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For the first time

Babcock Ranch hosts public hog hunts

Babcock Ranch Preserve Public Small Game Hunting Area in Charlotte County will host six separate public hog hunts for the first time since being acquired by the State of Florida.

A total of 30 special opportunity permits will be available for each of the six hunts. The cost of a special opportunity permit for the three-day hunt is $150. Hunters must also possess a valid Florida hunting license.

Dates for the six hunts are Nov. 15-17, Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, Dec. 13-15, Dec. 27-29, Jan. 10-12 and Jan. 24-26. Scouting will be allowed one day prior to each hunt. Applications for the random drawing for the permits will be accepted through Oct. 3. Worksheets are available from county tax collectors or online at MyFWC.com. There are no size or bag limits on hogs. Hunting hours are from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset. Wild hogs may be hunted with shotguns, centerfire rifles, centerfire pistols, muzzleloaders, longbows, recurve bows, compound bows and crossbows.

There are no age or disability exemptions, except that a youth hunter under 16 years of age may hunt under the permit holder’s direct supervision. One non-hunting guest is allowed, provided the guest shall not occupy a separate vehicle from the permit holder.

For detailed regulations on hog hunts at Babcock Ranch Preserve, visit http://myfwc.com/hunting/wma/WMA_RegionMaps0809.htm and click on Babcock Ranch Preserve.