Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area

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 Apalachicola 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 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:

A quota permit is required to hunt quail in the Quail Enhancement Area. See the Apalachicola WMA Quail Enhancement Area brochure at MyFWC.com for information on hunting quail in this area or call 850-265-3676.


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 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 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.
  2. Motorized vehicles are allowed only on designated, named or numbered roads and mixed-use roads, except all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and unlicensed and unregistered vehicles (including motorcycles) are allowed only on designated motorized trails and mixed-use roads. The use of ATVs is prohibited on Northwest Florida Water Management District (WMD) lands (see map).
  3. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  4. No motor vehicle shall be operated on any part of any wildlife management area that has been designated as closed to vehicular traffic.
  5. A marked footpath called the Florida National Scenic Trail (Florida Trail) traverses the area. This trail is open to hikers throughout the year.

Hunters:

  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. Quail hunting is prohibited in the Quail Enhancement Area (QEA) except during the quail season by persons possessing a quail quota permit. Other wildlife may be hunted in the QEA as described in this brochure. For more information on hunting quail in the QEA, see the Apalachicola WMA Quail Enhancement Area brochure at MyFWC.com or call 850-265-3676.

Guns:

  1. Hunting with a gun or archery equipment is prohibited on or from the rights-of-way of U.S. Highway 319, State Roads 12, 65, 263, 267, 373, 379, County Roads 67, 260, 299, 368, 375, or that portion of County Road 22 east of the Ochlockonee River.
  2. Hunting deer is prohibited within 50 yards of the rights-of-way of County Road 375.
  3. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited (see exceptions for fox, raccoon, opossum and bobcat season).
  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 only during small game season.
  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, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used.
  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.
  12. 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, other than bird dogs and retrievers, is prohibited in the Still Hunt Areas (see map).
  2. 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.
  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.
  5. Bird dogs may be trained June 1 through March1, except on the Quail Enhancement Area where bird dogs may be trained November 1 through December 31 only.
  6. Deer dogs may be trained October 25 through November 13 in the designated Fox Hunt Area (see map).

Camping:

  1. Camping in the National Forest is allowed year round but is limited to a 14-day stay, except during the general gun season. During the general gun season, camping is allowed only in designated campsites indicated on the hunt map and is limited to tents, trailers or self-propelled camping vehicles. Campers may stay in the campsites from 14 days before to 14 days after the general gun season. Hickory, Whitehead and Mack Landings have restrooms and water and require camping fees. All other hunt camps are free of charge and have no permanent restrooms or water. For additional information on camping in the Apalachicola National Forest, contact the U.S. Forest Service at 850-926-3561 or 850-643-2282.
  2. Camping is allowed year round (except where posted as no camping) throughout that portion of the area posted as Northwest Florida Water Management District land, but for no more than 14 consecutive days at a time. Camping is limited to tents, trailers or self-propelled camping vehicles only. Kitchen stoves, refrigerators and freezers are prohibited, unless contained in mobile campers. Lumber, sheet metal or other building materials are prohibited. The District provides a campground at Florida River Island. Camping in the northern portion of that campground is limited to primitive camping while the southern portion of the campground has sites for motorhomes. For more information about camping on Northwest Florida Water Management District property, please visit www.nwfwater.com or call (850) 539-5999.

Bag and Possession Limits:

  1. Deer - Daily limit 2; possession limit 4.
  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 and rabbit - Daily limit 12, possession limit 24 for each.
  5. Quail - Daily limit 12, possession limit 24, except in the Quail Enhancement Area where the daily limit is 6 per quota permit.
  6. Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria - No bag limits.
  7. Bobcat and otter - Possession limit 1 unless in possession of a Trapping License.
  8. Migratory birds - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

Fox, Raccoon, Opossum and Bobcat Season:

October 1 through March 1 (Fox Hunt Area).

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license and management area permit.
Legal to Hunt - Fox, raccoon, opossum and bobcat. Bobcat may be killed only from December 1 through March 1. Killing fox is prohibited.
Regulations Unique to Fox, Raccoon, Opossum and Bobcat Season -

  1. Fox, raccoon, opossum and bobcat may be pursued with dogs during the day and at night, but only in the designated Fox Hunt Area shown on the map.
  2. During the small game and general gun seasons, raccoon or opossum may be taken at night throughout the Dog Hunt Area by the aid of light and dogs, with .22 rimfire firearms other than .22 magnum, or with a single-shot .410 gauge shotgun using shot no larger than No. 6. The hunting of raccoon or opossum under the provisions of this paragraph by display or use of light from a moving vehicle, boat or animal is prohibited.

