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Safe, Responsible Hunting

Woman in a kayak holding a duck decoy

Hunters using a boat must follow Florida boating regulations and have and use the required boating safety equipment. Smaller boats are typically less stable than larger-sized boats, so be sure to distribute and balance the weight evenly, stay seated and do not exceed the boat’s capacity.

When hunting from a boat, a wearable life jacket must be onboard for each person on the vessel. It’s recommended that everyone wear a properly fitted life jacket. Inflatable life jackets, particularly the belt packs are easy to wear and come in a variety of styles and colors including camouflage. Be sure to wear your inflatable life jacket on the outside of your clothing.

Hunter Safety Requirement

Hunters 16 years of age and older must have completed a state certified hunter safety course before they can buy a hunting license that allows them to hunt unsupervised. Those who haven’t can opt to purchase a hunting license using the mentoring exemption, however, they must hunt under the supervision of someone who is at least 21 years old and meets Florida hunter safety requirements. Hunters born before June 1, 1975, are exempt from the hunter safety requirement.

Always transport your shotgun in a gun case unloaded, with the action open and safety on. Make sure while hunting or handling a firearm that you adhere to the following basic firearms safety rules.

  • Safe Direction – Always point your gun in a safe direction.
  • Always be sure of your target and what is beyond.
  • Finger is off the trigger until read to shoot.
  • Every firearm must be treated as if it were loaded.

Learn more about hunting safety.


Bird Hunters' Code of Conduct

We are fortunate to have healthy populations of several different waterfowl and migratory bird species to hunt in Florida. How hunters behave and how their conduct is perceived by others can help keep hunting viewed in a positive light. As a hunter, please continue to do your part in helping build on the overall support for hunting in Florida.

  • Obey and support wildlife laws. Know the bag limits and do not shoot birds to fill another hunter’s bag – that is illegal.
  • Report suspected wildlife violations to 888-404-FWCC (3922) or at
  • Become proficient at identifying ducks and do not shoot unless you have positively identified the species of waterfowl and know that it is legal to take and within your bag and possession limits. For example, male scaup and female redheads are often mistaken for ring-necked ducks and both have restricted bag limits.
  • Make sure you stash the trash! Retrieve all gear and shell casings after the hunt.
  • Transport harvested birds discreetly.
  • Respect other hunters. Don’t set up any closer than 200 yards from other parties. Do not shoot at birds circling or approaching other parties.
  • Respect other users and residents of Florida’s lakes, rivers and coastlines.
  • Be respectful to others who may not share your views on hunting.
  • Share the fun of safe and responsible hunting with others, especially youth.
  • Support local and national waterfowl and wetland conservation organizations.