FWC staff recommends random drawing for hunt permits
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Media contact: Wendy Dial, 850-488-9477 or 850-519-4301
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) approved a random-drawing method of obtaining hunt
permits Thursday instead of the first-come, first-served method in
This change takes place in the 2010-11 hunting
season for all permit hunt types currently using the first-come,
first-served issuance method, other than recreational use permits,
also known as user-pay permits. Recreational use permits are issued
too early in the year to allow adequate time for changes in 2010.
These will be issued by random drawing in the 2011-12 season.
"We should add the requirement that you must have
in your possession a wildlife management area permit when you apply
for a limited-entry-hunt permit," said Chairman Rodney Barreto,
after moving that the Commission accept staff recommendations.
The FWC has been using the Total Licensing System
to process all of its recreational hunting and fishing licenses and
permits since Oct. 1, 2003. However, problems with the system
provided by an outside vendor have increased over the years for
hunters seeking limited-entry-hunt permits on a first-come,
first-served basis. These problems have resulted in an
inequitable distribution of permits and customer
"The FWC will continue to work with stakeholders
this year to ensure a smooth and equitable transition to a random
drawing," said Greg Holder, FWC assistant executive director. He
stressed that the Total Licensing System vendor, Active Outdoors,
does many things well, such as processing the 2.3 million fishing
and hunting licenses and permits purchased annually.
The first-come, first-served limited-entry hunts
account for only 5 percent of the limited-entry permits issued.
"FWC staff concluded the risk of failures with
first-come, first-served hunts has increased to an unacceptable
level," said Diane Eggeman, director of the agency's Division of
Hunting and Game Management.
The FWC based the need for this recommendation on
feedback from stakeholders and on documentation of system
"People seeking hunting permits for alligators
encountered similar problems, so the FWC switched from the
first-come, first-served method to random drawing for those hunts
in 2009, and 59 percent of the public liked the change," Holder
Commissioners directed staff to continue with the
lengthy rebidding process to replace the current TLS contract.