Tags: Gun Control | Florida | hunting | invasive species

Hunting in Florida: 4 Invasive Species to Florida and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 04:02 PM

Florida is home to more than 500 invasive, non-native species, also known as exotics. In an effort to protect the state's native species, some exotics are hunted, while others are left alone and monitored by wildlife officials.

Here’s what you should know about hunting invasive species in Florida.

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1. Wild Hogs

Wild hogs were introduced to Florida in the 1500s and have had a detrimental effect on the environment, which in turn, affects the state’s native species, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In an effort to control the hog population, hunting was implemented. Rules for hunting hog are relatively lax.

Hogs may be hunted during most seasons, with the exception of spring turkey season. If you are hunting on private property, a hunting license is not required. There is no bag size limit and male, and female hogs may be hunted. Hogs have been deemed the second most popular large animal hunted in Florida.

2. Red Fox

Hunting clubs introduced the red fox in the 1950s, and the population has since expanded in Florida. Though the animal may not be hunted or trapped in a traditional manner, dogs can chase foxes.

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3. Nine-Banded Armadillo

The armadillo is not a native to Florida, but the species is present throughout most of the state. Hunting is not permitted, but private landowners are allowed to hunt and destroy nuisance armadillos. Trapping is allowed, but armadillos are elusive creatures and often avoid being caught. Private property owners may relocate trapped armadillos to other areas.

4. Burmese Pythons

Pythons are native to Asia but have grown in abundance in Florida, especially in watery marshy areas. Florida’s Python Permit Program allows residents to catch the reptile, not hunt them. Those who catch the pythons as part of the program must turn the animals over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or euthanize them on site. The trapper may request the carcass be returned. The meat and the hide of pythons can be sold, and the python business can be profitable. But trappers are advised to consider pythons in certain areas of Florida, such as Everglades National Park, can be high in mercury levels, so consumption should be avoided, according to Friends of the Everglades.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Florida is home to more than 500 invasive, non-native species, also known as exotics. In an effort to protect the state's native species, some exotics are hunted, while others are left alone and monitored by wildlife officials.
Florida, hunting, invasive species
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2015-02-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 04:02 PM
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