Hunting is a safe, relaxing and exciting way for friends and family to spend time together while experiencing Florida’s natural beauty. Every hunting adventure is an opportunity to gain new understanding about wildlife and their habitats, while building important outdoor skills. And when the trip afield is successful, it means prolonging those treasured memories by cooking healthy, locally-sourced meals.
Hunting in Florida
Florida has one of the largest systems of public hunting lands in the country at nearly 6 million acres. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission uses its scientific expertise to manage Florida’s wildlife resources to make sure conservation objectives are met and hunting opportunities are sustainable.
The Sunshine State offers a diversity of species to pursue from white-tailed deer, hogs, alligators and turkeys to waterfowl, dove, bobwhite quail and small game species such as gray squirrel, rabbits and raccoons. Learn more about game species and hunting tips.
Safety & Education
Anyone born after May 31, 1975, who is 16 years old or older must pass a state certified hunter safety course before they can purchase a Florida hunting license that allows them to be able to hunt unsupervised. Hunter safety courses are designed to help students become safe, responsible and knowledgeable hunters and learn about conservation.
Learn more about hunter safety course options.
Licenses and Permits
Those between the ages of 16 and 64 are required to have a hunting license and additional permits when hunting specific species and during certain seasons in Florida. Some military personnel, those with a Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License, and those hunting on their homestead are exempt from these license and permit requirements. Learn more about hunting licenses and permits.
Visit GoOutdoorsFlorida.com to buy a hunting license and permits.
Public Hunting opportunities
Florida has one of the largest wildlife management area (WMA) systems in the country at nearly 6 million acres.
To hunt on a WMA, you must possess a management area permit and a hunting license, (and often other permits depending on species and season), unless exempt. Limited entry/quota permits are required on WMAs during certain time periods. They can only be applied for during the scheduled application periods. The worksheets with the hunt choices and hunt dates are usually posted about two weeks before the permit application period opens.
During certain time periods, there are WMAs that allow hunting without a quota permit.
Youth and Family Hunting Opportunities
The FWC offers several youth and family hunting opportunities including special youth seasons, mentored youth hunts and more.
Many wildlife management areas allow youth (age 15 and younger) supervised by an adult to hunt during archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, small-game and spring turkey seasons without having quota permits. Youths also may hunt areas that require a quota permit if accompanied by a quota permit holder, who is 18 or older, provided the quota permit holder and youth share a single bag limit.
Outfitters and Guides
Find a list of outfitters and guides who operate in Florida
Hunters support conservation in a variety of ways. The purchase of a hunting license directly supports conservation and also contributes in a less obvious way. Every hunting license that’s bought is factored into a formula that determines the amount of Wildlife Restoration grant funding a state receives. The more Florida licenses purchased, the more money from shooting sports industries and participants that comes directly back to Florida for conservation.
Many hunters also participate in on-the-ground conservation projects. They also serve as the eyes and ears in the field, providing the FWC with important information about what’s happening in the most remote parts of the state. They report on habitat conditions and fish and wildlife violations, helping the agency protect and conserve Florida’s natural resources.
As a new hunter, you’ll be a part of this proud tradition of hunter-conservationists while treasuring opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat, experience the woods waking up at sunrise, and sharing stories with friends and family around the campfire.