Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

FWC makes changes to WMA quota system

At its meeting in Destin, the seven members of the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted in favor of
proposed recommended changes to its Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
Quota Hunt Permit Program.  An amendment to the new rules provides
that the changes will no longer be in effect after 2012, unless the
Commission reauthorizes these changes or approves an extension.

For more than a year, a Quota Hunt Stakeholder Working Group,
consisting of FWC staff and members of the hunting public, worked
on developing a new set of rules to improve the state’s regulation
of hunting on WMAs.  Public meetings also were held throughout the
state and much input was received on how to make the quota permit
system better.

The changes are needed to improve hunter recruitment and
retention and more fairly distribute public hunting
opportunities.

Under these new rules, which become effective for the 2009-10
hunting season, all quota permits will now be nontransferable,
including those for mobility-impaired hunters.  The only exceptions
are on Holton Creek WMA and deer dog hunts on Blackwater WMA, where
there will be no changes.

Florida was the only state in the country that previously
allowed its big-game quota permits to be transferred from one
person to another.

“It is time to improve the system and become consistent with
other states,” said Chairman Rodney Barreto.  “We are looking
forward to working with our stakeholders on continued improvements
of our system.”

Besides making quota permits nontransferable, the rules give
hunters more choices for more types of public hunts.  For hunters
who like to use bows and muzzleloaders, they will now be able to
put in for five archery hunts and five muzzleloading gun hunts, as
opposed to only five archery or muzzleloading gun hunts.  And with
the increase in people wanting to hunt wild hogs, the rules allow
hunters five choices for hog hunts, and they still have the ability
to apply for five general gun hunts (for deer and wild hogs) as
well.

The rules also establish a new guest permit, whereby a quota
permit holder can take someone hunting with him, if that person
applies under the quota permit holder’s customer ID number.

Stipulations of the guest permit require that the quota permit
holder and his guest enter and exit the WMA together, share the
same vehicle and share a single bag limit.  In addition, the quota
permit holder must be on the area when the guest is hunting, and in
cases where a WMA has zone tags, both people must hunt in the same
zone.

Because of the current number of hunters permitted on certain
hunts and to allow for the addition of the new guest permit, the
rules reduce some of the established quotas on only eight of the
105 WMAs with quotas.  Those WMAs are Croom, KICCO, Hickory
Hammock, Upper Hillsborough River, Andrews, Twin Rivers, Joe Budd
and Dexter/Mary Farms.

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