Special Opportunity Hunts Offer Hunters Quality Experiences

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Bagging a 25-point buck with a bow is a special feat. Not only is it special because of the skill required to take the deer but also because it occurred on public land during a special-opportunity hunt offered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

James E. Stovall of Lakeland put special-opportunity hunts on the map in 1999 when he harvested the largest recorded non-typical deer (206 score on the Boone and Crockett scale) in Florida on Green Swamp West Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Polk County. At the time, Stovall stated this area of the state had more trophy deer than anywhere else in Florida.

Stovall’s buck may be the headliner of a very successful special-opportunity hunt, but there have been many others who have shared special and unique experiences throughout the past eight years the program has been in place.

Special-opportunity hunts offer hunters vast areas, abundant game, low hunter quotas and excellent chances to bag quality deer, hogs and released quail on select wildlife management areas throughout Florida.

If you find these special-opportunity hunts appealing, it is not too late to apply for the 2005-06 hunting season. The FWC currently is accepting applications for these hunts through June 15. To apply for these permits, submit applications online at MyFWC.com or visit any license agent or county tax collector’s office.

Based on past years, demand for these hunts is greater than the number of available slots, so a random drawing is conducted to select hunters. Individuals can improve their chances of being selected by submitting as many non-refundable $5 applications as they would like. The cost of the hunts for selected applicants ranges from $50 to $175.

Visit MyFWC.com/hunting for more information on how to apply for special-opportunity hunt permits.