Potts WMA

Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Brochure Adobe PDF | Map Only Adobe PDF

This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Potts 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 quota permit worksheets 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; available where hunting licenses are sold, at most post offices or at Duckstamp.com.


Quota Permit Information:

Archery - 30, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions) for each of 2 hunts.
Muzzleloading Gun - 30, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions).
Wild Hog-dog - 30, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions).
Small Game - 30, no-cost, daily quota permits are available first-come, first-served at the check station each day of the season.
Spring Turkey - 20, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions) for each of 2 hunts.

Permit applications:  Hunters must submit electronic applications for quota and special-opportunity permits through the Commission’s Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS). Worksheets listing hunts, application periods, deadlines and instructions are available at county tax collector’s offices, FWC offices or MyFWC.com. Quota application periods occur throughout the year beginning April 1; please refer to the hunting handbook or MyFWC.com for specific dates. Worksheets will be available about 2 weeks prior to each application period.

Guest hunters:  For each non-transferable archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, wild hog, spring turkey and mobility-impaired quota permit issued through the Commission’s RLIS, a quota permit holder (host) may take a guest hunter by obtaining a guest permit. A guest hunter must possess a completed guest permit while hunting except the following persons may be a guest hunter without a guest permit: a youth under 16 years of age, a youth supervisor, a mentor license holder or a mentor license supervisor. A host may only bring 1 guest hunter at a time and may only use 1 guest permit per day. The following persons are not considered to be guest hunters: other quota permit holders, non-hunters and exempt hunters (on areas and during seasons that allow exemptions). The host must share the bag limit with the guest hunter and the host is responsible for violations that exceed the bag limit. The guest hunter and host must enter and exit the area together and must share a street-legal vehicle while hunting on the area. The guest hunter may hunt only while the host is on the area. Refer to the quota hunt worksheets for additional information.

Youth and mentor license holders:  A youth hunter (less than 16 years of age) must be supervised by a person at least 18 years of age. A mentor license holder must be supervised by a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age. Unless exempt, only those supervisors with proper licenses and permits may hunt. If the supervisor is hunting during any hunt for which quota permits are issued, at least 1 person in the party must be in possession of a quota permit. During a hunt that allows exemptions, a non-exempt supervisor of a youth must have a quota permit to hunt. A non-hunting supervisor is allowed to accompany a youth or mentor license holder during any hunt.

Transfer of permits:  Quota and guest permits are not transferable. A positive form of identification is required when using a non-transferable permit, except for a youth under 16 years of age. The sale or purchase of any quota permit or guest permit is prohibited.


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:

  1. 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 and arrow during archery season.
  2. Taking of spotted fawn, swimming deer or roosted turkey is prohibited. Species legal to hunt are listed under each season.
  3. It is illegal to hunt over bait or place any bait or other food for wildlife on this area.
  4. Driving a metal object into any tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven, is prohibited.
  5. No person shall cut, damage or remove any natural, man-made or cultural resource without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  6. 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.
  7. The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
  8. Hunting, fishing or trapping is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
  9. People, dogs, vehicles and other recreational equipment are prohibited in areas posted as “Closed to Public Access” by FWC administrative action.
  10. 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.
  11. Most game may be hunted from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset (see exceptions for each season).
  12. The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  13. The head and evidence of sex may not be removed from the carcass of any deer or turkey on the area.
  14. The planting or introduction of any non-native plant is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  15. Wild hog may not be transported alive.
  16. A hunting license is not required for the take of wild hog.
  17. Littering is prohibited.
  18. It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
  19. A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
  20. Falconers may hunt during the statewide falconry season anytime a management area is open for public access. Falconers are not exempt from quota permits during hunts requiring them.

Public Access and Vehicles:

  1. Open to public recreational access year round. During non-hunting periods, public access other than on foot, bicycle or horse is prohibited.
  2. Motorized vehicles are allowed during hunting periods and from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. 1 day prior to each archery, muzzleloading gun and wild hog hunt and from 1½ hours before sunrise until 1½ hours after sunset 1 day prior to each spring turkey hunt.
  3. Vehicles may be operated only on named roads.
  4. Vehicles must be parked within 25 feet of a named road.
  5. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  6. No motor vehicle shall be operated on any part of any wildlife management area that has been designated as closed to vehicular traffic.
  7. The use of tracked vehicles, all-terrain vehicles or unlicensed and unregistered motorcycles is prohibited.
  8. Horses are allowed year round, except during wild hog-dog hunts. Horses may be ridden only on designated roads or trails.
  9. Bicycles may be ridden only on designated trails.
  10. A marked footpath called the Florida Trail traverses the area. This trail is open to hikers throughout the year.

Hunters and Check Stations:

  1. Hunting equipment may not be taken onto the WMA until after 8 a.m. the day before each hunt and shall be removed the last day of each hunt, except hunting equipment is allowed beginning 1½ hours before sunrise the day before each spring turkey hunt.
  2. Hunters must check in at a check station upon entering and check out upon leaving the area and check all game harvested.
  3. No game shall be dismembered until checked at the check station. Hunters are requested to bring deer and turkey to the check station prior to any field dressing activity.
  4. Check station hours during hunts are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. during Eastern Daylight Saving Time and 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. during Eastern Standard Time, except during the small game season when hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the spring turkey season when hours are 4:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check station hours the day prior to archery, muzzleloading gun and wild hog hunts are from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. and from 1½ hours before sunrise until 1½ hours after sunset the day prior to spring turkey hunts.

