Time to apply for quota hunts and alligator harvest permits

Hunting Hot Sheet masthead


FWC’s Hunting Hot Sheet

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

Plan to hunt public lands in 2019-2020

White-tailed deer

Florida has one of the largest wildlife management area systems in the country at nearly 6 million acres. Use the following resources to help you plan for 2019-2020 public hunting land opportunities.

  • Check out the 2019-2020 wildlife management area (WMA) regulations brochures to discover hunting opportunities including quota/limited-entry hunts, special opportunity hunts, and public hunting areas where you can walk on to hunt. Before you head afield, review the regulations for the area you plan to hunt. Also, don't forget, WMA regulations brochures are available online only. 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.
  • Apply for quota/limited entry hunts. The phase 1 application period for many quota, special-opportunity and national wildlife refuge hunt permits begins at 10 a.m. on May 15 and runs through midnight on June 15. You can choose quota/limited entry hunts for deer and hogs as well as hunts for families, youth, people with disabilities, bowhunters and those hunting with muzzleloaders and modern firearms. Get more details about fall quota/limited entry hunts and apply at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, county tax collectors’ offices or most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies. 

Photo courtesy of Rogue Eye Photography

Alligator harvest permits: Phase 1 application period runs May 17 – 27


The phase I application period for the alligator harvest random drawing begins May 17 at 10 a.m. Eastern time and runs through May 27. More than 7,000 harvest permits will be available. If you’re 18 years old by Aug. 15, 2019, and have a valid credit or debit card, you can apply for an alligator harvest permit that allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated harvest unit or county

 Learn more about how the random drawing works and check out these tips to apply for alligator harvest permits. The updated Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida is another valuable source of information about the application process and hunt structure, rules and regulations, methods of take, and tips on how to safely and responsibly hunt alligators. See these pages for more information:

Since 1988, Florida's statewide alligator harvest program has been nationally and internationally recognized as a model for the sustainable use of a renewable natural resource. Alligators are a conservation success story in Florida. The state’s alligator population is estimated at 1.3 million alligators of every size. Each year, alligator management units are established with appropriate harvest quotas to provide recreational opportunities for hunters from Florida and beyond.

Season dates, bag limits and rule changes

Making plans for upcoming hunting seasons? Check out 2019-2020 hunting season dates and bag limits.

Also, please remember there will be new statewide rule changes taking effect starting with 2019-2020 seasons, including many dealing with deer hunting. Visit the new FAQs webpage for information about the new rules including the annual statewide bag limit for deer, harvest reporting, youth-related deer hunting rules, Antlerless Deer Permit Program adjustments as well as other statewide rules.

Rule changes are based on requests from staff, cooperators and stakeholders. Stakeholder input on proposed changes was sought throughout the rulemaking process to achieve regulations based on hunter preference and sound science to ensure sustainability.

Wild hog hunting on WMAs

Wild hog

Spring and summer wild hog hunting opportunities are available at wildlife management areas across the state. Most of the areas don’t require a quota permit for these hunts, but you will need a $26.50 management area permit. Before heading afield, don’t forget to review area-specific regulations.


Please participate in FWC’s annual deer survey

Women deer hunting

During May and June, you may receive a phone call or email from Responsive Management, a survey research firm the FWC has contracted with to study Florida hunters’ participation in deer hunting. If you do, please consider participating in the study. Depending on which carrier you use, the call will display as coming from Responsive Management, area code 850, or unknown.

The FWC will use stakeholder input from the study to help us better understand hunters’ participation, harvest, and opinions. In addition, the data the FWC will receive via the new harvest reporting requirements will give us another source of deer harvest information. See our FAQs about hunting rule changes taking effect in 2019-2020, including new harvest reporting requirements.

Review what’s new for waterfowl seasons


2019-2020 season dates for ducks, geese, doves and other game migratory birds are available now. Please be aware that changes for the 2019-20 migratory bird hunting season include a decrease in the daily bag limit of mallards from four to two (no more than one of which may be female) and a decrease in the daily bag limit of northern pintails from two to one.

In addition, dates have shifted for Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days. Beginning in 2019-2020, this special opportunity will occur the Saturday before the start of the first phase of the regular waterfowl season (Nov. 16, 2019) and on the second Saturday after the second phase of the season closes (Feb. 8, 2020). This change is intended to provide higher quality and more diverse hunting opportunities for youth (15 years old and younger). For more information about statewide 2019-2020 rule changes.

Record your wild turkey sightings

Help us learn more about Florida’s wild turkey distribution and abundance by downloading FWC’s new turkey survey app and recording all sightings of a wild turkey or a group of turkeys, especially poults. Your observations and the locations you submit cannot be seen by other users.

Get started by downloading the Survey123ArcGIS app or access the app online.

Wild turkey app

Short Cuts

Public land hunting opportunity deadlines

Phase I application period is May 15 – June 15 to apply for the following fall limited entry/quota hunts

Apply for alligator hunt permits during these application periods:

Phase I May 17-27
Phase II May 31 – June 10
Phase III June 14-24
Leftover phase June 27 until sold out

Quick links

NEW: 2019-2020 Hunting Season Dates and Bag Limits

NEW: 2019-2020 Migratory Bird Hunting Season Dates and Bag Limits

NEW: Summer wild hog hunting opportunities on WMAs

NEW: 2019-2020 wildlife management area regulation brochures

FAQs about statewide hunting rules taking effect in 2019-2020

Get started hunting

Public FWC-managed shooting ranges

Buy your hunting license

Hunter safety courses

Hunter safety courses cover firearms safety, wildlife conservation, responsible hunting and more. Students can attend a no-cost traditional classroom course. Or they 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.

Youth Opportunities

Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) events teach youth aged 18 and younger about leadership, safety and conservation while building skills and knowledge related to hunting, map and compass, wildlife identification and target shooting. Participants must have successfully completed a hunter safety course. Find and register for YHEC events.

The Youth Hunting Program provides opportunities for hunter safety graduates between 12 and 17 years old to experience hunting through safe, educational, mentored youth hunts.

The FWC’s summer camps are a fun and safe way for kids who have completed 3rd grade and up to experience the outdoors. Youth can receive their hunter safety certification, expand on archery and bowhunting basics, practice their target shooting skills and learn about everything from wildlife conservation to outdoor skills such as fishing and paddling. Spots are limited, so register your kids today.

Conservation Organizations

There are several organizations in Florida working diligently on behalf of conservation and creating opportunities for others to experience hunting. Learn more about how you can get involved!

4-H Shooting Sports

American Daughters of Conservation

Ducks Unlimited Events – Find Florida events

Everglades Coordinating Council

Florida Sportsmen’s Conservation Association

National Rifle Association - Find Florida events

National Wild Turkey Federation - Find Florida events

Quail Forever - Find Florida chapters

Quality Deer Management Association - Find Florida branches

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation – Florida

Safari Club International - Find Florida chapters

The Future of Hunting in Florida

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance

United Waterfowlers-Florida