Opening Of Deer Season Is Bang And Bash In Ocala Forest

Opening Of Deer Season Is Bang And Bash In Ocala Forest

Nike Magista Opus more than 7,700 deer hunters will invade the Ocala National Forest, part of the 19,000 going to public hunting areas throughout Central Florida.

At the Frontier Dance Hall and Restaurant on State Road 19 north of Salt Springs, they’ll be packed like sardines along the 100 foot bar while camo clad waitresses and bartenders scramble to keep up with the orders.

Opening night of the hunting season is our biggest night of the year bigger even than New Year’s Eve. Ryals, the Frontier’s bartender/bouncer. Saturday night, they’ll be 20 deep at the bar, from one end to the other, with an even longer line at the restroom.”

The highlight of the night will be at midnight, when the house band, Steel Country, kicks in with The Gator, a Frontier tradition that Ryals described as redneck break dancing.”

In the ’70s and ’80s, the Frontier had a reputation as a pretty rough place where unwelcome strangers might walk in but be carried out.

Dorothy Bryan, its new owner, has changed all that. The locals and Nike Magista Opus hunters all get along. There is an off duty deputy sheriff on hand to make sure they do.

The hunters aren’t much trouble, and the locals love the opening night party,” said bartender Amy Larrabee. Most of the hunters are locals, anyway, since they all own hunt camps up here.”

The hunters’ presence is an attraction for at least one segment of the local population.

We get a lot of women hunters’ in here, but they’re hunting something Nike Magista Opus besides deer,” said Ryals, grinning.

The hunters are big tippers, too. Most of the Frontier’s waitresses will make two or three times what they would on an ordinary weekend.

The invasion of free spending strangers doesn’t sit too well with the local patrons of another bar at the opposite end of the 400,000 acre forest.

It’s known locally as the Big Scrub Bar, even though owner Cindy Smith has rechristened it the Forest Road 8 Liquors and Lounge. 210th Avenue, and the sign outside the ramshackle gray building only says Liquors.”

The surrounding area is honeycombed with dirt roads dotted with mobile homes and wood framed cabins that are year round residences. Some of their inhabitants take exception to the annual invasion.

Some of the hunters come in here with the attitude that they own the place, and they start talking to women the locals consider theirs. But the hunters are usually well behaved it’s the locals who cause problems,” Smith said.

Smith has ordered 100 cases of beer and expects it all to be gone by Monday.

They’ll be three cheap indoor soccer shoes deep at the bar and lined up all the way from the front door to the back room where the pool tables are,” she said.

Smith keeps a CB radio base station turned on monitoring channels 4, 7 and 14, listening for any hunters trying to raise Leg Shaker,” her CB handle.

There is no CB at the Steel Around Forest Tavern on State Road 40 in Astor Park, but there is a warning on the bar’s sign: Be Good or Begone.”

Owner Sherry Hall doesn’t brook insults or insolence.

Around here, you get two shots, and then you’re out the door,” waitress Joanie Moore said.

Moore has been working at the tavern off and on” for 24 years and said the hunters are better customers than some of the locals.

I have never known any of them to cause a disturbance. They Nike Magista Opus just want to have a good time it’s a weekend away from their wives and work. And they’re very good tippers, much better than the locals,” she said.

Knowing the hunters’ tastes, Hall has stocked extra bottles of their favorites: Crown Royal, Wild Turkey and Jack Daniels.

At the Coastal convenience store in Altoona, Janet Driggers’ customers have different tastes.

Copenhagen is our biggest seller, followed by Beanie Weenies and Busch beer,” she said. On opening weekend, these guys burn a lot of gas and drink a lot of beer and have a lot of fun.”

After the crush of the first nine days of the season, when hunting is by special permit only to limit the kill, business will slack off. It picks up again Thanksgiving weekend and again on the last weekend of the season, which ends Jan. 23.

Not all the service workers in the convenience stores, restaurants and general stores that pockmark the forest are as eager to see the hunters as those in the bar business.

At the Mill Dam RV Park, Grocery and Deli 20 miles or so cheap indoor soccer shoes west of the Steel Around, manager Sue Sweeney had a one word description for the weekend: hell.” Nike Magista Opus cheap indoor soccer shoes.