Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl hunting is permitted on 36,000 acres of the refuge's 140,000 acres. The remainder of the refuge is closed to hunting to protect non-game birds and endangered species and to permit other recreational activities. 

Common species found on the refuge include scaup, mottled duck, blue-winged teal, and pintail.

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Refuge Hunting Regulations 

Hunting Requirements

Valid ID

Duck Stamp

FL Hunting license

Hunter Safety Course

Free Refuge Permit 

Quota Permit if hunting Area 1 or 4


You may scout any of the hunt areas at any time during normal refuge hours (sunrise to sunset daily). Boats must remain within the perimeter impoundment ditch and may not be in the interior while scouting. 

Hunt Days

Hunting is allowed on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Day within the framework of the State hunt season.  

      Early Teal - _______________

      Regular Season (First Phase) - __________________

      Regular Season (Second Phase) - ______________________

      Youth Hunt - February 2-3, 2019

Check In/Check Out

There is no check in point, but hunters cannot enter the refuge until 4 am. Check out is mandatory even if you were unsuccessful. You must check out before 1 pm. Check out stations are at both entrances to the refuge. 


Hunter parking is allowed on dike roads within the hunt areas or on hunter access routes leading up to the hunt areas. Do not block a barricade or boat ramp or your vehicle may be towed. All vehicles and boat trailers must pull to the side to allow other vehicles to pass safely. You may not access hunt areas from Scrub Ridge Trail or Playalinda Beach Road. 


Only steel or other approved nontoxic shot may be used. Possession of lead shot is prohibited. Hunters may only possess 25 shells while hunting, which includes any shells within vehicles. 


Glass beverage containers, alcohol, and camping are prohibited on the refuge. 

Quota Permits

A Quota Hunt Permit is required for all impoundments in Hunt Area 1 and 4 during the regular season. You must purchase a Quota Permit which is only valid for a specific impoundment on the date(s) printed on the permit. Quota permits are issued through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's Total Licensing System. 

The quota permit can be used for a single party consisting of the permit holder and up to 3 guests. The permit holder must be present. The guests may occupy separate blinds but must remain within 30 yards of the permit holder. All permits must be kept in the hunter's possession while hunting.

Quota permits are not required outside refuge impoundments where hunting is allowed or during the Early Teal Season or the Youth Hunt. Quota permits are non-transferable.

How to Apply

To apply for a quota permit go to www.MyFWC.com/hunting, click on "Limited Entry/Quota Hunts", choose "Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge" and then "Merritt Island Permit Application Worksheet". Complete the worksheet and present it to a license agent, tax collector office, or apply online by logging into your account at License.MyFWC.com and choosing "Apply for Limited Entry/Quota Permit". 

Phase I - Random Drawing

__________. Claim by _______________.

Phase II - 1st Come, 1st Served

________________ until filled

Facts About Waterfowl Hunting

Refuge Hunt Regulations & Permit

Florida Hunt Regulations


November 2020 Impound Conditions 

Hunt Area 1 map (Peacocks Pocket)

Hunt Area 4 map (Shiloh)

Quota Permits Phase I begin 09/13/2019 - 09/23/2019

Permit Claim Deadline is 10/07/2019

Quota Permits Phase II begin 10/10/2019 until filled. 

Facts About Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunt Permit and Regulations

Florida Hunt Regulations

Hunt Area 1 map (Peacocks Pocket)

Hunt Area 4 map (Shiloh)

Quota Permits Phase I begin  _________

Permit Claim Deadline is  _________

Quota Permits Phase II begin _________ until filled. 

Impound Conditions 2019
(Usually available in November)