TALLAHASSEE — If you’re looking for a hunting opportunity this time of year, you might want to consider wild hog hunting. During spring and summer, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers public hunting opportunities for wild hog at 26 wildlife management areas across the state. Wild hog hunting is a good way to sharpen your hunting skills, test new equipment and scout a WMA you might later want to hunt. It’s also a chance to restock your freezer with delicious wild game meat for all those summer cookouts.
You don’t need a hunting license to hunt wild hogs at a WMA, though you will need a management area permit, unless exempt. Many of these spring and summer wild hog hunts on WMAs don’t require a quota permit; however, some of them do. Take a moment to review the WMA regulations brochure for the area you want to hunt. These brochures also outline allowed methods of take, bag limits and other pertinent rules. You can find a list of WMAs (with links to individual brochures) that offer spring/summer wild hog hunting by visiting MyFWC.com/Hunting and clicking on the “Spring/summer wild hog hunting” banner at the top.
On lands outside the WMA system, wild hogs may be hunted year-round with landowner permission. A hunting license is not required, and there is no size or bag limit, and either sex may be harvested. Hunters may use dogs and any legal rifle, shotgun, crossbow, bow, pistol or air gun (including airbow).
The FWC encourages people to take precautions when handling or field dressing wild hogs. Learn more at MyFWC.com/hunting/wild-hog.
FWC-managed shooting ranges
Practicing your marksmanship at an FWC-managed shooting range is another way to get ready for upcoming hunting seasons. To meet the needs of recreational target shooters, hunters and hunter safety students, the FWC manages public shooting ranges throughout the state. Several of the FWC-managed facilities are supervised by range safety officers, while Apalachicola, Ocala and Osceola national forests provide unstaffed facilities. Each range offers a different menu of opportunities that includes archery, rifle, handgun, sporting clays, trap, skeet and 5-stand. Find a map that shows where FWC-managed ranges are located and information about individual shooting sports facilities at MyFWC.com/Ranges. To find other ranges in Florida, head over to WhereToShoot.org.
Phase I application period for fall quota/limited entry hunts
Don’t forget to apply for opportunities to hunt deer or wild hog this fall at a Florida wildlife management area or national wildlife refuge. The phase I application period for fall quota hunts, special-opportunity fall hunts and national wildlife refuge fall and winter hunts closes June 15 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Worksheets and permit details are at MyFWC.com/License, under “Limited Entry/Quota Hunts.” You can apply for these limited entry permits at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or in person at a license agent or tax collector’s office. To research individual WMAs, visit MyFWC.com/WMABrochures to access WMA Finder, an online tool that allows you to search for areas by species, season and location. You can navigate directly to a specific WMA by using the “Search by Specific Area” button.
Report wild turkey sightings
We invite you to take part in FWC biologists’ efforts to learn more about Florida’s wild turkey populations by reporting all wild turkeys you see during your normal daily activities from June 1 to Aug. 31.
We’re interested in sightings of hens with and without poults, and jakes and gobblers from all regions of the state, including rural and developed areas. When reporting numbers of poults, be sure to look carefully because young birds may be difficult to see in tall grass or brush.
The Sunshine State is home to healthy wild turkey populations. They occur throughout Florida and prefer open forests, and forest edges and openings. Our biologists conduct this survey each year to learn more about annual nesting success, brood survival, and the distribution and abundance of wild turkeys.
Learn more about the FWC’s summer wild turkey survey at MyFWC.com/Turkey.