From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
-- Florida residents looking for a place to hunt this fall, still have a chance to get a recreational use permit for the Nassau Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during the upcoming hunting season.
Nassau WMA is 13,996 acres near Callahan in Nassau County. All users must possess a Nassau recreational use permit to hunt on this area. Nassau WMA is a still-hunt-only area, but hunters may use bird dogs during the migratory bird and waterfowl hunting seasons.
"There are only 350 permits issued for this area, but the good news is there are permits remaining," said Matthew Chopp, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) public hunting areas biologist.
For those willing to pay $385 to hunt the area, Nassau WMA provides hunting opportunities during eight months of the year.
Archery season is from Sept. 25 through Oct. 24; muzzleloading gun season runs from Oct. 30 through Nov. 7; general gun season is from Nov. 13, 2010, through Jan. 9, 2011; small game is from Jan. 10 through March 6, 2011; spring turkey season runs from March 19 through April 24, 2011, and trapping can be done from Jan. 10 through March 1, 2011.
To apply for a recreational use permit to hunt on Nassau WMA, go to MyFWC.com/License and click on Recreational Public Land Use.
Recreational use permits are designed to provide more revenue to landowners in the WMA system. Money set aside by the FWC to compensate those landowners for hunting on their lands was not sufficient to compete with private hunting leases. Rather than have WMAs drop out of the system, the FWC offers recreational use permits. Fees collected from these permits supplement the compensation for private landowners, keeping their lands open to public hunting.
Except for hunting, permit holders and their spouses or dependent children may participate in other activities on designated WMAs. Only permit holders and one dependent child (under age 16) may hunt. If spouses or more than one dependent child (under age 16) wish to hunt, they must purchase a recreational use permit. Recreational use permits also include a management area permit when hunting public lands not in the recreational use program.
Recreational use permits are area-specific and do not apply to other recreational use program areas. Once permits are issued, they can be renewed annually for two additional years, essentially making them a three-year permit. Permit renewal forms are mailed May 1. Eligible applicants have until May 31 to renew their recreational use permits for the next season. Permits not renewed by May 31 will be forfeited, and they will be made available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis beginning June 8.
Applications can be submitted online at https://www2.fl.wildlifelicense.com/start.php, or they can take a completed worksheet to a tax collector's office or any license agent, and those venues will submit the application. Worksheets are available online at MyFWC.com/Hunting (click on Limited Entry Hunts) and at the FWC regional office in Lake City as well as tax collectors' offices. Quota hunt permits are not required on WMAs within the recreational use program, because only recreational use permit holders may use the area.