Babcock Ranch Preserve Tier II Hunt Areas

Important: Update about WMA regulations brochures

Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018

Brochure Adobe PDF | Map Only Adobe PDF
Detailed Teir II Area Maps Adobe PDF and Permit Template 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 Babcock Ranch Preserve Tier II Hunt Areas.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 permit application information should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available at MyFWC.com.

Persons using Babcock Ranch Preserve Tier II Hunt Areas are required to have a Tier II Area Permit (or be a designated participant or guest) and all other appropriate licenses, permits and stamps. The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements (except for the Tier II Area Permit, 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.

Tier II Permit Areas:  Refer to the permit worksheet for availability specific areas.

Area Name Permit Cost Maximum Participants
Timber Pasture Unit $20,000 1 permittee and 4 participants
Pepper Field Unit $7,500 1 permittee and 2 participants
Sugar Hill ‒ East Unit $30,000 1 permittee and 6 participants
Sugar Hill ‒ West Unit $30,000 1 permittee and 6 participants
Cypress Head Unit $14,500 1 permittee and 4 participants
Yearling Pasture Unit $20,000 1 permittee and 4 participants
Deep Freeze - North Unit $21,000 1 permittee and 4 participants
Deep Freeze - South Unit $19,000 1 permittee and 4 participants
Myrtle Slough Unit $23,000 1 permittee and 4 participants
Possum Pond Unit $37,000 1 permittee and 9 participants
South Lightered Unit $53,000 1 permittee and 9 participants
Sawgrass Unit $39,000 1 permittee and 9 participants
Bull Head Unit $43,500 1 permittee and 9 participants
Curry Lake Unit $33,754 1 permittee and 9 participants

 

Issuance Method: Babcock Ranch Preserve Tier II permits are first issued in Phase I to customers eligible to renew (see Renewals below).  Any permits remaining after the renewal period are issued by applications and random drawing during Phase II.  Permits leftover after these phases are then issued immediately on a first-come first-served basis during Phase III.

Cost: The cost of permits is specific to each area, as listed above.  A $1,000.00 deposit must be paid at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com upon claiming the permit, and the remaining balance is due to FWC within two weeks of each payment period.  Please see Payments section regarding full payment deadlines and details.   

Renewals: Customers who obtain a Babcock Ranch Preserve Tier II permit can renew annually for an additional four years, for a total of five consecutive years as a permit holder for their area. Those customers eligible to renew must submit the down payment for the permit during the renewal period (see Application Dates and Deadlines below).  Those who do not renew online and submit remaining payment by the deadline will no longer be eligible to renew and it will be offered for issuance in the next phase.

Permit applications: Hunters must submit electronic applications at gooutdoorsflorida.com External Website. Additional information listing available permit areas, application periods, deadlines and instructions are available at MyFWC.com.

Guest hunters: Each permit holder and participant may have two guests with them at any time.  Spouse and children less than 18 years of age are not considered guests, but must be in the presence and control of the permittee or participant.  Children 18 years of age or older shall be a participant or guest.  The permittee and participant assume full responsibility for the behavior of and risks to family and guests.

Youth and mentor license holders: A supervisor is required to accompany a youth or mentor license holder during any hunt. 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.

Antlerless Deer Permits: A designated number of antlerless deer permits are issued for each permit area.  The permittee or participant shall not apply for antlerless deer tags.

Transfer of permits: Tier II Area permits are not transferable. If extenuating circumstances should occur at any time throughout the term of the permit, permit holders or designated participants may contact the FWC liaison.

General Area Regulations

All general laws and regulations relating to wildlife and fish shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area.

  1. Driving a metal object into any tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven, is prohibited.
  2. No person shall erect any new tree stand or rebuild existing tree stands.  Portable stands that create no damage to trees are allowed.
  3. No person shall cut, damage or remove any natural, man-made or cultural resource from the area, except legally harvested wildlife.
  4. People, dogs, vehicles and other recreational equipment are prohibited in areas posted as “Closed to Public Access”.
  5. 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.
  6. The release of any animal is prohibited, without written authorization.
  7. The planting or introduction of any non-native plant is prohibited.
  8. Littering is prohibited.
  9. It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
  10. Horses are prohibited.
  11. An FWC Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.

