Outta the Woods

Posted: January 14, 2019

A look at migratory bird management and hunting

By Tony Young, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

A person holding a rifle silhouetted in front of a setting sun

Hunters can enjoy the second phase of waterfowl and coot season, which runs through Jan. 27, and the third phase of mourning and white-winged dove season, which concludes Jan. 31.

“Blue-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, wood ducks and mottled ducks consistently make up the bulk of Florida’s waterfowl harvest each year, with green-winged teal and scaup rounding out the top six,” said Andrew Fanning, coordinator of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Waterfowl and Small Game Program. “Blue-winged teal, reliable migrants that arrive in Florida early and stay late, can be found in larger numbers the farther south you go down the peninsula.”

“Mottled ducks, wood ducks and whistling ducks frequent Florida all year and provide consistent hunting opportunities when in season,” Fanning said. “And salt marsh hunters usually can find scaup and redheads with a little scouting effort.”

License and Permit Requirements

The first thing you’ll need to participate in these hunting opportunities is a Florida hunting license. Residents pay just $17 for the year. Nonresidents have the choice of paying $46.50 for a 10-day license or $151.50 for 12 months. You also need a no-cost migratory bird permit. And if you plan to hunt one of Florida’s many wildlife management areas, a $26.50 management area permit is required.

All licenses and permits you’ll need are available online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, at county tax collectors’ offices or license agents, or by calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA.