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Public Hunting

Hunting Regulations Icon Florida Hunting

Wildlife management area permit requirements

  • To hunt on wildlife management areas (WMAs), you must possess a management area permit and a hunting license, unless exempt (see License and permit exemptions on Licenses & Permits). 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 Area.
  • Limited entry/quota permits are required on WMAs during certain time periods (see Limited entry/quota permits on this same page).
  • Permits for ADA accommodations are available under certain conditions for some WMAs. 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 only at MyFWC.com/WMAbrochures.

Public small-game hunting areas

These small-game public hunting areas offer the opportunity to hunt wild hogs, doves, waterfowl and small game. WMA brochures are available only at MyFWC.com/WMAbrochures.

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; 850-882-4165.
  • 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 on this same page).

  • Chassahowitzka NWR, 1502 Southeast Kings Bay Dr., Crystal River, FL 34429; 352-563-2088.
  • Ten Thousand Islands NWR, 12085 State Road 29 South, Immokalee FL 34142; 239-657-8001.
  • A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR, 10216 Lee Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33437; 561-732-3684. Waterfowl only.
  • Lower Suwannee NWR, 16450 NW 31st Place, Chiefland, FL 32626; 352-493-0238.
  • Lake Woodruff NWR, 2045 Mud Lake Road, DeLeon Springs, FL 32130; 386-985-4673.
  • Merritt Island NWR, 1987 Scrub Jay Way, Titusville, FL 32815; 321-861-0667, Waterfowl only.
  • St. Marks NWR, 1255 Lighthouse Road, St. Marks, FL 32355; 850-925-6121.
  • St. Vincent NWR, 3100 County Road 30A, Apalachicola, FL 32329; 850-653-8808.

Limited entry/ quota permits

Reference individual WMA brochures to determine if or when a limited entry permit is required. Applications for limited entry/quota permits can be submitted at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or by completing a worksheet and having a license agent submit it for you. You may find information and worksheets at MyFWC.com/License under “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts.” 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 on Alligator Hunting Adventure).

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 WMA.

National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) hunts

These are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hunt permits issued by FWC. For more information on NWR hunting opportunities, contact the local NWR office (see Hunting Florida’s national wildlife refuges on this same page).

  • Lake Woodruff archery, muzzleloading gun and family spring turkey hunts
  • Merritt Island waterfowl and archery hunts
  • St. Marks archery, general gun, spring turkey and mobility-impaired hunts
  • Lower Suwannee archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, family and senior, wild hog, small game, waterfowl, raccoon/opossum, youth spring turkey and spring turkey 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. Be sure to check the permit-specific information and application worksheets at MyFWC.com/
License (under “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts”) for a complete list of details for each of these quota permit types:

  • Airboat
  • Archery*
  • Dove*
  • General gun*
  • Family hunt
  • Mobility impaired hunt*
  • Muzzleloading gun*
  • Quail hunt
  • Spring turkey*
  • Track vehicle
  • Wild hog*
  • Youth hunt
  • Youth spring turkey

* Guest permits are available for these permit type. For more specific information and worksheets, go to MyFWC.com/License under “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts.”

Recreational use permits

Recreational use permits are designed to provide revenue to private landowners in the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) System. These permits 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.

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

Flint Rock WMA Jefferson and Wakulla counties $206
Grove Park WMA Alachua County $595
Gulf Hammock WMA Levy County $417

Waterfowl and snipe hunt permits

Waterfowl permits are available for early, regular and youth seasons on the following areas:

  • T.M. Goodwin and Broadmoor Marsh Unit
  • Ocklawaha Prairie
  • Guana River
  • Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs)
  • A-1 Flow Equalization Basin (A-1 FEB)

Snipe permits also are available at Goodwin/Broadmoor Marsh and Ocklawaha Prairie.

Merritt Island NWR offers waterfowl permits for regular season hunts for $27.50.

Antlerless deer permits – wildlife management areas (WMAs)

Antlerless deer permits are available in limited numbers on special-opportunity hunts and firearms hunts on some WMAs. These permits are transferable and mailed in September. To be eligible for antlerless deer permits:

  • Check “Yes” to the antlerless deer question on your phase I quota permit application.
  • If awarded a quota permit during the phase I random drawing for an area that allows antlerless deer permits, you will be included in an additional drawing for antlerless deer permits.
  • Special-opportunity and recreational use permit holders will automatically be included in the antlerless deer permit drawing (if permits are available for that area).

Special-opportunity permits

The FWC has a number of special-opportunity hunts for sportsmen. These provide excellent chances to bag turkeys and quality deer. Hunters can submit as many applications as they want but a $5 nonrefundable application fee must be submitted with each separate application. The cost of the permits ranges from $50 to $175. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/License and see details under “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts.”

Special-opportunity fall hunts

  • Fort Drum WMA: One seven-day general gun deer/hog hunt – $50; 20 hunters on 20,858 acres.
  • Green Swamp WMA West Unit: Two archery and three general gun deer/hog hunts. Each four-day hunt – $100; 54 hunters on 34,335 acres.
  • Lake Panasoffkee WMA: Eight archery deer/hog hunts. Each four-day hunt – $100; 20 hunters on 8,676 acres.
  • Triple N Ranch WMA: Two seven-day general gun and one four-day muzzleloading gun hunt for deer/hogs – $175; 15 hunters on 16,295 acres.

Special-opportunity spring turkey hunts

  • Fisheating Creek WMA East: Two seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $175; 10 hunters on 18,272 acres.
  • Fort Drum WMA: Three seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $50; five hunters on 20,858 acres.
  • Green Swamp WMA West Unit: 34,335 acres divided into three units with eight hunters per unit. Five hunts per unit. Each four-day hunt – $100.
  • Homosassa WMA: Two seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $175; five hunters on 5,675 acres.
  • Lake George WMA Dexter/Mary Farm Unit: 14,377 acres divided into three zones with four hunters per zone. Three hunts per zone. Each seven-day hunt – $175.
  • Lake Panasoffkee WMA: Three four-day hunts. Each hunt – $100; 10 hunters on 8,676 acres.
  • Triple N Ranch WMA: Three seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $175; 10 hunters on 16,295 acres.

Limited entry/quota permits – application periods

Application periods for Florida’s many limited entry/quota permit opportunities are available throughout the year. For up-to-date details, visit MyFWC.com/License and see information under “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts.”