Hunting

fwclogo20072Click here for regulations

Click here for migratory bird hunting regulations

CLICK HERE for hunting season dates for the Panhandle.

Learn more about new hunting rules for 2019-2020, including changes to deer hunting regulations. Also, find out how to comply with requirements to log and report harvested deer.

You may obtain most recreational hunting, fishing licenses and permits, including replacement copies, at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, tax collectors’ offices, license agents, or by calling toll-free 888-HUNT-FLORIDA(486-8356). You must have a valid Florida Driver License or Florida ID Card in order to obtain resident licenses or permits online or by telephone.

For purposes of hunting in Florida, a “resident” is defined as any person who has declared Florida as his or her only state of residence as evidenced by a valid Florida driver license or identification card with both a Florida address and a Florida residency verified by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV). If the person does not have a Florida driver license or identification card on record with HSMV, a Florida voter information card, declaration of domicile, or homestead exemption may be used as proof of Florida residency. Active duty military personnel stationed in Florida, including their spouses and dependent children residing in their households, are considered residents when purchasing hunting licenses regardless of how long they have lived in the state. Obtaining licenses and permits constitutes acceptance of all provisions therein.

Except as noted under License and Permit Exemptions, the following licenses and permits are required:

Hunting license 

Required when taking or attempting to take game or furbearing animals (by methods other than trapping).

Deer permit

Required, in addition to a hunting license,when taking or attempting to take deer.

Turkey permit

Required, in addition to a hunting license, when taking or attempting to take turkeys.

Migratory bird permit

Required, in addition to a hunting license,when taking or attempting to take ducks, geese, coots, common moorhens, gallinules,rails, snipes, woodcocks, mourning doves and white-winged doves.

Florida waterfowl permit and Federal duck stamp

Required, in addition to a hunting license and migratory bird permit, when taking or attempting to take ducks and geese.

Archery season permit

Required, in addition to a hunting license, when hunting during archery season.

Crossbow season permit

Required, in addition to a hunting license, when hunting during crossbow season.

Muzzleloading gun season permit

Required, in addition to a hunting license, when hunting during muzzleloading season.

Management area permit

Required, in addition to a hunting license, when taking or attempting to take wildlife on wildlife management areas, wildlife and environmental areas and some public small-game hunting areas. A management area permit is also an annual pass on wildlife management areas where FWC requires a daily use fee.

Limited entry/quota permit

Required to hunt, or access for recreational purposes, some management areas during specified periods.

Trapping license

Required of anyone, except residents age 65 or older, when taking or attempting to take furbearing animals using live traps or snares and when selling furs to licensed fur dealers. Wild hogs are not considered game animals, therefore, no license is required to take them— you need only landowner permission. A Feral Swine Dealer Permit issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (850-410-0900) is required to transport live wild hogs.

Please see the current Florida Hunting Season Dates and Bag Limits for more information.

Note – In addition to a hunting license, management area permit and any other related permits, additional permits or tags may be required for all or parts of a season when hunting on a wildlife management area. These requirements vary by area. For specific details on permit requirements and exemptions, consult the WMA brochure for each area you wish to hunt. They are available at MyFWC.com/Hunting.

 

More than 265,000 acres of fishing and hunting await the outdoor enthusiast at Eglin Air Force Base Reservation

The clear water of Boiling Creek is just one of the many places to explore at Eglin. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Eglin Air Force Base Reservation is much more than the largest AFB in the free world. Within its 464,000 acres, more than 265,000 are open for public recreation. Activities such as fresh water fishing, hunting, camping, biking, canoeing/kayaking, hiking await outdoor enthusiasts.

More than 17,000 permits are issued each year at Eglin’s Natural Resources Branch Jackson Guard office. Annual recreation passes are $12, fishing/recreation $20, hunting $55, sportsman’s combo $65, with fees at $20 for active or retired military. Ten day Consecutive permit (resident or nonresident) $25. Other fees for specialized hunts are also available (check the regulation guide).
Address: 107 Highway 85 North, Niceville FL 32578 (just north of Hwy. 20). Tel: (850) 882-4165 or (850) 882-4166
Office hours are:
Mon. – Thurs. 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat. 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Sunday and federal holidays closed

Eglin has many improvements in the works including upgrades to the recreation areas along with the launch of a new website soon. The site will it make it easier for the user to acquire permits, understand the regulations, and a web application posting the daily closings. Currently anyone embarking on Eglin must phone in prior to entering to find out where the closed areas are located. (This site will be updated when Eglin’s new website access is available).

Currently one of the largest improvements under construction is at Anderson Pond. The area is a critical habitat for the endangered Okaloosa darter (Etheostoma okaloosae), a small fish with a range of only six tributary systems in the lower Choctawhatchee Bay drainage. In 1960, Anderson Branch creek was dammed off for the pond, closing the habitat connection of the darter. Eglin is currently restoring the creek connection and including camping areas along with 12+ tent pads, a picnic area, and boardwalks.

In addition, Eglin is improving canoe accesses and currently working on the Turkey creek access at Gooden Bridge off of Range Road 232. Improvements include improved access to the water along with a parking lot in the works.

