Rules For WMA Land
by Nathan Skelley
(Jacksonville, FL, US)
September 10, 2011, QUESTION: I'm new to Florida with orders stationed here. Can I just go to any WMA land and hunt within the land and seasons of the hunt? What do I have to do? I am lost with what it is I need to do and how to do it. Down here I keep being told by people as long as the game is in season I can just go out there and hunt. But when I read the brochures, I get confused by what I have been told and exactly what I'm reading.
ANSWER: Welcome to Florida. I'm going to take a chance that when you say "orders stationed here," that you mean a permanent military assignment, and not a temporary duty assignment. If that is the case, for purposes of hunting in Florida, active duty military personnel stationed in Florida, including their spouses and dependent children residing in their households, are considered residents when purchasing hunting licenses regardless of how long they have lived in the state.
Therefore, because you are in the miliary and stationed in Florida, the residency requirement of living in Florida for six continuous months is waived.
You do, however, need to purchase a Florida hunting license, and management area permit, as well as any other applicable permits (such as deer permit, turkey permit, migratory bird permit, waterfowl permit and Federal duck stamp, archery permit, crossbow permit, muzzleloading gun permit).
Hunting license and permits and the Federal Duck Stamp may be obtained at county tax collectors' offices and license agents; online at: Florida Wildlife License and Permits; or by calling 1-888-HUNT FLORIDA (486-8356).
It's possible the confusion could be caused by the fact that the people you're talking to who say you can just go out there and hunt, may be referring to Florida's six-month residency requirement. Those people may not realize that even though the six-month residency requirement does not apply to military personnel, the requirement to purchase a hunting license and applicable permits do apply.
I hope this information is helpful to you, and that you find time to enjoy a little hunting while you're here in Florida.