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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. 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 at MyFWC.com/Hunting.

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.

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 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 33437-4796; 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

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/Hunting 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).

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 and muzzleloading gun 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, 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/Hunting (under “Limited Entry Hunts”) for a complete list of details for each of these quota permit types:

  • Airboat
  • Archery*
  • 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 this permit type. For more specific information and worksheets, go to MyFWC.com/Hunting 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 $475
Gulf Hammock WMA Levy County $417

Waterfowl and snipe hunt permits

  • T.M. Goodwin and Broadmoor Marsh Unit waterfowl and snipe permits
  • Ocklawaha Prairie waterfowl and snipe permits
  • September waterfowl permits
  • Stormwater Treatment Areas (STA) waterfowl permits
  • Youth waterfowl permits
  • Merritt Island waterfowl permits

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. To be eligible for antlerless deer permits:

  • You must check “Yes” to the antlerless deer question on the quota permit application, AND
  • You must be awarded a quota permit for an area during the Phase I random drawing that allows 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, released quail 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. To find out when you may apply for any of these special-opportunity hunts, see Limited entry hunts — application periods on this same page.

Special-opportunity fall hunts

  • Blackwater WMA Carr Unit: Released quail hunts. Sixteen seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $100; permit allows four hunters on 590 acres. Hunters must provide their own quail, which must be purchased from a licensed game farm.
  • 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 general gun Deer/hog hunts. Each seven-day hunt – $175; 15 hunters on 16,295 acres.

Special-opportunity dove hunts

The FWC has created managed dove hunting opportunities throughout the state.

  • 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.
  • 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 Unit and Dupuis Dove permits allow one adult and one youth (under age 16) to hunt together on the selected area. Visit MyFWC.com/Dove to get the latest information on special-opportunity dove hunts and dove fields on Florida’s WMAs.

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

Limited entry/quota permits – application periods: For up-to-date information about when to apply for limited entry/quota permits, please visit MyFWC.com/Hunting under Limited Entry/Quota Hunts.

Youth and family hunting opportunities

The FWC offers several opportunities for adults to take youths (under age 16) hunting:

  • The FWC offers two deer hunts at Camp Blanding WMA and two deer hunts at Andrews WMA. During these hunts, permitted youths and their nonhunting supervisors are the only persons allowed on the area.
  • Two youth waterfowl days are held after the end of the regular waterfowl season. Only those under 16 years old are allowed to hunt while supervised by an adult, 18 years or older.
  • Youth waterfowl hunts are held on Ocklawaha Prairie, Guana River, the stormwater treatment areas and on T.M. Goodwin and Broadmoor Marsh Unit.
  • Youth small-game hunts are held at Caravelle Ranch, Ross Prairie and Jennings Forest WMAs. Quota permits are not required for these hunts. Additional information is provided in the specific WMA brochures.
  • Family hunts are offered on many WMAs. These hunts provide opportunities for a permitted supervisor to hunt with up to two youths.
  • Youth spring turkey hunts are held on many WMAs the weekend before the spring turkey season begins. Only those under 16 years old are allowed to harvest a turkey while supervised by an adult, 18 years or older.
  • New information for beginning hunters can be found at MyFWC.com/NewHunter.