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Firearms restricted on public land during turkey season?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is considering a rule proposal that would limit the methods of take allowed during spring turkey hunts on wildlife management areas (WMAs).

The proposal would restrict firearms to shotguns and muzzleloading shotguns only, using shot no larger than number 2. If FWC Commissioners approve the rule, all rifles, pistols, buckshot and slugs will be prohibited during spring turkey hunts on WMAs, beginning with the 2011 spring turkey season.

However, all legal bows and crossbows would still be allowed, provided they have draw weights of at least 35 pounds and shoot broadheads having at least two sharpened edges with minimum widths of 7/8 inch.

The FWC would like to hear the views of Florida’s turkey hunters on this rule proposal. Go to MyFWC.com/Hunting and look under “Breaking News” to provide online comments and constructive feedback.

Public lands, in many cases, have more hunters per acre than private property, and hunters are less likely to know the locations of other hunters compared with those who are hunting private lands.

The intent of this rule proposal is to address safety concerns expressed by public-land turkey hunters.