When Is Hunting Season in Florida?

Are you an avid hunter or simply curious about the hunting opportunities in Florida? Look no further. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of hunting season dates and regulations in the Sunshine State. Discover when you can pursue game and furbearers, such as antlered deer, turkeys, gray squirrels, quail, bobcats, otters, and more. Join us as we explore the exciting world of hunting in Florida, where nature enthusiasts find a sense of belonging.

Key Takeaways

  • Hunting season in Florida varies depending on the targeted species, such as deer, turkey, waterfowl, and small game.
  • Deer hunting season typically begins in late September and extends through January.
  • Turkey hunting season in Florida usually takes place in the spring.
  • Waterfowl hunting season occurs from November to January, with specific regulations for different species.

Season Dates and Species

The hunting season in Florida offers various opportunities for hunters, with specific season dates and targeted species. Florida is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and the state has carefully designated hunting seasons to ensure sustainable conservation practices. The hunting season dates vary depending on the species being targeted, with specific time frames for deer, turkey, waterfowl, and small game.

For example, deer hunting season typically starts in late September and runs through January, while turkey hunting season is typically in the spring. Waterfowl hunting season is usually from November to January, with specific regulations for different species of ducks and geese. Small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, have a longer season from October to March. These carefully planned season dates provide hunters with ample opportunities to pursue their passion while respecting wildlife populations and their habitats. Moving forward, let’s discuss the specific dates for Florida resident game and furbearer hunting season.

Florida Resident Game and Furbearer Hunting Season Dates

Florida Resident Game and Furbearer Hunting Season Dates

Florida Resident Game and Furbearer Hunting Season Dates are determined by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to regulate and ensure sustainable hunting practices. These dates are carefully chosen to maintain healthy wildlife populations while allowing residents to enjoy hunting opportunities. Here are the current season dates for Florida residents:

  • Deer Hunting Season:
  • Archery Season: September 26 – October 25
  • Crossbow Season: September 26 – October 25
  • Small Game Hunting Season:
  • Squirrel Season: October 10 – March 7
  • Rabbit Season: October 10 – March 7

Antlered Deer Regulations

To ensure responsible hunting practices, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has established regulations governing the hunting of antlered deer. These regulations are in place to protect the deer population while also ensuring a sustainable hunting experience for Florida residents.

The FWC has implemented a minimum antler point requirement for taking an antlered deer during certain hunting seasons. This requirement helps to protect young bucks and allows them to grow and contribute to the overall health of the deer population. Additionally, the FWC has set specific dates for the hunting of antlered deer to prevent over-harvesting and to align with the natural breeding and birthing seasons of the deer. By adhering to these regulations, hunters can contribute to the conservation efforts and enjoy a rewarding hunting experience in Florida.

Turkey Hunting Season

Turkey hunting season in Florida offers hunters the opportunity to pursue this elusive game bird and enjoy a thrilling outdoor experience. With its diverse landscape and abundant turkey population, Florida provides the perfect setting for hunters seeking the thrill of the chase.

Imagine standing amidst a picturesque forest, surrounded by the sounds of nature awakening. The crisp morning air fills your lungs as you patiently wait, camouflaged, for the perfect moment. Suddenly, you hear the distinct gobbling of a male turkey, echoing through the trees. Your heart races as you carefully call out, mimicking the sound of a female turkey. The anticipation builds as you hear the approaching footsteps, closer and closer.

As the sun rises, casting a golden glow on the landscape, you spot the magnificent turkey strutting in all its glory. You take aim, feeling the adrenaline coursing through your veins. The shot rings out, and you have successfully harvested your prey. This thrilling experience not only connects you with nature but also with a community of passionate hunters who share your love for the hunt.

Gray Squirrel and Quail Hunting Season

During the hunting season in Florida, hunters can also pursue gray squirrels and quail, adding diversity to their outdoor adventures. Gray squirrel hunting season typically begins in October and runs through March, providing ample opportunities for hunters to test their skills. These small, agile creatures can be found in forests, woodlands, and suburban areas throughout the state.

Quail hunting without a dog, on the other hand, typically starts in November and ends in March. Florida offers a variety of habitats that support healthy quail populations, including agricultural fields, grasslands, and open pine forests. Both gray squirrel and quail hunting provide hunters with exciting challenges and the chance to experience the beauty of Florida’s natural landscapes. So, whether you prefer the thrill of tracking squirrels through the woods or the excitement of flushing quail from their cover, Florida’s hunting season has something for everyone.

Bobcat and Otter Hunting Season

Bobcat and Otter Hunting Season

Another notable hunting season in Florida is that of bobcat and otter, providing hunters with opportunities to pursue these elusive creatures in the state’s diverse habitats.

  • Bobcat Hunting Season
  • Runs from December 1 to March 1.
  • Bobcats are known for their stealth and agility, making them a challenging target for hunters.
  • They can be found in various habitats, including forests, swamps, and grasslands.
  • Hunters must possess a valid hunting license and a bobcat permit to participate in this season.
  • Otter Hunting Season
  • Runs from December 1 to March 1.
  • Otters are known for their playful nature and excellent swimming skills.
  • They inhabit freshwater lakes, rivers, and coastal areas in Florida.
  • Hunters must obtain a hunting license, a management area permit, and a quota permit to legally hunt otters.

During these seasons, hunters can immerse themselves in the beauty of Florida’s natural landscapes while seeking these elusive creatures, fostering a sense of belonging within the hunting community.

Other Animal Hunting Season

The hunting season in Florida also includes opportunities to pursue various other animals in the state’s diverse habitats. Apart from bobcats and otters, hunters can engage in hunting seasons for animals such as raccoons, opossums, and rabbits. These small game species provide exciting hunting experiences and contribute to the state’s wildlife management efforts. Raccoon hunting season typically runs from October to March, with specific dates varying by region.

Opossum hunting season aligns with raccoon season as they share similar habitats and behaviors. Rabbit hunting season, on the other hand, spans from September to February, allowing hunters to enjoy the sport during the cooler months. These hunting opportunities provide a chance for hunters to connect with nature and the rich wildlife heritage of Florida.


What kind of hunting is popular in Florida?

Florida’s tropical and subtropical climate adds a unique challenge to hunting in the Sunshine State. While white-tailed deer and wild hogs are popular targets, hunters can also pursue distinctive game such as alligators, Burmese pythons, and Osceola turkeys.

Can you hunt with a gun in Florida?

You can use rifles, shotguns, pistols, air guns, longbows, compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows, and birds of prey (falcons, hawks, and great horned owls).

What part of Florida has the best hunting?

The St. Johns River’s upper basin, spanning Indian River County to Lake Harney, has long been recognized as prime waterfowl habitat in the state. This expansive region offers diverse hunting experiences, including various species, habitats, and hunting methods.

What is the minimum age to hunt in Florida?

Florida hunting license rules apply. If you’re 16 or older and born on or after June 1, 1975, you can hunt under a qualified hunter’s supervision without needing the state’s hunter safety certification.


In conclusion, hunting season in Florida varies depending on the species being hunted. The season dates for game and furbearer hunting differ for Florida residents. Additionally, there are specific regulations for antlered deer and turkey hunting. Gray squirrel, quail, bobcat, otter, and other animal hunting seasons also have their own designated times. An interesting statistic to note is that the hunting season in Florida contributes to the state’s economy, generating an estimated $2.4 billion annually.

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