FWC approves draft rules for hunting
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Media contact: Tony Young, 850-488-7867
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) directed FWC staff on Wednesday to proceed with
developing a final rule proposal that would make crossbows a legal
method of take for all hunters during the archery season on private
The FWC, meeting in Lake Mary, had received much
interest from Florida hunters in allowing crossbows to be used
during archery season, as it is legal to do so in many other
states, including Georgia and Alabama. In an online survey,
hunters expressed support for this proposal.
Currently, only compound bows, longbows and recurve
bows may be used during the archery season, unless a hunter
qualifies for and has obtained a disabled crossbow permit.
But, if the proposal gets final approval, which could come as early
as the September Commission meeting, any hunter with a hunting
license and archery season permit could use a crossbow (or a bow)
during archery season, beginning with the 2011-2012 hunting season
on private lands.
This rule proposal is intended to give hunters more
opportunity and enable youth and others who have difficulty using a
vertical bow more hunting days, thereby helping to recruit and
retain more people into the tradition of hunting.
Commissioners also directed FWC staff to proceed
with developing a rule proposal that would limit firearms and
ammunition allowed during spring turkey hunts on FWC-established
public hunting areas.
If passed at a future Commission meeting, the
proposal would restrict firearms to shotguns only, using shot no
larger than No. 2, during spring turkey hunts on FWC-established
public hunting areas, beginning with the 2011 spring turkey
However, all legal bows and crossbows would still
be allowed during spring turkey season, provided they have draw
weights of at least 35 pounds and shoot broadheads having at least
two sharpened edges with minimum widths of 7/8 inch.
This rule proposal came about after public-land
turkey hunters expressed concerns about safety, prompting the FWC
to poll Florida's hunters through another online public survey.
Public lands, in many cases, have more hunters per
acre than private property. Also, hunters on public lands are
less likely to know the locations of other hunters compared with
those who are hunting private lands. Therefore, there is an
interest in eliminating long-range firearms from FWC-established
public hunting areas during spring turkey hunts.