Joe Budd WMA
This brochure is designed to provide the public with information and a summary of regulations pertaining to hunting and other recreational use on the Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area. Regulations that are new or differ substantially from last year are shown in bold print. Area users should familiarize themselves with all regulations. For exact wording of the wildlife laws and regulations, see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife code, on file with the Secretary of State and state libraries. This brochure, the Florida Hunting Regulations handbook, and quota permit worksheets should provide the information necessary for you to plan your hunting activities. These publications are available at MyFWC.com.
Persons using wildlife management areas are required to have appropriate licenses, permits and stamps. The following persons are exempt from all license and permit requirements (except for quota permits when listed as “no exemptions,” recreational use permits, antlerless deer permits and the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp [federal duck stamp]): Florida residents who are 65 years of age or older; residents who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate; residents in the U.S. Armed Forces, not stationed in Florida, while home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders; and children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age are exempt from the duck stamp. Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975 and 16 years of age or older must have passed a Commission-approved hunter-safety course prior to being issued a hunting license, except the Hunter Safety Mentoring exemption allows anyone to purchase a hunting license and hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter, 21 years of age or older.
Licenses and permits may be purchased from county tax collectors, license agents, by telephone at 888-486-8356 or through the Commission's Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS). A no-cost Migratory Bird Permit is available when purchasing a hunting license. Any waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must possess a federal duck stamp.
Quota Permit Information:
Archery - 35, no-cost, quota permits for each of 5 hunts.
Archery - 140, no-cost, zone tags are available for each of 5 hunts to hunters without a quota permit by random drawing of those persons present at the check station at 2 p.m. on Thursday prior to each hunt.
Archery/Muzzleloading Gun - 35, no-cost, quota permits for each of 3 hunts.
Archery/Muzzleloading Gun - 140, no-cost, zone tags are available for each of 3 hunts to hunters without a quota permit by random drawing of those persons present at the check station at 2 p.m. on Thursday prior to each hunt.
Small Game - 110, no-cost, daily quota permits are available each day of the season, first-come, first-served, at the check station.
Youth Turkey - 20, no-cost, daily quota permits (no exemptions) are available each day of the hunt, first-come, first-served, at the check station.
Spring Turkey - 20, no-cost, quota permits for each of 6 hunts.
Zone Tags: Zone tags are required for each person to hunt on the area except during small game and spring turkey season. During the archery and the archery/muzzleloading gun seasons, the area is divided into 7 zones with Zone A limited to 18 hunters, Zones B, C and D limited to 14 hunters each, Zone E limited to 6 hunters, Zone F limited to 32 hunters and Zone G limited to 42 hunters. Zone tags for archery and archery/muzzleloading gun hunts will be issued to hunters without quota hunt permits by random drawing at the check station at 2 p.m. on the Thursday prior to each 3-day hunt period. A person may reserve a zone tag for 1 additional hunter, but must have their valid license and permits in his/her possession to do so. Holders of quota hunt permits and exempt hunters are not required to attend the drawing on Thursdays and will be issued a special zone tag, good for the zone of their choosing, at the check station. Any unissued zone tags will be available on hunt days after morning stand hours (approximately 8:30 a.m.). Zone tags may not be transferred from 1 hunter to another. If available, 1 zone tag may be exchanged for another at the check station during each hunt.
Permit applications: Hunters must submit electronic applications for quota and special-opportunity permits through RLIS. Worksheets listing hunts, application periods, deadlines and instructions are available at county tax collector’s offices, FWC offices or MyFWC.com. Quota application periods occur throughout the year beginning April 1; please refer to the hunting handbook or MyFWC.com for specific dates. Worksheets will be available about 2 weeks prior to each application period.
Guest hunters: For each non-transferable archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, wild hog, spring turkey and mobility-impaired quota permit issued through RLIS, a quota permit holder (host) may take a guest hunter by obtaining a guest permit. Guest hunters are not allowed during youth turkey hunts or for daily quota permits holders or walk-on zone tag recipients. A guest hunter must possess a completed guest permit while hunting except the following persons may be a guest hunter without a guest permit: a youth under 16 years of age, a youth supervisor, a mentor license holder or a mentor license supervisor. A host may only bring 1 guest hunter at a time and may only use 1 guest permit per day. The following persons are not considered to be guest hunters: other quota permit holders, non-hunters and exempt hunters (on areas and during seasons that allow exemptions). The host must share the bag limit with the guest hunter and the host is responsible for violations that exceed the bag limit. The guest hunter and host must enter and exit the area together and must share a street-legal vehicle while hunting on the area. The guest hunter may hunt only while the host is on the area and must hunt in the same zone to which the host is assigned. Refer to the quota hunt worksheets for additional information.
