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.
Making these adjustments will align the seasons on these areas more closely with the newly adopted zonal season dates, which took effect on private lands last year.
“With the new changes in dates to hunting seasons on private lands, we and our hunting stakeholders felt that season dates on several of our management areas needed to be modified to correspond better with the new zonal seasons and the timing of deer breeding,” said Diane Eggeman, director of the FWC’s Division of Hunting and Game Management.
The FWC held nine public meetings across the state and gathered input and feedback on the subject through an online poll. New changes take into consideration when deer breed on each area and other hunter preferences, such as hunting during holidays and the desires of other area users.
“We want to make things as good as we can for public-land hunters,” said Cory Morea, FWC biologist and deer-management program coordinator. “Adjusting some of these dates to make the seasons occur closer to peak deer activity or during holidays should increase hunter satisfaction.”
“But, at the same time, we didn’t want to fix something that wasn’t broken,” Morea said. “Hunters have told us that on some of our areas the seasons are timed just right, so we didn’t make any changes to those areas.”
For information on the specific season date changes made for each area, go to MyFWC.com/Deer.