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Florida Deer Hunting

Updated on July 19, 2012

Hunting In Florida. Hunting Zones Map.

The Hunting Zones Of Florida Are Shown In This Map.
The Hunting Zones Of Florida Are Shown In This Map.

Florida Deer Hunting

Florida Deer Hunting is divided into four zones as you can see in the above map and the season is further defined by the type of weapon you use and the sex of the deer. Florida Fish And Wildlife can provide you with all the information you need about deer hunting regulations in the state of Florida. Use Google to find their site and find out the specific regulation in case we don't cover it here. At the bottom of this Hub Page is some important information about fishing and hunting in the state of Florida.

For thousands of years Florida deer hunting has been the staple of man's existence. To the early Native Americans living in the state of Florida the whitetail deer were an important food source.

Zone A which is in the southern part of Florida and shown on the map above has the longest deer season of all of Florida's four deer hunting zones.I am going to cover zone A here for the 2012 season but if you want the seasons for the other zones contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Office nearest to you and they will be glad to provide you with this information.

Zone A Deer Hunting For The State Of Florida.

Bow Hunting or Crossbow Hunting. July 28 - August 31.

During this season you can hunt deer with or with out antlers with a bow. You can purchase a crossbow permit for $5 and use a crossbow during this time period also.

Muzzle loader Gun, Bow or Crossbow. September 1 - 15th.

From September 1 through September 15th is a special season for muzzle loading guns but you can also use bows or crossbows during this time period.

General Gun Season. September 15th - October 14th and November 17th - January 6th.

You can use regular guns during the regular gun season but you can also use bow, crossbows, or muzzle loading guns.

If you have specific deer hunting questions you should contact the nearest Florida Fish and Wildlife office or officer and ask your specific deer hunting questions.

You will find many guides, outfitters, and ranches offering white tail deer hunting in south Florida. You can use Google to find plenty of services offering hunting for white tail deer in south Florida. They can also answer a lot of your questions.

Don't Try To Deer Hunt Where You Don't Have Permission.

Let me tell you a few words of caution here. Be sure to have permission where you hunt in the state of Florida. You never want to hunt on private land in Florida with out permission. There are public lands available for deer hunting in the state of Florida but you need to educate yourself and find out where the public lands where you can deer hunt in Florida are located. If you deer hunt on land where you do not have permission to deer hunt you can face serious fines and even jail sentences. So be sure to have permission for where you go Florida deer hunting.

Deer Hunting In Florida

Deer Hunting In Florida Has Been Going On For Thousands Of Years.
Deer Hunting In Florida Has Been Going On For Thousands Of Years.

Deer Hunting In Florida

Deer hunting in Florida especially in zone A can be challenging. If your new to hunting deer and hunting in Florida you might want to consider using a guide or outfitter to help you especially for your first few deer hunts in Florida.

The guide or outfitter will already know where the deer are and if they take you deer hunting on private land they will already have permission to take you hunting there. But I would still ask for references and find out what your getting for your money. See if the guide will be cleaning your deer for you and you also need to know how difficult the hunt will be. If you've never ridden a horse an hour or two on a horse can make you very sore.

You should also ask what kind of bug and insect repellent you need to bring or will it be furnished for you. In south Florida in some areas the mosquitoes can be really bad especially in areas near water and water is every where in south Florida. Some areas of south Florida can be quite remote and you don't want to be out in that area with out proper insect repellent, adequate shoes, dry socks and other necessary items. If your using a guide or outfitter ask for a list of what you need to bring. Make sure to write down any questions you have and ask them.

If your going deer hunting with a guide, a outfitter or on a ranch in south Florida be sure to ask what type of deer hunting your going to be doing. Are you going to be hunting from horseback, from a stand or blind or from a canoe. You'll have a lot better experience if you find out everything up front. Be sure to ask about what type of footwear your going to need and also be sure to ask about socks. South Florida can be very hot and humid even in November and December.

Find out if your food and beverages are going to be provided to you as part of the cost of your hunt. Be sure that everything is in writing. Ask for a list of what is included and see if they have a brochure or other material they can send you.Be sure to ask if they are going to clean your deer for you and have the meat processed. The fewer surprises you have the better experience you will have. So be sure to ask those questions and make lists. A well planned hunting trip will always be a lot more fun.

Hunting for deer in Florida and especially in south Florida can be challenging. The weather will usually be very humid and hot in south Florida. There will be insects, bugs, and mosquitoes and lots of snakes. You really do need to become very familiar with the particular area where you will be going hunting.

The more research you do about the area where you plan to hunt the better off you will be. I always keep a journal that I can refer back to at a later date. If your going to a remote area be sure someone knows where your going and when you plan to return. If you feel safer take your cell phone with you but keep it on vibrate. Also don't talk on the phone unless it's absolutely necessary or you'll scare the deer away. Remember even the smallest noise at the wrong time can spook a wary whitetail deer. Deer can't hear you texting so use text if you have to tell someone something.

How To Deer Hunt

Before you go deer hunting you need to know how to deer hunt.
Before you go deer hunting you need to know how to deer hunt.

How To Deer Hunt

If you've been deer hunting before then you know something about deer hunting. Deer hunting in Florida can be a lot of fun but you need to prepare and you need to learn everything you can about how to hunt deer.

Scouting Is Important When Hunting Whitetail Deer.

Scouting your hunting area and having permission to hunt on private land is very important when you go deer hunting in Florida or any other state. There are public lands where you can hunt in Florida. You need to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife office nearest to you to find out where any public lands near you are located.

