Santa Fe Swamp WEA

Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Brochure Adobe PDF | Map Only Adobe PDF

This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Santa Fe Swamp Wildlife and Environmental Area. Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print. Area users should familiarize themselves with all regulations. For exact wording of the wildlife laws and regulations, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife code, on file with the Secretary of State and state libraries. This brochure and the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available from any Commission office, county tax collector and at MyFWC.com.

Persons using wildlife and environmental areas are required to have appropriate licenses, permits and stamps. The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements (except for quota permits when listed as “no exemptions”, recreational use permits, antlerless deer permits and the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp [federal duck stamp]): Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older; residents who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Forces, not stationed in Florida, while home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders; and children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age are exempt from the federal duck stamp. Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975 and 16 years of age or older must have passed a Commission-approved hunter-safety course prior to being issued a hunting license, except the Hunter Safety Mentoring exemption allows anyone to purchase a hunting license and hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter, 21 years of age or older.

Licenses and permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, at MyFWC.com/license or by telephone at 888-486-8356. A no-cost Migratory Bird Permit is available when purchasing a hunting license. Any waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must possess a federal duck stamp; available where hunting licenses are sold, at most post offices or at Duckstamp.com.


Quota Permit Information:

Quota permits are not required for this area.


General Area Regulations:

All general laws and regulations relating to wildlife and fish shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or the taking of wildlife or fish on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons and in accordance with the following regulations:

  1. Any person hunting deer or accompanying another person hunting deer shall wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange material as an outer garment, above the waistline. These provisions are not required when hunting with a bow and arrow during archery season.
  2. Taking of spotted fawn, swimming deer or roosted turkey is prohibited. Species legal to hunt are listed under each season.
  3. It is illegal to hunt over bait or place any bait or other food for wildlife on this area.
  4. Driving a metal object into any tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven, is prohibited.
  5. No person shall cut, damage or remove any natural, man-made or cultural resource without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  6. Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, recorded game calls or sounds, set guns, artificial light, net, trap, snare, drug or poison is prohibited. Recorded calls and sounds can be used to hunt wild hog.
  7. The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
  8. Hunting, fishing or trapping is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
  9. People, dogs, vehicles and other recreational equipment are prohibited in areas posted as “Closed to Public Access” by FWC administrative action.
  10. Taking or herding wildlife from any motorized vehicle, aircraft or boat, which is under power is prohibited until power, and movement from that power, has ceased.
  11. Most game may be hunted from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset (see exceptions for each season).
  12. The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  13. The head and evidence of sex may not be removed from the carcass of any deer or turkey on the area.
  14. The planting or introduction of any plant is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  15. Wild hog may not be transported alive.
  16. A hunting license is not required for the take of wild hog.
  17. Littering is prohibited.
  18. It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
  19. A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
  20. Falconers may hunt during the statewide falconry season anytime a management area is open for public access.

Public Access and Vehicles:

  1. Open to public recreational access year round but only from 1½ hours before sunrise until 1½ hours after sunset.
  2. Vehicles are prohibited except in designated parking areas.
  3. Persons must enter and exit the area only at designated entrances or via Little Santa Fe Lake.
  4. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  5. No motor vehicle shall be operated on any part of any wildlife management area that has been designated as closed to vehicular traffic.

Hunters:

Hunting equipment may not be taken onto the area until after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. 1 day after the end of the season.


Guns:

  1. Only bows and muzzleloading guns may be used for hunting.
  2. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited.
  3. Muzzleloading guns used for taking deer must be .40 caliber or larger, if firing a single bullet, or be 20 gauge or larger if firing 2 or more balls.
  4. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
  5. No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  6. For hunting non-migratory game, only muzzleloading guns, bows or falconry may be used.
  7. Hunting with silencer-equipped firearms, centerfire rifles, explosive or drug-injecting devices and set guns is prohibited.
  8. The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.

