The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering dividing the state’s Hunting Zone D — from Pensacola to Tallahassee — into two deer management units.
Proposals would require that bucks harvested north of I-10 in Hunting Zone D have antlers with at least three points on one side, and each point must be 1 inch long. South of I-10 in Zone D, the minimum antler requirement would be two points on one side.
The proposal includes an exception to antler requirements in both units; youths 15 years old and younger may continue to harvest bucks with at least one antler 5 inches or longer.
The FWC also is considering rescheduling antlerless deer season — “doe days” — on private lands within Zone D. Currently in that zone, the season to take deer of either sex, except spotted fawns, runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.
In proposed rules, dates north of I-10 would change to eight days distributed across four weekends: Saturday through Sunday after Thanksgiving; the first weekend of muzzle-loading gun season; the third weekend of general gun season; and the weekend after Christmas.
South of I-10, in Zone D, the proposal would change antlerless season to four days, the weekends after Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The purpose of modifying the antlerless deer season is to spread out the hunting opportunity, so that more hunters may be able to participate without substantially reducing deer populations, an FWC spokesperson said.
Proposals for Zone D, if passed in April, would take effect during the 2014-15 hunting season.