Monday, September 28, 2020

’Tis the season for gifts to support Florida wildlife

All year long, residents and visitors to Florida can step outside and find places to watch and photograph wildlife as they hike beaches and trails, steer a boat along rivers and coastlines, fish clear waters, or hunt game in one of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) wildlife management areas.

This holiday season, the FWC hopes people will consider gifts that will make a difference in conservation of Florida’s wildlife and help pass along great outdoors experiences to future generations.

On this checklist are gifts that should please almost anyone who appreciates Florida wildlife:

Vehicle license plates supporting Florida wildlife and habitats, including “Protect the Panther,” “Conserve Wildlife,” “Helping Sea Turtles Survive,” “Save the Manatee” and “Go Fishing.” Available at local county tax collectors’ offices, with more information atBuyaPlate.com.

Colorful FWC manatee decals and sea turtle decals to stick on boats, bikes, backpacks, guitar cases or computers. Available for a $5 donation at local county tax collectors’ offices, with more options to order at MyFWC.com/Manatee or MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle.

A Florida fishing license or hunting license purchased online at License.MyFWC.com or in stores. There are licenses for residents and visitors, including a youth Gold Sportsman’s License good until a child turns 17 that locks in the price and gives a young person bragging rights as a card-carrying sportsman.

A Lifetime Sportsman License for Florida children and young adults covering hunting, and freshwater and saltwater fishing. The license is available at a greatly reduced cost of $500 (plus processing fees) from now through Dec. 31, 2014. Gov. Rick Scott in mid-November signed an execiutive order authorizing the FWC to make this temporary fee reduction. The lifetime license can be purchased for state residents ages 5 to 21 online, by calling 888-347-4356 or at local tax collectors’ offices across the state.

Florida wildlife T-shirts, sweatshirts, art or other gifts available at WildlifeFlorida.com. Strutapparel featuring your favorite species!

A personal floatation device, also known as a life jacket, to give someone you care about a safe boating experience. A newer model, such as an inflatable belt pack or suspender-style life jacket, could replace an older, bulkier life jacket.

Registration of a family member or friend with TrophyCatchFlorida.com, along with the gift of a scale to weigh fish. Just registering that person makes him or her eligible for a drawing for a bass boat, and any time the angler takes a photo of an 8-pound or larger bass and submits it according to TrophyCatch rules, the reward will be at least $100 in gift cards, club shirts, decals and certificates.

Find gifts for people who love the outdoors at MyFWC.com by clicking on “Get Involved” and then “Support FWC.”

Watch the “Unconventional Holiday Gifts from FWC” video on YouTube’s Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission channel.

And for outdoors fun during the holidays, enjoy FWC’s Wildlife Management Areas andGreat Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail; go to MyFWC.com and click on Wildlife Viewing or FloridaBirdingTrail.com.

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