Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tools to help you prep for hunting seasons

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FWC’s Hunting Hot Sheet

The latest hunting and conservation news and events from the 
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Do you know when the peak deer rut occurs in your area?

The FWC has been collecting biological data since 2009 from white-tailed deer to estimate the breeding dates for deer across the state. These data have been used to inform management decisions regarding hunting season dates and location of zonal lines. The data also provides local information on peak breeding of white-tailed deer in Florida.
In northern deer ranges, the duration of the rut is short and doesn’t vary much from area to area or from year to year.  In the southeast, where the timing of fawning is not as tied to the seasons, deer breeding activity is more variable. However, in no other state does the peak breeding vary as much as it does in Florida; from July in south Florida to February in northwest Florida.  
We will continue to collect white-tailed deer breeding chronology data in areas where it’s lacking and update maps as additional information is collected.  
Deer breeding chronology map

High school students can earn PE credit AND complete Hunter Safety and Boater Safety certification

Outdoor Education Course
Students in grades 9-12 heading back to school can make this year special by learning new outdoors skills, earning 0.5 physical education credit, and completing their hunter safety and boater safety certification. How? By taking the Florida Virtual School Outdoor Education Course, which is FREE to Florida high school students.
Since the Outdoor Education Course was launched in August 2013, more than 18,000 students have completed it. Those taking the course get great information about activities such as boating, archery, paddleboarding, hiking and more. In addition, students learn about strategies to stay safe and how they can contribute to conservation. Later in the course, students complete a nature hike and document the experience in a photo journal.
Register for the Outdoor Education Course today!

Download WMA regulations brochures before you go afield

WMA brochures pic
Get ready for upcoming hunting seasons by downloading 2017-2018wildlife management area regulations brochures today. This is the last year printed copies of WMA brochures will be provided at FWC’s regional and field offices. We’re phasing out the mass printing of WMA regulations brochures to reduce waste and improve efficiency in providing updated information.  The phase-out began this year with discontinuing the distribution of the 2017-2018 WMA brochures to Florida’s tax collector offices.
For the 2018-2019 hunting season, WMA regulations brochures will only be available at MyFWC.com and the Fish/Hunt FL app. We’ll continue providing you with the most up-to-date WMA regulations information. Just find the brochure you want, download and go! For more information, see the FAQs about the availability of WMA regulations brochures.

Free orientation classes for upcoming alligator hunt

Alligator Hunt Guide
If you have an alligator trapping license/harvest permit and would like to know more about taking part in the statewide alligator harvest program, check out one of FWC’s free training opportunities listed below. Classes are not mandatory, and registration is not required.  


Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. - Tallahassee, Bryant Building, 2nd Floor Auditorium, 620 South Meridian Street 
Sunday, Aug. 6 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. - BartowBartow Civic Center , 2250 South Floral Avenue 
Wednesday, Aug. 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  - GainesvilleWyndham Garden Hotel , 2900 S.W. 13th Street 
Saturday, Aug. 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Okeechobee, Okeechobee County Civic Center, 1750 U.S. Hwy 98 North 
The 2017 Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida is also a valuable reference tool.

Creating a new generation of conservationists

Angling and hunting are an important way of life in Florida. The FWC and its partners provide opportunities to develop these skills and learn about conservation through programs such as Women’s Saltwater Fishing ClinicsYouth Hunting Program of FloridaSaltwater Angler Recognition ProgramsBecoming an Outdoors-WomanTrophy Catch, the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, High School Fishing Clubs and more.
In addition to these programs, new efforts are underway to enhance recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) of hunters and anglers as part of a national initiative to increase participation in conservation. Hunting and angling provide critical funding for Florida’s fish and wildlife species and their habitats through the purchase of licenses and permits and the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration program.
R3 strategies will focus on getting a better understanding of what information and opportunities people need to become involved in hunting, the shooting sports and angling. The FWC also will evaluate its current programs to identify how we can better serve those interested in learning to hunt and fish and develop plans and programs that best meet their needs.

Short Cuts

Bookmark these links to find information fast!
2017 spring and summer hog hunting on public lands
Take a hunter safety course - Hunter safety courses cover firearms safety, wildlife conservation, responsible hunting and more. Students can attend a no-cost traditional classroom course. Or they can complete the classroom portion online, and FWC’s website offers several course options. After the online classroom portion is complete, students must sign up and attend a skills day.
August is National Shooting Sports Month! - Celebrate by heading to an FWC-managed public shooting range. These clean, safe and family friendly ranges are a fun way to spend time with friends and family while learning and practicing safe, responsible firearms handling. FWC manages 9 public ranges throughout the state. Find National Shooting Sports Month events.
Zone A archery season and crossbow season opened Saturday, July 29. The Zone A archery season runs through Aug. 27 and the Zone A crossbow season runs through Sept. 1.
Youth Hunter Education Challenge sporting clays tournament
Who: For youth between the ages 12-17
When: Aug. 5. 9 a.m. check in.
Where: Tenoroc Public Shooting Range, 3760 Tenoroc Mine Rd., Lakeland, Florida
Cost: $25/shooter. Includes 50 clays, 50 shot shells, eye and ear protection, water and lunch.
Register: Contact Jason.Tackett@MyFWC.com or 863-648-3816

Learn more about hunting in Florida at MyFWC.com/Hunting.
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