Most of northwestern Baker County belongs to the Osceola Wildlife Management Area which is a popular spot for visitors during Baker County's hunting season. Generally speaking, Florida hunting laws and park regulations regarding wildlife apply with some additional requirements. Most hunting season specific rules relate to safety issues such as the wearing of fluorescent orange outer garments when deer hunting in Osceola National Forest.
Hunting - Osceola Wildlife Management Area
While hunting in the Osceola Wildlife Management Area, you are required to purchase and possess appropriate hunting licenses, permits and stamps. Exemptions can include Florida residents who are 65 years or older; children under 16 years of age*; hunters who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting certificate; and active members of the Armed Forces who are not stationed in Florida. Once a licensed hunter receives a quota permit, they are considered to be a "Host" and may bring one (1) guest hunter during hunting season to include:
*NOTE: Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975 must also pass an approved hunter safety course prior to being issued a license, or must hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter 21 years of age or older. Hunting equipment may not be taken onto the WMA until after 8 a.m. the day before the opening of a season and shall be removed by 6 p.m. 1 day after the end of the season. If you have any questions about hunting in the National Forest or need to identify which wildlife is protected under endangered species laws, contact the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (386) 758-0525 (TDD 800-955-8771).
small game season
wild hog season
gray squirrel season
spring turkey season
migratory bird season
general gun season
muzzle loading gun season
Hunting - John M. Bethea State Forest
John M. Bethea State Forest is open to regulated hunting during the appropriate hunting season. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the official governing body as the State Forest is managed as a part of the overall Osceola Wildlife Management Area. Some of the specific rules and information that apply only to the John M. Bethea State Forest include daily-use fees* as required by the Florida Forest Service; no motorized vehicles can be operated on state forest land without a valid tag and the vehicle operator must be a licensed driver; after the spring turkey season certain park roads will be closed and will not reopen until the next hunting season; all-terrain vehicles are prohibited; and alcohol or drug use is strictly prohibited. *NOTE: Baker County hunters are exempt from paying park fees during scheduled hunts and scouting days. Non-hunters and recreationists should check with the Wildlife Management Area for hunting season dates and modified park regulations before planning a visit. For information on general recreation and fees, please contact the Florida Forest Service at 904-259-2157.
Baker County Chamber of Commerce 20 East Macclenny Ave. Macclenny, FL 32063 Phone: 904-259-6433