Florida to Conduct Bonus Drawing for Recreational Use Permits

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A "bonus" drawing for recreational use permits for Gulf Hammock, Grove Park, Relay and Fort McCoy wildlife management areas will be conducted Thursday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. (EDT) by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).

The areas sold out during the first day permits were available July 11, while the FWC's license vendor experienced computer problems that intermittently blocked permit sales for about an hour.

The FWC will issue an additional 45 permits for Gulf Hammock ($275 each), 20 permits for Grove Park ($325 each), 30 permits for Relay ($275 each) and 15 permits for Fort McCoy ($200 each). These bonus permits will be valid through May 31, 2007, and are not renewable. Persons who previously received a permit in the earlier drawing are not permitted to participate in the bonus drawing.

A recreational use permit allows the permit holder and one dependent child (under age 17) to hunt, fish and use the property for other recreational activities. With the exception of hunting, the permit holder's spouse and other dependent children can fish and use the property for recreational purposes.

Recreational Use Permit Worksheets can be downloaded from MyFWC.com/hunting under "Limited Entry Hunts" and are available at FWC regional offices and tax collectors' offices within close proximity to the specific WMA.

Hunters may apply online at www.wildlifelicense.com or any license agent or tax collector's office beginning Thursday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. (EDT). Permits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hunters may only apply for and receive one recreational use permit for the same area. Applications are no longer accepted by mail. All applicants are included in the antlerless deer permit drawing, if those permits are approved for the particular area.

Successful applicants who apply at tax collectors' offices or license agents will receive their recreational use permit from the sales clerk once it is paid for. Successful hunters who apply online using a credit card will be mailed their permit within seven to 10 days.