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Joe Budd - Things to Do

Joe Budd Pond Closed

Joe Budd Pond is closed to public access until further notice due to water control structure repairs. See the WMA Open/Closed Status page for updates.

WMA Open/Closed Status

Great scenery and abundant wildlife reward visitors to this north Florida gem.  Explore trails and enjoy excellent fishing, waterfowl and other hunting and wildlife viewing.


Hog Hunting at Joe Budd WMA

Joe Budd is a small area with an abundant, well-balanced deer population that yields an excellent harvest. Weekend archery and muzzleloader hunts draw hunters from throughout the state. Joe Budd has a substantial population of wild hogs, gray squirrels, raccoons, and wild turkeys, and small populations of northern bobwhite quail, eastern cottontail rabbits and waterfowl. The resident population of mourning doves is moderate. The WMA is primitive hunt area. Appropriate licenses and permits are required. Check the hunt calendar and regulations summary brochure before you visit.

If you see a sick or abnormally thin deer or deer dead of unknown causes, please report its location to the CWD hotline, (866) CWD-WATCH (293-9282).


kids fishing on pier

Joe Budd Pond is a 20-acre impoundment that is the focal point for the Joe Budd Aquatic Education Center. The pond is stocked with channel catfish, sunshine bass and native sunfish. Lake Talquin, an 8,850-acre impoundment adjacent to Joe Budd, is known for its crappie and bluegill fishing. Anglers may fish from the pier or from boats. Fishing access to the Little River can be found at a boat launch off High Bridge Road. Appropriate licenses and permits are required.  Check the regulations summary brochure for the location of boat landings and access points for Lake Talquin, and for dates when the pond is open.

Wildlife Viewing

wildlife viewing group

Joe Budd has a variety of wildlife indigenous to the flatwoods and sandy upland areas of panhandle Florida. The combination fishing pier/wildlife observation platform at Lake Talquin is a Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail site and is an excellent spot to observe wading birds, osprey and perhaps bald eagles. Visit the Wildlife page for more information about the area's wildlife.

Hiking, Bicycling and Horseback Riding

hikers crossing a bridge

The extensive network of roads and old logging trams provides ample opportunities for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. The Wetland Nature Trail at the Joe Budd Aquatic Education Center meanders through a cypress swamp. Unpaved roads traverse a variety of natural communities and offer opportunities to observe wildlife and unique plants. 


A sign for the Joe Budd WMA Lake Talquin State Forest High Bluff Campground

Camping is permitted only at the High Bluff Campground. To reserve a camp site, visit the Florida Forest Service Reserve America website.


young girl in kayak

Opportunities for paddling are available on Lake Talquin and the Little River. Check the regulations summary brochure for information about access from the WMA. During seasonal hunts, wear brightly-colored clothing. Avoid paddling during the first couple of hours of daylight to minimize disturbance to hunters.