6 Things to Know About Hunting Near Steinhatchee
There’s no shortage of great spots to hunt in Florida. Luck for us, Steinhatchee is surrounded by some of the best area to enjoy this popular fall pastime. Steinhatchee Springs Wildlife Management Area spans over 20,000 acres. This includes a 28-mile long river that is surrounded by floodplain forest, cypress swamps, xeric hammocks, and pine plantations. These areas are owned and operated by the Suwannee River Water Management District and are open for public use and recreational opportunities year-round. There are a number of access points to get to the Steinhatchee Wildlife Management Area. You can get there along SR51 between Mayo and Tennile or along CR357 and L.A Bennett Grade in Lafayette County. If someone is hunting under a Wildlife Management Area (WMA), like the one we have to offer here in Steinhatchee, they should keep a few things in mind before heading out.
To be able to hunt in the WMA, you are required to have appropriate licenses, permits, and stamps. These include your Hunting License, Deer Permit, WMA Permit, & the permit for the specific season you are hunting in (archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, etc.) For quota and permit applications, you can receive deadlines and instructions at the country tax collector’s offices, FWC offices or https://myfwc.com/. A quota permit holder, also known as a host, can take a guest hunter if desired. In order to do this, they must obtain a guest permit. A host is only allowed to bring one guest hunter per day. The guest hunter must always be with the host while entering and exiting the area. Someone that is under the age of 16 is considered a youth hunter. In order for them to hunt, they must be supervised by a person who is 18 or older. All licenses are available for purchase at https://gooutdoorsflorida.com/ , or at your local hunting retailer (Walmart, etc.) General Laws and Regulations
Hunting is only allowed during open seasons and in accordance with certain rules and regulations. There are several regulations you should review before hunting, but a few key ones include:
1. Any person hunting deer or accompanying another person hunting deer shall wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange material as an outer garment, above the waistline. These provisions are not required when hunting with a bow and arrow during archery season.
2. Taking of spotted fawn, swimming deer or roosted turkey is prohibited.
3. It is illegal to hunt over bait or place any bait or other food for wildlife on this area.
For the full list of regulations, visit https://myfwc.com/media/5503/steinhatchee.pdf .
The dates for season vary on what WMA you are hunting in. They also vary by what type of weapon you use. There are also certain regulations pertaining to hunting for specific WMA Units. For the Big Bend area, there are several units open to the public for hunting, such as Tide Swamp, Spring Creek, Hickory Mound, Snipe Island, & Jena. There are seasons to hunt deer, wild hog, turkey of either sex, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. All dates and maps for the areas listed above are listed on https://myfwc.com/ and give more information on the units as well.
Hunter Safety Course
New to hunting? In order to hunt in Steinhatchee, Florida, you are most likely going to have to take a hunter safety course. If you were born on or after June 1, 1975, you are required to take this course. You can either sign up for an online course or you can take an in-person class. These classes are offered for free in Florida. Want to take your hunter safety course in person? Visit: https://public.myfwc.com/hgm/huntersafety/clsmap.aspx . There is also an option to take your hunter safety course online? You can click here to get started. Once on the site, click the North Central region on the map. After that, complete the online course that states “Internet Students Only”. Once you complete that course, you then have to complete a secondary online course. The 100% free course can be found here.
For the full list of directions to complete the Hunter Safety courses, visit https://myfwc.com/hunting/safety-education/courses/.
Hunting dogs are allowed and may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m the day before the opening of a season and must be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. When hunting deer and wild hog, hunting dogs are not permitted. Bird dogs and waterfowl retrievers are the only type of hunting dogs allowed. However, during wild hog-dog season, a hunting dog may be used. For one quota permit, more than 3 dogs are not allowed. The areas that are “Closed to Public Access” will not allow dogs. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed. These dogs must be under physical restraint at all times and are also prohibited from areas labeled “Closed to Public Access”
Tracked vehicles, airboats, motorcycles, & ATVs are not allowed in the WMA. Other than these, motorized vehicles are allowed but only on named or numbered roads. Horses are not allowed when hunting seasons are open, but are allowed when closed. Horses are also restricted to roads and trails that are designated to them. For more rules detailing horses, go to http://laws.flrules.org/files/Ch_2009-105.pdf . There are several recreational opportunities to experience while in Steinhatchee, Florida. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, hiking, or biking, Steinhatchee has something to offer for everyone and at any age. Come experience hunting season by staying with us at Steinhatchee River Club! Whether you have your own RV or want to enjoy the luxury of one of our cabins, we’re sure you’ll feel at home after a long day of hunting at Steinhatchee River Club. From us to you, we wish you goodluck & happy hunting!