Apalachicola Quail Enhancement Area

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 bird dog training and quail hunting only on the Quail Enhancement Area of the Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area. For information regarding other hunting and recreational opportunities on this area, see the Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area brochure. 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 the quail 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 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, MyFWC.com/license or by telephone at 888-486-8356.

Quota Permit Information:

Quail - A maximum of 2 quota permits may be available for up to 8 Saturdays in January and February combined. These are no-cost, quota permits (up to 2 hunters per permit; no exemptions). The number of permits issued will be based on a fall quail population survey. It is possible that no permits will be issued.

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.

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. A non-hunting supervisor is allowed to accompany a youth or mentor license holder during any hunt.

Transfer of permits: Quail quota permits are not transferable. A positive form of identification is required when using a non-transferable permit, except for youth under 16 years of age. The sale or purchase of any quota 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. It is illegal to hunt over bait or place any bait or other food for wildlife on this area.
  2. Driving a metal object into any tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven, is prohibited.
  3. No person shall cut, damage or remove any natural, man-made or cultural resource without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  4. 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.
  5. The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
  6. Hunting, fishing or trapping is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
  7. People, dogs, vehicles and other recreational equipment are prohibited in areas posted as “Closed to Public Access” by FWC administrative action.
  8. 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.
  9. The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  10. The planting or introduction of any non-native plant is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  11. Littering is prohibited.
  12. It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
  13. A Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
  14. 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. Motor vehicles are restricted to designated roads as identified on the Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map, obtained at Forest Service offices or at www.fs.fed.us/r8/florida/apalachicola.
  3. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  4. No motor vehicle shall be operated on any part of any wildlife management area that has been designated as closed to vehicular traffic.
  5. Several marked trails traverse the area. These trails are open for recreational use throughout the year.


Quail hunting is prohibited on the Quail Enhancement Area except during the quail season by persons possessing a quail quota permit. For information regarding other hunting and recreational opportunities on this area, see the Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area brochure.


  1. For hunting quail, only shotguns, rimfire rifles, pistols, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used.
  2. Quail may be hunted only during the quota hunts and bird dog trainers may only use pistols firing blanks or a solid ball for training purposes.
  3. Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited.
  4. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm 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. Hunting with full automatic or silencer-equipped firearms, explosive or drug-injecting devices and set guns is are prohibited.
  7. The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.


  1. Bird dogs are only allowed for hunting during the bird dog training and quail seasons.
  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. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.


Camping is allowed at established National Forest campsites only during the general gun season (refer to the Apalachicola WMA brochure for specific dates). Outside this specified time frame, camping is allowed throughout the forest, but is limited to a 14-day stay. For additional information on camping in the Apalachicola National Forest, contact the U.S. Forest Service at 850-926-3561 or 850-643-2282.

Bag and Possession Limits:

Quail - Daily limit 6 per quota permit.

Bird Dog Training Season:

November 1 through December 31.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Hunting license and management area permit.
Legal to Hunt - Killing quail is prohibited.
Regulations Unique to Bird Dog Training -

  1. Only pistols firing blanks or a solid ball may be used for training bird dogs.
  2. The release of quail is prohibited.

Quail Season:

January through February (Saturdays only; maximum of 8 days).

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license and management area permit.
Legal to Hunt - Quail.
Regulations Unique to Quail Season - One permit allows up to 2 persons to hunt.

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 850-265-3676 (TDD 800-955-8771).
  3. The FWC is 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.

U.S. Forest Service Rules and Information:

  1. Discharging a firearm across or on a Forest Development Road is prohibited (CFR Title 36261.10[d]).
  2. Constructing, placing or maintaining any kind of structure or other improvement is prohibited without a written permit from the district ranger. The permit must be posted on the structure at all times.
  3. The use of permanent-type tree stands is prohibited. Portable-type tree stands are encouraged, but must be removed at season's end.
  4. Removing firewood from the forest without a permit from the district ranger is prohibited.
  5. Fenced areas are open to hunting unless posted as closed. Close All Gates.
  6. Only named or numbered roads and mixed-use roads are open to licensed motor vehicles.  Unlicensed motor vehicles (such as ATVs or utility vehicles) are restricted to the OHV trail system (Leon County) or mixed-use roads (Liberty County). Trails/roads/pathways without numbers are closed to motor vehicle use. Motor Vehicle Use Maps may be obtained at Forest Service offices or at www.fs.fed.us/r8/florida/apalachicola.
  7. Be aware that hikers and horse, mountain bike, ATV, and motorcycle riders use trails throughout the year.
  8. For information on camping or for additional information on Forest Service regulations in the Apalachicola National Forest, contact the U.S. Forest Service at 850-926-3561 or 850-643-2282. Violations may result in fines or imprisonment.

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:
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