Are you looking for information, regulations, and the best deer hunting place in Florida?

Deer hunting in Florida is the best opportunity for professional hunters, seasonal hunters, or novices. If you travel a little in Florida, you can chase the rut and have a long deer hunting season.

There are quite a number of us hunting in Florida. The body and horns of the deer are considerably smaller. They have a limitless shelter in monotonous marshes and young pine trees. There are deadly snakes throughout the place.

What Are The Deer Species in Florida?

Florida is the best hunting ground for deer hunting if you love hunting. you could find three species in Florida

  1. White-tailed deer,
  2. Key deer
  3. Sambar deer

1. White-tailed deer

Among the above three, the most common is white-tailed deer, which can be readily available throughout the state panhandle in the forest edge. They prefer habitats with young, low-growing vegetation and borders where it is easy for elk to feed and avoid predators at the intersection of two different habitats.

They are primarily browsers that feed on leaves, shoots, flowers, and the fruit of trees, shrubs, and vines. Adult male deer weigh an average of 115 pounds in Florida but can reach 190 pounds or more in North Florida. Smaller females weigh an average of 90 kilograms, and larger females are 120 kilograms or more. Males have horns, which are the largest in 6-10-year-old males. They fall off in late winter or early spring and grow back after 6-8 weeks.

  • Most active at dawn and dusk
  • The main feed is leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits of trees, shrubs, and forbs.
  • Like habitats with young, low-growing vegetation and edge
  • In danger, they hold their tails erect and wave them back and forth
  • They stomp a foot and snort before running off when they get nervous
  • They breed in fall, winter, spring, and summer

2. Key Deer

It is the subspecies of the smallest white-tailed deer found in southern Florida. The Key deer that live in the Florida Keys have unique traits. The bucks weigh around 80 pounds on average and range in height from 28 to 32 inches.

Conversely, the does are slightly lighter and stand between 24 and 28 inches tall. The Florida Keys are home to these deer in a variety of habitats, such as mangroves, pine woods, and freshwater marshes.

Since they are herbivores, key deer spend a lot of time looking for and consuming the leaves of various plants, including hibiscus, gumbo limbo, red, black, and white mangroves, and berries from thatch palms. They can only withstand trace amounts of salt in their systems, but they are dependent on freshwater, which is abundant in Big Pine. They can also drink brackish water. September through December is breeding season; usually, only one fawn is born. Key deer deaths are mainly caused by cars and dogs allowed to roam freely.

  • Inhabit various ecosystems in the Florida Keys, like pine forests, mangroves, and freshwater wetlands.
  • They are herbivores and search leaves such as red, black, and white mangroves, hibiscus, and gumbo limbo.
  • Drink freshwater or from Big Pine, and they can survive in brackish water but only a little.
  • Breeding season is from September through December.

3. Sambar Deer

Franklin County, Florida's marshes on St. Vincent Island are home to the exotic Sambar deer. This deer was sent to St. Vincent Island from Asia. At 78 to 102 inches, the Sambar deer is much bigger than the native white-tailed deer. It has large ears and a pronounced nose. Its color changes from dark brown in the winter to chestnut in the summer. Deer with antlers are male Sambar deer. Aquatic vegetation is their primary source of food. Usually, these deer have a 16–20 year lifespan.

  • Found wetlands on St. Vincent Island in Franklin County, Florida
  • Males are antlered.
  • Diet mainly consists of aquatic plants.
  • life expectancy is 16-20 years.

Among the above three, the most common is white-tailed deer, which can be readily available throughout the state panhandle to the key.

When Is Deer Hunting Season In Florida?

The deer hunting season in Florida varies by zone and weapon type. Here are some details based on the provided search results:

Antlered Deer Hunting Season 2023-2024

Zone Archery


Crossbow Season Muzzleloading Gun Season Youth Deer Hunt Weekend General Gun Season
A July 29 – Aug. 27 July 29 – Sept. 1 Sept. 2-15 Sept. 9-10 Sept. 16 – Oct. 15<br>Nov. 18 - Jan. 7
B Oct. 14 – Nov. 12 Oct. 14 – Nov. 17 Nov. 18 - Dec. 1 Nov. 25-26 Dec. 2 – Feb. 18
C Sept. 16 – Oct. 15 Sept. 16 – Oct. 20 Oct. 21 – Nov. 3 Oct. 28-29 Nov. 4 – Jan. 21
D Oct. 21 – Nov. 22 Oct. 21 – Nov. 22, Nov. 27 - Dec. 1 Nov. 23–26, Dec. 9 – Feb. 18 Dec. 2–3 Dec. 2-8, Feb. 19–25


