Duck hunters will have to contend with some new rules during the upcoming season.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will no longer allow folks to build permanent duck blinds on lakes and it will no longer allow hunters to use them.
F-W-C Biologist Joe Benedict says together Lake Jackson, Lake Iamonia, Lake Miccosukee and Carr Lake have more than 500 duck blinds.
The latest aerial survey shows Lake Iamonia has the most permanent blinds with 279, Lake Miccosukee has 119, Lake Jackson has 63 and and Carr Lake has 54. Those numbers are considered minimums because many of the blinds are not visible from the air.
Because lakes are public property, Benedict says, there were too many squabbles over who got to use them ... the hunter who built them or the hunter who woke up first that day.
Benedict says the blinds, many of which are abandoned and falling apart, are also an eyesore and a danger to boaters when waters are high.
FWC says hunters found using permanent blinds or hunting within 30 yards of them can be ticketed.
FWC says hunters can use temporary blinds if they take them down when they finish hunting for the day.
FWC News Release:
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) passed two rules in September that may affect Tallahassee area duck hunters.
Under the first change, waterfowl hunters may now use internal combustion motors of 10 horsepower or less on Lake Miccosukee in Leon and Jefferson counties. Motor restrictions during the waterfowl season on Carr Lake and Lake Iamonia in Leon County have not changed.
Secondly, waterfowl hunting is now prohibited from or near permanent duck blinds on four Tallahassee area lakes. The lakes are Miccosukee, Iamonia, Carr and Jackson.
The duck blind rule says no one may hunt ducks, geese, mergansers or coots within 30 yards of a permanent blind or anything that violates Florida Statutes prohibiting unauthorized construction on state lands, including stakes, posts, rails and remnant duck blinds.
It defines a permanent blind as anything that provides shelter, cover or concealment for a hunter, but does not include any rooted vegetation. The use of temporary duck blinds, including those made with vegetation, which are removed at the end of each hunt, is allowed.
FWC encourages hunters to use good judgment when carrying vegetation or other blind materials and not to operate overloaded vessels.
The new rules will be in effect during the regular waterfowl, coot and Canada goose seasons. The waterfowl and coot seasons are Nov. 22-30 and Dec. 6 – Jan. 25, 2009. The Canada goose season is Nov. 22-30 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 30, 2009.
For more information visit MyFWC.com/duck.