Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area

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 Kissimmee Chain of Lakes 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 this area 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:

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 furbearers, wild hog and crows.
  7. The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
  8. Hunting or fishing is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
  9. 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.
  10. Most game may be hunted from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset (see exceptions for each season).
  11. The head and evidence of sex may not be removed from the carcass of any deer or turkey on the area.
  12. Wild hog may not be transported alive.
  13. A hunting license is not required for the take of wild hog.
  14. Littering is prohibited.
  15. It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
  16. A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
  17. Falconers may hunt during the statewide falconry season anytime this area is open for public access. Crows may be hunted during the first phase of crow season only.

Public Access and Vehicles:

  1. Open to public recreational access year round.
  2. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, levee, maintenance berm, gate or water control structure.
  3. Use of airboats is prohibited in those areas posted as closed to airboat use.
  4. A South Florida Water Management District Special Use License is required to access that portion of the Rough Island Unit, as referenced on the map and posted on site. Licenses (50) are issued beginning on June 1.  For information on how to obtain a license, call 561-924-5310, extension 3333.
  5. See #4 under the South Florida Water Management District Rules section of this brochure.

Hunters:

  1. Erecting or maintaining treestands is prohibited from 11 days after the end of spring turkey season to 11 days before the start of archery season.
  2. Wild hog may be hunted year round.
  3. Wild hog may only be hunted with a firearm or archery equipment from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. 
  4. Wild hog may be hunted with dogs at night.  Hunting with a gun (including archery equipment) at night 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 with centerfire rifles is prohibited on the Northwest Shore, East Shore Marshes, West Shore and Drasdo Units.
  3. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited.
  4. 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.
  5. Hunting deer with rimfire or non-expanding, full metal jacket (military ball) ammunition is prohibited.
  6. Air guns may be used to hunt gray squirrel and rabbits during the small game and general gun seasons.
  7. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
  8. No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  9. For hunting non-migratory game, only shotguns, rifles, pistols, muzzleloading guns, bows, crossbows (allowed during archery season by permit only) 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 and furbearers with dogs is prohibited.
  2. Wild hog may be hunted with dogs year round.
  3. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.

Camping:

  1. Allowed on a first-come, first-served basis only at campsites designated by the South Florida Water Management District.
  2. Camping is primitive and camping areas will be designated by brown signs with white lettering that say, “Designated Primitive Camping Area.”
  3. See #3 under the South Florida Water Management District Rules section of this brochure.

Bag and Possession Limits:

  1. Antlered deer - Daily limit 2, possession limit 4.  Hunting antlerless deer is prohibited.
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit. 
  3. Turkey - Daily limit 1, all fall seasons combined limit 2, spring season limit 2, possession limit 2.
  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 - Prohibited.
  7. Migratory birds - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

***Regulations for this area differ from adjacent private lands.  Area users must follow the season dates and regulations as described in this brochure while on the area.***

Archery Season:

October 19 through November 17.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, archery permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds.

Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, bearded turkey or gobbler, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, armadillo and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Archery Season -

  1. Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited, except 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) and hunting wild hog with a firearm is allowed, but hunting with centerfire rifles in the Northwest Shore, East Shore Marshes, West Shore and Drasdo Units is prohibited.
  2. Hunting deer is prohibited in the Drasdo, East Shore Marshes and West Shore Units.
  3. Raptors are allowed for hunting game birds, crows and game mammals.

Crossbow Season:

November 18-22.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, crossbow permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds).

Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, bearded turkey or gobbler, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, armadillo and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Crossbow Season -

  1. Only bows, crossbows and raptors may be used for hunting (raptors can be used for hunting game birds, crows and game mammals), 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) and firearms are allowed for hunting wild hog, provided that hunting with centerfire rifles in the Northwest Shore, East Shore Marshes, West Shore and Drasdo Units is prohibited.
  2. Hunting deer is prohibited in the Drasdo, East Shore Marshes and West Shore Units.

Muzzleloading Gun Season:

November 23 through December 6.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, muzzleloading gun permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey), 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 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, bearded turkey or gobbler, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, armadillo and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Muzzleloading Gun Season -

  1. Hunting with firearms, 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) and firearms are allowed for hunting wild hog, provided that hunting with centerfire rifles in the Northwest Shore, East Shore Marshes, West Shore and Drasdo Units is prohibited.
  2. Bows, crossbows and raptors are allowed for hunting; raptors can be used for hunting game birds, crows and game mammals.
  3. Hunting deer is prohibited in the Drasdo, East Shore Marshes and West Shore units.

General Gun Season:

December 7 through February 23.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey), 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 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bearded turkey or gobbler through February 2.  

Regulations Unique to General Gun Season -

  1. Hunting deer is prohibited in the Drasdo, East Shore Marshes and West Shore Units.
  2. Hunting with centerfire rifles in the Northwest Shore, East Shore Marshes, West Shore and Drasdo units is prohibited.

Small Game Season:

October 12 through March 2.

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

Legal to Hunt - Wild hog, gray squirrel, rabbit, armadillo and migratory birds in season. Raccoon, opossum, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria through February 23. Quail beginning November 9.

Regulations Unique to Small Game Season - Hunting with centerfire rifles in the Northwest Shore, East Shore Marshes, West Shore and Drasdo units is prohibited.

Trapping Season:

December 7 through February 23.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Trapping license.

Legal to Trap - Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria.

Spring Turkey Season:

Youth Turkey: March 8-9.

Spring Turkey: March 15 through April 20.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license 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 sunset.
  2. Hunting animals other than wild hog, rabbit, armadillo and wild turkey is prohibited.
  3. Hunting wild turkey with firearms other than shotguns or using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.
  4. During the youth turkey hunt, only youth under 16 years of age may hunt wild turkey and must be under the supervision and in the presence of an adult not younger than 18 years of age. Adults with required licenses and permits for taking wild turkeys may participate when in the presence of a youth, but may not harvest any wildlife.

Migratory Bird Seasons:

Rails, common moorhen, mourning dove, white-winged dove, snipe, ducks, geese, coot and woodcock may be hunted during seasons established by the Commission for these species.  Crows may be hunted during the first phase of crow season only.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, 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. Centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting during established area seasons when 1 or more migratory birds are legal to take.

Fishing and Frogging:

Allowed year round.

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

Legal to Take - See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summary.

Regulations Unique to Fishing and Frogging - All General Freshwater Fishing Regulations shall apply. Shooting frogs is allowed only with the legal methods of take during each particular season.

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 352- 732-1225 (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.

South Florida Water Management District Rules:

  1. Use of all-terrain vehicles, swamp buggies or tracked vehicles is prohibited.
  2. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.
  3. Overnight camping or the presence of camping equipment shall be limited to 5 consecutive days or 30 total days per year, unless authorized by Special Use License from the South Florida Water Management District.
  4. Persons may enter and exit Gardner Cobb Marsh from Lake Cypress, Lake Hatchineha, Lake Kissimmee and the C-36 canal.

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.



FWC Facts:
Florida panthers often meticulously cache, or cover, their prey with leaves, grass and sticks. This helps prevent competitors and scavengers from finding and stealing their food.

Learn More at AskFWC