In support of the resource management goals and objectives for the area and to provide a quality experience for all area users, the following recreation activities are allowed.

Hunting

Hilochee offers very small quota hunts for deer, hogs and turkey during seasons that include archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun hog and spring turkey. Quota permits are not required during the small game season. Special-opportunity dove hunts take place October - January. Special opportunity permits are required. For information about the dove fields, read FWC's General Information on WMA Dove Fields. More current dove field conditions can be obtained on the Field Update page. Visit the Dove Hunters Hotline web site to find out the latest information on FWC dove fields across the state of Florida. Most of the information will be updated every Thursday throughout the dove season.

Spring Turkey
Mike Blondin

Hilochee is home to the Florida wild turkey, also called the Osceola turkey. The Florida wild turkey is distinguished from the Eastern turkey by its feathers, which show more iridescent green and red and less bronze. Hilochee has good habitat for turkey: 1 to 3 foot vegetation (grasses and weeds) open enough for young poults to move unimpeded, yet dense enough to provide cover from predators. Three spring turkey hunts, including one youth turkey hunt, are held with high hunter success rates.

 

Osprey Unit

Hunting in the Osprey Unit was first offered during 2008-09. The unit offers small, high quality hunts for hogs and turkey during seasons that include archery, family hunt, general gun hog-still and general gun hog-dog.

 

Hunting Regulations, Maps and Hunt Calendars

 

Fishing

Freshwater fishing opportunities exist on several of the area's numerous natural and man-made lakes and ponds. These fisheries support many species of game fish, including largemouth bass, catfish and several species of sunfish.

Fishing on Peat Lake
Pat Duboise

Main Unit: Fishing is permitted on Peat Lake, Little Peat Lake, Hidden Lake, Stock Lake and Turtle Pond by those in possession of a Hilochee Fishing Permit. Fishing permits are free and may be obtained by calling the Southwest Regional Office at (863) 648-3200.  Fishing is permitted only on Saturdays and Sundays and only during daylight hours. No person may kill or possess any largemouth bass, bluegill less than 8 inches total length or black crappie less than 10 inches total length. Operation of any boat propelled by an internal combustion engine is prohibited. Frogging is prohibited. See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summaryand learn more at fishing license information.

Osprey Unit: Fishing is permitted year-round. No person may kill or possess any largemouth bass, bluegill less than 8 inches total length or black crappie less than 10 inches total length. Operation of any boat propelled by an internal combustion engine is prohibited. Frogging is prohibited. See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summaryand learn more at fishing license information.

 

Wildlife Viewing

Hilochee is a good place to observe birds as well as butterflies who favor open fields adjacent to woodlands. You may request a copy or download or print the Hilochee Bird List PDF (main unit). Visit the  Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.

 

Hiking

Hiking is available in both units on named and numbered roads.

 

Biking

Biking is available in both units on named and numbered roads year round.

 

Horseback Riding

During non-hunting days, horses are permitted in both units on named and numbered roads during  non-hunting days.  Children under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when 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.



FWC Facts:
The Florida Bird Conservation Initiative is a voluntary, public-private partnership that seeks to promote the sustainability of native Florida birds and their habitats.

Learn More at AskFWC