Escambia River Wildlife Management 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 Escambia 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 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 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 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, 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. Vehicles may be operated only on named or numbered roads.
  3. The use of all-terrain vehicles is prohibited.
  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 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.

Guns:

  1. Hunting on or from rights-of-way of Keyser Landing Road, Webb Landing Road, S.R. 184 or any other paved road within the area is prohibited.
  2. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited (see exception for fox, raccoon, opossum and bobcat season).
  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 only during small game season
  6. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun 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.
  11. 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 or retrievers, is prohibited in the still hunt area, except that dogs may used on Parker and Morgan Islands at night when raccoon hunting.
  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.

Camping:

Camping is allowed throughout the area (except where posted as no camping), but for no more than 14 consecutive days at a time and 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. For additional information, call the Northwest Florida Water Management District at 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, 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 - Possession limit 1 unless in possession of a Trapping License.
  7. Migratory birds - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

Archery Season:

October 26 through November 24.

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 - Any deer (except spotted fawn), wild hog, turkey of either sex, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Archery Season -

  1. Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited except as allowed during other open seasons.
  2. Hunting deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited.

Fox, Raccoon, Opossum And Bobcat Season:

November 1 through March 7, March 10-14 and April 21 through July 31.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license and management area permit.

Legal to Hunt - Fox, raccoon, opossum and bobcat. Raccoon may be killed only from November 1 through March 1; bobcat 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 dog hunt area, except that raccoon may be hunted at night with the aid of dogs on Parker and Morgan Islands.
  2. Raccoon may be taken at night 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 under the provisions of this paragraph by display or use of light from a moving vehicle, boat or animal is prohibited.

Small Game Season:

November 9 through March 2.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - 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 (through March 1), opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter from December 1 through March 1.

Regulations Unique to Small Game Season -

  1. Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited, except during general gun season.
  2. 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 28 through December 1 and December 14 through February 5.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - 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 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning December 1.

Muzzleloading Gun Season:

December 7-9.

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 5 inches or more in length, wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, bobcat, otter and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Muzzleloading Gun Season - 

  1. Hunting with archery equipment or guns, other than muzzleloading guns, is prohibited except as allowed during other open seasons.
  2. Hunting deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited.

Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season:

February 6-16.

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) 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, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, bobcat, otter and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season -

  1. Hunting with crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) or guns (except muzzleloading guns) is prohibited except as allowed during other open seasons.
  2. Hunting deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited.

Trapping:

Prohibited.

Spring Turkey Season:

Youth Turkey: March 8-9.

Spring Turkey: March 15 through April 20.

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 with dogs is prohibited.
  3. Hunting other animals is prohibited.
  4. Hunting with firearms other than shotguns or using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.
  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, geese, coot, 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 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.

  1. Fishing on or from the rights-of-way of Keyser Landing Road and Webb Landing Road is prohibited.
  2. 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.

Northwest Florida WMD Rules And Information:

  1. This land was acquired by the Northwest Florida Water Management District (District) to protect public water resources. The purpose of the District's land acquisition and management program is to conserve and protect unique and irreplaceable land and water resources, restore areas to their original condition as much as possible and allow controlled multiple recreational and educational uses consistent with this purpose.
  2. The District's land management activities for this area may include prescribed burning and timber harvesting during most months of the year. For personal safety reasons, area users should be aware of activities in the area and contact the District's Land Management office at 850-539-5999 with any questions. The District has no responsibility or obligation to identify and/or protect personal property while undertaking its land management activities.

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:
Prescribed burns help prevent more serious wildfires and are good for wildlife such as white-tailed deer.

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