Legal methods of taking game
Definition of Take: The term shall include taking, attempting to take, pursuing, hunting, molesting, capturing, or killing any wildlife or freshwater fish, or their nests or eggs by any means whether or not such actions result in obtaining possession of such wildlife or freshwater fish or their nests or eggs.
Resident game birds and mammals: Rifles, shotguns, pistols, longbows, compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows and birds of prey (falcons, hawks and great horned owls) may be used. Longbows, compound bows, recurve bows and crossbows must have minimum draw weights of 35 pounds. Hand-held releases may be used. Arrows used to take deer, turkeys or hogs must be equipped with broadheads having at least two sharpened edges with minimum widths of 7/8 inch. Nonmigratory game can be taken from stationary vehicles. Air guns may be used to take gray squirrel and rabbit only.
Hunting deer with a muzzleloader: Muzzleloading guns firing single bullets must be at least .40-caliber or larger. Muzzleloading guns firing two or more balls must be 20-gauge or larger.
Migratory game birds: Shotguns (not larger than 10-gauge) plugged to a three-shell capacity including a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun and total capacity does not exceed three shells. Birds of prey, bows and crossbows may be used.
Prohibited methods and equipment for taking game
Areas closed to hunting
Antlerless deer permits — private lands
Wildlife Alert Reward Program
The residents of Florida have an opportunity to help protect our state’s fish and wildlife from poaching and wildlife violations and to help protect each other from boaters who are operating boats under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s called “Wildlife Alert,” and everyone who has access to a telephone or the Internet can participate in this important effort.
Wildlife Alert is a reward-based program created in 1979 to increase resident participation in apprehending those who violate Florida’s fish and wildlife laws. The program is administered by a 13-member committee appointed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s executive director. This committee oversees direction of the program and manages the reward payment schedule.
Through the program, alert residents become the eyes and ears of fish and wildlife law enforcement officers and are rewarded for their efforts. Many times residents’ calls are the only way law enforcement officers find out about some violations.
Callers can report any suspicious activity, supplying information such as the physical descriptions of violators, vehicles, license tag numbers, locations, etc. They should report it as soon as possible, but they should not put themselves in any dangerous situation. Callers reporting potential violators do not have to give their names or e-mail addresses. They remain anonymous and will not be required to testify in court.
To make an anonymous phone call to report fish and wildlife violations, call toll-free 888-404-3922 or visit MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert.
The Florida Buck Registry recognizes hunters for taking quality deer in Florida. A minimum Boone and Crockett score of 100 for typical antlers and 125 for nontypical antlers is required to qualify for the registry. To register, contact an FWC regional office.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.