It is the time of year when many Historic City News readers will be taking advantage of the cooler weather to spend more time outdoors, scouting or enjoying archery season; and, through state, federal and private partnerships, Florida also boasts many diverse and exciting public hunting opportunities.
Community Relations Coordinator Katie Purcell, told local reporters that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages adults and children to get out and enjoy all the state has to offer.
“We want people to be safe outdoors and want our outdoor resources to be around for generations to come,” Purcell commented. “Officers in our Division of Law Enforcement are on patrol in order to make sure that our guests enjoy themselves safely and responsibly.”
Finding lost hikers, checking boaters for safety gear and teaching children about fishing and hunting are just some of the contributions Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers make.
“We check that all users, not just hunters, are being safe and responsible in our Wildlife Management Areas,” Purcell said. “If you are visiting, you should be operating on open roads or trails, staying off closed roads, following speed limits and showing courtesy to others who share the nearly 6-million acres in Florida’s wildlife management area system.”
Those hunting on public lands just need to remember a few extra things:
Do not consume alcohol or use illegal drugs.
Pick up all belongings; don’t litter; preserve paradise.
Only build fires of appropriate materials at recognized campsites and thoroughly extinguish flames and embers before leaving.
Safety while hunting is of paramount importance, which is why hunter safety courses are required for most hunters. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers make sure all bag and size limits are followed, appropriate methods and equipment are used, and that hunters are hunting during the right hours and possess the necessary license and permits.
Violations involving licenses and permits could warrant a $50 fine plus the cost of the license. Penalties can escalate for people with recent previous violations. Some hunting and other violations can lead to more serious consequences, including higher fines and even jail time.