Rules and regulations are strictly enforced at Eglin as the base’s security is vital to our national defense. The base works hard at making the reservation compatible for the outdoor enthusiast, but enforces its boundaries so as not to jeopardize security. Military missions often require the closure of large portions of areas open to public access. The regulations are a bit complex, however the large guide and map which Eglin provides is comprehensive.

Click here for Eglin’s Website

Newly improved hunting check stations. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Fishing:
17 freshwater ponds ranging from 4 – 40 acres are available for fishing at Eglin Reservation. You must possess FWC fishing license in addition to an Eglin permit unless you are fishing with a cane pole in the county you reside. Fishing access is authorized from 2 hours before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset. Hurlburt Lake may be fished during daylight hours only.

Hunting:
The hunting season at Eglin parallels the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s seasons for Wildlife Management Areas and you must possess an FWC hunting license. Eglin may at any time shorten the season as necessary to retain game population. Refer to the regulation guide for check in points and areas with specific hunting availability. There are several check in stations located at three locations on the reservation, refer to the regulation guide. Eglin also takes measurements and retains jawbones of deer kills for wildlife management purposes.

Canoeing/Kayaking:
There are several great creeks to explore on the reservation with the most popular being Boiling Creek, Juniper Creek, Turkey Creek, Rocky Creek, Alaqua Creek and the Yellow River which offers primitive camping along its banks. Jackson Guard offers a canoe trail guide for those interested. Below are two links to stories:
Boiling Creek and Yellow River paddle
Turkey Creek paddle

Hiking/Biking/Camping:
Recreational hiking, biking and primitive camping are available at several locations throughout Eglin Reservation. The Florida Scenic Trail runs through Eglin Reservation as well. You can obtain a detailed map of the Florida Trail http://www.floridatrail.org/
For more information, call Jackson Guard at (850) 882-4165 or (850) 882-4166.

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Shoreline fishing license is free to Florida residents

Resident anglers pay only $2.31 vendor fee when buying online or you can get it free at Copeland’s in Freeport

The shoreline fishing license for Florida residents to catch saltwater fish from shore or a structure affixed to shore cost $9 last year, but this year it’s free, beginning July 1.

The Florida Legislature repealed the shoreline license fee during the past session. However, legislators retained the license requirement to prevent a more-costly federal registration fee from taking effect in Florida.

Resident anglers who obtain the shoreline license over the phone or Internet still will have to pay a convenience fee to the vendor. The convenience fee is $2.31 for Internet sales at www.fl.wildlifelicense.com or $3.33 for phone sales at 888-FISH FLORIDA (888-347-4356).

Only Florida residents qualify for a no-cost shoreline license, and the license does not cover fishing from a boat or fishing from a location or structure accessible only by boat. That requires a regular saltwater fishing license: $17 for residents; for nonresidents the cost is $17 for three days, $30 for seven days or $47 per year.

There are some exemptions for license requirements. More information is available at MyFWC.com/License.

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Two Northwest Florida national wildlife refuges offer special hunts

Special deer and wild hog hunt applications begin May 4

This fall, Northwest Florida offers some special deer and wild hog hunts at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and a unique “big-game” hunt on the island of St. Vincent NWR.

The application period for these hunts begins at 10 a.m. May 4 and continues through 11:59 p.m. June 10.

There are two archery hunts, two general gun hunts and one mobility-impaired gun hunt on St. Marks NWR, which covers 60,000 acres in Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties. Five-day archery hunts for white-tailed deer and wild hogs take place Nov. 9-13 in the Panacea Unit and Nov. 2-6 in the Wakulla Unit. There are 200 available permits for each hunt at $15 each. Click here to continue

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Opening day of general gun season productive for local hunter

Randy Humphreys bagged these 100 and 130 lb. wild hogs on Bruce Creek in Northeast Walton County early on Thanksgiving Day.
Randy Humphreys bagged these 100 and 130 lb. wild hogs on Bruce Creek in Northeast Walton County early on Thanksgiving Day.

It didn’t take long on Nov. 26 for local hunter, Randy Humphreys to successfully bag two feral hogs within a few hours along Bruce Creek. Randy said he didn’t have to go far from the boat launch before he spotted the two hogs. Randy has been hunting most of his life and lives in Niceville with his wife Angel.

General gun season is Nov. 26-29, 2009 and Dec. 12, 2009 – Feb. 17, 2010.

Click here for a map of the Choctawhatchee River Wildlife Management area.

FWC reminds hunters to be careful cleaning wild hogs: Click here for information

About wild hog:
The wild hog, (Sus scrofa) also called the wild boar or feral pig, is not a Florida native, and may have been introduced by explorer Hernando DeSoto as early as 1539. They may weigh over 150 pounds, and be 5-6 feet long. They travel in herds containing several females and their offspring. Read More…

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Outta The Woods: Safe hunting is NO Accident

tonyyoungWith the dog-days of summer fully upon us, it’s hard to think about hunting quite yet. But if you’re between the ages of 16 and 34, and haven’t completed the state’s hunter safety course requirement, now’s just the time to be thinking about it. If you’ve been putting off taking a hunter safety class, August is the best time to sign up for one in your area.

Many of these classes, offered statewide, fill up fast during hunting season while people scramble to get certified. Often, August and the preceding summer months offer smaller class sizes and make for a better opportunity for students to take a class while they have more free time before school gets cranked up, and they get busy with homework and school-related activities. Click here to continue

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