Hunting on Public Land

Eglin Air Force Base
Wildlife Management Area

Eglin AFB Jackson Guard

Eglin WMA hunting could be well worth your efforts if you're willing to go through the steps to get your permit.

Being ex-military, I'm familiar with the area. I've seen some mighty fine racks come out of them woods with enough hogs throwed in that you don't have to pay for Boston Butt to make your sausage, you can get both in one trip.

I recently contacted the Jackson Guard at(850) 882-4164. That office advised me that hunting is open to the public and there is a $55.00 hunting permit required for persons over the age of 16. You must come into their office located in Niceville, Florida, at 107 Highway 85 - just north of Highway 20. At that time, you may purchase your hunting permit, watch a 5 minute video, and then you'll be provided with a map of the hunting area.

Eglin Air Force Base

The Eglin Natural Resources Branch is commonly known as Jackson Guard. The name comes from the days before Eglin when this area was the Choctawhatchee National Forest. Ranger stations were known as "guards." This particular one was called "Jackson" as a nod to the future President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, who kept prisoners here during the Seminole Indian Wars.

All Eglin recreation, hunting and fishing permits are sold here. There are informational displays in the lobby and a small deer pen outside. Jackson Guard is located in Niceville, on Highway 85 just north of Highway 20.

For more information, call (850) 882-4164 or (850) 882-4165.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says that the Eglin AFB covers 464,000 acres in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties. An Eglin permit is required to access approximately 280,000 acres of the Eglin reservation conditionally open to public recreation. Outdoor recreation permits and a comprehensive map and regulation summary are available from the Natural Resources Branch office (commonly known as Jackson Guard) located at 107 Hwy 85 North, in Niceville. All or portions of the Eglin reservation are subject to closure during military testing/training operations.

Eglin has many outstanding natural features and bountiful outdoor recreational opportunities. Popular activities include: excellent deer, turkey and feral hog hunting; mobility impaired and youth Special Opportunity Hunts; fishing Eglin's 21 ponds; primitive camping; canoeing scenic waters; mountain biking in the Timberlake Recreation Area; and hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail. Eglin AFB is also home to more than 93 rare or listed plant species and animal species, 63 of which are considered globally rare. Included in this list is the endangered Okaloosa darter, which is found in only six creek systems in the central portion of the air force base.

Eglin has the largest contiguous acreage of old-growth longleaf pine in the world and the fourth largest red-cockaded woodpecker population. This area is a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail offering both inland and barrier island birding opportunities. The Anderson Pond Recreation Area is open to the public year-round. Just off Highway 85, 3 miles north of Niceville, this area has an elevated boardwalk, a picnic shelter, a pier, and camping area. All the facilities are handicapped accessible. For specific information regarding outdoor recreational opportunities on Eglin AFB contact the Natural Resources Branch at (850) 882-4164.

Eglin Air Force Base Website

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