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Puerto Rico father and son iguana hunt.


pluric
(@pluric)
Joined: 3 years ago
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My son and I had talked about going to Puerto Rico to do the iguana hunt. Covid put a damper to the idea last year and it didn't come up again. I get a text from my son that he has found a great deal on air fair and booked a tour with Abner and Raphael with Iguana Hunters of Puerto Rico. That was a nice surprise. 😀  

My son, Josh, had arranged everything. All I had to do was show up. My kind of traveling. The decision was whether to bring our own guns or not. One year, returning from EBR, we had a horrible experience at the airport. We had checked before hand on flying with airguns restrictions and checked all the boxes. Turns out individual airports and flight agents have their own opinion and it can change quickly on you. While waiting for our flight I'm paged to go back to check in. Very long story that involves the literal bomb squad being called in. That's a whole other thread in itself. Fast forward to Puerto Rico and my son decides he's not going to go through that again. I had just gotten a new Leishy II and really thought it would be the perfect size for a tramp though the jungle iguana eliminator. The big plus is the bottle can screw off with out a valve on top. That was an issue in the Arizona airport at EBR. They wanted the bottle valve off to see into the bottle. 

So it ended up he took his scope with the camera on it and I took the Leshiy. I told them at check in there was an airgun in the case. The agent asked another agent who said no problem "Check it through". History repeats itself and after literally just sitting down after a 15 minute walk to the gate I'm paged over the airport intercom. Requested to go back to the check-in desk. Deja-vu. Turns out they wanted the bottle off the gun. Lucky we had time at the gate to jump though their hoops.

Okay, next day and we are off to meet the guides. Iguana Hunters came highly recommended. I can see why. They were on time, ready with air, cold drinks and know how to spot iguanas. To the untrained eye they are hard to see. Blend in with everything. Sometimes I felt a little dumb, They are not 20 yards away in a tree right in front of me with a guide pointing them out and I can't see them. You do get better with time figuring it out but these guides saw stuff I never would have.

We started at an active banana farm. Level ground pretty much in the open with trees around the perimeter loaded with iguanas. There was also a family group so one guide went with them and Josh and I had the other guide to ourselves. We had Abner the first day. They provided my son a FX Dreamline with a 500cc bottle. Allowed him to put his scope in it and sight it in. Nice gun, but my son would find out not the lightest thing to carry all morning. I had brought a sling for the Leshiy and was able to just let it hang off my side. 

The side of the island we were shooting on is the dry side. It goes from tropical to dry really fast.

The tree right where we parked had my first iguana kill.

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I didn't know what we were in for so I was happy just to hit one and so early in the day. Head shots are the definite preferred hit zone. These things are durable! Later in the hunt when I couldn't see the head I could empty an 8 shot magazine in the body and it would still be alive. The thud of a body shot hitting is louder than the gun report. You know when you've hit one.

They say to wear long pants. This is why. 

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 Burr plants were all over the place. My pants and shirt were kind of a nylon material so I could get them off easy. 

You shoot until about one o clock. My son had brought a drone and I had a video camera on my scope. We spent some time dicking around with the set up and still had a high body count. The camcorder on the scope didn't work well for me. Too hard to see the screen in the light and impossible for me to find the iguana in the camera screen. 

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Spent the rest of the morning chatting with Abner and adding to the body count. My son with Abner. Sometimes, most times, they land in an area that is too hard to recover the body. I'd say we had about a 40% recovery rate on the first day. They will also get stuck in the tree. 

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You lose track of time and body count and don't realize the dent you are trying to put in the population until they lay them out for you.

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The next day was amazing! I didn't ask, but I think because it was just my son and I and they knew we didn't need our hands held around the guns we went more jungle dense on the hunting grounds. We had Raphael for the guide that day. His English is good, but not as easy to understand as Abner. But he can spot iguanas! Took us to a couple different spots that we were told iguanas love. They like to be near water and this area had it.

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I can't say it's remote because we were never far from roads. But once you are in the dense part you can't see anything but trees and iguanas. This section had monster size stuff! I guess because it would be difficult to keep novice shooters together and provide enough air and drinks they don't take larger groups into the forest. So the iguanas have time to grow. And grow they did! 

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We were so surprised how much larger they mostly were. When you see that thing up in a tree you kind of gasp.

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Most were shooting .25 caliber. My Leshiy is a .22. It was fine and I felt the ultimate field gun. The low magazine capacity was a little hassle but not bad. I'd just keep it loaded while looking for the next "Tree chicken". If it would have not have had the higher capacity air tank that would have been a pain. I was getting 64 shots a fill so total shot count was acceptable. Raphael had put a 30 minute tank in his back pack and we all needed it!

We're going back! Loved it and the beaches are fantastic.

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ISPIRIT99, Jim Bentley, Johnny366 and 1 people thanked
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mjfa
 mjfa
(@mjfa)
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 4
 

Glad you both had a great iguana hunt here! Man, you took a great risk of getting your fine Leshiy confiscated at the airport, luckly not.


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BordertownDevil
(@bordertowndevil)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 20
 

Awesome! I wanted to do this for my bachelor party (my wife wanted to join us for the hunt), but we ended up eloping instead. 

How were your accommodations? Has the island recovered from the hurricanes yet? 


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pluric
(@pluric)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 840
Topic starter  
Posted by: @bordertowndevil

Awesome! I wanted to do this for my bachelor party (my wife wanted to join us for the hunt), but we ended up eloping instead. 

How were your accommodations? Has the island recovered from the hurricanes yet? 

