Big Game Hunting
Big Game Hunting Regulations at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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Haulover Canal Merritt Island Hunter Check-out Station South ____________________________________ I have read and understand all Refuge hunting regulations. In case of emergency call 321/867 7911 Federal Wildlife Officer 407-275-4150_7 1 ± Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Big Game Hunt Permit 2020-2021 Name: _______________________________ Print ____________________________________ I have read and understand all Refuge hunting regulations. August 2020 ____________________________________ Signature (This permit is only valid when signed.) 1 800/344 WILD U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island Signature Card Contact #: 321/861 0669 321/861 0669 Visitor Center Titusville, FL 32781 P.O. Box 2683 Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Miles 1.5 0.75 0 Refuge Boundary Roads Address: ______________________________ Zone 5 (Beacon 42) Zone 4 (Pine Flatwoods) Zone 1 (Shiloh) Zone 3 (WSEG) Indian River Lagoon Zone 5 Rd k ee Cr lo til Pa Pine Flatwoods Rd. Zone 4 Print Address: ______________________________ ____________________________________ Signature (This permit is only valid when signed.) Merritt Island NWR Big Game Hunt Zones u e Ro Name: _______________________________ Zone 2 (Gomez Grant Line) Shiloh 3 Rd. er th d ea W er R w To d GR E WS Zone 1 Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Big Game Hunt Permit 2020-2021 Beacon 42 Mosquito Lagoon ad Ro 52 1 National Wildlife Refuge Big Game Hunting Regulations 2020-2021 d Roa 132 3 t e z me Go Stat Fred's Rd Zone 3 7 12 ad Ro Zone 2 1 27 tL in e ad Ro an Gr 1 US Hunter Check-out Station North Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Big Game Hunt Zones U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service In case of emergency call 321/867 7911 Federal Wildlife Officer 407-275-4150_7 2 Welcome to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR/ Refuge) was established in 1963 as an overlay of the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Some areas of the Refuge can be closed by NASA for safety or security purposes. Individuals found inside NASA’s “normal” or “expanded” restricted areas are subject to arrest. Merritt Island NWR and KSC maintain the right to close any portion of the Refuge for any length of time. In that case, we will not refund or reissue any permits. The hunt area lies within Volusia and Brevard Counties in Florida. Hunting white-tailed deer and feral hog is allowed in designated zones on the Refuge. Each hunt is permitted as a three day hunt for 30 permitted hunters. The hunt area includes 5,000 acres of upland habitat along State Route 3, north of Haulover Canal between the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon. The remainder of the Refuge is closed to protect endangered species and to permit other recreational activities. There are five hunt zones named: (1) Shiloh (2) Gomez Grant Line (3) WSEG (4) Pine Flatwoods and (5) Beacon 42. The hunt zones provide a variety of habitats suited for whitetailed deer and feral hogs. Pine Flatwoods hiking trail and WSEG boat ramp will be closed to all public use during hunt except permitted hunters. See map on back for details. There are color maps on our website at: www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island Big Game Hunting-Specific Regulations Big game hunting on the Refuge is allowed in accordance with State and Federal Regulations. Hunters should consult these regulations before going afield. Listed below are Refuge-specific regulations that pertain to Merritt Island NWR for Big Game Hunting. These regulations may be modified annually or as habitat, populations, or other conditions change. Violation of regulations may result in the loss of hunting privileges. License and Permits • Hunters must carry a valid State-issued Merritt Island NWR ‘Big Game Quota Hunt Permit,’ which can be purchased through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The Quota Hunt Permit is a limited entry/ quota permit, zone-specific, and nontransferable. • All hunters must possess and carry a current signed Big Game Hunt Brochure (Refuge Permit). • Permitted hunters may take one adult guest and each adult guest may take one youth hunter. The party must remain within 30 yards of the quota permitted hunter. • Hunters must have on their persons all applicable Florida hunting licenses and permits and must comply with State requirements for hunter-education courses. • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on a National Wildlife Refuge must comply with all provisions of Federal, State and local law. Persons may only discharge firearms in accordance with Refuge regulations. Equipment • Crossbows are not allowed unless you obtain a “Persons with Disabilities Crossbow Permit” from FWC. • Archery hunters must wear at least 500 square inches of solid fluorescent-orange color while moving to and from their vehicles, to their stands or hunting spots, and while tracking or dragging out game. • No field or game cameras are allowed to be left on the Refuge overnight. • Drones and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are