Florida Considers Private Land Deer Permit

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet Feb. 13-14 in Orlando to discuss wildlife and fisheries issues, including two new wildlife management areas and more flexible private land deer hunting permits.

One draft rule to be considered Feb. 14 concerns establishing a voluntary private-lands deer management permit program to provide more deer management flexibility. The proposed program is designed to promote wildlife and habitat conservation on private lands in Florida.

The meeting, both days, will be at the “Ports of Call” meeting facility at SeaWorld, 7007 SeaWorld Drive in Orlando, Sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. both days and are open to the public. Anyone wishing to address specific issues or items not on the agenda will be allowed to speak according to guidelines established by the Commission.

On the first day of the meeting, after review of consent agenda items, Executive Director Nick Wiley will present the director’s report. After that, FWC Commissioners will take up marine fisheries issues.

On the second day of the meeting, Commissioners will discuss proposed changes for hunting and freshwater fishing, as well as expanding hunting opportunities and public access on nearly 6 million acres of the FWC’s wildlife management area system. Most noteworthy would be the addition of two new WMAs in its Southwest Region for the 2013-14 hunting season.

The Commission will vote on proposed amendments that would allow a quota permit holder to take a different guest each day of a quota hunt. Also, hunters would receive reinstatement of their preference points only if they electronically returned their unused quota permit 10 days or more prior to the first day of their quota hunt. Such returned permits would be reissued to other hunters on a weekly basis, instead of once a month.

At the end of the meetings on both days, the public may comment on items not on the agenda. The complete agenda – with links to background reports, details on consent agenda items and information about the meeting – is available at MyFWC.com/Commission.

Anyone requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting should notify the FWC at least five calendar days before the meeting by calling 850-488-6411. Contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800-955-8770 (voice) if you are hearing- or speech-impaired.

The next regular Commission meeting is April 17-18 near Tallahassee, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.