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View Full Version : FL: Special opportunity offered to Florida hunters


Bob S
05-10-2009, 03:29 PM
ARTICLE (http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20090510/SPORTS05/905100336/1002/SPORTS)

BY TONY YOUNG • FOR FLORIDA TODAY • May 10, 2009

Hunters who are not seeing the quantity or quality of game they'd like may want to consider applying for a special-opportunity hunt. For the past 12 years, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has offered these unique fall-season hunts for deer, wild hog and released quail on the state's best public hunting lands.

The hunts offer large tracts of land with an abundance of game and low hunting pressure. All deer hunts enable participants to take only mature bucks with at least one antler having at least four points. Hunters can take does during archery hunts and, if they draw an antlerless deer permit, also during general gun hunts. This practice of quality deer management offers hunters excellent chances of taking quality bucks and the opportunity to take a doe on public land.

There is no size or bag limit on hog hunts.

The special-opportunity deer and wild hog hunts take place on Fort Drum (Indian River County), Lake Panasoffkee (Sumter County), Triple N Ranch (Osceola County) and Green Swamp West Unit (Pasco County) wildlife management areas.

Fort Drum has several gun hunts on its 20,858 acres, each one costing $50. Besides taking 18 deer, hunters bagged 45 hogs there last year.

Lake Panasoffkee offers archery hunts on the 8,676-acre tract. Hunters harvested 35 deer and 64 hogs last season.

Triple N Ranch has two general gun deer and hog hunts, and 28 deer and 49 hogs were taken from the 15,391 acres last year.

Green Swamp West Unit is where James Stovall took the state's highest-scoring deer on record -- a 25-point, non-typical that netted a 206 Boone-and-Crockett score. He took the trophy buck in 1999 after getting drawn for the special-opportunity archery hunt. The area offers archery and gun hunts on 34,335 acres. Last year, hunters bagged 58 deer and 319 hogs.

The FWC also has week-long released-quail hunts on Blackwater Carr Unit in Santa Rosa County. Participants must bring and release their own pen-raised quail. There's just one $100-permit available for each of the 16 weeks. The lucky hunters and up to three companions will have the entire 590 acres to themselves if they are drawn.

Hunters wishing to apply for any of the hunts must acquire a 2009-2010 Special-Opportunity Fall Hunt Worksheet available at FWC offices and at MyFWC.com/Hunting/

Hunters can submit completed application at wildlifelicense.com or at any county tax collector's office or license agent. The application period runs through midnight on May 31.

The permits are selected by random drawing, and hunters may apply for as many hunts and dates as they like. Applicants must include a $5 nonrefundable fee for each hunt they apply for, though hunters are limited to drawing only one permit per hunt.

Hunters selected in the random drawing should receive an invoice about mid-June. They have until the deadline specified on the invoice to pay the cost of the selected hunt at any license agent or tax collector's office.

Special-opportunity hunt permits are transferable by simply giving the permit to another person. Permit holders under age 16, or those who are certified mobility-impaired, may have a non-hunting assistant accompany them during all special-opportunity hunts.
Tony Young is the media relations coordinator for the FWC's Division of Hunting and Game Management. He can be reached at Tony.Young@MyFWC.com.

Hunters wishing to apply for any of the hunts must acquire a 2009-2010 Special-Opportunity Fall Hunt Worksheet available at FWC offices and at MyFWC.com/Hunting/.

Hunters can submit completed application at wildlifelicense.com or at any county tax collector's office or license agent. The application period runs through midnight on May 31.

The permits are selected by random drawing, and hunters may apply for as many hunts and dates as they like. Applicants must include a $5 nonrefundable fee for each hunt they apply for, though hunters are limited to drawing only one permit per hunt.

Hunters selected in the random drawing should receive an invoice about mid-June. They have until the deadline specified on the invoice to pay the cost of the selected hunt at any license agent or tax collector's office.

Special-opportunity hunt permits are transferable by simply giving the permit to another person. Permit holders under age 16, or those who are certified mobility-impaired, may have a non-hunting assistant accompany them during all special-opportunity hunts.

Tony Young is the media relations coordinator for the FWC's Division of Hunting and Game Management. He can be reached at Tony.Young@MyFWC.com.