Hunting in Florida


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Mar 18, 2012
Florida Fisherman
The State of Florida is sportsman's Paradise; a mecca for both the hunter and fisherman.
There is a very good reason why Florida is recognized as the 'Fishing Capital of the World.'

But what about hunting?
Every fall of the year thousands anxiously await the beginning of a sport that has been embedded deep withing our very foundation... Hunting!
Florida's public wildlife management areas (WMA) offer excellent opportunities for those even on a strict budget.
Florida has one of the largest wildlife management area systems in the country at nearly 6 million acres. FWC is the lead manager or landowner on over 1.4 million acres and works in partnership with other governmental or private landowners on another 4.5 million acres. This statewide network of remote and scenic lands is managed for conservation and recreation. Healthy habitats and abundant game populations are the result of dedicated professionals – wildlife biologists, land managers, partners and volunteers – who work to ensure wildlife have the conditions needed to thrive.
During the decade of the 1960s Florida's deer herds were experiencing strong annual increases. The art and science of wildlife management was becoming more science and less art. Arrests for game violations increased 5-fold from the early 1940s. Deer numbers increased 10-fold and annual deer harvest was over 40,000 animals.
Sound FWC wildlife and habitat management practices coupled with more effective law enforcement caused deer numbers to continue growing throughout the decades of the 1970s and '80s. The year 1985 marked the first time in Florida's recorded history that white-tailed deer harvest exceeded 100,000 animals. And the trend continues:

But that's just the beginning. The Sunshine State has a huge population of the very hard to hunt turkey:

Florida turkey hunters can hunt two subspecies of turkey, the Eastern:

And the, Florida only, Osceola. Because of their unique and small distribution the Osceola is highly sought after as a real Sunshine State trophy:

Prefer the fields? Try quail and dove:

Like to hunt swamps? Think ducks and sniper are easy to hunt; easy to hit? Think again?

And, while in the Florida woods, never forget:

Even the squirrels are abundant and ever so fun to hunt.
The State of Florida is sportsman's Paradise; a mecca for both the hunter and fisherman.
Bob Harbison
Florida Outdoor Writers Association
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