Important information about deer, duck and alligator hunting

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).

New user-friendly options to log and report harvested deer

Report harvested deer

Those who are planning to deer hunt this year are reminded all hunters, including people exempt from hunting license/permit requirements, must log and report their harvested deer. 

This year, we’re introducing new, user-friendly options to log and report:  

Please see instructions and FAQs about these new options to log and report harvested deer and FAQs about rules related to deer hunting including bag limits, youth related deer hunting rules, methods of take, and more.

New online training for alligator harvest

Alligator hunting

If you have an alligator trapping license/harvest permit, get ready for the upcoming hunt by checking out our new and free online alligator harvest training class. This 22-minute training opportunity isn’t required, but it’s an easy way for hunters to get up to speed on rules and regulations, equipment and methods, safety, and more. The virtual training, which is convenient and social distancing friendly, replaces the in-person classes offered in year’s past.

The Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida is another way you can learn important information about taking part in Florida’s statewide alligator harvest. Visit for other links to valuable resources such as alligator harvest unit maps, guides and outfitters,  alligator meat processors and hide buyers, and public boat ramps.

Brush up on requirements to reduce the risk of CWD spreading into Florida

Preventing CWD from spreading into Florida

People hunting outside of Florida are reminded that carcasses or carcass parts of deer, elk, moose, caribou and all other members of the deer family may not be imported into Florida from anywhere - except for legally harvested white-tailed deer originating from Georgia or Alabama, provided they meet certain requirements. This requirement went into effect in 2019 to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease (CWD) spreading into Florida. The transportation of infected deer, elk, moose and caribou carcasses is one of the known risks for introducing CWD to new areas.

Hunters are allowed to import into Florida de-boned meat; finished taxidermy mounts; antlers; and hides, skulls, skull caps, and teeth if all soft tissue has been removed. In addition, white-tailed deer legally harvested in Georgia or Alabama may be imported into Florida, provided the person possesses an FWC Georgia/Alabama Carcass Importation Permit prior to the carcass being imported into Florida; reports the carcass importation within 24 hours of entering Florida using the FWC’s online Georgia/Alabama Carcass Importation Reporting Form; and disposes of any remains using FWC-approved deer carcass disposal options. Also exempt from importation permit, reporting and disposal requirements are white-tailed deer legally harvested from Georgia or Alabama properties that are bisected by the Florida state line and under the same ownership. Learn more about how to comply with the requirements related to importing deer carcasses.

As part of its ongoing CWD surveillance program, the FWC is asking anyone who sees a sick, abnormally thin deer or finds a deer dead from unknown causes to call the CWD hotline, 866-CWD-WATCH (866-293-9282) and report the animal’s location. The FWC has been testing deer for CWD since 2002, and this fatal deer disease has not been detected in Florida.

“Finding Yourself” on WMAs Using Avenza Maps

Hunters in orange

Track your location in real time on an FWC wildlife management area (WMA) by using Avenza Maps, a free mobile app with lots of features and functions. You can use it in compass mode, drop a pin to mark a particular area for future reference, and measure, record GPS tracks, find GPS coordinates and more. Watch this short video to learn how to use Avenza Maps.

If you’re looking for a public hunting opportunity, WMA Finder can help you find a WMA by location, season, species, and type of hunt (youth, family or mobility-impaired). If you know which WMA regulations brochure you want to review, search by "specific area" and use the drop-down menu to navigate directly to that area’s brochure. Get other tips for using this new WMA search tool by watching this tutorial video. Before visiting a wildlife management area (WMA), always check the WMA's open/closed status

New method for distributing morning standby waterfowl hunting opportunities at STAs

Duck hunting

This year, waterfowl hunting opportunities created by permit holders who don’t show up for morning stormwater treatment area (STA) hunts will be distributed differently. Based on input from stakeholders, FWC staff, and land management partners, we will be using an online random draw system instead of on-site lotteries to distribute morning no-show waterfowl hunting opportunities.

This online random draw, which will be administered through, is expected to minimize safety hazards due to overcrowding, improve hunter check-in management, more fairly distribute the no-show opportunity, and enhance the overall quality of the experience. 

Get details about how morning no-show waterfowl hunting opportunities at STAs will be issued.

3 easy ways to buy your fishing and hunting licenses and permits

3 easy ways to buy a license

1) Sign up for auto-renew to make sure your licenses and permits are always up to date.

2) Simplify license buying by choosing one of our license packages such as The Florida Sportsman package, Waterfowl Hunter package, and more!