Guns:

  1. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited.
  2. 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.
  3. Air guns may be used to hunt gray squirrel and rabbits during any season when these species are legal to hunt, except archery and muzzleloading gun.
  4. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
  5. No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  6. For hunting non-migratory game, only shotguns, rifles, pistols, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used.
  7. 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.
  8. Hunting with full automatic or silencer-equipped 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.
  9. The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.

Dogs:

  1. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs or dogs with a shoulder height of 15 inches or less are allowed during the small game season, and no more than 3 free-running dogs per quota permit are allowed during the wild hog-dog season.
  2. 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.
  3. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.
  4. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. During non-hunting periods, the possession of dogs shall only be as authorized by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Camping:

  1. Camping is allowed only at designated sites. Camping and camping equipment is allowed on designated campsites no earlier than 8 a.m. the day before each hunt and equipment shall be removed the last day of each hunt, except camping equipment is allowed no earlier than 8 a.m the first day of each small game hunt.
  2. Unless contained in mobile campers, kitchen stoves, refrigerators and freezers are prohibited. Lumber, sheet metal and other building materials are also prohibited.
  3. Tampering in any way with official markings of campsites is prohibited.
  4. Campers shall assure that their campsites are clean at all times.
  5. The name, address and telephone number of the person responsible for each campsite shall be visibly affixed to camping shelters.
  6. Only tents, trailers or self-propelled camping vehicles may be used for camping.
  7. Campground furniture and equipment, such as picnic tables and fire rings, should not be moved.

Bag and Possession Limits: 

A guest hunter must share the host’s bag limit, except bag limits specified as per person. No person shall exceed statewide bag limits.

  1. Deer - Daily limit 2, possession limit 4.
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey -
    1. Archery season - Daily limit 1, season limit 2, possession limit 2.
    2. Spring turkey season - 2 per quota permit, but only 1 per person.
  4. Gray squirrel, quail and rabbit - Daily limit 12, possession limit 24 for each.
  5. Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria - No bag limits.
  6. Bobcat and otter - Possession limit 1 unless in possession of a Trapping License.
  7. Migratory birds - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

Archery Season:

October 2-5 and 8-12.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, archery permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds).
Legal to Hunt - Any deer (except 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 - Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited, except that centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting migratory birds when 1 or more species are legal to hunt (see Migratory Bird section and the current Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet).


Muzzleloading Gun Season:

October 24-26.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, muzzleloading gun permit, deer permit (if hunting deer) and migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with 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 Muzzleloading Gun Season - Hunting with archery equipment or guns, other than muzzleloading guns, is prohibited, except that centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting migratory birds when 1 or more species are legal to hunt (see Migratory Bird section and the current Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet).


Wild Hog-dog Season:

November 14-16.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit and management area permit.
Legal to Hunt - Wild hog.
Regulations Unique to Wild Hog-dog Season -

  1. Each wild hog-dog quota permit allows a hunting group of 2 persons and a guest (3 total) to participate in the hunt.
  2. Hunting with more than 3 free-running dogs per hunting group is prohibited.

Small Game Season:

January 30 through February 1, February 13-15 and February 27 through March 1.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Daily quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, 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 -

  1. Hunting with bird dogs or dogs with a shoulder height of 15 inches or less is allowed.
  2. Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.

Trapping: 

Prohibited.


Spring Turkey Season:

March 21-24 and 27-31.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit and wild turkey permit.
Legal to Hunt - Bearded turkey or gobbler.
Regulations Unique to Spring Turkey Season -

  1. Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise until 1 p.m.
  2. Hunting other animals is prohibited.
  3. Only bows, crossbows and shotguns using a #2 or smaller shot size may be used for hunting.

Migratory Bird Seasons:

Rails, common moorhen, mourning dove, white-winged dove, snipe, ducks, geese, coot, woodcock and crows may be hunted during seasons established by the Commission for these species that coincide with the archery, muzzleloading gun or small game seasons.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit or daily quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, 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.

  1. Hunting ducks, geese and coot with lead shot is prohibited.
  2. Centerfire shotguns are allowed for hunting during established area seasons when 1 or more migratory birds are legal to hunt.

Fishing and Frogging:

Allowed year round.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - 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 methods of take during each particular season.


General Information:

  1. Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
  2. If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 386-758-0525 (TDD 800-955-8771).
  3. The FWC and the District are not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
  4. Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.

Southwest Florida WMD Rules and Information:

  1. Public use of District lands is regulated by Chapter 40D-9 of the Florida Administrative Code, in addition to the above-listed FWC rules.  For detailed information regarding public-use rules and recreational opportunities on District lands, please visit WaterMatters.org/recreation or contact the District at 352-796-7211, 800-492-7862 (FL only), ext. 4470 or Recreation@WaterMatters.org.
  2. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on this area.
  3. All persons using the area should become familiar with the status of control burning areas on a daily basis. These areas will be posted at the check station. Please do not park vehicles or leave any equipment in or adjacent to these areas.

Cooperation Requested:

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.

All persons hunting wild hog or small game are requested to wear blaze-orange headgear and/or vests.

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.



FWC Facts:
Florida's only marsupial (a mammal having a pouch containing the mammary glands and serving as a receptacle for the young) is the Virginia opossum.

Learn More at AskFWC