 Antlerless Deer Hunting Season 2023-2024

Zone Archery Season Crossbow Season Muzzleloading Gun Season Youth Deer Hunt Weekend General Gun Season
A DMU A2: July 29 – Aug. 6

DMU A3: July 29 – Aug. 13

DMU A2: July 29 – Aug. 6

DMU A3: July 29 – Aug. 13

- DMU A2 and DMU A3: Sept. 9-10 DMU A2: Nov. 18-19

DMU A3: Nov. 18-21

B Oct. 14 – Nov. 12 Oct. 14 – Nov. 12 - Nov. 25-26 Dec. 29-31
C Sept. 16 – Oct. 15 Sept. 16 – Oct. 15 DMU C5: Oct. 21-22 Oct. 28-29 DMU C1: Nov. 17-20

DMU C2: Nov. 17-19

DMU C3: Nov. 17-19

DMU C4: Nov. 17–20

DMU C5: Nov. 4-5, Nov. 18-19

DMU C6: Nov. 17-20

D Oct. 21 – Nov. 22 Oct. 21 – Nov. 22 DMU D2: Dec. 2–3 Dec. 2-3 DMU D1: Nov. 25-26, Dec. 30-31

(Dec. 9-10 Only in Holmes, Washington, and Jackson counties)

DMU D2: Nov. 23-26, Dec. 9 - Feb. 18

Youth Hunting Program of Florida

The youth deer hunt weekend in Florida offers young hunters aged 15 and below a unique chance to engage in supervised hunting. This weekend allows youth to harvest either an antlered or antlerless deer, which will count towards their annual bag limit for the entire state.

The youth deer hunt weekend aligns with the muzzleloading gun season in each hunting zone. The specific dates for this weekend differ across zones, with separate weekends designated for each zone.

Youth hunters can use any legal method to take down deer, including dogs on deer-dog-registered properties. No license or permit is necessary for youth hunters and accompanying adults during the youth deer hunt weekend.

However, if adult supervisors or individuals aged 16 and above participate in the hunt, they must possess a hunting license, deer permit, and muzzleloading gun permit unless exempt. The primary objective of the youth deer hunt weekend is to encourage youth hunting and create opportunities for the upcoming generation of hunters.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manages the hunting season for deer in Florida, and the dates and regulations may change yearly. Hunters must refer to the official FWC website or the Florida hunting regulations for the most current information.

Florida Hunting Regulations And Laws

To hunt legally in the states, there are some necessary regulations and laws for deer hunting in Florida.

  1. Hunting dates and restrictions are subject to periodic fluctuations, so hunters must keep informed. Hunters should frequently visit the official FWC website or Florida hunting rules for the most recent information.
  2. The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) regulates several state hunting elements, such as season dates, licensing requirements, bag limits, and regulations unique to each form of hunting.
  3. There are possession limits and daily bag limits in each season. The daily bag limit for deer hunt is two per person. The possession limit is four deer in total. Additionally, there is an annual bag limit of five deer overall, with no more than two antlerless deer.
  4. Buying or selling game is prohibited except as provided for on licensed game farms.
  5. When you hunt deer on public land, you need to wear "blaze orange" clothes and hats for safety in most of the seasons, except for special bow-and-arrow seasons or when you're hunting on private property.
  6. If you were born after May 31, 1975, you need to take a special course called "hunter safety" before you can get a hunting license in Florida.
  7. After you hunt and kill a deer, you need to record your harvest in a harvest log AND report it to the FWC's harvest reporting system within 24 hours before processing the prey.
  8. Using tree stands to take wildlife is permitted.

Where To Hunt Deer In Florida?

In Florida, there are 6 million acres of public lands that you can hunt on. There are several locations in Florida to consider, depending on the kind of game you seek.

The National Park of Apalachicola

The Apalache National Forest, located in the Florida Panhandle, is slightly less than 600,000 square miles in size. This region is among the most well-liked hunting areas in Florida for novice and expert hunters, and it is conveniently accessible via the state road network. There are a lot of deer in this region.

