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Q: I'm hunting a small patch of private land this year and was told that I could hunt 2 extra weeks because it was private land. Is this true that private land hunting is 2 weeks longer than WMAs? Thanks, Dave

A: #1 Bo:

There are more than 150 WMAs in Florida, and they all have their own unique set of rules, regulations and season dates, so you can’t just lump them all together and make a statement like that. It is true, though, that private lands do have longer hunting seasons than most WMAs, but I would have to know “which” WMA you are referring to before I could answer your question.

It is a general rule of thumb that the largest WMAs somewhat mirror (but a little shorter) the season dates for private land in that hunting zone. The Apalachicola National Forest in the Northwest Hunting Zone is a prime example of this. Its general gun season ends this year on Feb. 4, but general gun season on private land in that zone runs through Feb. 18, which is exactly two weeks longer.

Maybe that is the WMA you are referring to.

Tony Young

FWC Media Relations Coordinator

A: #2 No. That's the short answer. Yes, the general whitetail season does run longer on private land than on public land, but not on all public land.

Check the game commissions www.myFWC.com site or look up the October back issue of Woods 'n Water to see the season dates and go by that.

Panhandle WMA's are still deer hunting up into February!

Toby Benoit


DK Flatwoods Pro-Staff

A: #3 While it's true that private land is accessible longer than public land, the season dates themselves are not extended. If you are hunting in the central zone, your season still ended on Sunday, January 18, 2009. Most management areas close two weeks prior to the actual season closure date.

For instance, if you were hunting in Green Swamp WMA as an example, the season may have still been open until January 18, but public land hunting in that area would have closed on January 4, 2009.

Please make sure you do not hunt after the closed season dates for your region and always read your WMA rules and regulations prior to conducting any hunts on public lands. That way, you'll always operate within the confines of the law.

Happy hunting and stay safe.

Chuck Echenique

A: #4 To my knowledge there is no extra time for private land?


Paul Kish