Archery Season:

October 25 through November 23.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, archery 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 having 2 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length) and having at least 1 antler 5-inches 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, turkey of either sex, gray squirrel, quail (except in the QEA), rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Archery Season -

  1. Youth 15 years of age and under may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited except as allowed during other open seasons.
  3. Hunting deer or wild hogwith dogs is prohibited.

Small Game Season:

November 8 through March 1.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quail quota permit (if hunting in the QEA), 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, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning December 1.
Regulations Unique to Small Game Season -

  1. Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited, except during general gun season.
  2. Raccoon or opossum may be taken at night throughout the Dog Hunt Area (see #2 under Regulations Unique to Fox, Raccoon, Opossum and Bobcat Season).
  3. Hunting wild hog with dogs is allowed in the Dog Hunt Area except during the archery, muzzleloading gun and archery/muzzleloading gun seasons.

General Gun Season:

November 27-30 and December 13 through February 4.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, deer permit (if hunting deer),wild turkey permit (if hunting turkey), quail quota permit (if hunting quail in the QEA), 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 2 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length) and having at least 1 antler 5-inches or more in length, wild hog, bearded turkey or gobbler (through December24only), gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning December 1.
Regulations Unique to General Gun Season -

  1. Youth 15 years of age and under may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. During general gun season, the use of a light in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of wildlife from 12 a.m. (midnight) until ½ hour before sunrise is prohibited, except when hunting raccoon or opossum (see #2 under Regulations Unique to the Fox, Raccoon, Opossum and Bobcat Season).

Muzzleloading Gun Season:

December 6-8.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, muzzleloading gun 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 2 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length) and having at least 1 antler 5-inches or more in length, wild hog,bearded turkey or gobbler, gray squirrel, quail (except in the QEA), rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, bobcat, otter and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Muzzleloading Gun Season -

  1. Youth 15 years of age and under may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. Hunting with archery equipment or guns, other than muzzleloading guns, is prohibited except as allowed during other open seasons.
  3. Hunting deer or wild hogwith dogs is prohibited.

Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season:

February 5-15.

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),deer permit (if hunting deer), quail quota permit (if hunting quail in the QEA) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler having 2 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length) and having 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.
Regulations Unique to Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season -

  1. Youth 15 years of age and under may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. Hunting with crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) or guns (except muzzleloading guns) is prohibited except as allowed during other open seasons.
  3. Hunting deer or wild hogwith dogs is prohibited.

Trapping Season:

February 5 through March 1.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Trapping license and management area permit.
Legal to Trap - Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, otter and bobcat.


Spring Turkey Season:

Youth Turkey: March 14-15.
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. Hunting with dogs is prohibited.
  4. Only bows, crossbows and shotguns using a #2 or smaller shot size may be used for hunting.
  5. During the youth turkey hunt, only youth under 16 years of age may hunt 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 a wild turkey.

Migratory Bird Seasons:

Rails, common moorhen, mourning dove, white-winged dove, snipe, ducks, coot, geese, woodcock and crows may be hunted during seasons established by the Commission for these species.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - 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. Centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting during established area seasons when 1 or more migratory birds are legal to hunt.

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 during the listed open hunting seasons and 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 850-265-3676 (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.

U.S. Forest Service Rules and Information:

  1. Discharging a firearm across or on a Forest Development Road is prohibited (CFR Title 36261.10[d]).
  2. Constructing, placing or maintaining any kind of structure or other improvement is prohibited without a written permit from the district ranger. The permit must be posted on the structure at all times.
  3. The use of permanent-type treestands is prohibited. Portable-type treestands are encouraged, but must be removed at season's end.
  4. Removing firewood from the forest without a permit from the district ranger is prohibited.
  5. Fenced areas are open to hunting unless posted as closed. Close All Gates.
  6. Only named or numbered roads and mixed-use roads are open to licensed motor vehicles.  Unlicensed motor vehicles (such as ATVs or utility vehicles) are restricted to the OHV trail system (Leon County) or mixed-use roads (Liberty County). Trails/roads/pathways without numbers are closed to motor vehicle use. Motor Vehicle Use Maps may be obtained at Forest Service offices or at www.fs.fed.us/r8/florida/apalachicola.
  7. Be aware that hikers and horse, mountain bike, ATV and motorcycle riders use trails throughout the year.
  8. For information on camping or for additional information on Forest Service regulations in the Apalachicola National Forest, contact the U.S. Forest Service at 850-926-3561 or 850-643-2282. Violations may result in fines or imprisonment.

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:
Florida is the only place where the Osceola subspecies of wild turkey can be found.

Learn More at AskFWC