Deer hunting this year? We've got what you need!

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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).

Tell your friends about our youth hunts!

Do you have a co-worker, neighbor, or friend who would like to take their child or grandchild hunting but they don’t have the equipment or experience? Help them get started by recommending our Youth Hunting Program, which offers mentored hunts for youth between 12 and 17 years of age. It’s a great way for a young person to experience hunting, learn about conservation and build new outdoor skills. Check out our youth hunting calendar, which has over 65 hunts for deer, wild hog, waterfowl, alligator, and quail.

Before a young person can take part in a Youth Hunting Program hunt, they need to complete a Florida hunter safety course. Find hunter safety course options, including a free online course and skills day.

Young squirrel hunter, youth hunting program

New rules to protect Florida deer from chronic wasting disease

Help get the word out to those planning to hunt outside of Florida about new rules that prohibit importing or possessing whole carcasses or high-risk parts of deer, elk, moose, caribou and all other species of the deer family originating from outside of Florida.

These new rules are designed to reduce the threat of chronic wasting disease from spreading into the state and harming Florida’s deer populations. CWD is an infectious disease of the brain and central nervous system and is always fatal for members of the deer family. While CWD has been detected in 26 states, including most recently Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, we’re fortunate it hasn’t been detected in Florida. Let’s unite against CWD to keep it that way.

Deer carcass importation requirements

3 reasons to buy a hunting license

Hunting license montage

Hunting seasons are coming up so don't forget to buy your Florida hunting license. Here are 3 reasons why it's important!

  1. Provides opportunities to participate in upcoming hunting seasons (for those who are not exempt from license requirements).
  2. Affords the possibility of enjoying and sharing locally sourced, healthy and delicious wild game meat.
  3. Contributes to conservation. Buying a hunting license directly supports habitat conservation and science-based wildlife management. Purchasing a license contributes to conservation in another way because the more paid hunting licenses the more federal grant funds apportioned to our state through the Wildlife Restoration Program.

Get your hunting license and permits at

Get ready for the statewide alligator harvest

alligator in the water

If you have an alligator trapping license/harvest permit, now is a great time to get answers to questions such as “What license is required if someone wants to help me hunt?,” “How can I judge the length of an alligator by looking at its head?” or “Where can I find an alligator processing facility?” Head over to our updated Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida to learn about rules and regulations, equipment and methods, safety, and more. 

Also, check out the FWC’s online alligator harvest training and orientation course you can take for free. The training isn’t required, however, it’s an easy way to get ready to take part in the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program. This convenient online training replaces the in-person classes offered in year’s past. 

You can find more alligator hunting information such as alligator harvest unit maps, guides and outfitters, and the public boat ramp finder.

Taking a new hunter this year? Don’t forget this step!

Take a hunter safety course now!

If you’re introducing an adult or youth to hunting this year, a hunter safety course is the best way to get started. Your new hunter can earn their hunter safety certification by taking an FWC-approved online course, which includes a no-cost option, and then attending our free skills day for hands-on training. The course covers safety, basic hunting skills, equipment, wildlife identification, conservation and more. Find a hunter safety course.

Florida requires anyone born after June 1, 1975, to receive their hunter safety certification before they can buy a license to hunt unsupervised.

Here's how to log and report harvested deer

How to log and report harvested deer

Before you head afield this hunting season, make sure you have a plan to log and report harvested deer. This regulation, which went into effect in July 2019, requires ALL hunters, including those who are exempt from license requirements, to log their harvested deer prior to moving it from the point of harvest, defined as the spot on the ground where the hunter located the harvested deer. In addition, they must report harvested deer: 1) within 24 hours of harvest, or 2) prior to final processing of the deer, or 3) prior to the deer or any parts of the deer being transferred to a meat processor or taxidermist, or 4) prior to the deer leaving the state, whichever occurs first. 

Options for logging and reporting:

  • Option A – Log and Report (Steps 1 and 2) on a mobile device with the FWC Fish|Hunt Florida App or at prior to moving the deer.
  • Option B – Log (Step 1) on a paper deer harvest log prior to moving the deer and then report (Step 2) at or Fish|Hunt Florida App or calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA (888-486-8356) within 24 hours.

