Hunters now have an online option to comply with new deer harvest reporting requirements. You can log (Step 1) your harvest using a paper deer harvest log and report (Step 2) with the new FWC Deer Harvest Reporting Online Tool. Hunters still have the option to log and report harvested deer using the FWC Deer Harvest Reporting App or a paper deer harvest log and Deer Harvest Reporting Hotline.
All hunters – including those under 16 years of age, resident hunters 65 years old and older, military personnel on leave for 30 days or less, and those hunting on their homestead in their county of residence – must log their harvested deer prior to moving it from the point where they located it and report the harvested deer within 24 hours. Learn more about how to log and report harvested deer.
Record-breaking python removed!
The FWC’s Python Action Team has removed more than 900 Burmese pythons from the wild in Florida, including a large 18 foot, 4-inch-long female python. The large adult female python, caught Sept. 22 at Big Cypress National Preserve, weighed 98 pounds, 10 ounces. It’s the largest python ever captured by the Python Action Team and the second-largest one caught in the wild in Florida. Capturing large adult females is critical because it prevents them from potentially adding an average of 30 to 60 hatchlings to the population each time they breed.
The FWC created and designed the Python Action Team to further engage qualified individuals with python control efforts. Team members are paid for their efforts to survey for and capture Burmese pythons in specific areas throughout many public lands in south Florida. Learn how you can get involved in the FWC’s Python Action Team.
Get started squirrel hunting
Many hunters can trace their first memories afield to learning how to squirrel hunt with mom, dad or grandparents. A good day often ended with a tasty wild game recipe that called for salt, pepper, flour, cooking oil and trading stories about the day’s adventures. A squirrel hunt is still a great way for new hunters – adults and youth – to experience hunting because requires little planning and gear.
Gray squirrel season opens Oct. 12 and runs through March 1 statewide on lands outside of the WMA system. Many of our wildlife management areas also offer opportunities to hunt gray squirrels. WMA season dates can vary so before you go, check the WMA regulations brochure for the area you’re interested in hunting.
Answer: With the new annual statewide bag limit of 5 deer per hunter of which no more than 2 deer can be antlerless, some hunters are asking when it’s legal to take antlerless deer. Antlerless deer (any deer, except a spotted fawn, without antlers or whose antlers are less than five inches in length) may still only be harvested: 1) during seasons when they are legal to take, such as during archery season, 2) on antlerless deer days and 3) under permit i.e., antlerless deer permit issued on land in the wildlife management area system, Antlerless Deer Program permit, or Private Lands Deer Management Program permit. Learn more about bag limits and other new hunting rules taking effect during 2019-2020 seasons.
Reminder about Babcock/Webb WMA camping changes
Hunters planning to use the Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area campground during hunting seasons should be aware of changes that went into effect this year. To reduce potential safety issues on I-75 and create more equitable opportunities, a camping permit is required now to camp at the WMA.
In addition, during the 9-day general gun hunting season you’ll need a camp site reservation and a permit to camp at Babcock/Webb WMA. The confirmation email you’ll receive serves as your camping permit, and it must always be displayed. Lastly, you must vacate the campsite when the permit expires or if the permit is revoked due to not complying with its conditions.
Give your input on hunting-related draft rule changes
If you haven’t shared your feedback about the package of hunting-related draft rule changes for the 2020-2021 hunting season, please do so now! We’re at the beginning stages of rule development for the next hunting season and encourage you to view the proposed rule changes and provide your thoughts using the online commenting tool.
Returned quota hunt permits may be applied for throughout the season during weekly application periods. Permit availability is shown in real time, and weekly reissue applications are available for hunters between noon on Saturdays through noon on Tuesdays, with results posted at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.
People born after May 31, 1975, must complete the FWC’s hunter safety class before they can buy the type of hunting license that allows them to legally hunt alone. Hunter safety courses cover firearms safety, wildlife conservation, responsible hunting and more. Students can attend a no-cost traditional classroom course. Or they can complete the classroom portion online. FWC’s website offers several online courses including a FREE option. After the online classroom portion is complete, students must sign up and attend a skills day. Learn more about Florida’s hunter safety course options.