3) Download the Fish|Hunt FL App on your smartphone or tablet to renew, purchase and store your licenses and permits.

Sign up for auto renew or buy a license package at

New opportunities posted to the Youth Hunting Program calendar

Youth Hunting Program

There are over 60 new hunts for deer, wild hogs, small game and more on the Youth Hunting Program calendar. These mentored hunts provide youth who have never hunted before with opportunities to learn about conservation and gain new outdoor skills.

The Youth Hunting Program offers youth between 12 and 17 years of age mentored hunting opportunities. To participate, youth must successfully complete a hunter safety course and be accompanied by a parent or guardian.Volunteers provide places to hunt, meals and mentors at these family-oriented hunts. In addition, these hunts will adhere to CDC guidelines related to social distancing.

Buy this beautiful art and help conserve waterfowl habitat

2020-2021 Federal Duck Stamp

The 2020-2021 Federal Duck Stamp features black-bellied whistling-ducks, one of Florida's resident duck species. This beautiful piece of art is on sale now at and at many sporting goods stores, national wildlife refuges and U.S. Post Offices.

Purchasing a Federal Duck Stamp helps acquire and conserve vital waterfowl habitat in the national wildlife refuge system. A current stamp also gains you free access to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entry fee. In addition, waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are required to purchase and carry the current Federal Duck Stamp.

About the 2020-2021 Federal Duck Stamp: Artist Eddie LeRoy; species Black-bellied Whistling-Duck; used with permission of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Bookmark these links

NEW: 2020-2021 Florida Hunting Regulations guide

2020-2021 hunting season dates and bag limits

2020-2021 Florida migratory bird Hunting season dates and bag limits

Buy your hunting license

Public FWC-managed shooting ranges

Limited entry/quota hunts 

Get started hunting

WMA Finder

WMA regulations brochures

Sign up for hunting news

Open/closed status of FWC offices, facilities, and managed areas

Covid-19 response

Get involved with a conservation group!

Replace your hunter safety card

Hunting season dates summary

Note: the following season dates do not apply to wildlife management areas. Find more information about 2020-2021 hunting season dates and bag limits. Plus, learn about logging and reporting harvested deer and other deer season rules.

Zone A

  • Archery season runs Aug. 1 - 30
  • Crossbow season runs Aug. 1 - Sept. 4
  • Muzzleloading gun season runs Sept. 5 – 18
  • Youth deer hunt weekend is Sept. 12-13

Public hunting opportunity deadlines

If you're interested in quota permits to hunt public lands, check out these opportunities and log into to apply for:

Quota hunts

  • Phase III Leftovers            07/02/2020 – until filled or the final hunt date

St. Vincent White-Tailed Deer

  • Immediate Issuance          07/09/2020 – until filled or the final hunt date

Dove Hunt Permits 

  • Phase I Applications          8/07/2020 – 8/17/2020
  • Phase II Leftovers             8/20/2020 – until filled or the final hunt date

National Wildlife Refuge Hunting Permits (Fall and winter hunts)

  • Phase II Leftovers             07/23/2020 – until filled or the final hunt date

Merritt Island Waterfowl

  • Phase I Applications          09/11/2020 – 09/21/2020

September Special Early Duck Permits

  • Phase I Applications          08/07/2020 – 08/17/2020
  • Phase II Applications         08/21/2020 – 08/31/2020
  • Phase III Leftovers            09/03/2020 – until filled or the final hunt date

Regular Season Waterfowl Permits – Period A

  • Phase I Applications          09/11/2020 – 09/21/2020

Youth Waterfowl Permits

  • Phase I Applications          09/11/2020 – 09/21/2020

Standby Opportunities September Special Early Duck

  • Phase I Applications          08/28/2020 – 09/07/2020
  • Phase II Leftovers            09/10/2020 – until filled or the final hunt date

Returned waterfowl and quota hunt permits may be applied for throughout the season during weekly reissue application periods. Permit availability is shown in real time, and weekly reissue applications are available for hunters between noon on Saturdays through noon on Tuesdays, with results posted at

Hunter safety and treestand safety courses

People born after May 31, 1975, must complete the FWC’s hunter safety class before they can buy the type of hunting license that allows them to legally hunt alone. Hunter safety courses cover firearms safety, wildlife conservation, responsible hunting and more. FWC’s website offers several online courses including a FREE option. After the online portion is complete, students must sign up and attend a skills day. Learn more about Florida’s hunter safety course options.

Also, brush up on treestand safety through a FREE, fast and easy-to-understand course.