The Leon/Jefferson County area is one of the hotspots in the state in terms of duck hunting activity. Several large public lakes offer most of the public duck hunting opportunity. There has been a long tradition for hunters to build and hunt from permanent blinds, most of which are left in place after the hunting season.
Permanent blinds cause problems because the people who build them often claim ownership or priority use of the area around their blind. In addition, the placement of permanent blinds is in violation of Board of Trustees sovereign submerged lands rules, results in boating hazards, and decreases the aesthetic value of these public lakes. In recent years, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has tried to resolve this issue through education and outreach to the local duck hunting community. Despite those efforts, hunters continue to build and use blinds, and the resulting territorial conflicts among hunters seem to be increasing. This situation led to regulatory measures, with a rule change to be in effect for the 2008-09 hunting season.
Summary of rule change:
The rule prohibits waterfowl hunting from or within 30 yards of any permanent blind on several lakes in the Leon and Jefferson County area, specifically lakes Miccosukee, Iamonia, and Jackson, and Carr Lake. In conjunction, the rule establishes a definition for "permanent blind."
68A-12.002 General Methods of Taking Game; Prohibitions.
. . . .
(7) No person shall:
. . . .
(h) Take ducks, geese, mergansers, or coots while the person is within 30 yards of any permanent blind or anything in violation of either 253.77, F.S. or 373.430(1)(b), F.S. or 403.161(1)(b), F.S. on Lake Miccosukee (Jefferson County), Lake Iamonia (Leon County), Lake Jackson (Leon County), or Carr Lake (Leon County).
...Permanent blind: anything that provides shelter, cover, or place of concealment for a person, but does not include any rooted vegetation or a shelter, cover, or place of concealment remaining in place only while the person is present.