Don't miss this important hunting season information

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FWC’s Hunting Hot Sheet

The latest hunting and conservation news and events from the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Do your deer season homework

White-tailed deer

Put the power of information to work this deer season by using the following tools:

For more information about deer management and hunting in Florida, see

Tell us what you think


FWC staff is at the beginning stages of the rule development process. We’re seeking input on the package of hunting-related draft rule change proposals, including many dealing with deer management and FWC-managed lands. These proposals concern 2019-2020 hunting seasons.

FWC Commissioners will consider hunting-related draft rule change proposals at their December 12-13, 2018, meeting in St. Augustine and provide guidance to staff on how to proceed. Commissioners will consider the proposed rule changes for final adoption at their February 2019 meeting.  If adopted, most rules will take effect July 1, 2019, and be in place for the 2019 hunting seasons.

Please take a few minutes to view proposed rule changes and provide your thoughts.

No quota permit? See these options!


Florida’s wildlife management areas (WMAs) offer a wide range of hunting opportunities. If you didn’t draw a quota permit or special opportunity hunt, though, check out these possibilities for public land hunts.

WMA brochures available only at

Paperless WMA brochures

Before heading afield this season, we recommend you print, take a screen shot, or download the WMA regulations brochures and maps to a mobile device so you can access them without an Internet connection. Beginning this year, WMA regulations brochures are available only at and through the Fish/Hunt FL app. They will no longer be printed.

Implementing this change enables the FWC to reduce waste and make more funds available for priority fish and wildlife conservation projects and outdoor education. In addition, it allows the FWC to make real time updates to ensure you have access to the most current WMA regulations information.


New events added to Youth Hunting Program calendar

Youth Hunting Program

We’ve added 69 Youth Hunting Program of Florida events to the fall hunt calendar. These opportunities are designed to introduce young people to hunting and conservation through safe, educational, mentored youth hunts.

Help us reach young people who have never experienced watching the woods wake up by sharing information about this program with interested neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members. Youth Hunting Program hunts are open to young men and women between 12 and 17 years old who have passed a Florida hunter safety course and are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Take a hunter safety course for free

Hunter safety

You can learn about hunting safety and wildlife conservation by attending FWC’s free traditional classroom course. No-cost training is available thanks to certified volunteer instructors and funding from the Wildlife Restoration (WR) program. The WR program provides grant funds to agencies such as the FWC to support wildlife conservation, research, access to public lands, shooting range development, and hunter safety education. The WR program is funded by the sporting arms and archery industries and the people of Florida who participate in these outdoor activities.

Hunter safety students also can complete the classroom portion online. FWC’s website offers several online courses including a free option. After the online classroom portion is complete, students must sign up and attend a skills day. Learn more about Florida’s hunter safety course options.

3 tips to stay safe when using a treestand

Treestand safety tips

While September is designated as treestand safety month, safety should be top of mind every time you use one.

When hunting from a treestand, remember to ALWAYS:

  • Use a fall-arrest system/full-body harness.
  • Stay connected to the tree from the time you leave the ground until you’re back down.
  • Inspect the treestand, all safety devices and the fall-arrest system/full-body harness before each use.

Get more tips through this FREE, fast and easy-to-understand treestand safety course. Also, read this true story: Living to tell about a treestand fall.


Hunting seasons dates for private lands

  • Zone A general gun season opens Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 14 and Nov. 17 through Jan. 6
  • Zone C archery and crossbow seasons open Saturday, Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 14
  • Gray squirrel season statewide opens Saturday, Oct. 13 and runs through March 3

Waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting season dates

  • 1st phase of dove (mourning and white-winged) season opens Saturday Sept. 22 and runs through Oct. 14
  • September teal and wood duck season opens Saturday, Sept. 22 and runs through Sept. 26
  • September teal only season opens Thursday, Sept. 27 and runs through Sept. 30

Check out the Guide to Waterfowl Hunting in Florida and wood duck and teal identification video.

Public land hunting opportunity deadlines

Youth Hunter Education Challenge

Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) is a program for hunter safety course graduates aged 18 and younger to learn more about leadership, ethics and safety while expanding their knowledge about conservation, target shooting and hunting.

Learn to shoot sporting clays and identify wildlife

When: Saturday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Tenoroc Public Shooting Range

Register by contacting or 863-648-3816


First Shot Fundamentals

Learn about hunting and conservation and safe, responsible target shooting including archery, .22 rifle, shotgun, blackpowder rifle, and air gun.

When: Saturday, Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Tenoroc Public Shooting Range

Register by contacting or 863-648-3816


Learn to shoot a bow and arrow and sporting clays

When: Sunday, Oct. 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Tenoroc Public Shooting Range

Register by contacting or 863-648-3816


Learn about muzzleloaders

When: Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Everglades Youth Conservation Camp

Register by contacting or 561-625-5122


Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend workshop

Connect with nature and learn skills such as fishing, boating, hunting, target shooting, birdwatching, canoeing/kayaking, archery, outdoor cooking and more. We provide expert instructors and safe, hands-on learning opportunities that are open to anyone 18 years or older.

When: Feb. 15-17, 2019

Where: Everglades Youth Conservation Camp

Register today for a weekend of outdoor fun and learning!

Short Cuts

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