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Taking Game

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Legal methods of taking game

Definition of “taking” wildlife: Taking is defined to include taking, attempting to take, pursuing, hunting, harassing, capturing or killing any wildlife.

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.

Hunting deer with a muzzleloader: Muzzleloading guns firing single bullets must be at least .40-caliber. 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 are incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined, birds of prey, bows and crossbows may be used.

Prohibited methods and equipment for taking game

Areas closed to hunting

  • Persons should be aware of and adhere to any local ordinances that prohibit the discharge of firearms.
  • Taking or attempting to take wildlife is illegal on, upon or from rights-of-way of federal, state or county-maintained roads, whether paved or otherwise. Casting dogs from rights-of-way is considered attempting to take wildlife and constitutes violation of this regulation. The exception to this rule is amphibians or reptiles may be taken without the use of firearms from the above mentioned rights-of-way.
  • Discharging firearms over paved public roads, rights-of-way, highways, streets or occupied premises is prohibited.
  • Shooting or propelling potentially lethal projectiles over or across private land without authorization in order to take game is considered criminal trespassing and is a felony.
  • Taking deer is prohibited by any method in the Florida Keys.
  • Taking deer is illegal in that portion of Collier County lying south of I-75, west of S.R. 29, north of U.S. 41 and east of the western boundary of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve.
  • Hunting is prohibited on most sanctuaries and parks.

Antlerless deer permits — private lands

An antlerless deer permit is required to take antlerless deer on private lands during the crossbow, muzzleloading gun and general gun seasons in accordance with the following conditions:

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This is not the full law. Consult the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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