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Wildlife Management Area Permit Requirements

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  • To hunt on wildlife management areas, you must possess a management area permit and a hunting license, unless exempt (see License and Permit Exemptions). A management area permit is not required to hunt on Eglin, Avon Park and Tyndall military bases, Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area and Kissimmee River Public Use Area and Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. Persons possessing firearms on Osceola, Ocala or Apalachicola WMAs for the exclusive purpose of shooting at an FWC-authorized shooting range are exempt from needing management area permits.
  • Limited entry/quota permits are required on wildlife management areas during certain time periods (see Limited entry/quota permits below).
  • handicapped_logo_small.tif

    Permits for ADA accommodations are available under certain conditions for some wildlife management areas. Visit MyFWC.com/ADA for more information.

Wildlife management area regulation changes

Hunters should obtain WMA brochures for the area in which they intend to hunt. The latest rule changes are notated by bold print in these brochures. WMA brochures are available at MyFWC.com/Hunting, FWC regional offices and at some county tax collectors’ offices.

Public small-game hunting areas

These small-game public hunting areas offer the opportunity to hunt hogs, doves, waterfowl and small game. WMA brochures are available at MyFWC.com/Hunting or an FWC regional office.

Hunting Florida’s military bases

Three military bases in Florida are open to public hunting. For information on hunting these lands, contact:

  • Eglin Natural Resources, Jackson Guard, 107 Hwy. 85 North, Niceville, FL 32578; 850-882-4164.
  • Avon Park Air Force Range, Hunt Information, 347 RQW, DET1, OLA/CEVN, 29 South Blvd., Avon Park Air Force Range, FL 33825-5700; 863-452-4254.
  • Tyndall Air Force Base, Natural Resources Flight, 325 CES/CEN, 119 Alabama Ave., Tyndall Air Force Base, FL 32403; 850-283-2641 or 850-283-2822.

Hunting Florida’s national wildlife refuges (NWR)

Eight national wildlife refuges in Florida are open to public hunting. These refuges are operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunting permits for some of these areas are issued by the FWC (see National Wildlife Refuge hunts below).

  • Chassahowitzka NWR, 1502 Southeast Kings Bay Dr., Crystal River, FL 34429; 352-563-2088.
  • Ten Thousand Islands NWR, 3860 Tollgate Blvd., Suite 300, Naples, FL 34114; 239-353-8442.
  • A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR, 10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437-4796; 561-732-3684. Waterfowl only.
  • Lower Suwannee NWR, 16450 NW 31st Place, Chiefland, FL 32626; 352-493-0238.
  • Lake Woodruff NWR, P.O. Box 488, DeLeon Springs, FL 32130; 386-985-4673.
  • Merritt Island NWR, P.O. Box 6504, Titusville, FL 32782; 321-861-0667, Waterfowl only.
  • St. Marks NWR, P.O. Box 68, St. Marks, FL 32355; 850-925-6121.
  • St. Vincent NWR, P.O. Box 447, Apalachicola, FL 32329; 850-653-8808.

Limited entry/quota permits

Florida’s limited entry/quota permits prevent overcrowding and control the harvest of game on public hunting areas thus providing hunters with quality hunting experiences. The maximum number of permits available on public hunting areas is based on an area’s size, habitat, game populations and rules. Reference individual WMA brochures to determine if or when a limited entry permit is required.

To apply for limited entry/quota permits, you will need to read the permit specific information on FWC’s website and complete the correct application worksheet. Information pages and application worksheets contain important information about when, where, and how to apply as well as the hunt numbers, dates and quotas. You may find the permit specific information and worksheets at MyFWC.com/Hunting under “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts.”

If you choose to have a tax collector or license agent submit your application for you, you will need to give your completed application worksheet to the clerk. If you choose to submit your application online at License.MyFWC.com, the completed application worksheet will help you answer questions that will be asked during the application process.

FWC issues a variety of limited entry permits throughout the year to hunt species such as alligator, dove, quail, deer, waterfowl, hog and turkey and to camp on Green Swamp WMA.

Alligator: These limited permits allow the harvest of alligators on specific public water bodies or within specific counties. Each permit authorizes the take of two alligators on a specific harvest unit (see Florida is the alligator hunting capital of the world).

