The FWC has lined up a number of special-opportunity hunts for sportsmen. These special hunts offer large areas of land with an abundance of game and low hunter quotas. They provide excellent chances to bag turkeys, hogs, released quail and quality deer.
Typically the demand for these hunts is greater than the number of slots available, so a random drawing is conducted to select hunters. Hunters can submit as many applications as they want, and many hunters increase their chances by submitting several applications for their dream hunt. There is a $5 nonrefundable application fee that must be submitted with each separate application.
Successful applicants must purchase their permit by the specified deadline. If the selected applicant does not purchase the special-opportunity permit by the deadline, the FWC will offer it to the next applicant in line behind them in the random drawing. The cost of the permits ranges from $50 to $175. But, people with lifetime hunting or lifetime sportsman’s license issued before July 1998 are exempt from having to pay for the permit.
A hunter looking for truly unique hunts with high probabilities of seeing and bagging quality game should look no further. To find out when you may apply for any of these special-opportunity hunts, see Limited entry hunts — application periods on Wildlife Management Area Permit Requirements.
Special-opportunity fall hunt permits allow permit holders to hunt deer, hogs or released quail on select wildlife management areas.
- 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 for release. Camping prohibited.
- Fort Drum WMA: One general gun hunt for one antlered deer (one antler must have at least four points) and hogs (no size or bag limits), and possibility of one antlerless deer. Seven-day hunt – $50; 20 hunters on 20,858 acres. Camping permitted.
- Green Swamp WMA West Unit: Two archery hunts and three general gun hunts for one antlered deer (one antler must have at least four points) and hogs (no size or bag limits), and possibility of one antlerless deer. Each four-day hunt – $100; 54 hunters on 34,335 acres. Camping permitted.
- Lake Panasoffkee WMA: Eight archery hunts for one antlered deer (one antler must have at least four points) and hogs (no size or bag limits), and possibility of one antlerless deer. Each four-day hunt – $100; 20 hunters on 8,676 acres. Camping permitted.
- Triple N Ranch WMA: Two general gun hunts for one antlered deer (one antler must have at least four points) and hogs (no size or bag limits). Each seven-day hunt – $175; 15 hunters on 16,295 acres. Camping permitted.
Special-opportunity spring turkey huntpermits allow permit holders to take one Osceola turkey per permit on select wildlife management areas.
- Fisheating Creek WMA East: Two seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $175; 10 hunters on 18,272 acres. Camping permitted.
- Fort Drum WMA: Three seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $50; five hunters on 20,858 acres. Camping permitted.
- 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; Camping permitted.
- 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; Camping permitted.
- Lake Panasoffkee WMA: Three four-day hunts. Each hunt – $100; 10 hunters on 8,676 acres. Camping permitted.
- Triple N Ranch WMA: Three seven-day hunts. Each hunt – $175; 10 hunters on 16,295 acres. Camping permitted.
Waterfowl and snipe permits: Several different limited entry waterfowl and snipe hunting opportunities are available to interested hunters.
- T.M. Goodwin and Broadmoor Marsh Unit waterfowl 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 some WMAs. Antlerless deer permits may be issued for any area, and the areas which will allow them along with the number of permits issued will be determined after a deer census is conducted in August. The only wildlife management areas that offer a general gun antlerless deer season are Kissimmee River Public Use Area, Upper St. Johns River Marsh and Tosohatchee.
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).
Group applicants will be treated as individuals in the antlerless deer drawing. If one member of a group is selected for an antlerless deer permit, it does not mean all group members will receive antlerless deer permits. Permits are not issued until September.
On most WMAs, an antlerless deer permit is not required to take antlerless deer during the archery season. Please consult individual WMA brochures to learn if antlerless deer are legal game during archery season.
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.
The FWC offers several opportunities for adults to take youths (under age 16) hunting. Many WMAs allow youths, under adult supervision, to hunt during archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small-game and spring turkey seasons without having quota permits. Youths also may hunt areas that require a quota permit if accompanied by a quota permit holder, who is 18 or older, provided the quota permit holder and youth share a single bag limit.
- 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. About 600 youths apply every year for 160 deer quota permits.
- Two youth waterfowl days are held after the end of the regular waterfowl season. Specific dates are set in late September by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, obtain the 2014–2015 Migratory Game Bird Regulations for Waterfowl and Coot Seasons brochure (available in mid-October) or visit MyFWC.com/Duck. Quota permits are not required for these hunts.
- Youth waterfowl hunts are held on the stormwater treatment areas and on the T.M. Goodwin/Broadmoor 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 wildlife management area brochures.
- Family hunts are offered at Matanzas, Allapattah Flats, Blackwater, Perdido River, Lafayette Forest, Andrews, Belmore, Cary, Devil’s Hammock, Four Creeks, Hatchet Creek, Thomas Creek Kings Road Unit, Okaloacoochee Slough, Hilochee Osprey Unit, Dinner Island Ranch, Babcock Ranch, L.Kirk Edwards East, Aucilla Pinhook Area, Chipola River Altha Track, Lower Hillsborough, Ralph E. Simmons, Apalachicola Bradwell Unit, Beaverdam Creek, Jennings Forest and Lafayette Creek WMAs. These hunts provide opportunities for permitted supervisors to hunt with up to two youths.
- Youth spring turkey hunts are held on many wildlife management areas 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. However, any adult supervisor who has a hunting license and the necessary permits can “call in” the turkey and otherwise participate in the hunt, but they cannot harvest one.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.