Youth and mentor license holders: A supervisor is required to accompany a youth or mentor license holder during any hunt. A youth hunter (less than 16 years of age) must be supervised by a person at least 18 years of age. A mentor license holder must be supervised by a licensed hunter at least 21 years of age. Unless exempt, only those supervisors with proper licenses and permits may hunt. If the supervisor is hunting during any hunt for which quota permits are issued, at least 1 person in the party must be in possession of a quota permit. During a hunt that allows exemptions, a non-exempt supervisor of a youth must have a quota permit to hunt.
Transfer of permits: Quota and guest permits are not transferable. Except for youth under 16 years of age, a positive form of identification is required when using a non-transferable permit. The sale or purchase of any quota permit or guest permit is prohibited.
All general laws and regulations relating to wildlife and fish shall apply unless specifically exempted for this area. Hunting or the taking of wildlife or fish on this area shall be allowed only during the open seasons and in accordance with the following regulations:
- Any person hunting deer or accompanying another person hunting deer shall wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange material as an outer garment, above the waistline. These provisions are not required when hunting with a bow and arrow during archery season.
- Taking of spotted fawn, swimming deer or roosted turkey is prohibited.
- It is illegal to hunt over bait or place any bait or other food for wildlife on this area.
- Driving a metal object into any tree, or hunting from a tree into which a metal object has been driven, is prohibited.
- No person shall cut, damage or remove any natural, man-made or cultural resource without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
- Taking or attempting to take any game with the aid of live decoys, recorded game calls or sounds, set guns, artificial light, net, trap, snare, drug or poison is prohibited.Recorded calls and sounds can be used to hunt furbearers, wild hog and crows.
- The wanton and willful waste of wildlife is prohibited.
- Hunting, fishing or trapping is prohibited on any portion of the area posted as closed to those activities.
- People, dogs, vehicles and other recreational equipment are prohibited in areas posted as “Closed to Public Access” by FWC administrative action.
- Taking or herding wildlife from any motorized vehicle, aircraft or boat, which is under power is prohibited until power, and movement from that power, has ceased.
- Most game may be hunted from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset (see exceptions for each season).
- The release of any animal is prohibited, except by permit from FWC or written authorization from the landowner or primary land manager.
- The head and evidence of sex may not be removed from the carcass of any deer or turkey on the area.
- The planting or introduction of any non-native plant is prohibited, without written authorization of the landowner or primary land manager.
- Wild hog may not be transported alive.
- A hunting license is not required to hunt wild hog.
- Littering is prohibited.
- It is unlawful to set fire to any forest, grass or woodlands.
- An FWC Law Enforcement Officer may search any camp, vehicle or boat, in accordance with law.
- Falconers may hunt during the statewide falconry season anytime a management area is open for public access. Falconers are not exempt from quota permits during hunts requiring them.
- Open to public access year round but only from 1½ hours before sunrise until 1½ hours after sunset, except during archery, archery/muzzleloading gun, small game and dove seasons, and prior to 1 p.m. during the youth spring turkey and spring turkey seasons when public access is allowed only by individuals authorized to participate in the hunt.
- No person shall enter the area during any period in which the entry gate is closed.
- During archery and archery/muzzleloading gun seasons, entry into the area is prohibited during stand hours (½ hour before sunrise until 1 hour after sunrise and from 1 hour before sunset to ½ hour after sunset). During spring turkey season, entry into the area is prohibited from ½ hour before sunrise until 1 hour after sunrise.
- All persons shall enter and exit the area at a designated entrance.
- Motor vehicles shall be operated only on improved roads shown on the brochure map.
- Parked vehicles may not obstruct a road, gate or firelane.
- No motor vehicle shall be operated in areas designated as closed to vehicular traffic.
- Florida traffic laws relating to vehicles and vehicle operators apply on this area. The use of an unregistered or unlicensed vehicle is prohibited.
- No person shall hunt in any zone other than that for which she or he has obtained a zone tag.
- All hunters shall maintain possession of check station-issued daily permits while on the area
- Hunting equipment may not be taken onto the WMA until after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. 1 day after the end of the season.