Dove: Dove hunting opportunities are in high demand but often hard to find. The FWC has created some exceptional dove hunting opportunities throughout the state. The friendly, social atmosphere surrounding dove hunts makes for the perfect setting for friends and family to hunt together.

  • Dove Club permits allow an adult permit holder and one youth (under age 16) to participate in all scheduled hunts for a designated dove field. These permits cost $150 and provide a savings of more than 50 percent when compared to buying daily dove permits for the entire season.
  • Daily Dove permits allow an adult permit holder and one youth (under age 16) to participate in one hunt on a designated dove field. These permits cost $35.
  • Punta Gorda, Royce and Dupuis Dove permits allow one adult and one youth (under age 16) to hunt together on the selected area.

Information on Florida’s public dove fields is available in late September. Visit MyFWC.com/Dove to get the latest information on special-opportunity dove hunts and dove fields on Florida’s WMAs. Information is updated every Thursday throughout dove season and includes dove densities, previous week’s harvests and field conditions.

Green Swamp camping: Camping permits are available for the archery, general gun, small game, hog, spring turkey, and fish and frog seasons on designated sites within the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area.

National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) hunts: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has partnered with FWC to make several NWR hunt permits available through FWC’s limited entry permitting system. These are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hunts issued by FWC. For more information on NWR hunting opportunities, contact the local NWR office (see Hunting Florida’s national wildlife refuges above).

  • Lake Woodruff archery and muzzleloading hunts
  • Merritt Island waterfowl hunts
  • handicapped_logo_small.tif St. Marks archery, general gun, and mobility-impaired hunts
  • St. Vincent Island Sambar and white-tail deer hunts

Quota permits: Quota permits are a specific sub-type of limited entry permits that have their own unique set of rules and regulations on how to apply. Some of these permits allow group applications, guest permits, and the accumulation of preference points. Be sure to check the permit specific information and application worksheets at MyFWC.com/Hunting (under “Limited Entry Hunts”) for a complete list of details for each of these quota permit types.

  • Airboat
  • Archery*
  • General gun*
  • Family
  • handicapped_logo_small.tif Mobility impaired*
  • Muzzleloading*
  • Quail
  • Spring turkey*
  • Track
  • Wild hog*
  • Youth
  • Youth spring turkey

*Guest permits are available for this permit type.

Residents age 65 or older; residents with a Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Services stationed out of state and home on leave for 30 days or less; and children under age 16 are exempt and not required to have quota permits to participate in many hunts. Due to lease agreements, size and other factors, some hunts do not allow exemptions. Hunts where all persons must have quota permits are listed in bold print on the quota permit application worksheets. This also is indicated by the phrase “no exemptions” found under the Quota Permit Information section in specific WMA brochures. Children under the age of 16 may accompany any quota permit holder, age 18 or older, on hunts with “no exemptions” provided the youth and permit holder share a single bag limit. A person whose license indicates Hunter Safety Deferral may hunt with any quota permit holder age 21 or older who holds a hunting license provided that both hunters share a single bag limit. A supervisor (must be 21 years of age or older) who holds a valid license (unless exempt) may hunt with any license holder whose license indicates Hunter Safety Deferral and who also holds a quota hunt permit (must share a single bag limit).

Recreational use permits: Recreational use permits are designed to provide more revenue to private landowners in the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) System. Money set aside by the FWC to compensate those private landowners for hunting use on their lands was not sufficient enough to compete with private hunting leases. Rather than have WMAs drop out of the system, the FWC offers recreational use permits. Fees collected from these permits supplement the private landowners, keeping their lands open to public hunting.

Except for hunting, recreational use permit holders and their spouses or dependent youth (under 16 years of age) may participate in other activities on designated WMAs. Only permit holders and one dependent youth (under 16 years of age) may hunt. If spouses or more than one dependent youth (under 16 years of age) wish to hunt, they must purchase a recreational use permit. These permits also include a management area permit that may be used when hunting other public lands not in the recreational use program.

Recreational use permits are only valid on the area designated on the permit and may not be used on other recreational use program areas. Once permits are issued, they can be renewed annually for two additional years, essentially making them a three-year permit.

The four recreational use areas and their annual permit fees are:

Flint Rock WMA

Jefferson and Wakulla counties

$206

Grove Park WMA

Alachua County

$475

Gulf Hammock WMA

Levy County

$275

Nassau WMA

Nassau County

$385

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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