Florida's New Quota Process Allows Guest Permit

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be accepting applications until June 30 to be included in a random drawing for quota permits to hunt on Florida's wildlife management areas (WMAs) next season.

This year, there are a few rule changes pertaining to the Quota Hunt Permit Program to improve the state's regulation of hunting on WMAs. For instance, the FWC has created a guest permit so quota permit holders can take a friend hunting with them. The guest can obtain the permit by using the quota permit holder's customer ID number.

The FWC suggests hunters wait to obtain their guest permits until just before their hunt begins. Once a guest permit is issued it can not be changed. Guest permits will not be available until Aug. 1.

In addition, quota hunt permits are no longer transferable, so individuals will not be able to hoard permits and reduce other hunters' chances of being selected,ensuring a fairer distribution of hunting opportunities among more hunters.

If a hunter does not draw a permit this year, he will get a preference point that will increase his odds of getting drawn next year. Preference points can accumulate in subsequent years.

More hunt choices are available. Hunters may apply for up to nine hunt types: archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, wild hog, mobility impaired, track, airboat, youth and family.

On many WMAs, quota permits are required for hunters wishing to hunt during specified periods of the general gun season, as well as for other hunts, including the archery and muzzleloading gun seasons. Quota permits also are required for hunts involving airboats, track vehicles, youths, families and mobility-impaired persons.

Worksheets are available by clicking under "Limited Entry Hunts" at MyFWC.com/Hunting. They also are available from county tax collectors' offices, license agents and FWC regional offices.

To apply, take a worksheet to any license agent or tax collector's office or apply online at www.wildlifelicense.com/fl through midnight June 30.

Worksheets for recreational use permits also are available at MyFWC.com/Hunting. The FWC issues recreational use permits on a first-come, first-served basis beginning 10 a.m. (EDT) June 4, 2009 – March 31, 2010.

Visit MyFWC.com/Hunting and click on "Limited Entry Hunts" for more information on how to apply for permits, plus application periods and deadlines. For more information on the guest permit and other quota permit changes, click on "New Quota Permit Changes" under "Breaking News" at MyFWC.com/Hunting.