Plan for upcoming hunting opportunities 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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May 1, 2020

Suggested Tweet: Apply for fall #quota hunts and #alligator permits; find summer hog hunting opportunities @MyFWC: #Florida 

May “Outta’ the Woods”
By Tony Young 

Plan for upcoming hunting opportunities 

While the challenges due to COVID-19 are ongoing, it’s also a time when we’re reminded of the power of hope. One thing that helps many hunters look forward to the future is planning for upcoming hunting opportunities.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers late spring and summer wild hog hunting opportunities on several wildlife management areas across the state. Some areas offer still hunting for hogs during daylight hours, others are nighttime hog-dog hunts – and some offer both. Most of the WMAs offer walk-in opportunities and don’t require a quota permit. A hunting license is not required, however, a $26.50 management area permit is needed.

You can search for WMAs offering spring-summer wild hog hunting opportunities using FWC’s new online WMA Finder. Visit and click on the button "GET BROCHURES NOW!" For step-by-step instructions on how to use WMA Finder, click on this tutorial video.

WMA regulations brochures and maps are only available online. Before heading afield, spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the information. You can take the brochure and map with you, even to places where you can’t connect to the internet, by taking a screenshot with your cell phone, downloading it to your mobile device or printing it. For a printer-friendly version, click on the “PDF BROCHURE” button.

Also, before you go, we recommend you check the open/closed status of that area by visiting In addition, for updates regarding the FWC’s efforts to minimize exposure to COVID-19 and help protect stakeholders, staff and volunteers, visit

Apply for fall quota permits

Fall deer and hog quota hunts

Hunters can apply for archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, wild hog, youth (ages 8 to 15), family (adult and up to two youth), track vehicle and mobility-impaired quota hunt permits during the phase I application period. To apply, applicants must have an up-to-date $26.50 management area permit, a license that includes one or be exempt from license and permit requirements.

Special-opportunity fall hunts

Another great option is applying for special-opportunity fall hunt permits. These hunts offer large tracts of land with an abundance of game and low hunting pressure. All hunts allow you to take only mature bucks with at least one antler having four or more points as well as wild hogs. These special-opportunity deer and wild hog hunts take place in central Florida on Fort Drum, Lake Panasoffkee, Triple N Ranch and Green Swamp West Unit WMAs. 

National wildlife refuge hunts

There are also several fall hunts on five national wildlife refuges that hunters may apply for. These National Wildlife Refuge hunts offer another opportunity to hunt on well-managed habitat with healthy game populations and low hunting pressure at Lake Woodruff, Merritt Island, St. Marks, Lower Suwannee and St. Vincent national wildlife refuges.

When to apply

Hunters who would like to take part in one or more of these hunts can apply during the phase I application period which begins at 10 a.m. on May 15 and runs through June 15. Applications can be submitted at, county tax collectors’ offices, or most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies. By June 19, you should be able to log into your customer account to find out if you’ve been selected.       

Alligator hunt permits

Since 1988, the FWC has offered hunters the opportunity to take part in its annual statewide recreational alligator harvest, which always runs Aug. 15 – Nov. 1. Alligators are a conservation success story in Florida. The state’s alligator population is estimated at 1.3 million alligators of every size and has been stable for many years.

Phase I application period

The application period for the phase I random drawing begins May 8 at 10 a.m. and runs through May 18. More than 7,000 alligator harvest permits will be available. Hunters can submit their application for a permit that allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated harvest unit or county. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15 and have a valid credit or debit card to apply. Applications can be submitted at, county tax collectors’ offices, or most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies.

License/permit costs

The alligator trapping license/harvest permit and two hide validation CITES tags are $272 for Florida residents, $22 for those with a Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License, and $1,022 for nonresidents. The cost for applicants who already have an alligator trapping license is $62.

Additional application periods

Any permits remaining after the first phase will be offered during the phase II application period May 22 – June 1. Those who were awarded a permit in phase I may not apply during phase II. Any remaining permits will be available in subsequent application phases.

What to expect if you get drawn

Within three days of an application period closing, applicants can expect to see an authorization hold on their credit/debit card, verifying there is a sufficient balance to cover the cost of the permit. However, this does not mean they were awarded a permit. Once the authorization process is complete, the lottery drawing will be held. All successful applicants will be charged, while those who were unsuccessful will have the authorization hold lifted from their credit/debit cards. Applicants should be mindful of the policies of their financial institution regarding authorizations, pending charges, timeframes for releasing holds and overdraft fees.

Successful applicants should expect to receive their alligator trapping license/harvest permit and two CITES alligator tags in the mail within six weeks of payment.

For more information on alligator hunting or the application process, see the “Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida” by going to and then “By Species.”

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