Find more information by reviewing these FAQs about deer hunting rules

Special regulations for 2021-22 deer seasons at Holey Land, Rotenberger and Everglades WMAs

Aerial surveys conducted this year indicated significantly reduced numbers of deer at Holey Land, Rotenberger, and Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Areas. High-water levels at those WMAs during fawning likely resulted in lower survival rates for fawns as well as increased stress and mortality for adult deer. To address deer population declines, the FWC issued Executive Order 21-12, which contains the following conservation measures regarding 2021-2022 hunting seasons at Holey Land, Rotenberger, and Everglades WMAs:

  • Prohibit the take of white-tailed deer during the established archery, muzzleloading gun and general gun-walk seasons at Holey Land and Rotenberger WMAs.
  • Cancel the general gun-vehicle (airboat/track vehicle) seasons at Holey Land, Rotenberger, and Everglades WMAs.

While the FWC will not issue airboat or track vehicle quota permits for the general gun-vehicle season, normal access to those areas will be allowed per specific area regulations. Please review Holey Land, Rotenberger, and Everglades WMA regulations brochures for more information.

Help biologists learn more by reporting wild turkey sightings

wild turkey

We need your help! By letting the FWC know when you see hens with or without poults, jakes or gobblers, you can help biologists learn more about annual nesting success, brood survival, and the distribution and abundance of wild turkeys. We've provided the following easy-to-use options for reporting wild turkeys you see between now and Aug. 31:

We also want to say THANK YOU to everyone who is already participating in this effort!

Upcoming hunting season dates

Note: the following season dates do not apply to wildlife management areas. Find more information about 2021-2022 hunting season dates and bag limits. Plus, learn about logging and reporting harvested deer and other deer season rules.

Zone A

  • Archery season runs July 31 – Aug. 29
  • Crossbow season runs July 31 – Sept. 3
  • Muzzleloading gun season runs Sept. 4 – 17
  • Youth deer hunt weekend is Sept. 11–12
  • General Gun season (first phase) runs Sept. 18 – Oct. 17

Zone C

  • Archery season: Sept. 18 – Oct. 17
  • Crossbow season: Sept. 18 – Oct. 22

2021-2022 Florida migratory bird hunting season dates 

Note: Migratory bird hunting seasons and dates may not apply to wildlife management areas.

Duck (early season): 

  • Sept. 18-22 (teal and wood duck only)
  • Sept. 23-26 (teal only)

Dove (first phase):

  • Sept. 25 - Oct. 17

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         7/1/2020 – until filled or the final hunt date

A.R.M Loxahatchee Interior Deer/Hog and A.R.M. Loxahatchee Strazzulla Deer/Hog

  • Phase II Leftovers          7/1/2021 - until filled or the final hunt date 

A.R.M Loxahatchee Duck and Coot Airboat Use

  • Phase I Applications      9/3/2021 - 9/13/2021
  • Phase II Leftovers         9/16/2021 - until filled or the final hunt date

St. Vincent White-Tailed Deer

  • Immediate Issuance     7/8/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

St. Vincent Sambar Deer

  • Phase II Leftovers      7/22/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

Lake Woodruff Archery and Muzzleloading

  • Phase II Leftovers      7/22/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

Merritt Island Archery           

  • Phase II Leftovers      7/22/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date        

Merritt Island Waterfowl

  • Phase I Applications    9/3/2021 – 9/13/2021

  • Phase II Leftovers       9/30/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

St. Marks Archery, General Gun and Mobility-Impaired

  • Phase II Leftovers      7/22/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

Green Swamp Camping - Archery and Wild Hog

  • Phase I Applications   7/30/2021 – 8/9/2021
  • Phase II Leftovers      8/12/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date               

Dove Hunt Permits 

  • Phase I Applications      8/6/2021 – 8/16/2021
  • Phase II Leftovers         8/19/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

September Special Early Duck Permits

  • Phase I Applications      8/6/2021 – 8/16/2021
  • Phase II Applications     8/20/2021 – 8/30/2021
  • Phase III Leftovers        9/2/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

Regular Season Waterfowl Permits – Period A

  • Phase I Applications      9/3/2021 – 9/13/2021
  • Phase II Applications     9/17/2021 – 10/27/2021
  • Phase III Leftovers        9/30/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

Youth Waterfowl Permits

  • Phase I Applications      9/3/2021 – 9/13/2021
  • Phase II Applications     9/17/2021 – 9/27/2021
  • Phase III Leftovers        9/30/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

Standby Opportunities September Special Early Duck

  • Phase I Applications     8/27/2021 – 9/6/2021
  • Phase II Leftovers        9/9/2021 – until filled or the final hunt date

Returned Waterfowl and Quota Hunt Permits

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

Bookmark these links!