December 19, 2022
Hunting in Clay County
Hunting is a recreational activity for many that enjoy the outdoors. In Clay County, there is no shortage of hunting opportunities in the area with deer, turkeys, quail and more frequenting the Northeast Florida area. Let us help you plan your next hunting adventure with information on popular locations, licenses and permits, season dates and more.
Here’s a look at things to know about hunting in Clay County
Where to Hunt in Clay County
Managed in cooperation with the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Bayard Wildlife Management Area is comprised of 9,702 acres in southeastern Clay County, just south of Green Cove Springs. With seven miles of property along the St. Johns River, there is no boat access to the area. White-tailed deer, bald eagle, osprey, wild turkey and gopher tortoise are a few of the species that are found in the area. For a detailed look at the rules and regulations for hunting inside the Bayard Wildlife Management Area, visit this Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission brochure.
Located in Western Clay County, the Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area is home to 56,197 acres of protected land that allows hunting. The southern half of the area includes several thousand acres of sandhills, with plentiful white-tailed deer and turkey. Plan your hunting trip to Camp Blanding and take a look at the FWC’s regulations summary brochure for information on permits, fees, specific hunting season information and an updated map.
When to Hunt in Clay County
Depending on the seasons and what you’d like to hunt – there are different dates and regulations for hunting in Northeast Florida. Please consult the FWC Hunting in Florida website for the latest information.
In addition to the regular hunt seasons, the Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area is managed by the Florida Department of Military Affairs due to military affairs and security concerns. Portions of the hunting property are closed throughout the year because of proximity to the military base. When the area is open, hunting, wildlife viewing, and hiking are allowed. Hunters are encouraged to call FWC’s Lake City Regional Office at (386) 758-0525 to inquire about the status of the property.
Things to Know About Hunting in Clay County
To hunt on wildlife management areas (WMAs), you must possess a management area permit and a hunting license, (and often other permits depending on species and season), unless exempt. Hunting safety is something the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission takes very seriously. Hunters born on or after June 1, 1975, and 16 years old, must pass a hunter safety course before purchasing a license. The deferral from the hunter safety certification requirement allows certain hunters to purchase a hunting license without completing the course.