Quota Hunt Applications Available Soon
June 1 marks the beginning of quota hunt application time for sportsmen who hunt on Florida’s wildlife management areas (WMAs).
Two kinds of quota hunt applications are available from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offices, tax collectors’ offices and subagents. Regular quota hunt applications are for hunters who seek permits to hunt during the first nine days of the general gun-hunting season and other general gun hunts on some WMAs. Special quota hunt applications are for permits to take part in some archery or muzzleloader hunts.
Applications and permits are free, but applicants must have a valid WMA permit to apply for a quota hunt permit and be included in the random selection process unless they qualify for permit exemptions.
Florida or Georgia residents age 65 or older , Florida residents with a Disability Hunting and Fishing Certificate, children under 16, and residents in the military, stationed out of state are exempt from quota hunt permit requirements for some areas.
The FWC uses the quota hunt system to control the distribution and number of hunters using public lands during peak hunting periods and limit the amount of game hunters take from WMAs.
Eddie White, FWC's quota hunt coordinator, said some changes are necessary this year to help verify purchase of WMA permits. Most of the active licenses and permits no longer have the old proof-of-purchase tabs used for the past 29 years to affix to the application forms. Most wildlife management area permit holders now have computer-generated licenses. There are two types of computer-generated licenses. Those purchased before October 2003 will have a license card number. Those purchased after October 2003 will have a customer number. Non-exempt applicants will be asked to write their license card number or customer number on the application and provide a photocopy of their license card. Applicants may make one photo copy for both the regular and special quota applications and mail them all in one envelope.
“We hope this is the last year applicants will have to provide proof of purchase,” White said. “The new FWC licensing system should be merged with the quota hunt program soon. Not only will we be able to eliminate the additional burden of a photocopy, but we will also enable applicants to apply for quota hunt permits online from their personal computers.”
The FWC has added four new WMAs to the quota hunt program this year. They include: the 20,909-acre Steinhatchee Springs WMA in Dixie, Lafayette and Taylor counties; 21,714-acre Dinner Island WMA and 7,486-acre Sprit of the Wild WMA, both in Hendry County adjacent to the Okaloacoochee Slough WMA; and 5,092-acre Salt Lake WMA in Brevard County.
Applications that arrive at the FWC’s Tallahassee office June 1-11 will be eligible for the random selection process that will fill the quota for many of the hunts. Leftover permits will go out on a first-come, first-served basis to hunters whose applications arrive in the Tallahassee office after June 11.
“Roughly half the regular hunts and three-quarters of the special hunts will fill up during the random selection,” White said.
The FWC will not accept applications unless they arrive at the Tallahassee office via a postal delivery service before the deadline. The agency will not accept applications before June 1.
Some quota hunts offer a limited number of antlerless deer permits for hunters who check the appropriate box on the applications.
Quota hunt applications for the Blackwater WMA Hutton Unit quail hunt and for airboat, tracked vehicle, supervised youth and mobility-impaired persons hunts will be available from FWC offices June 28, White said.