call Sue Moret at (305) 664-5423, or visit www.wwifc.org.


Mackerel hearing. Federal fisheries officials want the public's comment on the current moratorium on the issuance of commercial king mackerel permits and alternatives for limiting access to the king mackerel fishery in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a public hearing at Fort Pierce on Oct. 14 starting at 6 p.m. at the Old City Hall at 315 Avenue A.

The current commercial permit moratorium expires Oct. 15, 2005.

The council wants to know if fishermen want the moratorium extended, or allowed to expire.

An amendment also addresses possible changes in the fishing year for both king mackerel and Spanish mackerel in the Atlantic.

E-mail comments can be made to mackerelcomments@safmc.net.


TV pioneer dies. Virgil Ward, an outdoors television pioneer and former BASS tournament angler died recently of cancer at his home in Amsterdam, Mo. He was 93.
Ward hosted one of the earliest syndicated outdoors television shows, called Championship Match Fishing. For years he also wrote a nationally-syndicated newspaper column, and he did a national radio show.

Ward also founded Bass Buster Lure Co. which later was sold to Johnson Fishing.

Contact Sargent at 242-3697 or bsargent@flatoday.net

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