Osceola PSGHA

Important: Update about WMA regulations brochures

Regulations Summary and Area Map
July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018

Brochure Adobe PDF | Map Only Adobe PDF

This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Osceola Public Small Game Hunting Area (PSGHA). Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print. Area users should familiarize themselves with all regulations. For exact wording of the wildlife laws and regulations, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife code, on file with the Secretary of State and state libraries. This brochure and the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available at MyFWC.com.

Persons using Osceola PSGHA must possess a wildlife management area permit (a hunting license is not required to hunt wild hog). The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements: Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older; residents who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Forces, not stationed in Florida, while home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders; and children under 16 years of age. Licenses and permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, by telephone at 888-486-8356 or through the Commission’s Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS).

Quota Permit Information:

Quota permits are not required for this area.

Youth and mentor license holders: A supervisor is required to accompany a youth or mentor license holder during any hunt. A youth hunter (less than 16 years of age) must be supervised by a person at least 18 years of age. A mentor license holder must be supervised by a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age. Unless exempt, only those supervisors with proper licenses and permits may hunt.

Public Small Game Hunting Area Regulations:

All general laws and regulations relating to wildlife and fish shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or the taking of wildlife or fish on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons and in accordance with the following regulations:

  1. It is illegal to hunt over bait or place any bait or other food for wildlife on this area.
  2. Driving a metal object into any tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven, is prohibited.
  3. No person shall cut, damage or remove any natural, man-made or cultural resource without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  4. Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, set guns, artificial light (see exception for wild hog-dog season), net, trap, snare, drug or poison is prohibited. Recorded calls and sounds may be used to hunt wild hog.
  5. The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
  6. Hunting, fishing or trapping is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
  7. People, dogs, vehicles and other recreational equipment are prohibited in areas posted as “Closed to Public Access” by FWC administrative action.
  8. Taking or herding wildlife from any motorized vehicle, aircraft or boat, which is under power is prohibited until power, and movement from that power, has ceased.
  9. The release of any animal is prohibited, except by permit from FWC or written authorization from the landowner or primary land manager.
  10. The planting or introduction of any non-native plant is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
  11. Wild hog may not be transported alive.
  12. A hunting license is not required to hunt wild hog.
  13. Littering is prohibited.
  14. It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
  15. An FWC Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.

Public Access and Vehicles:

  1. Open to public access year round.
  2. Motorized vehicles and bicycles are allowed only on designated, named or numbered roads and mixed-use roads, except all-terrain vehicles and unlicensed and unregistered vehicles (including motorcycles) are allowed only on designated motorized trails and mixed-use roads. See the U.S. Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map for Osceola National Forest at www.fs.usda.gov/osceolaExternal Website
  3. Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
  4. No motor vehicle shall be operated in areas designated as closed to vehicular traffic.

Hunters:

  1. Lands not included within the Osceola PSGHA wild hog-dog hunt area are closed to hunting (labeled as “CLOSED TO HUNTING” on the attached Osceola PSGHA brochure maps).
  2. Hunting equipment may not be taken onto the WMA until after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. 1 day after the end of the season.

Guns:

  1. Hunting on or from the rights-of-way of Interstate 10, and County Roads 250, 250A, 229, 127, 125, McCloskey Avenue and State Road 2 is prohibited.
  2. Only shotguns, rifles, pistols, air guns, bows or crossbows may be used for hunting.
  3. Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
  4. No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  5. Hunting with full automatic firearms, centerfire semi-automatic rifles having a magazine capable of holding more than 5 rounds, explosive or drug-injecting devices and set guns is prohibited.
  6. The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.

Dogs:

  1. Wild hog may be hunted with dogs of any size or breed.
  2. The possession of dogs is prohibited, except on roads adjacent to the Osceola PSGHA, all lands within the Osceola PSGHA, on Interstate 10 and on roads labeled as “wild hog-dog hunter access roads” on the attached Osceola PSGHA brochure maps (State Road 2; County Roads 125, 229 and 250, Eddy Grade and Baxter Grade; Forest Service Road 4; and Forest Roads 200, 224B and 231).
  3. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  4. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.
  5. For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.

Camping:

  1. On lands designated as Osceola National Forest, camping is allowed year round but only for periods no longer than 14 consecutive days, except during general gun season when camping is allowed only at designated campsites (see map). See the U.S. Forest Service Rules and Information section below for additional rules and regulations about camping on the National Forest.
  2. On lands designated as the John Bethea State Forest, camping is allowed year round but only when in possession of a permit from the Florida Forest Service (FFS) and only at designated campsites (see Florida Forest Service Rules and Information below).

