Upper Hillsborough Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Southwest Florida Water Management District

 

photo of Upper Hillsborough Wildlife Management Area
Southwest Florida
Water Management District

Upper Hillsborough WMA consists of more than 5,000 acres on either side of the Hillsborough River in Polk and Pasco counties 2.5 miles east of Zephyrhills on CR 54. Most of the uplands are slash and longleaf pine flatwoods with an understory of palmetto and gallberry. Swamps are found along the river. Only primitive weapons (archery equipment and muzzleloaders) are permitted during the deer seasons.  Only shotguns and centerfire handguns are allowed during the wild hog-dog season. Only shotguns are permitted during the small game season. There is also a spring turkey season. The most popular area with bicyclists and horseback riders is the unpaved loop road south of CR 54 through pine flatwoods. Spurs off this road provide additional access for hikers and hunters. Wildlife that make their home on the area include white-tailed deer, bobwhite quail, armadillo, gray squirrels, feral hogs, and a variety of birds. There are no bridges at Hillsborough River crossings and these areas will be wet or flooded. Horses are prohibited during hunting seasons and are permitted at other times with written permission from Southwest Florida Water Management District.  Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands.  For more detailed information go to Nicole's Law PDF.  All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands. Camping is permitted at designated campsites during hunting periods and at other times with written permission from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. There are no boat ramps on this area.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed during hunting periods, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. During non-hunting periods the possession of dogs shall only be as authorized by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. 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.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 3 p.m. the day before each hunting period and shall be removed by 8 p.m. the last day of each hunt. Hunting with dogs other than bird dogs is prohibited, except any dog may be used during the wild hog-dog season.  During wild hog-dog season no more than thre free-running dogs are allowed per hunting group. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. 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. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.



FWC Facts:
Whooping cranes mate for life, but they will take a new mate after the loss of the original. The pair will return to use and defend the same nesting and wintering territory year after year.

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