Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017
Brochure | Map Only
This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Gulf Hammock Wildlife Management Area. Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print. Area users should familiarize themselves with all regulations. For exact wording of the wildlife laws and regulations, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife code, on file with the Secretary of State and state libraries. This brochure, the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook, and Recreational User Permit worksheet should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available from any Commission office, county tax collector and at MyFWC.com.
Persons using wildlife management areas are required to have appropriate licenses, permits and stamps. The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements (except for quota permits when listed as “no exemptions,” recreational use permits, antlerless deer permits and the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp [federal duck stamp]): Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older; residents who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Forces, not stationed in Florida, while home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders; and children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age are exempt from the federal duck stamp. Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975 and 16 years of age or older must have passed a Commission-approved hunter-safety course prior to being issued a hunting license, except the Hunter Safety Mentoring exemption allows anyone to purchase a hunting license and hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter, 21 years of age or older.
Licenses and permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, at MyFWC.com/license or by telephone at 888-486-8356. A no-cost Migratory Bird Permit is available when purchasing a hunting license. Any waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must possess a federal duck stamp.
Recreational Use Permit Information
A $275 recreational use permit is required to hunt on this area; there are no exemptions except that 1 dependent child, under 16 years of age, per permittee may hunt under the supervision of the permittee and is exempt from the fee. The number of available recreational use permits will be indicated on the recreational use worksheet. Recreational use permits are not transferable.
Permit applications: Hunters must submit electronic applications for recreational use permits through the Commission’s Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS). Successful applicants have the option of renewing their permits for up to 2 additional years. Please refer to the hunting handbook or MyFWC.com for dates to renew permits or apply for remaining permits. A worksheet with a list of available permits may be obtained 1-2 weeks before each application period from FWC offices, tax collectors, license agents and at MyFWC.com.
General Area Regulations
All general laws and regulations relating to wildlife and fish shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or the taking of wildlife or fish on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons and in accordance with the following regulations:
- Any person hunting deer or accompanying another person hunting deer shall wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange material as an outer garment, above the waistline. These provisions are not required when hunting with a bow or arrow during archery season.
- Taking of spotted fawn, swimming deer or roosted turkey is prohibited.
- It is illegal to hunt over bait or place any bait or other food for wildlife on this area.
- Driving a metal object into any tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven, is prohibited.
- No person shall cut, damage or remove any natural, man-made or cultural resource without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
- Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, recorded game calls or sounds, set guns, artificial light, net, trap, snare, drug or poison is prohibited. Recorded calls and sounds can be used to hunt furbearers, wild hog and crows.
- The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
- Hunting, fishing or trapping is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
- People, dogs, vehicles and other recreational equipment are prohibited in areas posted as “Closed to Public Access” by FWC administrative action.
- Taking or herding wildlife from any motorized vehicle, aircraft or boat, which is under power is prohibited until power, and movement from that power, has ceased.
- Most game may be hunted from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset (see exceptions for each season).
- The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
- The head and evidence of sex may not be removed from the carcass of any deer or turkey on the area.
- The planting or introduction of any non-native plant is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
- Wild hog may not be transported alive.
- A hunting license is not required to hunt wild hog.
- Littering is prohibited.
- Fires are prohibited.
- An FWC Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
- Falconers may hunt anytime this area is open for recreational use permit holders. Falconers are not exempt from the recreational use permit requirement.
Public Access and Vehicles
- Access is allowed only on days open for hunting, the consecutive Friday, Saturday and Sunday prior to archery and general gun seasons and the Friday prior to archery/muzzleloading gun and spring turkey seasons by individuals possessing a valid Gulf Hammock recreational use permit, except that the spouse and dependent children of a permittee may engage in outdoor recreational activities other than hunting while in the company of the permittee. One minor dependent, under 16 years of age, may hunt with the permittee.
- Trespass laws are enforced.
- Access is allowed only from 1½ hours before sunrise until 1½ hours after sunset, except during spring turkey season when persons must exit the area by 2 p.m.
- Entry and exit is allowed only at designated entrances.
- The area on the map indicated as “Private Property (Weyerhaeuser Company)” is private property closed to public access except travel through the area is allowed on existing roads only. This travel allowance may be withdrawn by Weyerhaeuser Company at any time.
- Vehicles may be operated only on established roads.
- Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
- No motor vehicle shall be operated in areas designated as closed to vehicular traffic. Motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles may only be operated on roads open to other motor vehicles, except not on Buck Head Road or that portion of Butler Road south of King Road.
- Logging and mining operations may occur anytime during the year. Please drive carefully when you encounter these activities and be courteous to trucks wanting to pass.
- Hunting equipment may not be taken onto the WMA until after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by the end of the season.
- Hancock Timber Resource Group and Weyerhaeuser Company may conduct timber management at any time, including hunting seasons.
- Hunting with a firearm or archery equipment on or from the right-of-way of Butler Road, south of its intersection with Buck Head Road, is prohibited.
- Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited.
- Muzzleloading guns used for taking deer must be .40 caliber or larger, if firing a single bullet, or be 20 gauge or larger if firing 2 or more balls.
- Hunting deer with rimfire or non-expanding, full metal jacket (military ball) ammunition is prohibited.
- Hunting wildlife (other than deer, turkey, quail or migratory birds) with air guns is allowed. Hunting with air guns is prohibited during archery and archery/muzzleloading gun seasons.
- Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
- No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- For hunting non-migratory game, only shotguns, rifles, pistols, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used.
- For hunting migratory game, only shotguns, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used. Shotguns shall not be larger than 10 gauge and shall be incapable of holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined.
- Hunting with full automatic firearms, centerfire semi-automatic rifles having a magazine capable of holding more than 5 rounds, explosive or drug-injecting devices and set guns is prohibited.
- The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.
- Hunting deer or wild hog with dogs is allowed only during the general gun season, and only in the dog hunt area (see map).
- Hunting with dogs, other than bird dogs or waterfowl retrievers, is prohibited during small game season and in the still hunt area at all times.
- No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
- Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.
- For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.
Bag and Possession Limits
- Deer -
- Archery season - daily limit 2, possession limit 4. This limit may include any combination of antlered and antlerless deer.
- Archery/Muzzleloading gun and general gun seasons - daily limit 2, possession limit 4. Only antlered deer may be taken.
- Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
- Turkey - Daily limit 1, season limit 2, possession limit 2.
- Gray squirrel, quail and rabbit - Daily limit 12, possession limit 24 for each.
- Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria - No bag limits.
- Bobcat and otter - Possession limit 1 unless in possession of a trapping license.
- Migratory birds - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.
September 17 through October 16.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Recreational use permit, hunting license, archery permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey), migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler having 2 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length) and having at least 1 antler 5-inches or more in length, antlerless deer (which includes does and bucks with antlers less than 5 inches in length, but not spotted fawn), wild hog, turkey of either sex, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Archery Season -
- Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
- Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited, except that centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting migratory birds.
Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season
October 22 through November 4.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Recreational use permit, hunting license, archery permit (if hunting with archery equipment), muzzleloading gun permit (if hunting with a muzzleloading gun), deer permit (if hunting deer) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler having 2 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length) and having at least 1 antler 5-inches or more in length, wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season -
- Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
- Only bows, crossbows (only by disabled crossbow permit) and muzzleloading guns may be used for hunting, except that centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting migratory birds.
General Gun Season
November 5 through January 22.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Recreational use permit, hunting license, deer permit (if hunting deer), migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler having 2 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length) and having at least 1 antler 5-inches or more in length, wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning December 1.
Regulations Unique to General Gun Season - Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
Small Game Season
January 28 through February 26.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Recreational use permit, hunting license, migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - Wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, bobcat, otter and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Small Game Season -
- Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.
- Hunting wild hog with dogs is prohibited.
Spring Turkey Season
Youth Turkey: March 11-12.
Spring Turkey: March 18 through April 23.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Recreational use permit, hunting license and wild turkey permit.
Legal to Hunt - Bearded turkey or gobbler.
Regulations Unique to Spring Turkey Season -
- Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise until 1 p.m.
- Hunting other animals is prohibited.
- Only bows, crossbows and shotguns using a #2 or smaller shot size may be used for hunting.
- During the youth turkey hunt, only youth under 16 years of age may hunt and must be under the supervision and in the presence of an adult not younger than 18 years of age. Adults with required licenses and permits for taking wild turkeys may participate when in the presence of a youth, but may not harvest a wild turkey.
Migratory Bird Seasons
Rails, common moorhen, mourning dove, white-winged dove, snipe, ducks, geese, coot, woodcock and crows may be hunted during statewide migratory bird seasons that coincide with the seasons where migratory birds are listed as legal to hunt in this brochure.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Recreational use permit, hunting license, migratory bird permit, and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.
Regulations Unique to Migratory Bird Seasons - All Migratory Bird Regulations shall apply.
- Hunting ducks, geese and coot with lead shot is prohibited.
- Centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting during established area seasons when migratory birds are legal to hunt.
Fishing and Frogging
Allowed only during periods when hunting is allowed.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Recreational use permit and fishing license (fishing license not required when frogging).
Legal to Take - See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summary.
Regulations Unique to Fishing and Frogging - All General Freshwater Fishing Regulations shall apply. Shooting frogs is allowed only during the listed open hunting seasons and only with the legal method of take during each particular season.
- Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
- If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 386-758-0525 (TDD 800-955-8771).
- The FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
- Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.
If you see law violators or suspicious activities, contact your nearest Commission regional office or call 888-404-FWCC. You may qualify for a cash reward from the Wildlife Alert Reward Association.
The U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: The Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. The project described in this publication is part of a program funded by federal dollars under the Wildlife Restoration Act. Federal funds pay 20 percent of the cost of the program.