Upper St. Johns River Marsh WMA

Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014

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 Upper St. Johns River Marsh 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 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 permit 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 External Website.

Quota Permit Information:

Quota permits are not required for this area.

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. Wild hog and 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 the 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.

Public Access and Vehicles:

  1. Open to public recreational access year round, but read below for restrictions and limitations.
  2. Public access is prohibited within 1,000 feet of any posted construction site.
  3. Public access on Levee 74 North is allowed only at designated entrances.
  4. Motorized vehicles are prohibited, except on Fellsmere Grade and Lawton Road.
  5. Motorized vessels are prohibited in those portions of the area posted as walk-in only, except motorized vessels are allowed in areas posted as seasonal walk-in areas, but only from 1 day following the close of spring turkey season to 1 day prior to archery season and motorized vessels are allowed in the Three Forks Water Management Area, but only on the designated airboat trail (see map).
  6. Use of an airboat or outboard motor greater than 10 horsepower is prohibited as posted in the Blue Cypress Water Management Area. Airboats are allowed on the airboat trail in Blue Cypress Water Management Area and must be launched and loaded from the water at the designated airboat launch area.
  7. Airboats must cross levees at designated airboat crossings.
  8. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  9. No motor vehicle shall be operated on any part of any wildlife management area that has been designated as closed to vehicular traffic.

Hunters:

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. During the duck, geese and coot season in the Stick Marsh/Farm 13, Kenansville Lake and as posted in the Blue Cypress Water Management Area, hunting with archery equipment and firearms, other than shotguns, is prohibited.
  2. Hunting is prohibited on the rights of way of Fellsmere Grade, C-54 and all levees.
  3. The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.
  4. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited.
  5. Muzzleloading guns used for taking deer must fire a .40 caliber or larger bullet, or be 20 gauge or larger if firing 2 or more balls.
  6. Hunting deer with rimfire or non-expanding, full metal jacket (military ball) ammunition is prohibited.
  7. 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.
  8. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
  9. No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  10. For hunting non-migratory game, only shotguns, rifles, pistols, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used. Hunting during the spring turkey season with firearms other than shotguns or using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Dogs:

  1. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs may be used during the small game and duck and coot seasons and dogs may be used for hunting wild hog during the period of January 13-26.
  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.

Camping:

Camping is prohibited, except from 8 a.m. 1 day prior to archery season to 6 p.m. 7 days after the close of spring turkey season or at other times as authorized by St. Johns River Water Management District (386-329-4404). Only tent camping is allowed and only at designated campsites.

Bag and Possession Limits:

  1. Deer - Daily limit 2, possession limit 4.
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey - Daily limit 1, all fall seasons combined limit 2, spring 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 14 through October 13.

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). During the duck, geese and coot season in the Stick Marsh/Farm 13, Kenansville Lake and as posted in the Blue Cypress Water Management Area, hunting with archery equipment and firearms, other than shotguns, is prohibited.

Muzzleloading Gun Season:

October 19-27.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area permit, muzzleloading gun permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey) 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, turkey of either sex, 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 2 through January 12.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license, management area 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 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) during the period of November 23-24 only, wild hog, gobbler or bearded turkey (only through December 29), 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 - During the duck, geese and coot season in the Stick Marsh/Farm 13, Kenansville Lake and as posted in the Blue Cypress Water Management Area, hunting with archery equipment and firearms, other than shotguns, is prohibited.

Small Game Season:

January 13 through March 2.

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 and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter through March 1.

Regulations Unique to Small Game Season -

  1. Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.
  2. Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs may be used during the small game and duck and coot seasons and dogs may be used for hunting wild hog during the period of January 13-26.

Trapping:

Prohibited.

Spring Turkey Season:

Youth Turkey: March 8-9.

Spring Turkey: March 15 through April 20.

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. The taking of any other animal is prohibited.
  3. Hunting with firearms other than shotguns or using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.
  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:

Rails, 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 the seasons established by the Commission for these species.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - 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 duck, 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 take.
  3. During the ducks, geese and coot season in the Stick Marsh/Farm 13, Kenansville Lake and as posted in the Blue Cypress Water Management Area, hunting with archery equipment and firearms, other than shotguns, is prohibited.

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.

  1. Shooting frogs is allowed only during the listed open hunting seasons and only with the legal methods of take during each particular season.
  2. Bush hooks are prohibited.

General Information:

  1. Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
  2. For information regarding recreational use other than hunting please call the St. Johns River Water Management District at 386 329-4404.
  3. If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 352-732-1225 (TDD 800-955-8771).
  4. The FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
  5. Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.

St. Johns River Water Management District Information:

  1. For information regarding recreational use other than hunting please call the St. Johns River Water Management District at 386-329-4404.
  2. Portions of this WMA will be under construction in fulfillment of the restoration and flood control efforts of the St. Johns River Water Management District. In order to insure safety and to balance the needs of construction and public recreation, portions of the WMA will be closed by signage. At times hunters may also encounter heavy equipment and construction traffic.

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 handicap. 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:
The turkey was wrongly named after what was thought to be its country of origin.

Learn More at AskFWC