Bag and Possession Limits:

Wild hog - No size or bag limit.

Wild Hog-Dog Season:

May 4-6 and June 1-3, 2018.

Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Management area permit.

Legal to Hunt - Wild hog.

Regulations Unique to Wild Hog-Dog Season -

  1. Hunts begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning and end at 11:59 p.m. Sunday evening.
  2. Wild hog may be taken during the day or at night by the aid of a light with dogs and a firearm, provided that no wild hog shall be shot during the period from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise until bayed by dogs. Hunting wild hog by display or use of a light from a moving vehicle, boat or animal is prohibited.
  3. Lands not included within the Osceola PSGHA wild hog-dog hunt area are closed to hunting (labeled as “CLOSED TO HUNTING” on the attached Osceola PSGHA brochure maps)

General Information:

  1. Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
  2. If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 386-758-0525 (TDD 800-955-8771).
  3. The FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
  4. Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.

U.S. Forest Service Rules and Information (Osceola National Forest only):

  1. Damaging roads is prohibited.
  2. It is prohibited to ride all-terrain vehicles or any unlicensed motor vehicle from 1½ hours after sunset until 1½ hours before sunrise.
  3. Cross-county travel by motorized vehicles is prohibited. Cross-county travel is travel across land where no road, trail or travel way exists.
  4. The use of permanent tree stands is prohibited. Portable stands are encouraged.
  5. Constructing, placing or maintaining any kind of structure or other improvement is prohibited without a written permit from the District Ranger in Olustee. The permit must be posted on the structure at all times.
  6. Discharging a firearm across or on a Forest Road or within 150 yards of a designated campground or residence is prohibited.
  7. Depositing sewage or other waste, except into receptacles provided for that purpose, is prohibited.
  8. Camping for periods of more than 14 consecutive days is prohibited. A user fee is required at the Hog Pen Landing campsite.
  9. If you have questions about Forest Service rules, please call the U.S. Forest Service at 386-752-2577.

Florida Forest Service Rules and Information (John M. Bethea State Forest only):

  1. Most Florida State Forest campsites are reservable on any mobile device or computer by visiting FloridaStateForests.ReserveAmerica.com, or by calling ReserveAmerica at (877) 879-3859. For your convenience, most locations also have walk up, first-come, first-served campsites.
  2. The FFS requires a fee at some day-use areas and all campgrounds. Hunters are exempt from paying day-use fees 2 weeks prior to and during scheduled hunts. All campground and other fees apply. For information on general recreation and fees, please contact the FFS at 904-259-2157.
  3. No person shall operate a motorized vehicle on state forest land unless the vehicle displays a valid license tag and is operated by a properly licensed driver.
  4. Certain roads will be closed after the spring turkey season and will reopen prior to the next hunting season.
  5. Forest management includes prescribed burning and timber management most months of the year, including hunting seasons. Area users should contact the FFS for information and location of burn areas, 904-259-2122 or 904-259-2157.

Suwannee River Water Management District Rules and Information:

The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) management activities include prescribed burning and timber harvesting during most months of the year. For personal safety reasons, area users should contact the SRWMD for information and locations at 386-362-1001 or 800-226-1066 (FL only). Notices are posted on the SRWMD website mysuwanneeriver.com.

Cooperation Requested:

If you see law violators or suspicious activities, contact your nearest Commission regional office or call 888-404-FWCC. You may qualify for a cash reward from the Wildlife Alert Reward Association.

The U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: The Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. The project described in this publication is part of a program funded by federal dollars under the Wildlife Restoration Act. Federal funds pay 20 percent of the cost of the program.

The possession of dogs is prohibited, except on roads adjacent to the Osceola PSGHA, all lands within the Osceola PSGHA, on Interstate 10 and on roads labeled as “wild hog-dog hunter access roads” on the attached Osceola PSGHA brochure maps (State Road 2; County Roads 125, 229 and 250, Eddy Grade and Baxter Grade; Forest Service Road 4; and Forest Roads 200, 224B and 231).



FWC Facts:
Florida's Quota Hunt Program prevents overcrowding and controls the harvest of game on wildlife management areas.

Learn More at AskFWC