- Hunters must check in at the check station when entering and check out when leaving the area and check all game harvested.
- Check station hours are 1½ hours before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset during the archery and archery/muzzleloading gun season, 1½ hours before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset during the spring turkey season, 11:30 a.m. to 1 hour after sunset during the dove season and 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset during the small game season.
- Hunting with a gun or archery equipment on or from the rights-of-way of High Bluff Road or C.R. 268 is prohibited.
- Hunting at night with a gun is prohibited.
- Muzzleloading guns used for taking deer must be .40 caliber or larger if firing a single bullet, or be 20 gauge or larger if firing 2 or more balls.
- Hunting deer with rimfire or non-expanding, full metal jacket (military ball) ammunition is prohibited.
- Hunting wildlife (other than migratory birds) with air guns is allowed during the small game season only. See Florida Hunting Regulations handbook for details on hunting with air guns.
- Children under the age of 16 hunting with a firearm or air gun must be in the presence of a supervising adult.
- No person shall discharge a firearm or have a loaded firearm in hand while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- For hunting non-migratory game, only shotguns, rifles, pistols, air guns, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used.
- For hunting migratory game, only shotguns, bows, crossbows or falconry may be used. Shotguns shall not be larger than 10 gauge and shall be incapable of holding more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined.
- Hunting with full automatic firearms, centerfire rifles, explosive or drug-injecting devices and set guns is prohibited.
- The discharge of a firearm outside of periods open to hunting or in areas closed to hunting is prohibited per s. 790.15 FS.
- Hunting with dogs is prohibited, except any dog may be used to hunt small game (quail, rabbit, squirrel and migratory birds) during the small game season.
- 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.
- For purposes other than hunting, dogs are allowed, but must be kept under physical restraint at all times.
Camping is prohibited except at the High Bluff campground by permit from the Florida Forest Service (FFS). See Florida Forest Service Rules and Information below.
A guest hunter must share the host’s bag limit, except bag limits specified as per person. No person shall exceed statewide bag limits.
- Deer - Daily limit 2, possession limit 4.
- Wild hog - No size or bag limit.
- Turkey - Daily limit 1; all fall seasons combined limit 2, spring season limit 2, possession limit 2.
- Gray squirrel and rabbit - Daily limit 12 per person, possession limit 24 for each.
- Quail – Daily limit 12, possession limit 24.
- Raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk and nutria - No bag limits.
- Bobcat and otter - Possession limit 1 unless in possession of a trapping license.
- Migratory birds - See Florida Hunting Regulations handbook.
October 6 through December 2 (Saturdays and Sundays only).
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Daily quota permit, hunting license, management area permit, migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - Wild hog, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria and migratory birds in season. Bobcat and otter beginning December 1.
Regulations Unique to Small Game Season -
- Hunting with centerfire rifles is prohibited.
- Dove may only be hunted during small game season on Saturdays that coincide with the statewide dove season.
December 7 through January 6 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only).
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit and special zone tag or zone tag, hunting license, management area permit, archery permit, deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey), migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler with 3 or more points (each point 1-inch in length or more), wild hog, turkey of either sex, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria bobcat, otter and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Archery Season -
- Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
- Hunting with guns or crossbows (except by disabled crossbow permit) is prohibited.
- Hunting with dogs is prohibited.
- The take of antlerless deer is prohibited.
January 11-27 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only).
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Quota permit and special zone tag or zone tag, hunting license, management area permit, archery permit (if hunting with archery equipment), muzzleloading gun permit (if hunting with a muzzleloading gun), deer permit (if hunting deer), wild turkey permit (if hunting wild turkey), migratory bird permit (if hunting migratory birds), and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - Deer with at least 1 antler with 3 or more points (each point 1-inch in length or more), wild hog, turkey of either sex, gray squirrel, quail, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, armadillo, beaver, coyote, skunk, nutria, bobcat, otter and migratory birds in season.
Regulations Unique to Archery/Muzzleloading Gun Season -
- Youth less than 16 years of age may harvest antlered deer with at least 1 antler 5 inches or more in length.
- Only bows (and crossbows with disabled crossbow permit) or muzzleloading guns are allowed for hunting.
- Hunting with dogs is prohibited.
Youth Turkey: March 9-10.