NOT allowed on the Refuge. Scouting • We prohibit all scouting and stalking in the hunt area during the quota hunt. Hunters must be on their stand or in their blind while hunting. • We allow permitted hunters to scout within their permitted zones up to seven days prior to their permitted hunts. • Hunters must carry their valid Quota Hunt Permit identifying the permitted hunt zone and dates while scouting. Hunters must be in possession of all required State and Federal licenses and permits while scouting. • Hunters may not possess hunting weapons while scouting. Harvest • The bag limit and antler requirements for white-tailed deer on the Refuge will follow State regulations The party must share the State bag limits. • There is no bag limit or size limit for the take of feral hogs. • Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before legal sunrise to ½ hour after legal sunset. • We allow parking along SR 3 in a manner that does not block any road or firebreak. Parking and driving is not allowed on any side road, beyond ‘Area Closed’ signs or within the hunt areas. • We prohibit hunting from Refuge roads that separate units, within 150 yards of roads open to public vehicle traffic, or within 200 yards of a building or KSC facility. • Permitted Big Game hunters may access the Refuge no earlier than 5:00 am and must leave the Refuge no later than 2 hours after legal sunset. Season: 2020-2021 Limited Entry/ Quota Permit Required What You Need to Know Phase I permits are issued by random drawing. Archery I September 25-27 • Remaining permits will be on a first come, first served basis Archery II October 30 - November 1 • To check for availability go to www.MyFWC.com/hunting then go to “Permit Availability” Archery III November 13-15 • Drawing results are typically posted on the FWC website within two weeks after the end of the application period Limited Entry/Quota Permits- Regulated by FWC To hunt white-tailed deer or feral hogs, you will need to purchase a Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Archery Limited/Quota Permit through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Recreational Licensing Issuance Services System (RLIS). • To track wounded game beyond one hour after legal sunset, hunters must gain consent from a Federal Wildlife Officer. • Each permit costs $27.50 and the permit is non-transferable. • If flagging or other trail-marking material is used, you must print your name on each piece or marker. Flagging and trail markers may be set up to seven days prior to the permitted hunt. All flagging and markers must be removed by the end of the last day of the permitted hunt. • Preference points do apply. • Each Hunter is authorized only one stand or blind per hunter. Each stand or blind must clearly be marked with their Florida State customer ID number and date installed. Additional guests must must have both the permitted hunter and guest hunter Florida State customer ID number. The word guest or youth must be included on additional stands. • Stalking or moving through the hunt area while hunting is prohibited. • Hunters may field dress game; however, we prohibit cleaning game within 333 yards of any public area, road, game-check station, or gate. Dumping game carcasses on the Refuge is prohibited. • We prohibit hunting with dogs; however, we are allowing the limited use of trained tracking dogs but only with prior authorization by a Federal Wildlife Officer. • Hunters must report all hunting activities at one of the two check stations, including both successful and non-successful hunts, prior to leaving the Refuge. • You must be 16 years of age to apply. • Each permit is zone specific and for specific dates. • All hunters must carry a picture ID, a Florida Hunting License, a self-issuing Refuge Permit (signed brochure), and all appropriate State license. • A Florida Wildlife Management Permit is not required. How to Apply To apply for a Merritt Island NWR permit online go to www.MyFWC.com/hunting, (go “Apply for Limited Entry/ Quota Permit” then choose “Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge”) or complete the application worksheet and present it to a licensed agent or tax collector office. Florida residents applying through the internet must have a valid Florida drive r’s license or ID card to be considered a resident. Youth, active duty military, resident disabled customers, and residents age 65 or older that do not have an active Florida Driver’s license or ID card must apply at a licensed agent or tax collector office to show alternate proof. When to Apply: 2020 - 2021 Phase I Application: May 15- June 15 Phase I Claim Deadline: July 20 Phase II Leftovers: July 23 until filled • If you are successful in the Phase I drawing you may claim your permit online and print from your own printer or claim your permit at a licensed agent or tax collector office • If lost or stolen you may reprint your permit at no cost from the online website or for $2.50 from a licensed vendor, or you may download the “FWC Fish/Hunt Florida App” and sync your license to your smart phone • If you have problems with issuance of your quota permit, please contact FWC at 850/488 3641 (Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm)