Guana River WMA

Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014

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 Guana River Wildlife Management 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, the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook and quota permit worksheets 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 management 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 External Website.

Quota Permit Information:

Duck and Coot - 100, no-cost, daily quota permits are available first-come, first-served at the Six-mile check station each day of the season for Lake Ponte Vedra.
Archery - 60, no-cost, quota permits for each of 2 hunts.
Muzzleloading Gun - 60, no-cost, quota permits for each of 2 hunts.
General Gun - 60, no-cost, quota permits for each of 2 hunts.
Small Game - 75, no-cost, daily quota permits are available first-come, first-served at the check station each day of the season.
Spring Turkey - 6, no-cost, quota permits for each of 2 hunts (no exemptions).

Permit applications: Hunters must submit electronic applications for quota and special-opportunity permits through the Commission’s Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS). Worksheets listing hunts, application periods, deadlines and instructions are available at county tax collector’s offices, FWC offices or MyFWC.com. Quota application periods occur throughout the year beginning April 1; please refer to the hunting handbook or MyFWC.com for specific dates. Worksheets will be available about 2 weeks prior to each application period.

Guest hunters:  For each non-transferable archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, wild hog, spring turkey and mobility-impaired quota permit issued through the Commission’s RLIS, a quota permit holder (host) may take a guest hunter by obtaining a guest permit. A guest hunter must possess a completed guest permit while hunting except the following persons may be a guest hunter without a guest permit: a youth under 16 years of age, a youth supervisor, a mentor license holder or a mentor license supervisor. A host may only bring 1 guest hunter at a time and may only use 1 guest permit per day. The following persons are not considered to be guest hunters: other quota permit holders, non-hunters and exempt hunters (on areas and during seasons that allow exemptions). The host must share the bag limit with the guest hunter and the host is responsible for violations that exceed the bag limit. The guest hunter and host must enter and exit the area together and must share a street-legal vehicle while hunting on the area. The guest hunter may hunt only while the host is on the area. Refer to the quota hunt worksheets for additional information.  

Youth and mentor license holders: A youth hunter (less than 16 years of age) must be supervised by a person at least 18 years of age. A mentor license holder must be supervised by a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age. Unless exempt, only those supervisors with proper licenses and permits may hunt. If the supervisor is hunting during any hunt (not including special-opportunity) for which quota permits are issued, at least 1 person in the party must be in possession of a quota permit. During a hunt that allows exemptions, a non-exempt supervisor of a youth must have a quota permit to hunt. A non-hunting supervisor is allowed to accompany a youth or mentor license holder during any hunt (including special-opportunity).

Transfer of permits: Quota and guest permits are not transferable. A positive form of identification is required when using a non-transferable permit, except for a youth under 16 years of age. The sale or purchase of any quota permit or guest permit is prohibited.

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 furbearers, wild hog and crows.
  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 under each season).
  12. The release of any animal is prohibited, without the 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 non-native 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. Falconers are not exempt from quota permits during hunts requiring them.

Public Access and Vehicles:

