If you are beginning to feel buck fever setting in around this time of year, you’re probably already counting the days until Florida’s deer season begins. Locals know that the best thing about deer season in Florida is its generous opportunities for enthusiasts to participate all over the state.
About Hunting in Florida
With approximately 6 million acres of public hunting land, Florida boasts one of the largest systems of recreational hunting grounds in the country, with about 1.4 million acres managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (also known as FWC) and another 4.5 million open to public hunting through the aid of more than two dozen partners and cooperators.
Florida Deer Season Dates
For a quick rundown of Florida’s four deer management units (DMUs), or hunting zones, check this listing of upcoming deer season dates (for archery, crossbow, muzzle-loading gun and general gun seasons) and this hunting zones map.
Also find daily and annual bag limits for antlered and antlerless deer, along with deer dog training dates for each hunting zone. Dogs must be registered for this free program.
Youth deer hunt weekends dates are:
- Zone A: Sept. 11-12
- Zone B: Nov. 27-28
- Zone C: Oct. 30-31
- Zone D: Dec. 4-5
In addition, there are numerous opportunities to participate in limited entry hunts that offer “quality public hunting opportunities, prevent overcrowding and manage the harvest of game on wildlife management areas (WMAs) and other public lands.”
Use the WMA finder to locate wildlife management hunting areas based on species, season, and more.
Deer Hunting Licenses
Check descriptions for multiple hunting licenses and permits and how to obtain a license online or in person, along with Florida residency requirements.
You may also add the FWC free Fish | Hunt FL mobile app. With the app you can conveniently renew, purchase, and store your licenses on your smartphone or tablet, along with many other functions.
A passing score on a hunter safety course is required for anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, who is 16 and older and wishes to purchase a hunting license, unless they use the hunter safety certification deferral, and is hunting under the supervision of a qualified hunter.
New Deer Hunting Rules and Regulations This Season
Among rule changes for hunting in Florida in the upcoming seasons are three that stand out as important to all participants:
- New rules are in place to help reduce the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) into Florida. These rules prohibit importing or possessing whole carcasses or high-risk parts of deer, elk, moose, caribou and all other species of the deer family from any place outside of Florida. CWD has not been detected in Florida.
- Beginning July 1, 2021, all dogs not under physical restraint that are used for pursuing deer, wild hog, fox or coyote must have collars equipped and monitored with devices that allow remote tracking (GPS or telemetry).
- If you’re planning to hunt outside of Florida, be aware of rule changes that prohibit importing or possessing whole carcasses or high-risk parts of deer, elk, moose, caribou and all other species of the deer family originating from any place outside of Florida.
For a full overview of Florida’s recreational hunting regulations, download this 2021-2022 Florida Hunting Regulations guide, where you’ll find many more details.
Sign up now for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s monthly e-newsletter, known as The Hunting Hot Sheet, and receive updates about hunting, conservation and FWC-managed shooting ranges.
Protect Your Hunting Equipment with Farm Bureau Insurance
Prevent loss by covering all of your valuable hunting equipment with an insurance policy. To learn how Florida Farm Bureau insurance can insure your bows, guns, trucks, ATVs, and more, contact a local agent using our free agent finder.