Florida Panther Gets Dangerously Close To Turkey Hunter While Stalking His Decoys

Florida panther stalks turkey
Ray Martin Outdoors

Better have that shotgun locked and loaded…

While it may be best known for fishing, there’s plenty of hunting available in the Sunshine State.

Wild hogs, deer, alligators, bobcats, small game, quail, and turkeys all have respective seasons for hunters, but undoubtedly, if you’re in the Southern areas of Florida, you have to keep a close eye out for panthers.

Around 200 of these cats roam freely throughout the lower portion of the state, with most located in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve, but stragglers can be found in places you wouldn’t expect.

We’ve seen hunters run into them before, like when a wild boar interrupted two big males fighting, but this latest video I came across shows one getting much too close for comfort.

A hunter was out during Spring turkey season and had set up a number of decoys in the tall grasses near his blind to try and lure some toms in, but a nearby panther took note and decided to sneak up on them and see if they were good enough to score a meal.

In general, if you’re using a shotgun, you want to take a shot between 20 and 40 yards, so this hunter was scary close to this prowling panther. He did a good job remaining calm and not making any noise, but it had to be terrifying knowing those cats have a great sense of smell and you’re the only large creature nearby with a heartbeat.

Fortunately, the cat realized the decoys were fake and scampered off into the woods to look for another creature to take out, but that cat was right in his kitchen.

Super fun for us to be able to see, but he had to be sweating bullets.

If you’re going to participate in outdoor activities in Florida, you’ve got to be aware because there can always be something close by that’s hunting you.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock