Special-Use Bear Permits Go On Sale Today
Special-use bear permits will be available for purchase only between Aug. 3 and Oct. 23, 2015, at tax collectors’ offices and retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies. For an additional convenience fee, credit card users can also buy special-use bear permits via the Internet at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or by calling toll free 888-HUNT-FLORIDA. For more information, visit myfwc.com/license/limited-entry-hunts/general-info/bear-permit/.
Hunters will need a hunting license (unless exempt) and a special-use bear permit ($100 for residents; $300 for nonresidents). Everyone who is interested in hunting bears must obtain the special-use bear permit including those exempt from hunting license requirements.
If you are hunting on a wildlife management area (WMA), you also will need a management area permit (but it is not required on Apalachicola River WEA and Tyndall Air Force Base). And depending on the WMA and what other season may be overlapping the bear hunt, you may also need a quota permit, and/or an archery or muzzleloading gun season permit.
There is no limit to how many Special-Use Bear Permits are available. There is a harvest objective, which is the number of bears that can be harvested during the season and is specific to each Bear Management Unit. Additionally, hunters will need to bring their harvested bear to a designated check station.
In 2015, the season runs from Saturday, Oct. 24 to Friday, Oct. 30, though the season may end earlier in any given BMU if harvest objectives are reached. Permitted hunters are guaranteed the opportunity to hunt the first two days. However, starting on the second evening (Oct. 25), hunters must verify each day with the FWC to determine whether the harvest objective (number of bears taken by hunters) in any of the BMUs has been met. Each BMU has its own harvest objective, so while one BMU may close, others may remain open until the harvest objective is met or until the season closes on Oct. 30.
For more information about Florida bear hunt rules, visit the 2015 Guide to Bear Hunting in Florida http://myfwc.com/media/3207338/Bear-Hunting-Guide.pdf
For more information about Special-Use Bear Permits: http://myfwc.com/license/limited-entry-hunts/general-info/bear-permit/
To purchase a hunting license and special-use bear permit online: GoOutdoorsFlorida.com
General bear management information: http://myfwc.com/hunting/by-species/bear/
2015 Guide to Bear Hunting in Florida: http://myfwc.com/media/3207338/Bear-Hunting-Guide.pdf