Ross Prairie Wildlife Management Area

Managed in cooperation with
Florida Forest Service


photo of hardwood forest
Andrea Boliek

Ross Prairie WMA consists of well over 3,000 acres and contains longleaf pine forests, as well as oak hammocks and wet prairie. The area is located in southwestern Marion County 12 miles from Ocala. This is a Supervised Small Game Hunt Area, and only persons under 16 years of age and their adult supervisor may hunt here. Bird dogs may be trained here, as well. This walk-in area is lightly used, and is a great place to introduce young people to the sport of hunting. Horseback riding, biking, hiking, and wildlife viewing are also permitted.  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.

Rules Regarding Dogs

  • For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.
  • Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except bird dogs or dogs with shoulder height of 15 inches or less may be used hunting small game. Dogs on leashes may be used for trailing wounded game.
  • Dogs are prohibited in areas posted as "Closed to Public Access" by FWC administrative codes. No person shall allow any dog to pursue or molest any wildlife during any period of time in which the taking of wildlife by the use of dogs is prohibited.
  • View FWC's Regulations Summary for Ross Prairie for an area map, hunting seasons, permits, fees, and area regulations.

FWC Facts:
When the weather is very cold, a group of bluebirds, and several other bird species, will occasionally roost together in a nest cavity for warmth.

Learn More at AskFWC