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PERMITS WILL BE OFFERED TO HUNT WILD HOGS

Hey hog hunters, you're in luck. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is sick of wild hogs tearing up their land, so they will start allowing hunters to buy special permits beginning at 9 a.m. Oct. 12. The permits cost $50 and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through 5 p.m. Oct. 26, or until they are sold out. Wild hogs, which are not native to Florida, feed by rooting with their snouts and can leave an area looking like a plowed field. The district allows hogs to be controlled through hunts when the damage they cause is at unacceptable levels. Locally, hunters with permits may chase wild hogs at the Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County on Dec.1-3 and Feb. 9-11; the Connor Preserve in Pasco County from Feb. 16-18; the Upper Hillsborough, Alston Tract in Pasco and Polk Counties from Nov. 17-19 and Jan. 19-21; and the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve from Jan. 26-28 and March 23-25.

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Scallops off limits until July

A reminder that it is no longer legal to harvest scallops in bay waters. The season ended Thursday and will not open again until July 1, 2010. The season closes to help preserve Florida's bay scallop population.

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