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NEW!!! need some help/advice!!

Auspay26Auspay26 Posts: 2 Greenhorn
Hey all! I am a Marine Corps infantry vet and just moved down from northern Illinois this past year and have been getting excited about this upcoming archery deer season starting here in Florida for zone A at the end of the month (July 31). I know it will be way different hunting than what I am used to in Northern IL, but I would love to give it a go down here in FL. 

So I live up in Hillsborough County, near Tampa, and I know I would be considered in zone B, but I looked up some WMA's south in zone A, and came across Babcock Ranch and part of Kissimmee River WMA just Northwest of Lake Okeechobee and south of SR-70. Babcock ranch obviously looks a lot bigger and more promising.

 I have my Hunting license, WMA permit,  & Deer permit, is there anything else I need to get to make sure I am "legal" before I go out there? 

Any advice for me would be greatly appreciated! 

***Also would love to go out and try some hog hunting so any help with that as well! 


  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 3,536 Captain
    edited July 2022 #2
    Kissimmee is your only option on your list as it doesn’t require a quota permit. Be sure you know the boundaries, only a small portion of Kissimmee is in the south. Go visit it, then you will understand why quota permits are not required. 

    Getting a quota permit to hunt on public land is the hardest part of Florida hunting. Hire a lawyer now to help you to read and understand what each unique brochure actually means for which wma you are hoping to hunt.  Years of planning and preference point building will eventually give you the chance to hunt before you are in the nursing home. Some sarcasm here, but not all of it. 
  • daveycdaveyc Posts: 199 Deckhand
  • Auspay26Auspay26 Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    H20dad haha lol no worries thank you for the info and help. that little portion of Kissimmee looks a little ehhh, not many trees (on the satellite map).

    So Babcock requires permit quotas?? now is that like deer tags? or like the amount of hunters the ranch will allow in? 
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 3,536 Captain
    Auspay26 said:
    H20dad haha lol no worries thank you for the info and help. that little portion of Kissimmee looks a little ehhh, not many trees (on the satellite map).

    So Babcock requires permit quotas?? now is that like deer tags? or like the amount of hunters the ranch will allow in? 
  • altuckaltuck Posts: 1,810 Captain
    I do not hunt in that part of the state. My advice to you is 
    1 Get a copy of the hunting regulations, read them, understand them.
    2. Get the WMA brochure for the areas you plan to hunt, read them, understand them.
    3. Remember the information you get on any forum is suspect.

    Have a great time and enjoy hunting in Florida.
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 3,168 Moderator
    Most of FL's hunting areas limit hunting access to only those who possess the appropriate quota hunt permit for that area and hunt date. Some require it for only certain dates while others require it for all hunts on the area. The South Zone is the absolute hardest part of the state to access and hunt.

    If you check the brochure for each WMA, it'll tell you which permits are required for each hunt. Pay particular attention to if the hunt requires a quota permit. Some areas have daily quotas, which are first-come-first-served at the gate each morning.

    I would strongly suggest looking for an area in Zone B or C and using the time between now and when that area opens to scout it.

    Also, IMO, one mistake many hunters (new and old) in FL make is not understanding which stage of the rut the deer they're hunting are in. It varies wildly across the state, and there is non-quota hunting available during the rut.
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 3,888 Captain
    edited July 2022 #8
    Auspay26 - Dont pay too much attention to the general hunting regulations, they are geared more towards private land. For public land you want to key in on each individual WMAs regulations, they are all different. 

    If it says Quota permit under any season and dates like the example below,
    then you need a Quota Permit for that area (like Babcock Ranch) in order to hunt there and for the game "legal to hunt".  You apply for Quota Hunts in June.  

    ie; "Archery Season: July 30-­ August 2, August 6-9 Permit, Stamp and License Requirements ­ Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, archery permit, deer permit (if hunting deer). Legal to Hunt ­ Deer with at least 1 antler having 3 or more points (each point 1­inch or more in length) OR a main beam length of 10 inches or more, antlerless deer (which includes does and bucks with antlers less than 5 inches in length, but not spotted fawn), wild hog, gray squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, and non­protected birds. Regulations Unique to Archery Season ­ Only archery equipment may be used for hunting.  Hunting with crossbows is prohibited (except by disabled crossbow permit)."

    Theres probably better opportunities for you east and north than there will be south.  

    Theres also more opportunities if you do a little research on seasons and limited entry hunts (I cant give away the store :wink:)

    Thank you for serving this great country of ours. Good luck!
  • AlwaysLearningMoreAlwaysLearningMore Posts: 223 Deckhand
    It's a quota hunt but it looks like there are a few archery permits available as reissues at Babcock/Webb, at least as of this morning for the Sept. 10-14 hunt, which includes two days of antlerless.  That is a very different property than Babcock Ranch Preserve even though it's right across Highway 31.  The Webb gets pretty hairy during General Gun when buggies are running everywhere but it's not too bad during Archery.
  • Duck_Slam123Duck_Slam123 Posts: 80 Deckhand
    Hey Devil look I never hunted Kissimmee area but Babcock is a pretty good place for archery. I got lucky and was able to stalk a hog during archery but it’s tiring because you’re humpin through a lot of swamp. Try scouting that out because there are plenty of hogs and try to set up a tree stand. Deer wise I haven’t seen a good size buck there in the past few years but they are out there. If you hunt general gun I would avoid it because of all them **** buggies shooting and missing everything that moves. I hope this helps a bit -Jay
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 13,228 AG
    I hate when all the **** still hunters are in the woods..
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 12,268 AG
    I'm a Still Hunter on a solid asp Dog Club.
    About 400 of them total and they are born and bred Dog hunting folks.
    I kinda look at them as a benefit to me..When 10 .30 or so rolls around and the Bucks are hiding and bedded..Here comes Ole blue to get them up.
    Might run right by me.... winning
    Killin and Grillin :grin
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