Big Cypress National Preserve | FISHING AND HUNTING

Dona Drive Hunter Check In and Information Station

Dona Drive Hunter Check In and Information Station


Entry by any means into the backcountry at Big Cypress National Preserve requires a permit. These are free and can be obtained at kiosks at trailheads, boat ramps, backcountry access roads, hunter check-in stations, and the visitor centers. All you need is a pen or pencil to fill out the multi-copy form on which you provide your entry date and time, your estimated return time, and the purpose of your adventure (i.e. hike, camp, hunt). Keep one copy with you, stick one in the permit collection box at the kiosk, and place one on the dashboard of your car (all backcountry access areas have parking lots or allow roadside parking). Permits help the National Park Service track which areas are used the most, plus if your car is left overnight the park Rangers will know when you were supposed to have returned, and if this time has long since passed, they know to come looking for you.

You can also download the Backcountry-Permit (PDF) and either fill it out by hand or by using Adobe Acrobat (or an Acrobat browser plug-in). The PDF has two permits, and if you use Acrobat, the second permit fills out automatically as you type information into the first permit. You need three permits, so be sure to print two copies of the PDF and then use scissors to separate the copies.

Anyone entering the backcountry by vehicle or airboat must have an Off-Road Driving permit. Unlike the backcountry entry permits, these cost money.


Fishing is allowed in all ponds, lakes, rivers, and even canals within Big Cypress National Preserve. A Florida state fishing license is required and state fishing laws must be observed. No special fishing license is needed from the National Park Service. Regulations are dictated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. See the Fishing in Florida web page for details.

Alligators frequent all bodies of water. Warning signs are posted stating, “Fish At Your Own Risk.”


Hunting of dear, wild hogs, turkeys, gray squirrels, quail, rabbits, raccoon, coyotes, and migratory game birds is allowed in Big Cypress. Regulations are dictated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and details can be found on the Big Cypress WMA web page. For additional information, check out Tackling the Big Cypress, and excellent article from Game and Fish Magazine.

Before proceeding into the backcountry, hunters must register at one of the Hunter Check-In Stations. All of these stations are located at backcountry access points. However, you do not have to enter at these locations and can choose any of the backcountry access points. See the Backcountry web page for details.

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Last updated on December 10, 2019
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