Dogs:

  1. Hunting with dogs is prohibited.
  2. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife.
  3. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.
  4. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.

Camping:

Prohibited.


Bag and Possession Limits:

No person shall exceed statewide bag limits.

  1. Deer -
    1. Archery season - daily limit 2, possession limit 4. This limit may include any combination of antlered and antlerless deer.
    2. Muzzleloading gun and archery/muzzleloading gun seasons - daily limit 2, possession limit 4. Only antlered deer may be taken.
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey - Daily limit 1, season limit 2, possession limit 2.
  4. Gray squirrel and rabbit - Daily limit 12, possession limit 24 for each.
  5. Armadillo - No size or bag limit.

Archery Season:

September 19 through October 17.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, archery permit, deer permit (if hunting deer) and wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey).
Legal to Hunt - Any deer (except spotted fawn), wild hog, turkey of either sex, gray squirrel, rabbit and armadillo.
Regulations Unique to Archery Season - Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited.


Muzzleloading Gun Season:

October 18-20.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, muzzleloading gun permit and deer permit (if hunting deer).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, gray squirrel, rabbit and armadillo.
Regulations Unique to Muzzleloading Gun Season - Hunting with archery equipment or guns, other than muzzleloading guns, is prohibited.


Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season:

November 1 through December 28.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit,archery permit (if hunting with archery equipment), muzzleloading gun permit (if hunting with a muzzleloading gun) and deer permit (if hunting deer).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, gray squirrel, rabbit and armadillo.
Regulations Unique to Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season - Only bows, crossbows (only by disabled crossbow permit) and muzzleloading guns may be used for hunting.


Trapping:

Prohibited.


Spring Turkey Season:

Spring Turkey:  March 21 through April 26.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit and wild turkey permit.
Legal to Hunt - Bearded turkey or gobbler.
Regulations Unique to Spring Turkey Season -

  1. Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise until 1 p.m.
  2. Hunting other animals is prohibited.
  3. Only bows, muzzleloading rifles and muzzleloading shotguns using a #2 or smaller shot size may be used for hunting.

Fishing:

Allowed year round.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Fishing license.
Legal to Take - See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summary.
Regulations Unique to Fishing - All General Freshwater Fishing Regulations shall apply. Frogging is prohibited.


General Information:

  1. Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
  2. If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 386-758-0525 (TDD 800-955-8771).
  3. The FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
  4. Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.

Suwannee River WMD Rules and Information:

  1. The Santa Fe Swamp is critically important to the maintenance of water quantity and quality of the Santa Fe lakes and river. These lands were acquired through a donation from Georgia Pacific Corporation to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), which manages these lands for the conservation and protection of water resources, public recreational use and the restoration of natural communities. These SRWMD lands may be used for recreational purposes that are compatible with these objectives.
  2. Public use of SRWMD lands is regulated by Chapter 40B-9, Florida Administrative Code in addition to the FWC rules listed above. For detailed information regarding public use rules and recreational opportunities on SRWMD lands, please visit mysuwanneeriver.com or contact the Land Management Specialist at 386-362-1001, 800-226-1066 (FL only) or recreation@srwmd.org.
  3. The SRWMD management activities include prescribed burning and timber harvesting during most months of the year. For personal safety reasons, area users should contact the SRWMD for information and locations at 386-362-1001 or 800-226-1066 (FL only). Notices are posted at mysuwanneeriver.com.
  4. The possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.

Cooperation Requested:

If you see law violators or suspicious activities, contact your nearest Commission regional office or call 888-404-FWCC. You may qualify for a cash reward from the Wildlife Alert Reward Association.

The U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: The Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. The project described in this publication is part of a program funded by federal dollars under the Wildlife Restoration Act. Federal funds pay 20 percent of the cost of the program.



FWC Facts:
Alligators wallow out deep holes in wetlands, creating important habitat for other animals.

Learn More at AskFWC