Plan your fall hunts now!

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FWC’s Hunting Hot Sheet

The latest hunting and conservation news and events from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

A season of hope

As many continue to grapple with the changes brought by COVID-19, planning for upcoming hunting seasons can inspire a sense of hope for the future. Below is information to help you prep for fall hunts that you can look forward to all summer!

The health and safety of employees and the Floridians and visitors we serve are a top priority for us. We continue to evaluate the COVID-19 response as we enter phase I of reopening FWC-managed shooting ranges and managed lands. Before visiting a WMA or range, always check its open/closed status. Also, please remember, when recreating outdoors, group size may not exceed 10 people and CDC-guidelines for social distancing and personal safety should be followed.

Time to apply for alligator harvest permits


The phase I application period for the alligator harvest permit random drawing runs through May 18 so you still have time to apply. More than 7,000 harvest permits will be available. To submit your application, log into your account at Don’t forget you’ll need a valid debit or credit card to apply!

The FWC has the following tips and tools to help you apply.


Find a place to hunt using WMA Finder

WMA Finder photo

The FWC recently launched WMA Finder, an online tool you can use to search for wildlife management areas by location, season, species, and type of hunt (youth, family or mobility-impaired). If you know which WMA regulations brochure you want to review, search by "specific area" and use the drop-down menu to navigate directly to that area’s brochure. Get other tips for using this new WMA search tool by watching this tutorial video.

WMA regulations brochures and maps are only available online and access to WMA regulations brochures is through the WMA Finder only. Users can take brochures and maps with them, even to places internet access isn’t available, by taking a screenshot with their smartphone, downloading the files to their mobile device or printing them. Before visiting a wildlife management area (WMA), always check the WMA's open/closed status

Get ready to apply for fall limited entry hunt permits


Put a reminder on your calendar to apply for fall quota hunt permits, special-opportunity fall hunts and national wildlife refuge fall and winter hunts during phase I, which runs from 10 a.m. Eastern time May 15 through June 15. 

Florida's limited entry/quota hunt programs offer public hunting opportunities, prevent overcrowding and manage the harvest of game on wildlife management areas (WMAs) and other public lands. Permits are issued via random drawings, which provide a fair and equitable way to award these hunt opportunities. Learn more about random drawings, including how preference points, group applications and special-opportunity lotteries work. 

Start planning to apply for fall hunting opportunities by checking out the FWC’s new WMA Finder, an online tool that lets you search for WMAs by location, season, species, and type of hunt.  You also can find worksheets and permit details at

Spring-summer wild hog hunting

wild hog

Late spring and summer wild hog hunting opportunities are available at wildlife management areas (WMAs) across the state. Many of the WMAs that offer spring and summer wild hog hunting don’t require a quota permit, and a hunting license also is not required. However, a management area permit is needed. Use our new WMA Finder to locate spring-summer wild hog hunting opportunities and to review the WMA regulations brochure for the area you’re interested in hunting.

Webinars set to discuss draft rule amendment related to CWD

white-tailed deer

You’re invited to one of two webinars to provide your feedback about a draft rule amendment, which if passed, would prohibit importing or possessing carcasses or certain parts therefrom of all members of the deer family originating from outside of Florida. This rule amendment is being proposed to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease (CWD) being introduced into or spread throughout Florida. The webinars are scheduled for Wednesday, May 27 from 11 a.m. to noon (ET) and Thursday, May 28 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (ET).

The webinars are taking the place of in-person stakeholder meetings in northwest Florida that were postponed in March due to COVID-19. The webinars also allow us to practice recommended social distancing. The FWC was able to host its first 5 of 8 stakeholder meetings in early March and appreciates everyone who attended those meetings.

If you are unable to participate in these webinars or weren’t able to attend the meetings hosted in early March, you’re invited to learn about proposed changes and provide feedback using the online commenting tool.

Photo courtesy of Glenn Whittington

Phase I reopening of FWC-managed ranges   

FWC managed shooting range

Many FWC-managed shooting ranges have reopened to limited public use on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Under phase I guidelines, ranges are operating at 50% capacity with a one-hour time limit per participant and only one person per lane is allowed. Social distancing guidelines are required for all people visiting the range.

Please be aware of the following range specific updates:

Phase 2 guidelines have not been finalized. The FWC will continue to evaluate its COVID-19 response with regards to shooting ranges and is committed to resuming more normal operations when it’s safe to do so.

Please participate in FWC’s deer harvest survey

Deer and turkey harvest survey

The FWC has contracted with Responsive Management, a survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, to study Florida hunters’ participation in deer hunting. Beginning this May, you may receive a phone call from Responsive Management asking you to take part in a survey about your deer hunting experiences. Depending on which carrier you use, the call will display as coming from Responsive Management or from area code 850 (Tallahassee). You also may receive an email from Responsive Management. If you get a phone call or email, we encourage you to share your thoughts!

Bookmark these links!

2020-2021 hunting season dates and bag limits

2020-2021 Florida migratory bird Hunting season dates and bag limits

Buy your hunting license

Public FWC-managed shooting ranges

Limited entry/quota hunts 

Get started hunting

WMA Finder

WMA regulations brochures

Sign up for hunting news

Open/closed status of FWC offices, facilities, and managed areas

Covid-19 response

Get involved with a conservation group!

Replace your hunter safety card

Hunter safety and treestand safety courses

People born after May 31, 1975, must complete the FWC’s hunter safety class before they can buy the type of hunting license that allows them to legally hunt alone. Hunter safety courses cover firearms safety, wildlife conservation, responsible hunting and more. FWC’s website offers several online courses including a FREE option. After the online portion is complete, students must sign up and attend a skills day. Learn more about Florida’s hunter safety course options.

Also, brush up on treestand safety through a FREE, fast and easy-to-understand course.