Spring Creek Unit - Big Bend 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 Spring Creek Unit of the Big Bend 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 www.duckstamp.com.


Quota Permit Information:

Muzzleloading Gun - 150, no-cost, quota permits.
General Gun (first 9 days) - 150, no-cost, quota permits.

Permit applications: Hunters must submit electronic applications for quota 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; ATVs may be ridden independently. 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. Fires are prohibited.
  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.
  2. Persons must enter and exit the area only at designated entrances (see map below).
  3. Motorized vehicles may be operated only on named or numbered roads from September 1 through April 30. From May 1 through August 31, motorized vehicles may be operated only on Spring Creek Road, Rock Road, Swamp Spur, Mule Wallow Spur and Road Spurs 1, 2 and 3.
  4. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  5. No motor vehicle shall be operated on any part of any wildlife management area that has been designated as closed to vehicular traffic. Motorcycles and ATVs may only be operated on roads open to other motor vehicles.

Hunters and Check Stations:

  1. During the first 16 days of archery and general gun seasons and during the muzzleloading gun season, the youth turkey hunt, and the first 16 days of the spring turkey hunt, hunters must check in at a check station upon entering and check out upon leaving the area and check all game harvested. Hunters using the area south of County Road 361A should check in at the Mule Wallow Spur check station prior to hunting.
  2. When manned, check station hours are from 5 a.m. until 1 hour after sunset, except during the spring turkey season when hours are 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  3. 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 6 p.m. 1 day after the end of the season.

Guns:

  1. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited (see exception for small game season).
  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. Hunting deer with rimfire or non-expanding, full metal jacket (military ball) ammunition is prohibited.
  4. 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.
  5. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
  6. No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  7. For hunting non-migratory game, only shotguns, rifles, pistols, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 deer or wild hog with dogs is prohibited.
  2. Hunting with dogs, other than bird dogs or retrievers, is prohibited except during small game season.
  3. 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.
  4. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.
  5. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.

Camping:

Camping is prohibited, except primitive overnight camping shall be allowed at designated campsites at Spring Warrior Creek, by permit only from the Commission, for those individuals using the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail from September 11 through June 30 only. The permit shall be valid for through paddlers only and shall be valid for 1 night only. To obtain a permit call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 850-488-5520.

Bag and Possession Limits:

A guest hunter must share the host’s bag limit. No person shall exceed statewide bag limits.

  1. Deer -
    1. Archery season - daily limit 2, possession limit 4. This limit may include any combination of antlered and antlerless deer.
    2. Muzzleloading gun and general gun seasons - daily limit 2, possession limit 4. Only antlered deer may be taken.
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey - Daily limit 1, season limit 2, possession limit 2.
  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:

September 20 through October 19.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, 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 - 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).


General Gun Season:

November 1-9 and November 10 through December 28.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit (if hunting during first 9 days), hunting license, management area permit, 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 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.


Small Game Season:

December 29 through March 1.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - 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 centerfire rifles is prohibited.
  2. The use of dogs to hunt wild hog is prohibited.
  3. Raccoon or opossum may be hunted at night by the aid of a light and dogs, with .22 rimfire firearms other than .22 magnum, or with a single-shot .410 gauge shotgun using shot no larger than No. 6. The hunting of raccoon or opossum under the provisions of this paragraph by display or use of a light from a moving vehicle, boat or animal is prohibited.

Trapping Season:

January 5 through March 1.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Trapping license and management area permit.
Legal to Trap - Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, otter and bobcat.

Spring Turkey Season:

Youth Turkey:  March 14-15.
Spring Turkey:  March 21 through April 26.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - 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.
  4. 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:

Rail, common moorhen, mourning dove, white-winged dove, snipe, woodcock and crows may be hunted during seasons established by the Commission for these species that coincide with the archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun or small game seasons. Ducks, geese and coot may be hunted during seasons established by the Commission for these species.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit (if hunting during any quota period), 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 from permanent blinds or structures is prohibited.
  2. Hunting ducks, geese and coot with lead shot is prohibited.
  3. 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. Portions of this land were acquired under the Save Our Coasts (SOC) program. The purpose of SOC is to conserve and protect unique and irreplaceable lands and allow controlled multiple recreational and educational uses consistent with this purpose.
  3. The WMA extends into the Gulf of Mexico to the outermost occurrence of black needlerush.
  4. If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 386-758-0525 (TDD 800-955-8771).
  5. The FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
  6. Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.

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.

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:
Turkeys are powerful fliers, especially for short distances. Their wings are designed for short, fast flight, but by alternating gliding and flapping, they can cover a mile easily.

Learn More at AskFWC