May 27, 2023

Florida Moves to Protect Hunting Lands

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Both the Florida House and Senate voted unanimously to protect lands that are open to hunting. HB265, supported by the National Rifle Association and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, will protect the number of acres open to hunting and prohibit the number from dropping below the established baseline.

The bill will do four things. It will establish a baseline. That is determined by the number of acres of land that is open to hunting in the state at the time of passage of this bill (Governor Jeb Bush needs to sign it).

It will require the Florida Wildlife Commission to find replacement land for any future public hunting lands that are closed in the future, making sure available acreage never drops below the baseline.

Also, it will ensure that the FWC make every attempt to replace those lands with lands in the same region and as similar in quality and type of hunting that now exists.

The fourth part requires state agencies and water management districts to assist and cooperate with FWC and allow hunting on lands that they manage if it is suitable for hunting, excluding state parks.

It is certainly a breath of fresh air to see states stepping up to protect and preserve our hunting heritage – with a unanimous vote as well. Congratulations Florida!

Florida currently has over 5 million wildlife management acres. One of the largest in the state.

Tom Remington