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!
So Babcock requires permit quotas?? now is that like deer tags? or like the amount of hunters the ranch will allow in?
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.
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.
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 )
Thank you for serving this great country of ours. Good luck!
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