Roberts Ranch

Are you looking to spend a little time on a guided hunt? This ranch offers a three-day guided search with wild hogs, turkeys, and whitetail deer. Located in Palatka, it’s less than an hour’s drive east of Gainesville.

Babcock Ranch Preserve

The Babcock Ranch Preserve is located in Charlotte and Lee counties in southwest Florida. It offers hunting opportunities for various game species including deer.

Florida has one of the biggest wildlife management areas(WMAs) for hunting. To precisely locate any hunting land near you, you can use the official tool WMA Finder to locate wildlife management areas by filtering different game species, seasons and locations.

Hunting Gears For Deer Hunting In Florida

The following are some critical hunting gear that hunters require while hunting in Florida:

  1. Clothing: Florida hunting regulations require hunters to wear blaze orange clothing. So, you can try comfortable, long-lasting, orange-colored clothes that offer sufficient protection, along with rubber hunting boots.
  2. Base Layer:  The right hunting base layers are key to stay comfortable and feel fresh during outdoor adventures. Look for moisture-wicking and scent-controlling options to keep you feeling cool and confident, and to help reduce any unpleasant odors.
  3. Flashlight or headlamp: Hunters typically go in the dark or hunt at night can use hunting flashlights to spot when deer are moving through the woods.
  4. Weapons: hunters should bring a weapon such as a bow, shotgun, or rifle that they are proficient in and are suitable for the conditions.
  5. Treestand or Ground Blind: Having a higher vantage point can help you spot deer more easily and keep a low profile. And a treestand or hunting blinds can help you with spotting the deer while also keeping you concealed.
  6. Deer Calls: To get deer coming at your sight, use specific sounds like grunts or the calls of a doe in heat can attract deer to your location.
  7. Wind Indicator: A tool that shows you the direction of the wind can help you avoid blowing your cover and avoid being detected by deer.
  8. Hunting Knife: A sharp and reliable hunting knife is crucial for preparing and field derssing the deer after a hunt.
  9. Binoculars: High-quality binoculars can help you spot deer from a distance, making it easier to track and hunt them.

Deer Hunting Tips

Here are some treasured pointers for deer searching in Florida

  • Hunt with a chum for a better getting-to-know experience and safety.
  • Pay interest to the wind direction to avoid being detected through deer.
  • Mask your smell by showering with smell-free soap and the use of heady scent-unfastened products.
  • Utilize scents strategically, thinking about the deer's options all through distinct seasons.
  • Know how to trap and set up a calling strategy.
  • Scout your searching grounds earlier than the looking season starts offevolved.
  • Get acquainted together with your tree stand and practice set up and elimination.
  • Choose a tree stand region with the right cowl.
  • Be patient and make staying power your top precedence.
  • Use a handy tool called WMA Finder that can help you locate Wildlife Management Areas based on various criteria such as species, season, location, and more.
  • Use Avenza Maps, a free mobile app that allows you to track your location in real-time on FWC’s WMA maps.

Florida Deer Hunting FAQs

1. Can you hunt deer on your property in Florida?

It depends. If it is not deer hunting season, you can not hunt deer even in your own property. Within the hunting season, you can hunt in your own land with hunting licenses and permits.

2. Can you hunt deer over bait in Florida?

No, you can not bait hunting deer within the CWD Management Zone. It is illegal.

3. How many deer can you shoot in Florida each year?

The annual statewide bag limit is 5 deer per hunter. You can hunt 5 deer each year with no more than 2 antlerless deer.

4. What is the cost of the deer hunting license in Florida?

The cost of a deer hunting license in Florida is based on residency status, duration, and time.

5. Can you hunt deer with dogs in Florida?

Yes. You can hunt deer with dogs in Florida. But remember that dogs must wear collars with the owner's name and address on them.

6. How to get licenses and limits for hunting in Florida?

You can easily get your license or permit online through, using the Fish|Hunt Florida app, at a local government office, or at stores that sell hunting and fishing gear.

7. What are the shooting hours for Florida deer hunting?

One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset on lands.


Deer hunting in Florida is a famous hobby. It guarantees a hit and fun hunting ride. Plan with the policies of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, you can achieve the best odds of achievement and adorable outdoor hobby.

Whether you are a seasoned hunter or a beginner, Florida has lots of deer, wild hogs, turkey, and waterfowl options for hunts. You may make the most of your hunting adventures and experience the notable outside by following the guides and tips provided in this post.

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