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Vendor change shifts FL quota hunt application dates

From Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

-- As the Wildlife Commission changes to a new license/permit vendor, Florida hunters can expect major changes to the application periods for many wildlife management areas.

Some of the quota application periods that previously occurred in October will be earlier, and others later.

For this year only, application periods for Green Swamp general gun camping permits and these waterfowl permits – Merritt Island, Goodwin/Broadmoor, Ocklawaha Prairie, September waterfowl and the Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) – will be in July and August.

Application dates for St. Marks spring turkey and special opportunity spring turkey permits will be in November.

Updating to the new system means no guest permits will be issued, and leftover quota permits and re-issues will not be issued during October this year. Hunters who plan to take a friend on an October hunt, should obtain the guest permit in September.

There are several types of quota permits, and most are issued by random drawing. There will be no changes to the first-phase application periods which run the entire month of June for archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, youth, family, track vehicle (a swamp buggy with tank treads), airboat and mobility-impaired quota hunt permits.

No costs are involved with quota permits, and during this period, hunters can turn in only one worksheet for each type of quota hunt. Unless exempt, hunters must have an up-to-date management area permit or a license that includes one when applying for a quota permit, or the system won’t accept the application.

The FWC offers youth deer hunts on Camp Blanding WMA in Clay County and Andrews WMA in Levy County.  During these hunts, only youngsters ages 8 to 15 may hunt, and they and their adult supervisors are the only ones allowed on the area.

To increase youth hunting opportunities, children under age 16, while under direct supervision, may accompany an adult quota permit holder on any WMA – even if the area doesn’t allow for exemptions. However, in that case, adults and youngsters must share a single bag limit.

This coming season, there will be family quota hunts on 24 WMAs in Matanzas, Andrews, Devil’s Hammock, Dinner Island Ranch, Lafayette Creek, Allapattah Flats, Perdido River, Cary, Okaloacoochee Slough, Blackwater, Belmore, Jennings Forest, Four Creeks, Ralph E. Simmons, Hatchet Creek, Thomas Creek Kings Road Unit, Hilochee Osprey Unit, Lafayette Forest, Babcock Ranch Preserve, Aucilla Pinhook Area, Chipola River Altha Tract, L. Kirk Edwards, Apalachicola Bradwell Unit and Beaverdam Creek.

Hunters must have a family quota hunt permit to hunt these areas during specific time periods. If a hunters application is drawn, the permit requires one adult to take one or two youths hunting.

Hunters certified by the FWC as mobility-impaired may apply for mobility-impaired quota permits. These permits allow exclusive access to general-gun hunting opportunities on nine of the state’s better public hunting areas.

Applicants are advised to have the correct quota hunt application worksheet to apply. All application worksheets can be found at http://myfwc.com/license/limited-entry-hunts/.

Once completed, hunters can use it to apply at  any license agent or tax collector’s office or online at http://myfwc.com/license/.

Random drawings for quota hunt permits take place during most of July. To find out if you’ve been selected, go to MyFWC.com/License Limited Entry/Quota Hunts, and search Drawing Results. Results are typically posted two weeks after the last day of the application period.

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