Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area

Hunters at Apalachicola WMA
Betsy Purdum

Encompassing 582,691 acres in Franklin, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla counties, the Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area is part of the Apalachicola National Forest. The Florida National Scenic Trail traverses the area, meandering through pine palmetto flatwoods interspersed by titi and cypress swamps. Wildlife is abundant and includes red-cockaded woodpeckers, osprey, bald eagles, turkeys, alligators, and bears. Recreational opportunities abound on this area: hunting in the fall and winter, horseback riding, biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, and paddling.  Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when horseback riding on public lands.  For more detailed information go to Nicole's Law PDF.  All horseback riders must have proof of current negative Coggins Test results for their horses when on state lands. The Apalachee Scenic Byway (CR 379) winds through rare wet prairie delicately-colored with yellow and red pitcher plants in the spring. Camping is permitted at designated primitive campsites during the general gun season and year round at the Northwest Florida Water Management District campground at Florida River Island. A portion of this campground has been set aside for recreational vehicles, but there are no hook-ups. Kitchen stoves, refrigerators and freezers (unless contained in mobile campers) lumber, sheet metal or other building materials or permanent improvements are not allowed by the Water Management District.  Also see the Apalachicola Bradwell Unit for information on this small unit (1,420) acres which borders on the Ochlockonee River.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. 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.
  • Hunting dogs may be taken onto the WMA after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. one day after the end of the season. Hunting with dogs, other than bird dogs or retrievers, is prohibited in the Still Hunt Areas. Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative action. 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. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game. Bird dogs may be trained June 1 through March 4, except on the Quail Enhancement Area where bird dogs may be trained November 1 through December 31 only. Deer dogs may be trained October 29 through November 17 in the designated Fox Hunt Area.



FWC Facts:
Black bears originated in North America, and have been here at least 1.5 million years.

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