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Fall hunt opportunities

white_tailed_deer1April/May 2016

FWC’s Hunting Hot Sheet

Check out the latest hunting and conservation news and events from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Fall quota hunt permits and special-opportunity hunts
The Phase I application period for fall quota hunts on Florida’s wildlife management areas requiring a quota permit runs from May 15 to June 15. There are several types of quota permits — archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, wild hog, youth, family, track vehicle, airboat and mobility-impaired — and most are issued by random drawing. There is no fee to apply, but you must have a current $26 management area permit or a license that includes it, unless exempt. Visit GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or have a license agent or tax collector’s office apply for you.

Special-opportunity fall hunt permits provide fall-season hunts for deer, wild hog, and released quail on large tracts of land with an abundance of game and low hunting pressure. If you’d like to take part in one or more of these hunts, you may apply at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, county tax collectors’ offices or most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies beginning at 10 a.m. on May 15. The application period runs through midnight of June 15. You may apply for as many special-opportunity hunts and dates as you like, but you must include a $5 nonrefundable application fee for each one.

For more information on Quota Hunt Permits http://www.myfwc.com/license/limited-entry-hunts/general-info/quota-hunts/

For information on Special-opportunity fall hunts http://www.myfwc.com/license/limited-entry-hunts/general-info/spec-opp-fall/

Changes to alligator hunt application process

The FWC will accept applications for a chance to participate in its annual recreational alligator hunting season beginning May 6 at 10 a.m. to May 16. More than 5,000 alligator harvest permits will be available for the Aug. 15 to Nov. 1 season. But there are some changes to the application process that you need to know about. For more information, visit http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2016/april/26/gator-apps/

2016-2017 Florida hunting season dates now available online

The 2016-2017 resident game and furbearer hunting season dates are now online including a format you can download and print: http://www.myfwc.com/media/2147435/seasondates.pdf.

Antlerless deer dates for the 2016-2017 season are also available online for each Deer Management Unit (DMU):

Good news for migratory bird hunters — the process for setting migratory bird hunting seasons was changed last year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service so now federal frameworks are finalized no later than April. What that means is 2016-2017 Migratory bird hunting season dates are also online at http://www.myfwc.com/hunting/regulations/birds/

Summer hog hunting opportunities

2016 hog hunting is available on several WMAs this spring and summer with no quota permit needed. Visit this link to find out which WMAs and weekends offer hog hunting opportunities. http://myfwc.com/hunting/by-species/wild-hog/dates/

Summer + hunt camp = experience of a lifetime!

Remember those carefree summer camp days when you learned how to shoot a bow and arrow or .22, build a campfire, and use a map and compass? Give the gift of those special memories to your kids by signing them up for one of FWC’s summer camps. FWC’s Florida Youth Conservation Center Network offers several affordable camps where kids can receive their hunter safety certification, expand on archery and bowhunting basics, practice their target shooting skills or learn about everything from wildlife conservation to wilderness survival. Register your kids today for the experience of a lifetime! Visit http://www.fyccn.com/FWC_Summer_Camps

Living with alligators and crocodiles

Alligators and crocodiles are an amazing part of Florida’s heritage and have been a part of the landscape for millions of years. Alligators inhabit marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes in all 67 counties while crocodiles are primarily are found in south Florida living in brackish and saltwater habitats such as ponds, coves and creeks of mangrove swamps. Seeing a crocodile is more likely today than in the last several decades because their numbers have grown from a few hundred to more than 2,000.

As the weather warms up, alligators and crocodiles become more active. By following a few simple safety tips, like swimming only during the day in designated areas and keeping pets and people away from the water’s edge, we can continue to safely coexist with these amazing animals! Check out this 30-second video on living with alligators or visit http://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/wildlife/gators/

Learn more about living with crocodiles at http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/american-crocodile/

How biologists trap wild turkeys

Trapping wild turkeys is important for restoration and research efforts. But as any turkey biologist will tell you, it’s not easy. Check out how they trap these wary birds. http://huntershandbook.com/biologists-trap-wild-turkeys/

FWC salutes those who give back

April is national volunteer month, and we want to give a shout out to the men and women who are out there making a difference. A big thank you goes to those who are dedicating their time, energy and talent to teaching others about safe, responsible hunting and target shooting through FWC’s many programs and events such as hunter safety, Youth Hunting Program of Florida, Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, Archery in the Schools Program, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program, youth camps, and Youth Hunter Education Challenge.

Another huge thanks to those who share their time to make improvements at our wildlife management areas, take part in conservation projects, participate in surveys or notify us about issues. We can’t thank you enough!

Do you want to get involved? Check out these opportunities to give back to the resources and opportunities you love.

Become a citizen scientist http://myfwc.com/get-involved/citizen-science/

Share your love of the outdoors http://myfwc.com/get-involved/volunteer/programs/

Calendar of Events:

Youth Hunter Education Challenge
Do your kids want to learn more about hunting, target shooting, wildlife and survival skills? If you answered YES, then the Florida State Youth Hunter Education Challenge is for YOU!

Who: Participants who are 18 years old or younger and have completed a hunter education course
When: May 7
Where: Ocala Conservation Center in Silver Springs, Fla.
What: The Youth Hunter Education Challenge is an advanced hunter education program designed to build and develop skills taught in basic hunter education courses.
For more information: George Warthen at george.warthen@myfwc.com or visit http://yhec.nra.org/

Outdoor Experience at Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center
Families looking for a day of outdoor fun are invited to attend the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) 2016 Outdoor Experience.

Who: Youth and adults
When: April 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center (BTYCC), which is located in Jefferson County on U.S. 19 just north of HWY 27 (9194 S. Jefferson Highway in Lamont, Fla.).
What: A free event that features expert instruction and opportunities to try activities such as fishing and archery.
For more information: visit http://btycc.org/.

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