Hunting Regulations for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Hunting Regulations 2020–2021 Welcome St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 560 national wildlife refuges. The primary objective of the refuge is to provide habitat for conservation and protection of all species of wildlife. The harvest of surplus animals is one tool used to maintain wildlife populations at a level compatible with habitat. Specific Hunting Regulations All game must be checked out at designated check stations. The regulations listed below supplement the general regulations which govern hunting on wildlife refuges as set forth in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations. Hunting will be in accordance with applicable state regulations. Foot/vehicle access into the refuge hunt area will be through designated access points (see map). No access along portions of public roads (see map). Vehicular access shown on map may vary according to weather and ground conditions. Vehicles are restricted to established roads. Boat access not permitted except to Piney Island for waterfowl hunting. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge P.O. Box 68 St. Marks, FL 32355 850-925-6121 http://www.fws.gov/saintmarks/ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1-800-344-WILD http://southeast.fws.gov June 2020 Public hunting is permitted on approximately 40,000 acres as shown on this map. All hunters must possess identification, a Florida hunting license, and a valid refuge hunt permit for the hunt in which they are participating. State Management Area stamps are not required. A state archery stamp will be required for all archery hunts. A turkey stamp is required to hunt turkey. State and Federal waterfowl stamps are required to hunt waterfowl. State deer permit required for all refuge deer hunters. Pre-hunt scouting on foot is allowed anytime during daylight hours. The hunt area will be open to vehicles, weather permitting, two days before each quota hunt. Vehicle access in hunt area by permitted hunters only. Portions of the hunt area may be temporarily closed due to wildlife management practices such as prescribed burns. All hunters participating in refuge hunts (except turkey hunters) using firearms must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of fluorescent orange-colored material above the waistline. Archery hunters are encouraged to wear orange-colored material. Stand hours from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1 1/2 hours after sunrise are observed during big game hunts as a hunter courtesy. During all hunts for hogs, there are no restrictions on the size or number taken. Youth hunters (younger than 16 years) must possess a valid refuge permit and be supervised by a permitted adult 21 years of age or older and must remain within sight and normal voice contact of the adult. For big game hunts, the adult may supervise only one youth. For small game hunts, the adult may supervise no more than two youths. This leaflet must be signed to be valid for the December 26 - January 10 small game and Newport Hunt Area. It must be carried by the hunter while hunting. Companions must also have this permit while in hunt area. Gates not open for pre-hunt scouting by vehicles. Name (Please print) I have read and understand the refuge hunting regulations. This is a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands and waters managed for the benefit of wildlife and people. Signature (Permits are not transferable) U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Prohibited Activities • Target practice is prohibited. • Driving game is prohibited • Wood gathering, camping, littering, and fires are prohibited. • Leashed dogs may be used for trailing injured game. Other use of dogs prohibited except for Piney Island Waterfowl hunt. • Unleashed dogs prohibited. • The use or possession of alcoholic beverages in refuge hunting areas is prohibited. • The placing of or hunting over bait is prohibited. • It is unlawful to insert a nail, spike or other metal object into any tree or to hunt from any tree in which a nail, spike or other metal object has been inserted. • Hunting from any paved or unpaved refuge road is prohibited. Access Hunters may only access the Refuge two hours before legal sunrise until two hours after legal sunset. Hunters must park in designated parking areas, as identified on the map below, to access the Refuge for hunting. Gates opened to enter the hunting area from designated access points must be closed immediately after passing through. Access to the Refuge from private property is prohibited. Quota Hunts Permits The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) will be handling all hunt permits for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Applications may be submitted at any license agent or tax collector or on-line at http://myfwc.com/license/limited-entry-hunts/ beginning at 10 am (Eastern Time) May 15 - June 15, 2020. Spring Turkey application