  1. Open to public recreational access year round. During periods when the upland portion is not open for scouting or archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game, waterfowl, and spring turkey seasons, public access to the upland portion is restricted to walk-in access only, and only from the Guana Dam and Roscoe Boulevard Extension entrances. During periods when the upland portion is open for scouting or archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game, waterfowl, and spring turkey seasons, public access to the upland portion is restricted to the Guana Dam entrance only. Persons accessing, parking or launching boats at the Guana Dam are required to pay an access fee to the Department of Environmental Protection. During periods open to scouting and during archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game, waterfowl, and spring turkey seasons, the following persons are not required to pay the fee for vehicular access to the upland portion of the management area: exempt hunters, persons in possession of a valid management area permit and persons in possession of a Sportsman’s license.
  2. Public access to the Guana Dam Water Control Structure or any portion thereof is prohibited.
  3. Vehicles may be operated only on named or numbered roads.
  4. Vehicle access for scouting is allowed only 1 day prior to each 3-day archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game and spring turkey hunts from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during Eastern Standard Time. Waterfowl scouting is allowed on Lake Ponte Vedra from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the Saturday prior to the opening of each phase of the duck and coot season. During the hunts, vehicle access is only allowed from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time and from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. during Eastern Standard Time, except during the spring turkey hunts when vehicles are only allowed until 2 p.m.
  5. No motor vehicle shall be operated on any part of any wildlife management area that has been designated as closed to vehicular traffic.
  6. Horses and bicycles may be used only on named or numbered roads or trails.  Horses are prohibited during the archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game and spring turkey seasons.
  7. The Roscoe Boulevard Extension entrance is open for public access only from sunrise to sunset and only during periods closed to scouting, archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game, and spring turkey seasons.
  8. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  9. Use of airboats, all-terrain vehicles, tracked vehicles or unlicensed and unregistered motorcycles is prohibited.
  10. Vessels with internal combustion engines larger than 10 h.p. are prohibited on Lake Ponte Vedra, except alligator hunt participants may use airboats and outboard motors larger than 10 h.p. when hunting alligators.
  11. The use of boats within 50 yards of the Guana Dam water control structure is prohibited.
  12. Lake Ponte Vedra is open for recreational use from Guana Dam to a line 2 miles north of the dam at all times, and on the remainder of Lake Ponte Vedra and the interior lakes from February 10 through November 10.

Hunters and Check Stations:

  1. Hunting equipment may not be taken onto the WMA 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.
  2. Hunters (except public water alligator hunt participants and falconers hunting outside of the archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small game, and waterfowl seasons) must check in at a check station upon entering and check out upon leaving the area and check all game harvested.
  3. The upland check station opens at 5 a.m. for each archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, and small game hunt. Hunters shall check out at the check station by 9 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time and 8 p.m. during Eastern Standard Time, except during the spring turkey season when hunters must check out by 2 p.m.
  4. During the waterfowl hunts, the Six-mile Check Station hours are 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. This check station is only open during waterfowl hunts.
  5. All waterfowl must be checked at a check station prior to 1 p.m.
  6. That portion of Lake Ponte Vedra from the Guana Dam to a point ½ mile north is closed to hunting except for alligator hunting.
  7. Hunting at the visitor interpretive center, wildlife observation towers or nature trail boardwalks is prohibited.

Guns:

  1. The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.
  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. Hunting deer with rimfire or non-expanding, full metal jacket (military ball) ammunition is prohibited.
  5. Air guns may be used to hunt gray squirrel and rabbits during any season when these species are legal to hunt, except archery and muzzleloading gun.
  6. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or airgun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
  7. No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  8. For hunting non-migratory game, only shotguns, rifles, pistols, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used. Hunting during the spring turkey season with firearms other than shotguns or using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.
  9. For hunting migratory game, only shotguns, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used. Shotguns shall not be larger than 10 gauge and shall be incapable of holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined.
  10. Hunting with full automatic or silencer-equipped firearms, centerfire semi-automatic rifles having a magazine capable of holding more than 5 rounds, explosive or drug-injecting devices and set guns is prohibited.

Dogs:

  1. Hunting deer with dogs is prohibited.
  2. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs or retrievers are allowed during the small game and waterfowl seasons.
  3. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  4. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.
  5. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.

Camping:

Prohibited.

Bag and Possession Limits:

A guest hunter must share the host’s bag limit. No person shall exceed statewide bag limits.

  1. Deer - During the archery season, 1 antlered and 1 antlerless deer per quota permit or per exempt hunter.  During the muzzleloading gun and general gun seasons, 1 antlered deer per quota permit or per exempt hunter.
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey - 1 per spring turkey quota permit. 
  4. Gray squirrel, quail and rabbit - Daily limit 12, possession limit 24 for each.
  5. Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria - No bag limits.
  6. Bobcat and otter - Possession limit 1 unless in possession of a Trapping License.
  7. Migratory birds - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

Archery Season:

October 4-6 and 11-13.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, archery permit, deer permit (if hunting deer) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds).

Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler having 3 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length), antlerless deer (which includes does and bucks with antlers less than 5 inches in length, but not spotted fawn), wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Archery Season - Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited, except that centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting migratory birds when 1 or more species are legal to hunt (see Migratory Bird section and the current Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet).

Muzzleloading Gun Season:

October 19-21 and 25-27.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, muzzleloading gun permit, deer permit (if hunting deer) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds).

Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler having 3 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length), wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Muzzleloading Gun Season - Hunting with archery equipment or guns, other than muzzleloading guns, is prohibited, except that centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting migratory birds when 1 or more species are legal to hunt (see Migratory Bird section and the current Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet).

General Gun Season:

November 15-17 and 22-24.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, deer permit (if hunting deer),migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).

Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler having 3 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length), wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.

Small Game Season:

November 29 through December 1, December 6-8; January 3-5, 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Daily quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).

Legal to Hunt - Wild hog through January 12, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning Dec. 1.

Regulations Unique to Small Game Season - Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.

Trapping:

Prohibited.

Spring Turkey Season:

March 21-23 and March 28-30.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, 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. Hunting with firearms other than shotguns or using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.

Migratory Bird Seasons:

Rails and common moorhen (only in the marsh adjacent to the intracoastal waterway) during the rail and moorhen season. Mourning dove, white-winged dove, snipe, ducks, geese, coot, woodcock and crows may be hunted during seasons established by the Commission for these species that coincide with the archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun or small game seasons (see #4 below for additional opportunity on Lake Ponte Vedra). 

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit or daily quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, migratory bird permit, and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).

Legal to Hunt - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

Regulations Unique to Migratory Bird Seasons - All Migratory Bird Regulations shall apply.

  1. Hunting ducks, geese and coot with lead shot is prohibited.
  2. Legal shooting hours for ducks, geese and coot are ½ hour before sunrise until noon.  For all other migratory birds, shooting hours end at sunset (shooting hours begin at noon during the first phase of the dove season).
  3. Centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting during established area seasons when 1 or more migratory birds are legal to take.
  4. Lake Ponte Vedra is open for hunting during the special September duck season and during the first day of each phase and on each Wednesday and Saturday of the duck, light goose and coot season.
  5. Waterfowl hunting from permanent blinds or structures is prohibited.
  6. That portion of Lake Ponte Vedra from the Guana Dam to a point ½ mile north is closed to hunting.
  7. The interior lakes are open for waterfowl hunting only during the general gun and small game seasons when the duck, light goose and coot season coincides with these hunts.  Access is through Guana Dam entrance only.
  8. Littering is prohibited. Spent shell casings left in the water = litter.

Fishing and Frogging:+

Allowed year round on Lake Ponte Vedra, but only from the Guana Dam to a line 2 miles north of the dam, and on the remainder of Lake Ponte Vedra and the interior freshwater lakes only from February 10 through November 10.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Fishing license (not required when frogging).

Legal to Take - See Florida Freshwater and / or Saltwater Fishing Regulations Summaries.

Regulations Unique to Fishing and Frogging - All General Freshwater Fishing Regulations and General Saltwater Regulations shall apply.

  1. Fish may be taken with hook and line only.
  2. Fishing with more than 3 poles or 3 rods and reels is prohibited.
  3. The possession or use of gill nets, trawls, seines, gigs or spearguns is prohibited in Lake Ponte Vedra, except that gigs may be used to harvest frogs.
  4. The use of cast nets or gigs within 50 yards of the water control structure located on the Guana Dam is prohibited.
  5. Shooting frogs is allowed only during the listed open hunting seasons and only with the legal methods of take during each particular season

General Information:

  1. Water in wells is not certified for human consumption.
  2. Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
  3. If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 352-732-1225 (TDD 800-955-8771).
  4. The FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
  5. Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.

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 handicap. 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.



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