News Releases

New dates proposed for many FWC-managed lands for 2011-12 hunting seasons

News Release

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Media contact: Tony Young, 850-488-7867

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) directed staff Wednesday to advertise new rule proposals that would modify hunting season dates on many FWC-managed areas. The new rules could be approved for final adoption at the February 2011 Commission meeting.

During the past year, the FWC, and its partners and cooperating agency landowners, have worked with stakeholders in developing proposals to change season dates for these public hunting lands. These lands include wildlife management areas, wildlife and environmental areas and miscellaneous areas.

Making these adjustments would align these areas more closely with the newly adopted hunting zone season dates, which took effect this year.

"With the new changes to hunting season dates this year on private lands, we - and our hunting stakeholders - feel that season dates need to be modified on several of our areas to correspond better with the new zonal seasons and the timing of deer breeding," said Diane Eggeman, director of the FWC's Division of Hunting and Game Management.

The FWC held nine public meetings across the state and gathered input and feedback on the subject through an online poll. Proposed changes take into consideration when deer breed on each area and other hunter preferences, such as hunting during holidays and the desires of other area users.

"We want to make things as good as we can for public-land hunters," said Cory Morea, FWC biologist and deer management program coordinator. "Adjusting some of these dates to make the seasons occur closer to peak deer activity or during holidays should increase hunter satisfaction.

"But, at the same time, we don't want to fix something that isn't broken," Morea said. "Hunters have told us that on some of our areas the seasons are timed just right, so we aren't recommending any changes to those areas."

If approved at the February Commission meeting, these rules would become effective July 1, 2011 and apply to the 2011-12 hunting season.

"We always advise hunters to look at the individual public hunting area rules and regulations brochures to know the hunting season dates for a particular area," Morea said. "In most cases, they are different from the hunting zone in which the area lies."

For information on the specific season date changes being proposed for each area, go to MyFWC.com/Deer.



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