It is unlawful to hunt deer or to accompany another person hunting deer on public lands unless each person is wearing a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material as an outer garment. Such clothing must be worn above the waistline and can include a head covering. This rule does not apply during archery season.
Dogs may be used as an aid in taking game mammals and game birds, unless otherwise prohibited. Persons owning or using dogs shall not knowingly or negligently permit such dogs to trail, pursue or otherwise molest wildlife during closed seasons. When using archery equipment and muzzleloaders during their respective archery, crossbow and muzzleloading gun seasons, the taking of deer by the use or aid of dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used to trail wounded game mammals during all seasons. Taking turkeys by aid of dogs at any time is prohibited. Hunters, who use dogs for hunting, including bird dogs or retrievers, are required to have their dogs wear collars that identify their owner’s name and address. This regulation also requires dog hunters to possess landowners’ written permission before using their dogs to pursue game on private property. On private land rabbit, raccoon, opossum, skunk, nutria, beaver, coyote, hog, fox and bobcat may be chased throughout the year with free running dogs. For more information, contact an FWC regional office.
Deer dogs can be trained during closed seasons when dogs are constantly attached to leashes or ropes in the hands of their trainers for training purposes. Deer dogs are permitted to run free for training purposes only during deer-dog training seasons. Taking deer or any other wildlife with a gun is prohibited while training deer dogs.
Statewide deer-dog registration:
Deer hunters using dogs on private properties in Florida must obtain a no-cost registration from the FWC. Registration requirements apply to the deer-dog training season and during any open deer hunting season when it is legal to take deer with dogs. Applications must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the final day of general gun season in the hunting zone where the property is situated. To comply with the registration rule, deer-dog hunters on private lands must have registration numbers on their dogs’ collars; possess copies of the registration; and keep their dogs on registered properties. For more information and to apply go to MyFWC.com/Deer.
On private lands during closed seasons, bird dogs may be trained with pistols firing blanks or balls or by taking penraised quail (with shotguns only), when birds have been banded with owners’ names prior to releasing them. Fox dogs: Foxes cannot be killed, but may be chased year-round with dogs.
Feeding resident game
Taking game on lands or waters upon which corn, wheat, grain, food or other substances have been deposited by means other than normal agricultural harvesting or planting is prohibited, except as noted below.
- Non-migratory game may be hunted in proximity of year-round game-feeding stations on private lands, provided the feeding station has been maintained with feed for at least six months prior to taking game.
- Wild turkey may not be taken if the hunter is less than 100 yards from a game feeding station when feed is present.
- The intentional placement of feed or garbage in a manner that is likely to create or creates a public nuisance by attracting foxes, coyotes or raccoons is prohibited. Placing, offering or allowing the placement of feed or garbage that is likely to create or creates a public nuisance by attracting bears is prohibited after receiving written notification from the FWC. The intentional feeding of bears or sandhill cranes is prohibited.
Buying or selling game
Selling or purchasing game is prohibited except for pen-raised game produced on licensed game farms that are lawfully identified and handled. When lawfully taken, the feathers or skins of non-protected or resident game birds or the skins of deer, squirrels, or rabbits may be sold.
Dividing Deer and Turkey in the Field
Deer and turkeys may be dismembered in field or camp, however tags must be attached to each portion identifying names, addresses and hunting license numbers (if hunting licenses are required) of the persons who harvested them with date and location at which they were taken. These tags must be readily traceable to the portion of the animal bearing sex identification.
Positive evidence of sex identification, including the head, shall remain on deer taken or killed within the state and on all turkeys taken during any gobbler season when taking of turkey hens is prohibited, so long as such deer or turkey is kept in camp or forest or is in route to the domicile of its possessor or until such deer or turkey has been cooked or stored at the domicile of its possessor.
Transport of resident game
- A person may transport the possession limit of lawfully taken game.
- A person may at any time possess mounted specimens of game, including heads, antlers, hides or feet, and the skins of game birds lawfully taken.
- Lawfully taken game may be shipped by the person who took such game provided that each package shall be marked on the outside to show the names and addresses of both the shipper and the addressee, and the numbers and kinds of game contained therein.
What is legal to bring back when hunting out of state for deer, elk or moose
It is illegal for persons to bring into the state or possess carcasses of any species of the family Cervidae (deer, elk and moose) from 24 states and two Canadian provinces where CWD has been detected. These areas are: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming and Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. Visit www.cwd-info.org or MyFWC.com/CWD for a list of CWD positive states and provinces and further information. When hunting out of state, check that state’s current status for CWD. Hunters can bring back de-boned meat from any CWD-affected region, as well as finished taxidermy mounts, hides, skulls, antlers and teeth as long as all soft tissue has been removed.
It is unlawful for anyone to throw or dump trash or in any way litter highways, public lands and waters of the state or private properties.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and offhighway motorcycles (OHMs) purchased after July 1, 2002 must be titled with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. ATVs and OHMs must be titled when used for recreational purposes on lands within the state that are available for public use and that are owned, operated or managed by federal, state, county or municipal governmental entities. Applications for title may be made at county tax collectors’ offices.
Using tree stands to take wildlife is permitted.