Access and Vehicles

  1. Except as authorized below, public use of this property is administered by the Florida Forest Service.
  2. This area is a working ranch with ongoing cattle, timber and farming operations. Please be respectful of ranch staff, be aware and cautious of cattle, and leave all gates in the same position you find them (closed gates should be closed and open gate should be left open.
  3. Should the mix of cattle herds occur, the permit holder will be responsible for all costs of sorting the cattle.
  4. Vehicle access to a Tier II Permit Area is allowed only on those gates and roads as designated in the permit.
  5. All vehicles, including recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), swamp buggies and unlicensed and unregistered motor vehicles, except off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) may be operated only on existing roads and fire lanes.
  6. The use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) is prohibited, except as used in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  7. No motor vehicle shall be operated in areas designated as closed to vehicular traffic.

General Hunting Regulations

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. The harvest of wild turkey is prohibited except during archery and spring turkey seasons.
  2. The harvest of antlerless deer except as allowed during archery and crossbow seasons is prohibited without an antlerless deer tag provided by FWC.
  3. 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.
  4. Taking of spotted fawn, swimming deer or roosted turkey is prohibited.
  5. Game feeding stations may be maintained within the permit areas provided they are not placed within 300 yards of any common boundary.
  6. Non-migratory game may be taken in proximity to game feeding stations which are maintained with feed (corn, wheat, grain or any other food substance deposited by other than normal agricultural harvesting or planting) throughout the year provided that each feeding station shall have been maintained at least six months prior to the taking of game in proximity thereof. Wild turkey may not be taken if the hunter is less than 100 yards from a game feeding station when feed is present.
  7. 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 wild hog and crows.
  8. The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
  9. Hunting, fishing or trapping is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
  10. Positive evidence of sex identification, including the head, shall remain on all deer and turkey harvested so long as such deer or turkey is kept in within the area or is en route to the domicile of its possessor or until such deer or turkey has been cooked or stored at the domicile of its possessor.
  11. Deer and turkey may be dismembered in the field or camp but each portion shall have a tag affixed to it identifying the name, address, FWC Recreational Licensing Issuance Services Customer ID number (if a hunting license is required) of the person who killed it, the date and location at which it was taken, and shall be readily traceable to the portion of the animal bearing the sex identification.
  12. Wild hog may not be transported alive.
  13. No person shall trap or sell any part of a wild hog.
  14. Wild hog may only be harvested by any legal method of game harvest.
  15. Wild hog, rabbit and furbearers (except bobcat and otter) may be harvested year round (all legal methods of take are allowed).
  16. Bobcat and otter may be harvested from December 1 through March 1 only (except bobcat may be harvested with guns only until March 31).
  17. Trapping is prohibited.
  18. Hunting at night is prohibited and the use of a light in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of wildlife from one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise is prohibited.

Guns

  1. 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.
  2. Hunting deer with rimfire or non-expanding, full metal jacket (military ball) ammunition is prohibited.
  3. Hunting wildlife (other than deer, turkey, quail or migratory birds) with air guns is allowed. Hunting with air guns is prohibited during archery and muzzleloading gun seasons.
  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 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 are allowed during the small game 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. Dogs may be possessed, under physical restraint only, during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  5. All dogs shall be vaccinated for rabies and display a valid rabies tag at all times.

Camping

  1. Prohibited except at the designated site for each Tier II Area.
  2. Camps shall be maintained in a clean, neat and orderly condition at all times.
  3. Garbage shall be removed following each visit to the area.
  4. Traditional mobile camping equipment, such as travel trailers, recreational vehicles, and campers are allowed at the designated campsite.  This equipment shall be properly licensed and registered, and maintained in a safe and usable condition.
  5. A screened enclosure and cooking/cleaning area and facilities may be allowed to be constructed and maintained at the campsite.  No person shall erect, construct, build or place any other building, cage, other structure (whether personal property or otherwise), or fixtures without the prior written approval from FWC. 

