Kissimmee River PUA

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 Kissimmee River Public Use 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 the public use 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 www.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. 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 release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  12. The head and evidence of sex may not be removed from the carcass of any deer or turkey on the area.
  13. The planting or introduction of any non-native plant is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  14. Wild hog may not be transported alive.
  15. A hunting license is not required for the take of wild hog.
  16. Littering is prohibited.
  17. It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
  18. A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
  19. Falconers may hunt during the statewide falconry season anytime this area is open for public access, except rabbit may be hunted only when squirrel hunting is allowed and crow hunting is allowed during the first phase of crow season only.
  20. Wild hogs are considered wildlife and may only be hunted from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset and only with those methods of take allowed for taking game mammals during each open season.

Public Access and Vehicles:

  1. Open to public recreational access year round.
  2. Persons must enter and exit the area from the Florida National Scenic Trail, the Kissimmee River, the Istokpoga Canal, the C-38 Canal, the C-41 Canal and at designated entry points.
  3. The use of airboats is prohibited in those areas posted as closed to airboat use.
  4. The use of tracked vehicles, swamp buggies, all-terrain vehicles and other types of off-road vehicles is prohibited.
  5. The possession of horses is allowed only with a special use license from the South Florida Water Management District, 800-250-4200 ext. 3333.
  6. A marked footpath called the Florida Trail traverses the area. This trail is open to hikers throughout the year.

Hunters:

  1. Erecting or maintaining treestands more than 10 days before or more than 10 days after any authorized hunting season is prohibited.
  2. Zone A is that portion of the area South of State Road 70 and Zone C is that portion of the area north of State Road 70.
  3. Harvesting wildlife with any gun, crossbow or bow is prohibited in the northern portion of Bluff Hammock (see map).
  4. Hunting is prohibited outside of the Kissimmee River Channel, the C-38 Canal and the Istokpoga Canal except from the beginning of rail season through the end of the spring turkey season.
  5. Hunting is prohibited within 300 yards of any active construction site.

Guns:

  1. Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.
  2. In the Starvation Slough Hunt Area, hunting is allowed only with the following guns: only bows may be used during archery, crossbow and general gun seasons; only muzzleloading guns may be used during muzzleloading gun season; only bows and muzzleloading guns may be used during small game season (after the close of general gun season) and only bows and muzzleloading shotguns may be used during spring turkey season.
  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 general gun and small game seasons only; and hunting with air guns is prohibited in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.
  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 (rimfire only), pistols, muzzleloading guns, 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, 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 deer with dogs is allowed during general gun season.
  2. Hunting wild hog with dogs is allowed during general gun and small game seasons only.
  3. Hunting with dogs is prohibited in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area before January 19.
  4. Hunting deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited during the archery, crossbow and muzzleloading gun seasons.
  5. 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.
  6. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.

Camping:

Camping is allowed by persons possessing a special use license issued by the South Florida Water Management District, 866-433-6312 and select option 2, or online at my.sfwmd.gov/recreation. Camping is limited to 8 continuous days.

Bag and Possession Limits:

  1. Deer - Possession limit 4; daily bag as follows:
    1. Archery season - 2 antlerless deer, or 2 antlered deer, or 1 antlered and 1 antlerless deer.
    2. Crossbow, muzzleloading gun and general guns seasons - 2 antlered deer.
    3. General gun season (Nov. 22-23 only) - 1 antlered and 1 antlerless deer, or 2 antlered deer.
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey - Daily limit 1, all fall seasons combined limit 2, spring season limit 2 (includes turkeys harvested during the youth turkey hunt), 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:

Zone A:  August 2-31.
Zone C:  September 13 through October 12.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, 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, bearded turkey or gobbler, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, armadillo and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Archery Season -

  1. Only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) may be used for hunting, 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).
  2. Only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) may be used for hunting in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.

Crossbow Season:

Zone A:  September 1-5.
Zone C:  October 13-17.
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 and crossbows may be used for hunting, 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).
  2. Only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) may be used for hunting in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.

Muzzleloading Gun Season:

Zone A:  September 6-19.
Zone C:  October 18-31.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, muzzleloading gun 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 Muzzleloading Gun Season -

  1. Only bows, crossbows or muzzleloading guns may be used for hunting, 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).
  2. Only muzzleloading guns may be used for hunting in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.

General Gun Season:

Zone A:  September 20 through October 19 and November 22 through January 4.
Zone C:  November 1 through January 18.
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, antlerless deer Nov. 22-23 only (which includes does and bucks with antlers less than 5 inches in length, but not spotted fawns), wild hog, bearded turkey or gobbler (Zone A: Oct. 6-19 and Nov. 22 through Jan. 4; Zone C: Nov. 1 through Dec. 28 only), gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning December 1 until the end of the general gun season in each zone.
Regulations Unique to General Gun Season -

  1. Hunting with dogs is allowed, except in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.
  2. Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.
  3. Only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) may be used for hunting in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.

Small Game Season:

October 11 through March 1.
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, quail (after Nov. 7 only), rabbit, armadillo, and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to the Small Game Season -

  1. Hunting with dogs is allowed, except dogs are prohibited in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area before January 19.
  2. Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.
  3. Only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) may be used for hunting in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area before January 19, and only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) or muzzleloading guns may be used during the remainder of the small game season.

Furbearer Season:

Zone A:  September 20 through October 19 and November 22 through January 4.
Zone C:  November 1 through January 18.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Trapping license (if using traps or taking for commercial purposes) or hunting license (if using only guns and dogs, and taking for noncommercial purposes).
Legal to Trap or Hunt - Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria. Bobcat and otter beginning December 1 until the end of the furbearer season in each zone.
Regulations Unique to Furbearer Season - Only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) may be used in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.

Spring Turkey Season:

Youth Turkey, Zone A:  February 28 through March 1.
Youth Turkey, Zone C:  March 14-15.
Spring Turkey, Zone A:  March 7 through April 12.
Spring Turkey, Zone C:  March 21 through April 26.
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. Only bows, crossbows and shotguns using a #2 or smaller shot size may be used for hunting.
  2. Only bows (except by disabled crossbow permit) or muzzleloading shotguns using a #2 or smaller shot size may be used for hunting in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.
  3. Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise until 1 p.m.
  4. Hunting other animals 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 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 hunt, except in the Starvation Slough Hunt Area.

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 863-648-3200 (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.
  5. Zone A is that portion of the area South of State Road 70 and Zone C is that portion of the area north of State Road 70.

South Florida Water Management District Rules and Information:

This land was acquired under the Save Our Rivers (SOR) Program. The purpose of SOR is to conserve and protect unique and irreplaceable lands, restore areas to their original condition as much as possible, and allow controlled multiple recreational and educational uses consistent with this purpose.

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.



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