CRESTVIEW — Following months of meetings and evaluations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has formulated possible changes to deer hunting for the 2014-15 Northwest Florida hunting season.
Antler-point regulations in Deer Management Unit D-1, south of Interstate 10, would require that antlered deer have at least one antler with two or more antler points on one side to be eligible for harvest. DMU D-2, north of Interstate 10, would require antlered deer have at least one antler with three or more points on one side to be eligible for harvest.
Hunters under age 16 would be exempt from the proposed antler-point regulations on private lands and on some wildlife management areas. Zone D stretches from Tallahassee west to the Florida-Alabama state line.
“The purpose of the antler-point regulations, both in DMU D-1 and DMU D-2, is to protect the majority of 1.5-year-old bucks from harvest while allowing the harvest of 2.5-year-old and older bucks,” James Kelly, Assistant Deer Management program coordinator, said.
Other changes under consideration are to shift antlerless deer season on private lands in D-1 from the current seven consecutive days to four weekend days during the general gun season. In D-2, antlerless deer days would increase to eight weekend days. Three weekends would occur during general gun season, and one weekend would occur during the muzzle-loading gun season.
Regulation proposals are based on input from hunters, landowners, farmers and others during public meetings, webinars, surveys and technical assistance group meetings, Kelly said. Proposed changes are FWC staff recommendations and have not been presented to commissioners for consideration and action.
Detailed information and the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals is available at MyFWC.com/Deer.