Hunter safety courses offered in 4 counties 6/10-6/25

Hunter safety courses offered in 4 counties

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering free hunter safety courses in four counties (List follows.)

All firearms, ammunition and materials are provided free of charge. Students should bring a pen or pencil and paper. An adult must accompany children younger than 16 at all times.

Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies hunter-safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces.

Internet-completion Courses


June 10 (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

June 25 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)


June 10 (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Palm Beach

June 10 (7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

Traditional Courses 


June 23 – 25 (23rd 6 – 10 p.m.; 24th 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.; 25th 7:30 – 9 a.m.)

The specific locations for these classes will be given to those who register in advance. Those interested in attending a course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at or by calling the FWC’s regional office in West Palm Beach at 561-625-5122

Springtime spurs activity for Florida black bears, cubs

Springtime spurs activity for Florida black bears, cubs

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds the public to be aware that bears are becoming more active this time of year. There are important things people can do over the next few months to reduce negative interactions with Florida’s largest land mammal.

“Now is the time to expect bears to show up looking for food,” said Dave Telesco, who directs the FWC’s Bear Management Program. “If they can’t find food in your neighborhood, they’ll move on.”

With temperatures increasing, bears are out of their winter dens and are moving around in search of food. June also marks the beginning of black bear mating season in Florida. This causes bears to be more active as they search for potential mates.

Female bears that gave birth to cubs that were only 12 ounces at the end of January are beginning to move around more with their young, which may now be 5 to 10 pounds. As the cubs continue to grow, the family unit will roam and can be more visible to people.

While black bears generally are not aggressive, they have injured people in Florida. Never intentionally approach any bear. When walking dogs in bear country, keep them close to you – preferably on a non-retractable leash – and be aware of your surroundings. Dogs can trigger defensive behaviors from bears, especially females with cubs.

To keep bears away from your home and neighborhood, follow these simple tips:

  • Secure household garbage in a sturdy shed, garage or a wildlife-resistant container.
  • Put household garbage out on morning of pickup rather than the night before.
  • Secure commercial garbage in bear-resistant dumpsters.
  • Protect gardens, beehives, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
  • Encourage your homeowners association or local government to institute bylaws or ordinances to require trash be kept secure from bears.
  • Feed pets indoors or bring in dishes after feeding.
  • Clean grills and store them in a secure place.
  • Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.
  • Pick ripe fruit from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground.

It is illegal in Florida to intentionally feed bears or leave out food or garbage that will attract bears and cause human-bear conflicts.

As bears increase their movements this time of year, they also increase the number of roads they cross. For the safety of yourself and bears, remember to slow down when driving, particularly on rural highways at dawn or dusk. Watch for road signs identifying bear crossing areas. Each year in Florida, an average of 240 Florida bears are killed after being hit by vehicles.

Having conflicts with bears? Call one of the FWC’s five regional offices. Go to, and click on “Contact Regional offices to find the phone number for your region. If you feel threatened by a bear or want to report someone who is either harming bears or intentionally feeding them, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

More information is available at, where you can access the “Guide to Living in Bear Country” brochure.

Help us help bears and other wildlife by purchasing the “Conserve Wildlife” tag at

4-H Summer Camps

4-H Summer Camps

The Okeechobee County 4-H Extension Program is, once again, excited to offer summer camps for the 2017 summer!

Camp Schedules are as follows:

H2O Camp:     June 12-16, June 19-23, June 26-30, July 24-28

Cooking Camp:    June 19-23, June 26-30, July 10-14, July 17-21

History Camp:     July 10-14, July 17-21

Horse Camp:       June 5-9, June 12-16

Shooting Sports Camp:    July 10-14

Before you submit forms and sign up for camps at the extension office consider these guidelines:

  • All registrations must be complete and accompanied by payment (cash or check) to be accepted
  • Each camp registration submitted must include the 2 page Health/Participation form
  • Horse Camp attendees must also complete the Horse Camp Packet (also below)
  • Completed registrations should be returned to the Okeechobee County Extension Office  (458 US Hwy 98 N)

Adult and Teen Counselor application packets are available at the Extension Office

See below for Registration Forms:

2017 H2O, History, Cooking Camps registration

2017 Health-Part. form for all camps


2017 Horse Camp registration

Horse Camp Packet

SUBJECT: Burn Ban Remains in Effect for Okeechobee County

SUBJECT: Burn Ban Remains in Effect for Okeechobee County

Okeechobee County Fire Chief, Ralph Franklin reminds all residents and visitors that a county wide burn ban that was implemented on February 23, 2017 remains in effect.

Okeechobee County is still experiencing extremely dry conditions and conditions remain dangerous for the spread of fire. The county has experienced several brush fire in recent weeks. These fires have resulting in large fires that have required resources for other counties to assist in extinguishing the fires. During these fires, homes, outbuildings and campers have been damaged or destroyed.

The county-wide burn ban prohibits the burning of yard trash and other types of fires such as campfires, bonfires, and burn barrels. The use of fireworks is also prohibited unless permitted by the Fire Chief having jurisdiction.

Residential outdoor cooking in a suitable piece of equipment designed to contain the fire, flame, and heat it generates is allowed. Burning permitted by The Florida Division of Forestry is exempt from this ban.

Chief Franklin states that “it is not anticipated that the burn ban will be lifted anytime soon. In fact, he expects it to continue until the rainy season starts sometime in June”.

Violation of the burn ban is punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.00, or by imprisonment in the County jail for a term not exceeding 60 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.

For more information contact Okeechobee County Fire Rescue at 763-5544 or the City of Okeechobee Fire Department at 863-467-1586 from 8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday.

WOKC Okeechobee’s True Country Events

Okeechobee’s Upcoming Events 5-11-17

The Okeechobee County School Board will be holding Kindergarten registration at the following schools: 

May 16,  North Elementary School                462-5100

 May 18,  Central Elementary School             462-5077

If your child will be 5-years-old on or before September 1, 2017, you should begin gathering the following information required by law to enter public school:

Legal Proof of Birth Date – Up-to-Date Immunization Record – Health Exam Record that has been completed by a physician since September 1, 2016 – Proof of Residence (FPL statement; OUA statement, etc.)

Please contact the school your child will attend to schedule an appointment for kindergarten registration.  If you do not know which school your child should attend, contact the Student Services Office at 462-5000 extension 260.

  • K9 Resque is in need of volunteers for both the rescue and the pet food pantry, and we are also are looking for good loving foster homes for our dogs, if interested please call 863-824-5373


  • Okeechobee Discount Drugs in partnership with Project Response offers free HIV testing every Monday from 11am-3pm. All tests are confidential and the results take 15mins. Know your status and stop by Okeechobee Discount Drugs located at 203 S.W. Park Street for your free test!


  • The Okeechobee Businesswomen’s Referral Network gives each businesswoman the opportunity to expand knowledge about her business, learn from others, share with others and together grow that business.  Please come to our monthly meeting May 19th, at 11:30 at Cowboys, 202 NE 7th Avenue  We ask each woman to please bring a token exchange gift because it is such a friendly reminder of the ‘giver’ and her business. For further information call Gail at 1-772-528-1462.


  • Seniors! Volunteer & Receive a Stipend :This is a rewarding volunteer opportunity with a positive impact for young students in the Okeechobee Elementary schools and of benefit to you too! If you are age 55+, on a fixed income, able to serve a minimum of 15 hours per week and care about the wellbeing of Okeechobee children than you may be eligible to become a Senior Corps Foster Grandparent volunteer. Benefits include a nontaxable stipend, mileage reimbursement, meal allowance, paid time off and paid holidays. The program will be hosting an informational presentation on Tuesday, May 23 at 9:00AM at The Brown Cow Sweetery at 103 S.W. Park St. Okeechobee. Perk up with a free cup of coffee while learning about this unique intergenerational program. Just show up! or call the Program Director Sara Humphries @ 561-684-5885. Funding provided by CSC Okeechobee

WOKC Okeechobee’s True Country

WOKC Okeechobee’s True Country.

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