Hunting News

WMAs and quota hunts impacted by Hurricane Michael

WMAs and quota hunts impacted by Hurricane Michael

By Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

The impact from Hurricane Michael continue to unfold as the Wildlife Commission and its land management partners continue to assess and restore wildlife management areas (WMAs) in northwest Florida that closed due to the storm.

Hunters are advised to check the closed status of our WMAs and other facilities before heading afield.

Officials say as WMAs and facilities reopen, they will be removed from the list. The webpage will be updated as new information becomes available. In some cases, WMAs may be open, but might have road closures within the area.

Some WMA closures will impact hunts (quota and non-quota).  In recognizing the importance of these public land opportunities, the Comm8ission is studying options for impacted hunts, such as restoring preference points where applicable.  The FWC will follow-up with additional details about impacted quota hunts.

Closures supersede any previously existing orders for the area listed.

State Offices will remain closed in Calhoun and Jackson counties which are experiencing more than 50 percent power outage. 

For non-DMS-managed buildings not listed in the county closures, agency heads have discretion to ensure safe and comfortable working environments for state employees by closing offices that remain without power or have sustained damage due to Hurricane Michael.

A list of campground closures, recreation area and road/trail closures related to public land closures is provided by the U.S. Forest Service, the Florida Forest Service, and the Northwest Florida Water Management District.

Wildlife management areas (WMAs) closed by the cooperating agency responsible for making the decision to reopen their lands include:

Northwest Region
• Apalachee WMA - Zone A (FWC)
• Apalachicola WMA west of the Ochlockonee River remains closed; portions of the WMA east of the Ochlockonee River are open (US Forest Service)
• Apalachicola River WEA has reopened with the following roads closed to vehicular access: Bay, Bee Apree, Culbert, First Plug, Grassy, Hubcap, Levy, Long, Palm, Pea Patch, Scaffold, and Tall Pines. Van Horn Landing Campground is closed until further notice (FWC)
• Beaverdam Creek WMA (Northwest Florida Water Management District)
• Bradwell Unit of Apalachicola WMA (US Forest Service)
• Chipola River WMA (Northwest Florida Water Management District)
• Econfina Creek WMA (Northwest Florida Water Management District)
• Fitzhugh-Carter Tract of Econfina Creek WMA (Northwest Florida Water Management District)
• Juniper Creek WMA (US Forest Service)
• St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge (US Fish and Wildlife Service)
• Tyndall AFB WMA (Department of Defense)

North Central Region
• Big Bend WMA - Hickory Mound Unit: That portion of Coker Road lying south of Swartz Tram and the portion of Cow Creek Grade lying south of Swartz Tram (effectively closes the Hickory Mound Impoundment).
• Big Bend WMA - Spring Creek Unit: Mule Wallow Road.

Northeast Region road/canal/unit closures, FWC managed public areas, are open to public access but contain additional closures as a result of storm activity.
• Etoniah Creek WMA - Due to continued heavy rainfall, the following roads are closed; Tinley Powerline Road west of Holloway Road; the east end of Tinsley Powerline Road, east of unimproved Shortcut Road.
• Lake George WMA - Due to continued rainfall and flooded conditions, several roads are closed.
• On the Dexter Mary Farms Unit: Price Road; Fawn Road; and Quarters Road north of Fawn Road.
• On the Astor Tract: Sandy Drain; Crooked Road; and Pine Road.

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