Bag and Possession Limits

All bag limits are specified as per person. No person shall exceed statewide bag limits.

  1. Deer – Possession limit 4, daily bag as follows:
    1. Archery and Crossbow seasons - 2 antlerless deer, or 2 antlered deer, or 1 antlered and 1 antlerless deer. (Note:  During the last 5 days of crossbow season antlerless deer may be harvested only with an antlerless deer tag.)
    2. Muzzleloading gun and Antlered deer seasons - 2 antlered deer. (Note: Antlerless deer may be harvested only with an antlerless deer tag and shall be included in the daily bag limit.)
  2. Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
  3. Turkey - Daily limit 2, archery and spring seasons limit 2 each season, possession limit 2.
  4. Quail, gray squirrel 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 Florida Hunting Regulations handbook.

Archery Season

July 29 throughy August 27.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements – Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests), hunting license, 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 - Deer with at least 1 antler having 4 or more points (each point 1-inch or more in length), antlerless deer (which includes does and bucks with antlers less than 5 inches in length, but not spotted fawn), bearded turkey or gobbler, wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Archery Season -

  1. Youth less than 16 years of age 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 as allowed during overlapping seasons (migratory birds, wild hog, rabbit and furbearers).

Crossbow Season

July 29 through September 1.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests), hunting license, crossbow permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), antlerless deer permit (if hunting antlerless deer after August 27), 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 4 or more points (each point 1-inch 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, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Crossbow Season -

  1. Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. Only bows and crossbows may be used for hunting, except as allowed during overlapping seasons.

Muzzleloading Gun Season

September 2-15.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests), hunting license, muzzleloading gun permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), antlerless deer permit (if hunting antlerless 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 4 or more points (each point 1-inch 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, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season.

Regulations Unique to Muzzleloading Gun Season -

  1. Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
  2. Only bows, crossbows or muzzleloading guns may be used for hunting, except as allowed during overlapping seasons.

Antlered Deer Season

September 16 through October 15 and November 18 through January 7.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests), hunting license, deer permit (if hunting deer), antlerless deer permit (if hunting antlerless 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 4 or more points (each point 1-inch 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, gray squirrel, quail (beginning Nov. 11), rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning Dec. 1.

Regulations Unique to Antlered Deer Season - Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.

Small Game Season

October 14 through March 4.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests), hunting license, 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 (beginning Nov. 11), rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria bobcat (Dec. 1 – Mar. 31 only), otter (Dec. 1 – Mar. 1 only) and migratory birds in season.

Spring Turkey Season

Youth Turkey:  February 24-25.
Spring Turkey:  March 3 through April 8.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests), hunting license and wild turkey permit.

Legal to Hunt - Bearded turkey or gobbler.

Regulations Unique to Spring Turkey Season -

  1. Only bows, crossbows and shotguns using a #2 or smaller shot size may be used for hunting.
  2. Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise until sunset.
  3. 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, ducks, geese, coot, woodcock and crows may be hunted during statewide migratory bird seasons.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests), hunting license, migratory bird permit, and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).

Legal to Hunt - See Florida Hunting Regulations handbook.

Regulations Unique to Migratory Bird Seasons - All Migratory Bird Regulations shall apply.

  1. Hunting ducks, geese and coot with lead shot is prohibited.
  2. All legal methods of take for migratory birds are allowed when migratory birds are legal to hunt.

Fishing and Frogging

Allowed year round.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Tier II permit (or authorized participants and guests) and 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.

General Information

  1. This area is a working ranch. Significant disruptions of the ranch operations could influence future public access. Please be respectful of ranch staff, be aware and cautious of cattle, and leave all gates in the same position you found them.
  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 863-648-3200 (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.

Florida Forest Service Rules and Information

Florida Forest Service management includes prescribed burning and timber management most months of the year, including hunting seasons. Area users should contact the Florida Forest Service for information and location of burn areas, 941-460-7333.

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:
The traditional hunter safety course covers the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to be a safe hunter - with 12 hours of instruction, a test and 3 hours on a shooting range.

Learn More at AskFWC