We stayed in a townhouse style condo in San Juan. It was clean and well appointed for I think $90 a night. To me, neighborhoods always look a bit sketchy in the area. They use so much security railing on the homes that you wonder "Is it that bad?" I've been to the island several times on cruise related trips. Never had an issue at all.

As far as hurricane recovery, yes and no. In town you will see businesses up and running and they look fine. Then a building that has not been repaired next to them. Mostly graffitied. Looks so bad. Some homes that look like they have been abandoned and the plant growth has taken over. Services are not a problem and for the most part the island is functioning well. 

We go back in January to leave on a neighborhood cruise. After seeing my photos some are talking about flying in early and hunt for a day or two and then get on the ship. I'm in! 😀 


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1163
 
Posted by: @pluric

I've been to the island several times on cruise related trips. Never had an issue at all.

The wild man hair is known for having that effect, use it wisely.

 

NOTE TO SELF<--- visit PR in dry season. Unlike most places, CO2 is fine in the winter.

This is a good strategy, shooting arboreal species while the trees are defoliated.

We're still dry and hot, but the trees with deep roots have already flushed and flowered.

 

 

On the topic of rebuilding, and please read between the lines.

I roofed for years, shingle and metal, some hotroof, framed rooves, installed wind remediation measures, tied rebar, poured crete, etc.

PR, Puerto Ricans here in FL, and I'd venture to say, most of Central and South Americans RAISED IN RURAL SETTINGS, lack building skills, knowledge of, or compliance to code. AKA serious engineering deficiencies.

I have seen them use nothing more than gravity, to attach a roof to the supporting elements. Think about that, sheet metal just layed up there.

Now, I'm not a degreed engineer, but there are tables and charts which tell you when something absolutely won't work. If you don't heed the data, that is something other than ignorance. I think that sums it up nicely...

 

Now for a funny example of DGAF! building skills.

Once while working on a pool installation in BVL, Buena Ventura Lakes, aka 50K Hispanics in urban sprawl, I discovered a hose spigot at the rear of the house. Never having grown accustomed to city water, I only managed to guzzle down a quart, and refilled my cup to let the water air out.

Conveniently enough, I was working in exactly that spot, marking off irrigation and soon discovered that the spigot was on 8ft of white pipe, ATTACHED TO PURPLE PIPE! BLEH... sumbitch... drinking the recycled shitwater! 🤢 🤮 

I was fine, but it hurts my brain to know that the installer used purple primer in the fittings, and could have EASILY run some purple on the riser pipe as a signal.

This is giving the benefit of the doubt, maybe they already had a stick, but some people actively avoid purple pipe, for whatever reason.

 

 

 


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pluric
(@pluric)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 840
Topic starter  
Posted by: @gratewhitehuntr
Posted by: @pluric

I've been to the island several times on cruise related trips. Never had an issue at all.

The wild man hair is known for having that effect, use it wisely. 

🤣

Okay, there is a back story to the "Hair" thing. After 34 years of being a Realtor and having a very conservative look I retired when Covid hit April 1, 2020. For no particular reason I decided not to get a haircut for at least a year. Call it paybacks for suppressing the "inner me". 😉 😀 

Hair b

Puerto Rico was so much fun! In the immortal words of Sam Wood we "Got Em". 😎 

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(@top-dog)
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 8
 

Pluric,

Glad to see that you and your son had a great time.

Flying with firearms especially airguns can be difficult. Standard rules for regular firearms are pretty straightforward but put an air tank into the  mix sends the TSA folks in a downward spiral.  If I were to go iguana hunting,I would prefer to go to Florida and drive.

 

The superb iguana hunting in PR looks great but dealing with the TSA to get there pretty much keeps me from going.

 

                                                                                                                             Top Dog


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pluric
(@pluric)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 840
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Posted by: @top-dog

Pluric,

Glad to see that you and your son had a great time.

Flying with firearms especially airguns can be difficult. Standard rules for regular firearms are pretty straightforward but put an air tank into the  mix sends the TSA folks in a downward spiral.  If I were to go iguana hunting,I would prefer to go to Florida and drive.

 

The superb iguana hunting in PR looks great but dealing with the TSA to get there pretty much keeps me from going.

 

                                                                                                                             Top Dog

The constant I'm finding is they want the tank off the gun. Returning from Arizona they wanted the valve off the tank. That's the one that turned into a bomb squad episode.  Turns out they thought some Christmas globes I'd bought for grandkids were bombs. I didn't think they would let the liquid be a carry on so I put them in the gun case. I asked about guns that didn't have a removable tank, they said "Don't bring them on the plane". In asking around it seems there are regulations but that individuals interpret them as they like. Little consistency out there. Twice I've been allowed to have the bottle as a carry on. 

During the Arizona incident they told me they confiscated the bottles that were on international flights. Somehow in the confusion of requesting I remove the valve they gave me a confiscated bottle too. I thought it was to another gun in our group until we got home and found it was an extra.

Some choose to mail their guns ahead of them. Next time I'll have the bottle off or just use the guides provided guns.


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(@top-dog)
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 8
 

Pluric,

Yes,you can use the air guns provided by the guides but part of the adventure is to use your own.

 

With air bottle on aircraft,in dealing with the TSA,is seems to be pretty much which agent you are dealing with.

 

They seem to make up their own rules as they go.   One reason why I will never fly again.

 

                                                                                                    Top Dog


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(@colonel1018)
Joined: 1 week ago
Posts: 3
 

I ve been in P Rico a couple times, I recomend going to the south. I was staying in Guanica not so far from Ponce and I saw a tree full of Iguanas, they are everywhere .


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