Florida Hunting News

Florida and USFWS Seek Info on Panther Death

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Humane Society of the United States are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person/persons responsible for shooting a Florida panther.

Florida Offers Special Opportunity Hunts

If you haven't been seeing the quantity or quality of game you'd like, you may want to consider applying for a special-opportunity hunt. For the past 14 years, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has offered these unique fall-season hunts for deer, wild hog and released quail on arguably the state's best public hunting lands. Maybe it's time you look into getting in on the action and experience the hunt of a lifetime.

Florida Offers Hunter Safety Completion Course - April 23rd

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free hunter safety Internet-completion course in Liberty County.

The course will be at the Woodmen of the World Camp, 22459 N.E. Woodmen of the World Road in Hosford. Instruction will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 23.

Students must complete the Internet course before coming to class and should bring a copy of the final report from the online portion of the course. The final report form does not have to be notarized.

Florida Offers Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp

Do your children long to spend their summer days in the great outdoors? Would they love the chance to learn about fish and wildlife from experts, and hike or canoe with other children their age?

Then it's time to sign them up for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp. The facility is located in the Ocala National Forest, and registration for the 2011 summer sessions has already begun.

USFWS and Florida FWC Seeking Info on Panther Poaching

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are asking anyone with information about a dead Florida panther found Feb. 23, 2011 in the Golden Gate Estates area of Naples, Fla. to call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). Information leading to an arrest and/or conviction could result in a $5,000 reward.

Officials believe the animal was killed intentionally. 

Many FWC Lands Have New Hunt Dates in 2011-12 Season

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) passed new rules that modify hunting season dates on many FWC-managed areas. These rules become effective on July 1 and apply to the 2011-12 hunting season.

For more than a year, the FWC and its partners and cooperating agency landowners have worked with stakeholders to develop changes to season dates for these public hunting lands. These lands include wildlife management areas, wildlife and environmental areas and miscellaneous areas.

Florida Youth Turkey Hunts on Private Land

Beginning this spring turkey season, young hunters can take advantage of a special two-day youth turkey hunt on private lands the weekend prior to the opening of spring turkey season in each hunting zone. In Zone A (the southern portion of Florida, south of State Road 70), this youth turkey hunting weekend is Feb. 26-27. In the remainder of the state, this special youth hunt is March 12-13. The youth turkey hunt applies only to private property, the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area, the Kissimmee River Public Use Area and Lake Monroe WMA.

Selling or Buying Game Meat Online is Illegal

Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are seeing more instances of people buying or selling wild game meat online these days, so they have been cracking down on cyber-violators.

"It is illegal to sell or purchase game meat online," said Lt. George Wilson, head of the FWC's Internet Crimes Unit. People often do so through online advertisements, unknowingly breaking the law.

Florida Youth Have Chance at Turkey Hunt on Babcock Ranch Preserve

Ten lucky youngsters will be chosen for each of the two quail hunts and each of the two spring turkey hunts on the 16,612-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve in Charlotte County. All hunters will be chosen by random drawing. All hunts are Saturday-Sunday and will be guided.

To be eligible for these hunts, applicants must be at least 12 years old by the first day of the hunt and under 16 years of age on the last day of the hunt for which they apply. Also, all youths must have passed a state-certified hunter safety course.

Florida 2010 Panther Deaths Similar to 2009 Numbers

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) documented 23 panther deaths in 2010. Of those mortalities, 16 panthers died after being struck by vehicles. Six of the panther deaths are attributed to "intraspecific aggression," or panthers killing other panthers. One panther died of unknown causes.

This is very similar to 2009, when the FWC documented 25 deaths, with 17 of those killed by vehicles. The five-year average is approximately 23 panthers per year, with an average of almost 14 killed each year by vehicles.