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White-tailed Deer Management Program

Share Your Thoughts on a Draft Rule Amendment Related to CWD

The FWC is seeking feedback on a draft rule amendment, which if passed, would prohibit importing or possessing carcasses or certain parts therefrom of all members of the deer family originating from outside of Florida. This rule amendment is being proposed to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease (CWD) being introduced into or spread throughout Florida. Learn more and share your input.

Please Participate in FWC’s Deer Harvest Survey

The FWC has contracted with Responsive Management, a survey research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, to study Florida hunters’ participation in deer hunting. Beginning this May, you may receive a phone call from Responsive Management asking you to take part in a survey about your deer hunting experiences. Depending on which carrier you use, the call will display as coming from Responsive Management or from area code 850 (Tallahassee). You also may receive an email from Responsive Management. If you get a phone call or email, we encourage you to take the survey. Thank you! See hunter survey results from 2018-2019 by clicking the button below.

 

2018-2019 Survey Results

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has not been found in Florida. The FWC is working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, hunters, captive cervid owners, landowners, and the public to help keep Florida CWD free. If you see a sick or abnormally thin deer or deer dead of unknown causes, please report its location to the CWD hotline, (866) CWD-WATCH (293-9282).

Learn about CWD

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About White-tailed Deer in Florida

White-tailed deer are the most popular game species in Florida. In addition to being valued by hunters, deer are appreciated by hikers, wildlife photographers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
 
FWC’s Hunting and Game Management Division applies scientific expertise to manage Florida’s hunting activities and associated wildlife resources, ensuring that conservation objectives are met and hunting opportunities are sustainable. FWC also provides training and information to encourage safe, responsible hunting.
 

Research Projects

The South Florida Deer Research Project, one of the largest white-tailed deer studies conducted in the country, is now complete. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission worked with University of Georgia, Virginia Tech, Jones Center at Ichauway, and several other partners to learn more about how water levels, predation and hunting impact deer populations in south Florida. Learn about South Florida Deer Research Project findings.

Deer Breeding Chronology Study

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) has been collecting biological data since 2009 from white-tailed deer to estimate the breeding dates for deer across the state. These data have been used to inform management decisions regarding hunting season dates and location of zonal lines. In addition, the data provides local information on peak breeding, something that is of interest to white-tail enthusiasts. In the northern U.S., the duration of the breeding season (or rut) is short and there is little variation from area to area. Breeding occurs in the fall, and fawning occurs in the spring. In the southeast, with mild winters and long growing season, the timing of fawning is not as critical and deer breeding activity is more variable. 

State Wide Model Map

However, Florida has more variability in breeding than any other state -- from July in southern Florida to February in northwest Florida. During this ongoing study, FWC biologists have documented breeding to occur in every single month except May. FWC will continue to collect breeding chronology data as needed. Maps are updated as additional information is collected.