OUTTA' THE WOODS: Deer hunting lasts through March 2 in Zone D

deer FWC
Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission
Published: Friday, January 31, 2014 at 11:41 PM.

There’s one thing good to say about the second wave of seriously cold temperatures that invaded the Sunshine State last week. It reminded us hunters that deer season is still going strong in parts of Florida.

General gun season remains open on private lands in zones B and D through Feb. 23. (Zone B is in mid-Florida, and Zone D includes Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa counties in Northwest Florida.) And then if you don’t mind hunting with a primitive weapon, Zone D’s late muzzleloading gun season runs a week longer until March 2. This unique late season, which occurs only in Zone D, was established to give hunters the chance to hunt the rut, which occurs from mid-January through February in the Panhandle.

A $5 muzzleloading gun permit is required to hunt during this season. On private land, hunters have the choice of using a muzzleloader, bow or crossbow.

On wildlife management areas, this postseason is referred to as the archery/muzzleloading gun season. Hunters can use bows or muzzleloaders but not crossbows, unless they possess a disabled crossbow permit. Hunters who choose to hunt with a bow must have the $5 archery permit, and those using a muzzleloader need the muzzleloading gun permit.

The most common kinds of game to hunt during this season are deer and wild hogs. Only bucks may be taken (even if you use a bow), and one antler must be at least 5 inches in length. If you’re hunting deer, make sure you have the $5 deer permit. On private land, the daily bag limit is two. Bag limits and antler size for deer on WMAs can differ, so please consult the area brochure before you hunt.

Wild hogs aren’t considered game animals on private lands. Because of this, they can be taken year-round by most weapons with no bag or size limits. On most WMAs, there also are no bag or size limits, and hogs are legal to take during most hunting seasons except spring turkey. On selected WMAs, specific bag and size limits do apply, so check the area’s brochure to make sure.

No dogs may be used in the pursuit of deer during this season. However, leashed dogs can be used to track a wounded deer if necessary. And it’s important to note that no turkeys may be taken during this season.



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