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STA Standby Hunting Opportunities

This year, waterfowl hunting opportunities created by permit holders who don’t show up for morning stormwater treatment area (STA) hunts will be distributed differently. Based on input from stakeholders, FWC staff, and land management partners, we will be using an online random draw system instead of on-site lotteries to distribute morning no-show waterfowl hunting opportunities.

This online random draw, which will be administered through, is expected to minimize safety hazards due to overcrowding, improve hunter check-in management, more fairly distribute the no-show opportunity, and enhance the overall quality of the experience. 

See the FAQs below for information about the online random draw for STA standby hunting opportunities.

NOTE: Online random drawing results for STA standby hunting opportunities will be posted to this page shortly after each drawing. Please check back then! See application periods and deadlines.



About STA Standby Hunting Opportunities

Hunters desiring a standby opportunity can apply during each of four waterfowl application periods: September Early Season, Regular Season A, Regular Season B and Regular Season C. Applicants can apply at (sign on and choose “Apply for Limited Entry/Quota Permit”) or by completing an Application Worksheet and presenting it to any license agent or tax collector's office. Unless exempt, hunters must have a valid management permit to apply.

During Phase I, standby opportunities will be issued by random drawing. Hunters may select up to 10 hunt choices on their standby opportunity application. Only one application may be submitted. It's possible applicants could be awarded as many opportunities as they apply for in Phase I. However, applicants may not be awarded more than one standby opportunity per day.

During Phase II leftovers, standby opportunities are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learn more about STA standby waterfowl hunting opportunities

The online random draw will generate an ordered list of standby hunters prior to the hunt. Hunters issued a waterfowl standby opportunity will be notified via email they are eligible to replace a no-show hunter. The email notification will direct those awarded a standby opportunity to a posted list so they can assess their position on the list and evaluate the likelihood of replacing a no-show hunter. Standby hunters on the posted list who show up on the morning of the hunt but are not needed to replace a no-show permittee may stay at the check station and replace hunting parties as they leave the area.

There is no guarantee a person on a standby list for a given morning hunt will get the opportunity to enter the area to hunt. The number of standby opportunities will match the number of permits for any given hunt, and standby hunters will replace permitted no-show hunters in order of the random drawing until the quota is met.

Hunters who are not on the standby list for each morning STA waterfowl hunt will not be eligible to replace no-show hunters. 

NOTE: There will be no physical permit for people on the standby lists.

Learn more about STA standby waterfowl hunting opportunities


Almost half of permit holders are no-shows for morning waterfowl hunts at STAs. The chance to replace a no-show hunter attracts large crowds; sometimes more than 100 nonpermitted hunters gather before 5 a.m. in hopes of filling the spot of a no-show hunter. After exploring options internally and with stakeholders through a technical assistance group, the FWC and the South Florida Water Management District developed a new process to minimize safety hazards due to overcrowding, improve hunter check-in management, more fairly distribute the no-show opportunity, and generally enhance the overall quality of the experience.

Conditions associated with afternoon hunts – smaller crowds, more time, and daylight – allow more efficient operation and organization of an on-site lottery, which often isn’t even needed to handle the demand for no-show opportunities. This also preserves the opportunity for impromptu hunts at the STAs.

Each standby opportunity holder may bring the designated number of hunt party participants as determined by each STA. Use the WMA Finder to locate rule information for each STA.