You know Florida Man, right? (He’s best friends with Some Dude.)
Ah, the Florida Man! He needs you to hold his beer while he does something cool, he gets arrested while bare-chested, and they wrote a new law just for him. Truth is that “Florida Man” sometimes has good ideas, too, and the Florida Men and Women who work for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee came up with one that deserves to go nationwide. It’s the Florida WildQuest event. Originally developed to help Floridians keep from going full Florida Man during the COVID-19 pandemic, it turned into such a huge success that it’s back for an encore.
In April, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will host its second annual Florida WildQuest event, a fun and family-friendly scavenger hunt experience. This year’s event will take place on 12 wildlife management areas across the state during the weekends of April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. Florida residents and visitors are encouraged to grab their mobile device and join us on a wild adventure with scavenger hunt missions that will help participants discover some of Florida’s best spots to see animals and enjoy the outdoors.
WildQuest players of all ages will have opportunities to learn about and explore the habitats and wildlife that call our WMAs home. Complete missions and earn points for a chance to win wilderness-inspired prizes. Go on a WildQuest at the following areas on the weekends of April 22 and April 29:
- Andrews Wildlife Management Area, Chiefland
- Branan Field Wildlife and Environmental Area, Jacksonville
- Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area, Brooksville
- Crooked Lake Wildlife and Environmental Area, Frostproof
- John C. and Mariana Jones/Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental Area, Jupiter
- Spirit-of-the-Wild Wildlife Management Area, LaBelle
April 29-May 1
- Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area, Apalachicola
- Big Bend Wildlife Management Area – Hickory Mound Unit, Perry
- Caravelle Ranch Wildlife Management Area, Palatka
- Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, Crystal River
- Lake Wales Ridge Wildlife and Environmental Area — Royce Unit, Lake Placid
- Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area, Orlando
To join a scavenger hunt, players will need a mobile device and the free GooseChase app. Visit FloridaNatureTrackers.com to learn how to play. WildQuest is designed to be a safe, socially distanced outdoor event for individuals and small groups. Players who join on either Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. will have the opportunity to meet and interact with FWC staff. When interacting with staff and other visitors, masks should be worn if social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart) cannot be met.
Florida has one of the nation’s largest systems of state-managed wildlife lands. The WMA system includes more than 6 million acres managed primarily for wildlife conservation and nature-based public use. The areas featured in WildQuest will engage players in learning about Florida wildlife, habitats and recreation opportunities. The FWC maintains, enhances and restores native natural habitats for the benefit of plant and animal populations as well as for the people of Florida.
To learn more about Florida’s WMA system, visit MyFWC.com/WMAs.
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