At its meeting Wednesday in Pensacola Beach, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) passed a new rule that limits the methods of take allowed during spring turkey hunts on FWC-managed areas, beginning with next spring’s turkey season (March 2011). However, all legal bows and crossbows are still allowed.
The new rule restricts firearms to shotguns and muzzleloading shotguns only, using shot no larger than No. 2. All rifles, pistols, buckshot and slugs are now prohibited during spring turkey hunts on wildlife management areas (WMAs), except on Joe Budd WMA, Raiford WMA and Santa Fe Swamp Wildlife and Environmental Area. On these three areas, muzzleloading rifles will still be allowed, because spring turkey hunting on these areas is restricted to primitive guns only.
Florida said safety concerns on public lands prompted the new restrictions.