Spring Turkey: March 16-17, 23-24, 30-31, and April 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Daily quota (youth turkey hunt) or quota (spring turkey hunt) permit, hunting license, management area permit and wild turkey permit.
Legal to Hunt - Bearded turkey or gobbler.
Regulations Unique to Spring Turkey Season -
- Only bows (and crossbows with disabled crossbow permit) or muzzleloading guns (rifles or shotguns) are allowed for hunting, except modern shotguns may be used during the youth turkey hunt. Using a shot size larger than #2 is prohibited.
- Legal shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise until sunset.
- Hunting other animals is prohibited.
- During the youth turkey hunt, only youth under 16 years of age may hunt and must be under the supervision and in the presence of an adult not younger than 18 years of age. Adults with required licenses and permits for taking wild turkeys may participate when in the presence of a youth, but may not harvest a wild turkey.
Rails, common moorhen, mourning dove, white-winged dove, snipe, ducks, geese, coot, woodcock and crows may be hunted during statewide migratory bird seasons that coincide with the seasons listed in this brochure, except during small game season, mourning dove and white-winged dove may be hunted on Saturdays only. Dove may also be hunted on the opening day of the first phase of the statewide dove season, but may not be hunted on Saturday, September 29, 2018.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements – Daily quota permit or quota permit and special zone tag or zone tag, and hunting license, management area permit, migratory bird permit, and state waterfowl permit and federal duck stamp (if hunting waterfowl).
Legal to Hunt - See Florida Hunting Regulations handbook.
Regulations Unique to Migratory Bird Seasons - All Migratory Bird Regulations shall apply.
- Hunting ducks, geese and coot with lead shot is prohibited.
- See individual seasons for type of gun allowed for hunting.
- Shooting hours for mourning and white-winged dove are noon until sunset during Phase 1 and ½ hour before sunrise until sunset during Phases 2 and 3.
Allowed throughout the area (except Joe Budd Pond), but only when hunting is not allowed and only from 1½ hours before sunrise until 1½ hours after sunset.
Permit, Stamp and License Requirements - Fishing license (not required when frogging).
Legal to Take - See Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations Summary.
Regulations Unique to Fishing and Frogging - All General Freshwater Fishing Regulations shall apply.
- Joe Budd Pond is open to fishing on Saturdays and Sundays only during daylight hours, beginning the first Saturday in July and ending the Sunday before Labor Day. In addition, fishing is allowed on Labor Day.
- Shooting frogs is prohibited.
- Wildlife management areas and state forests are not just for hunting and fishing. They have been purchased for preservation to benefit all of Florida’s residents and you don’t have to hunt or fish to enjoy them. The same habitat management practices that provide hunting and fishing opportunities also create opportunities for wildlife viewing.
- Information for persons with disabilities can be found at MyFWC.com/ADA.
- If you have any questions about this material, please call the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 850-265-3676 (TDD 800-955-8771).
- The FWC is not responsible for protection of personal property and will not be liable for theft of or damage to personal property.
- Please report the location of any sick or extremely skinny deer to the Chronic Wasting Disease hotline, toll free at 866-293-9282.
Florida Forest Service Rules and Information:
- Most Florida State Forest campsites are reservable on any mobile device or computer by visiting FloridaStateForests.ReserveAmerica.com, or by calling ReserveAmerica at (877) 879-3859. For your convenience, most locations also have walk up, first-come, first-served campsites.
- The Florida Forest Service requires a fee at some day-use areas and all campgrounds. Hunters are exempt from paying day-use fees 2 weeks prior to and during scheduled hunts. All campground and other fees apply. For information on general recreation and fees, please contact the Florida Forest Service at 850-681-5950.
- Florida Forest Service management includes prescribed burning and timber management most months of the year, including hunting seasons. Area users should contact the Florida Forest Service for information and location of burn areas, 850-681-5950.
If you see law violators or suspicious activities, contact your nearest Commission regional office or call 888-404-FWCC. You may qualify for a cash reward from the Wildlife Alert Reward Association.
All hunters during the archery and archery/muzzleloading gun seasons are encouraged to remain on their stands during the time in which entry into the area is prohibited in order to minimize disturbance to other hunters.
All persons hunting small game are requested to wear blaze-orange headgear and/or vests.
The U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: The Office for Human Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. The project described in this publication is part of a program funded by federal dollars under the Wildlife Restoration Act. Federal funds pay 20 percent of the cost of the program.