Fitzhugh Carter Tract Econfina Creek Wildlife Management 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 hunting, fishing and other recreational use on the Fitzhugh Carter Tract of Econfina Creek 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 and fishing 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 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 (hunting) or 888-347-4356 (fishing). 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:

Archery - 15, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions) for each of 2 hunts.
General Gun - 15, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions) for each of 3 hunts.
Muzzleloading Gun - 15, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions).
Youth Turkey - 3, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions).
Spring Turkey - 5, no-cost, quota permits (no exemptions) for each of 3 hunts.

Daily Fishing Permits: 20 anglers are allowed on the area per day. 10 daily permits are available first-come, first-serve at the check station; 10 daily permits can be reserved in advance by calling 850-773-2631. If reserved permits are not filled by 11 a.m., they will become available at the check station first-come, first-serve. Permits are issued with specific lake designations, and anglers are allowed to fish only at the lake for which the permit is issued and must have the permit in their possession at all times.

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. Guest hunters are not allowed during youth turkey hunts. 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. 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 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.
  21. The possession or consumption of intoxicating beverages is prohibited.

Public Access And Vehicles:

  1. Open to public recreational access year round. During periods when the area is closed to hunting and fishing, public access other than by foot is prohibited.
  2. All persons shall enter and exit at the designated entrance (see map).
  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. Vehicles may be operated only on named or numbered roads.
  6. Horses and the use of all-terrain vehicles and bicycles are prohibited.

Hunters And Check Stations:

  1. Hunters must check in at the check station when entering and check out when leaving the area and check all game harvested.
  2. 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.
  3. On hunt days, the check station hours are 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Refer to the Fishing And Frogging section for check station hours on days open to fishing.

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. 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. Hunting during the spring turkey season with firearms other than shotguns or using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.
  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 with dogs, other than bird dogs or retrievers, is prohibited.
  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:

Prohibited.

Bag And Possession Limits:

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

  1. Deer - Daily limit 2, possession limit 4 (see legal to take for each season).
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey - Daily limit 1, except the youth turkey limit is 1 per quota permit; 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. Migratory birds - See Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

Archery Season:

October 25-31 and November 1-9.

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 - 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 -

  1. Youth 15 years of age and under may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. 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).

General Gun Season:

November 27-30, January 24-27 and January 28 through February 1.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, 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 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 General Gun Season - Youth 15 years of age and under may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.

 

Muzzleloading Gun Season:

December 6-8.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, muzzleloading gun 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 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 Muzzleloading Gun Season -

  1. Youth 15 years of age and under may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. 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).

 

Small Game Season:

December 13-28.

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.

Regulations Unique to Small Game Season - Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.

Spring Turkey Season:

Youth Turkey: March 14-15.

Spring Turkey: March 21-23, April 3-5 and 17-19

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. 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.

Trapping:

Prohibited.

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, general gun or small game seasons. Ducks may also be hunted during special September duck season.

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 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 take.

Fishing And Frogging:

Allowed Friday through Monday (except during periods open to hunting) by permit only.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Daily fishing permit and fishing license (not required when frogging).

Legal to Take - All legal fish (except as provided below) and frogs. See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summary.

Regulations Unique to Fishing and Frogging - All General Freshwater Fishing Regulations shall apply.

  1. Anglers shall check in and out at the check station when entering and exiting the area and shall check all fish taken.
  2. Fishing is allowed starting at 6 a.m. Entrance gates close at 8 p.m. during the summer period (March – October) and at 5 p.m. during the winter period (November – February).
  3. Fishing is allowed in designated lakes and water bodies only. All other lakes, water bodies and restricted areas are closed to public fishing.
  4. Boats are provided for use on each lake; these boats must be kept at the lake on which they are placed. No outside boats are allowed into the area. All state boating regulations, including the use of personal floatation devices (PFDs), apply.
  5. Fish may be taken only by hook and line or rod and reel. The use or possession of nets, seines, fish traps, trotlines, set lines, spears, gigs, snatch hooks, crossbow, bow and arrow or bush hooks is prohibited. Landing nets may be used for fish legally caught from a boat.
  6. No person shall take more than 20 panfish in the aggregate per day. Any bluegill or redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately. No person shall take more than 10 black crappie per day. Any black crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. All largemouth bass are catch and release only.
  7. Fish may not be filleted, nor the head or tail fin removed, until the angler has checked out at the check station.
  8. Anglers will be given a creel kit and are expected to accurately complete the information sheet and return it to the check station upon check out.
  9. 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. Other recreational uses, including canoeing, kayaking, hiking and bird watching, are allowed on the area and are subject to all area rules and regulations.
  2. Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
  3. If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 850-265-3676 (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.

Northwest Florida WMD Rules And Information:

  1. This land was acquired by the Northwest Florida Water Management District (District) to protect public water resources. The purpose of the District's land acquisition and management program is to conserve and protect unique and irreplaceable land and water resources, restore areas to their original condition as much as possible and allow controlled multiple recreational and educational uses consistent with this purpose.
  2. The District's land management activities for this area may include prescribed burning and timber harvesting during most months of the year. For personal safety reasons, area users should be aware of activities in the area and contact the District's Land Management office at 850-539-5999 with any questions. The District has no responsibility or obligation to identify and/or protect personal property while undertaking its land management activities.

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:
To receive a no-cost Resident Disabled Person's Hunting and Fishing License, applicants must provide proof of being totally and permanently disabled.

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