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September 5, 2003
CONTACT:  Steve Coughlin or Jim Huffstodt (561) 625-5122

PENSACOLA—The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved issuance of 176 vehicle hunt permits for this fall’s deer and hog season in the northern Everglades during Wednesday’s (September 3) meeting held in Pensacola.

Individuals chosen to participate in this hunt are cautioned that water levels in the Everglades are extremely high, according to Steve Coughlin, south region wildlife biologist supervisor, FWC South Region Office, West Palm Beach.

“If water levels continue to increase FWC may need to consider canceling some of the upcoming hunts,” he said.  “FWC staff are closely monitoring the situation. We are also closely coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management on high water issues.”

The Commissioners approved 79 airboat permits and 97 tracked vehicle permits for the vehicle gun-hunt, Nov. 1-16, on the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area (WMA), the Holey Land WMA, and the Rotenberger WMA. These areas encompass approximately three-quarters of a million acres in Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to an FWC spokesman.                 

All the areas are essentially Everglades sawgrass marsh--easily accessible only by tracked vehicles and airboats. Coughlin advised vehicle hunt permit recipients to keep posted on the possibility of hunt cancellations by periodically checking the FWC Web site and clicking on "Hunting," or calling the FWC South Region Office at (561) 625-5132.

The 79 airboat permits restrict hunters to the 3A South, Area 2, and the Francis Taylor portion of the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Another 24 track permits were approved for 3A North. Legal bucks must have at least two points on one antler. This management area totals approximately 671,831 acres.

The Commissioners also approved 59 track permits for the 28,760 acre Rotenberger WMA located in extreme southwest Palm Beach County just north of the Broward County line. Another 14 track permits were approved for the adjacent Holey Land WMA.

Coughlin said each vehicle permit allows one antlered deer to be taken per vehicle during the established season. Applications for the vehicle hunt permits were taken earlier this summer. They permits are issued to hunters following a random computerized draw and will be mailed out to selected participants during the week of Sept. 8.





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