In order to hunt whitetail deer you have to go where the deer are and you need to learn the habits of deer. You need to go down the below list and find out that information so you will have a successful hunt for whitetail deer.

1. What is the primary food source for deer in your area.

2. What type of cover do deer usually bed down in where you plan to hunt.

3. Why type of clothes, vests, etc are you required to wear while deer hunting.

4. When do the bucks in your area go into rut. In zone A in Florida I will tell you that bucks rut in July - August.

5. How do you plan to hunt for deer. By this I mean are you going to use a blind or a tree stand to hunt from. Is this type of hunting permitted where you plan to hunt.

6. If your going to be hunting with a firearm, bow, or crossbow you need to be very familiar with the weapon your going to be using. If possible you need to purchase a deer size target and practice shooting at it with your weapon of choice from various angles. If your hunting from a tree stand you need to practice shooting from a tree stand at your deer target.The better you are with your weapon of choice for deer hunting the better the chances will be that you'll be successful if you get a shot at a deer.

7. Know the area where your going to be hunting very well. Scout the area well before hunting season and go at various times of the day. If you can locate the deers food source and where they go to drink water you'll have a great chance of getting a deer on your deer hunt.

8. If your hunting on private land get permission preferably in writing. Creating a paper work trail really is best. You may have to pay to hunt on private land. If so the farmer or land owner should be able to give you a lot of valuable information about the deer on that particular piece of land.

9. A good pair of binoculars are very important when your scouting for deer hunting and for while your deer hunting. But be careful because if your not the deer will see you before you see it.

10. Scents and noises are very important when deer hunting. Don't make any more noise than is necessary and don't wear cologne when deer hunting. Don't use a cell phone in the woods and leave the radio at home.

11. Comfortable shoes and clothing are very important when you go deer hunting. In Florida you also want to think about the bugs, insects, and mosquitoes. You will probably want to use netting and insect repellent especially in Florida's zone A deer hunting area.

12. Be sure to stay hydrated when hunting especially in south Florida. You'll probably want to take a canteen of water with you and have more bottled water near by in your vehicle.

Hunting In Florida.

Both Sexes Of Whitetail Deer Can Be Taken During The Florida Bow And Crossbow Season.
Both Sexes Of Whitetail Deer Can Be Taken During The Florida Bow And Crossbow Season.

Hunting In Florida

For the purpose of hunting or fishing a Florida resident is a person who has lived in Florida for at least six months and who makes Florida their primary home. Persons who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces and are stationed in Florida also qualify as Florida residents.

Proof Of Florida Residency

1. A Florida State Issued Drivers License, or Florida State I.D. Card.

2. A Florida Voter Registration Card.

3. A Letter From Your Landlord.

4. Military Orders Saying You Are Stationed In Florida.

5. Proof Of Homestead Exemption.

Children under the age of 18 need an ID card from the school they attend and proof that their parent or parents reside in Florida.

Non Resident Information.

Non residents who are 16 years of age or older are required to have a Florida Hunting License, Fresh Water Fishing License, Or Salt Water Fishing License. Their are some exceptions to this and if you are traveling to Florida your hotel, fishing lodge, or fishing charter operator can tell you if you need a license and where you can get it. One exemption to this is that you can hunt for wild hogs in Florida on private land and no license is required. However a license is required to hunt hogs on public lands.

If you have any doubts the best thing to do is to contact the Florida Fish And Wildlife for complete and detailed information about hunting in Florida. Or fishing in Florida.

Hunter Safety Requirements

If you were born on or after June 1 , 1975 you must complete a Hunter Safety Course before you will be issued a hunting license in the state of Florida. This applies to residents and non residents of the state of Florida. You can contact your nearest Florida Fish and Wildlife Regional Office to find out where you can take the Hunter Safety Course.The class is given in many different parts of Florida at different times of the year.

Be sure that you educate yourself about all hunting and fishing license requirements by doing your own research. If your going to be hunting in Florida or fishing in Florida be sure to contact the Florida Fish And Wildlife Office nearest you and ask for a copy of all hunting and fishing requirements and set down and read them thoroughly. If you have questions contact your nearest regional Florida Fish and Wildlife office. They will be glad to answer all your questions for you.

Please Post Your Comments About Florida Deer Hunting Now. And Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On Florida Deer Hunting.

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    • ShootersCenter profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      I was at Geraci Ranch, this past week, it's right at the Manatee/Hardee line near the south end. I saw at least 150 deer and several bucks chasing does, there's only 2 small ranch houses for several miles very secluded.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I don't think I could shoot a deer it would hurt me. Interesting hub though.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      6 years ago from East Coast , United States

      About the same size in Florida though you do find some smaller in some areas and up in the panhandle you can find some really huge white tails that will go up around 250 pounds or more dressed out though they are rarer now than they once were. I'm getting ready to hunt in south Florida next week. I use a cross bow and will be going for does. I prefer them to a buck. I love making homemade jerky out of them.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      How big are the deer in FL? We'd get some dressed out in ME for 100# or better. Just curious.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      6 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Thanks for a well thought out informative comment.

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Hey crazyhorseghost, I lived in Florida for a few years and did some bow hunting. I tried to remember to wear a face mask and insect repellent, as well as a cover scent and get in plenty of bow practice because warm weather and cold weather shooting are different. Early hunts are best, and big deer are usually plentiful and seen a lot early on. The rut is usually later in warm climes and I have experienced success later in the Fall of the year there in Florida.


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