Go “wild” with your holiday shopping
Monday, December 12, 2016
Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585 or Katie.Purcell@MyFWC.com
It’s fun and easy to help Florida fish and wildlife, and the wild places they live, when you shop this holiday season. Did you know the proceeds from some gifts directly fund conservation? There are gifts to show your support of wildlife, and gifts that help you carry on the tradition of spending time with family and friends on Florida’s beautiful beaches, waterways and wildlife management areas. Check out our shopping list, because the holidays are almost here!
- Purchase a Florida fishing or hunting license (you can even buy a gift card!) by visiting GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, calling 888-347-4356 or stopping by a participating retailer. There are licenses for residents and visitors including a Youth Gold Sportsman’s License, which is good until a child turns 17. This license locks in the price, and gives a young person bragging rights as a card-carrying sportsman. Hunters and those who enjoy target shooting continue to be an important force in funding wildlife restoration and management. Through the super successful Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which was passed in 1937, every time hunters and target shooters buy firearms, ammunition and archery equipment, a percentage of that money is designated for conservation. Wildlife Restoration Program dollars are then allocated to state fish and wildlife agencies (such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) for projects that restore, conserve and improve wildlife and their habitats. Giving a license as a gift is a great way to support conservation while putting a smile on the face of an outdoor lover.
- Fishing and boating gifts will not only please anglers on your list, but contribute to fisheries conservation as well! Funds from the purchases of fishing equipment and some boating items are collected and apportioned by the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and help manage America’s fishery resources.
- Florida wildlife T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, art and other gifts are available at WildlifeFlorida.com. Strut apparel featuring your favorite species while supporting the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida at the same time!
- If there’s a hunter in your life who uses a tree stand or other elevated stand, give the gift of safety. Put a big red bow on a full-body fall arrest harness system to protect that hunter from a fall. Learn about tree stand safety and more by taking a Florida hunter safety course.
- For the bird watcher or bird watcher-to-be, check out binoculars, Florida birding guides, T-shirts and the patch which promotes native birds and the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.
- If you give or get a kayak, canoe or paddleboard, make it look extra cool with colorful FWC manatee decals and sea turtle decals. The decals also look great on bikes, backpacks, guitar cases or computers. Available for a $5 donation at county tax collectors’ offices, with more options to order at MyFWC.com/Manatee or MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle.
- Vehicle license plates supporting Florida wildlife and habitats, including “Protect the Panther,” “Conserve Wildlife,” “Helping Sea Turtles Survive,” “Save the Manatee,” “Go Fishing” and “IHUNT” are available at county tax collectors’ offices or at BuyaPlate.com.
- Buy “Planting a Refuge for Wildlife,” the beautifully illustrated booklet that helps people entice butterflies, hummingbirds and other animals into their backyards.
- A personal floatation device, also known as a life jacket, can give someone you care about a safe boating experience. A newer model, such as an inflatable belt pack or suspender-style life jacket, could replace an older, bulkier life jacket.
- Registration of a family member or friend with TrophyCatchFlorida.com, along with the gift of a scale to weigh fish, makes that person eligible for a drawing for a bass boat. And any time a photo of an 8 pound or larger bass is submitted it to TrophyCatch following the rules, the angler contributes valuable conservation information and could be eligible for other prizes.
The purchase of most of these gifts contributes to the research, conservation, management and educational efforts that support Florida fish and wildlife as well as the wild places they live, including wildlife management areas throughout the state. WMAs are great places to visit for wildlife viewing and other recreational activities, including fishing, hunting and hiking, during the holidays and all year-round.