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FWC-managed areas may get new 2011-12 hunting dates

From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

-- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff will develop draft rules to modify hunting season dates on FWC-managed areas for next year. Commissioners will consider the draft rules at a future meeting.

The FWC and its partners and cooperating agency landowners has been working with stakeholders in developing proposals to change hunting season dates for these areas, which include wildlife management areas, wildlife and environmental areas and miscellaneous areas.  

The objective of making adjustments would be to better-align these areas with the newly adopted hunting zone season dates which took effect this year.

"With the new changes to hunting season dates this year on private lands, we and our hunting stakeholders feel season dates need to be modified to correspond more with the new zonal seasons and the timing of deer breeding," according to FWC biologist and deer management program coordinator Cory Morea.

The FWC held nine public meetings across the state and gathered feedback on the subject through an online poll. Proposed changes would take into consideration when deer breed in each area, other hunter preferences such as hunting during holidays, and the desires of other area users.

"Adjusting some of these dates so  seasons occur closer to peak deer activity or during holidays should increase hunter satisfaction," Morea said. "But, we don't want to fix something that isn't broken.  Hunters tell us that in some areas the seasons are timed just right, so we wouldn't recommend making any changes to those areas."

Changes made to area season dates would not take effect until the 2011-12 hunting season.

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