Hunters get more public land; youths get new turkey hunting weekend
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Media contact: Tony Young, 850-488-7867
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) passed new rules Wednesday, opening more public
land to hunters and establishing a special spring turkey hunting
weekend just for Florida's youths.
Effective July 1, new parcels of public land will
be included within the state's wildlife management area (WMA)
system and available for hunting during the 2010-2011 hunting
season. Included in these new areas is the 1,290-acre Fort
White Mitigation Park in Gilchrist County. The property will
have an archery season, small-game season and spring turkey
The Lafayette Forest Wildlife and Environmental
Area (WEA) is another tract comprising 2,148 acres in Lafayette
County, which will offer archery, muzzleloading gun, family, wild
hog and spring turkey hunts.
The 9,754-acre Charles H. Bronson WMA in Orange and
Seminole counties will feature archery, muzzleloading gun, general
gun, small-game and spring turkey hunts. The parcel is
cooperatively owned by the state's Division of Forestry, the St.
Johns River Water Management District and Orange County.
The Department of Environmental Protection's
6,445-acre Marshall Swamp in Marion County, currently a public
small-game hunting area, will become a full-blown WMA, offering
archery, muzzleloader, general gun, small game and spring turkey
Watermelon Pond WEA is a 4,231-acre tract in
Alachua County that is cooperatively owned by the Division of
Forestry and the FWC. It too will feature an archery season
and small-game hunts.
Youth hunters are sure to benefit from yet another
rule passed by the FWC. This one establishes a two-day youth
turkey hunt on private property the weekend prior to the opening of
spring turkey season in each hunting zone, beginning with the 2011
spring turkey season. Only those under 16 years old will be allowed
to harvest a turkey while supervised by an adult, 18 years or
older. However, any adult supervisor who has a hunting license
and the necessary permits will be allowed to "call in" the turkey
and otherwise participate in the hunt, but they will not be
permitted to harvest one.