period will begin November 1-30, 2020. Panacea Unit Fall Archery 200 permits - November 3-7, 2020 Tuesday - Saturday. See bag limits below. Species: white-tailed deer (see bag limits below); hogs-either sex. All game must be checked out at Otter Lake Check Station. Weapons: state regulations for archery equipment, (including crossbows). Area: Panacea Unit only. • Vehicle access on numbered roads only. Wakulla Unit Fall Archery 200 permits - November 10-14, 2020 Tuesday - Saturday • Use of flagging tape and reflective tacks prohibited. Painting or defacing plants or trees prohibited. Species: white-tailed deer (see bag limits below); hogs-either sex. All game must be checked out at the Wakulla Beach Check Station. • ATV’s are prohibited on refuge hunts. • Hunting or cleaning of game within 1000 feet of any residence or developed public recreation area is prohibited. • The refuge is open to daylight use only. Weapons: state regulations for archery equipment, (including crossbows). Wakulla Unit General Gun Hunt 150 permits - December 12-14, 2020 Saturday - Monday Species: white-tailed deer (see bag limits below); hogs - either sex. Area: Wakulla Unit only. All game must be checked out at the Wakulla Beach Rd. check station. Weapons: state regulations for taking deer. Panacea Unit General Gun Hunt 80 permits - December 18-20, 2020, Friday - Sunday Species: white-tailed deer (see bag limits below); hogs - either sex. Area: Panacea Unit only. All game must be checked out at the Otter Lake Rd. check station. Weapons: state regulations for taking deer. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mobility-impaired Person Gun Hunt 30 permits - December 12-14, 2020 Saturday - Monday Weapons: state regulations for taking deer. Species: white-tailed deer (see bag limits below); hogs, either sex. Area: section of Panacea Unit west of Highway 372 (Buckhorn Creek area) and east of US 98 to Spring Creek. See map. All Quota Hunts Bag Limit Two deer per hunt, either two antlerless deer or one antlerless deer and one antlered deer. Antlerless deer are defined per state regulations as deer with no antler or antlers less than 5.” Antlered deer must have at least 3 points, 1 inch or greater in length on one antler to be harvested. Unlimited hogs.Youth hunters 15 years and younger may harvest any deer except spotted fawn during archery season, bag limits apply. New white-tailed Deer annual state bag limit is in effect for all refuge hunts. Spring Gobbler 100 permits - April 13-17, 2021, hunting hours 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset. Species: bearded turkeys only. Bag limit: one turkey per hunt. Area: Panacea and Wakulla Units only. All game must be checked out at designated check stations. Weapons: Only bows, crossbows, and shotguns using #2 or smaller shot may to used for hunting. Non-quota Hunt Permits Small Game and Hogs December 26, 2020 - January 10, 2021 Species: gray squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and hogs. Area: both Panacea and Wakulla Units and Aucilla River Area. All state legal weapons allowed. (Permits: available on website and refuge office) Piney Island Waterfowl Hunt / State Season Species: ducks and coots. Area: Piney Island only. Weapons: non-toxic shot only. Hunting from blinds left in area for more than one day prohibited. Remove blinds daily. Use of island plants for blinds prohibited. Permits: No specific refuge permit required. Port Leon Youth Hunting Area Youth Deer Hunt - December 4-6, 2020 Youth Spring Gobbler Hunt - March 19-21, 2021 Applications available online in the Youth Opportunities Section: http://www.myfwc.com/hunting/ Newport Hunt Area This hunt area is east of the St. Marks River (see map). Access is limited to Grade 6 and Grade 8 only. Archery Season: September 19 - October 18, 2020 State legal archery equipment (including crossbows) Legal to hunt: Antlered deer must have at least three points, one inch or greater in length on one antler to be harvested. Archery hunters may also take antlerless deer during the archery season (which includes does, and bucks with less than five inches in length, but not spotted fawn), and turkey of either sex. Muzzleloading Gun Season: State daily harvest and annual bag limits apply. Wild hogs unlimited. October 24 - November 6, 2020 Spring Turkey Season: Muzzleloading gun, bow and crossbow only General Gun Season: November 7, 2020 - January 24, 2021 State rules regarding weapons and ammunition apply Youth Turkey, March 13-14, 2021 Spring Turkey, March 20 - April 25, 2021 Weapons: Only bows, crossbows, and shotguns using #2 or smaller shot may be used for hunting - bearded turkeys only, hunting allowed 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset. State harvest limits apply. Small Game Season: January 25 - March 7, 2021. Same regulations for species and weapons listed under the (Small Game and Hogs.) License requirements – Signed refuge hunting brochure, Florida hunting license, appropriate state stamp for weapon being used