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Unique public hunting opportunities still available in northeast Florida

For immediate release: September 11, 2012
Contact: Joy M. Hill, 352-258-3426

Unique public hunting opportunities still available in northeast Florida

Permits are still available, until Sept. 28, for those who would like to hunt Relay and Twelve Mile Swamp wildlife management areas (WMA) this year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) classifies both locations as Recreational Use Permit WMAs.

Each year, a limited number of permits for the areas are available for purchase.
Relay WMA is on 19,682 acres in Flagler County off State Road 11, and is one of only four WMAs in the FWC’s Northeast Region that allow hunting deer with dogs. Only 300 permits are issued each year, and 157 were still available (as of Sept. 7) for the 2012-13 hunting season.

Each permit costs $425.

Twelve Mile Swamp WMA is on 9,460 acres in St. Johns County, about 10 miles north of St. Augustine, north of Nine Mile Road between U.S. 1 and Interstate 95. Only 125 permits are issued here each year, and 52 were still available (as of Sept. 7) for the upcoming hunting season. Each permit costs $625.

Permits for both areas are renewable by the permit holder for up to two additional years, for a total of three years, and they are not transferable.

Each area boasts 30 days of archery, nine days of muzzleloading gun, 58 days of general gun, 63 days of small game, two days of youth turkey and 37 days of spring turkey. In addition, Twelve Mile Swamp also has a 61-day trapping season. Trapping is prohibited on Relay.

“The hunting seasons on both these areas closely mirror those on private lands, which is a bonus for those who favor longer hunting seasons,” said Jen Williams, the FWC’s public-hunting-area biologist for the Northeast Region. “Also, the limited number of hunters allowed makes them more like private hunt leases than traditional public hunting areas.”

People can apply for permits for these areas online by Sept. 28 through the Total Licensing System https://www2.fl.wildlifelicense.com/start.php or through a county tax collector’s office or other license agent.