Hunting in Florida

Hunters of all backgrounds are drawn to Florida for its world-class hunting opportunities. Whether you’re looking to hunt deer, wild hogs, turkeys, or waterfowl like ducks and geese, the Sunshine State has it all. With plenty of public lands and private ranches offering year-round access to a wide variety of game species in diverse habitats, your dream hunt is just around the corner.

Not only that but small game hunters can also take advantage of this paradise with rabbits, squirrels, quail, doves, woodcock, snipe raccoons, and opossums waiting in abundance. You can choose between shotguns or air rifles depending on what’s allowed in your local area.

In this detailed guide, we will take a detailed look at what to hunt in Florida, where to hunt, animal hunting seasons, and license requirements. Everything you need to know about hunting in Florida is covered here.

Hunting in Florida

What Can You Hunt in Florida?

Florida offers some of the most unique and thrilling hunting experiences in the United States. Its tropical and subtropical climate makes it a difficult yet exciting place to hunt, with species like white-tailed deer and wild hogs being popular among hunters.

But for those looking to take their game up a notch, they can also go after alligators, Burmese pythons, or Osceola turkeys – the latter being an endemic bird found only on Florida’s peninsula.

Whitetails are by far the most hunted species here with around 100,000 taken each season; while wild pigs may be trapped year-round on private property without needing any permit or license from local authorities – making them equally sought-out game animals.

However, if you’re feeling adventurous, then going after Osceola turkeys is definitely worth considering as they have more dark plumage than Eastern subspecies along with less barring on their wings’ flight feathers.

White-tailed Deer

Hunting white-tailed deer in Florida is a highly sought-after activity for hunters from all over the world. The gorgeous bucks combined with their delicious meat make them the perfect target, and many experienced hunters take them down like pros.

If you’re just starting out, however, you need to be dedicated and knowledgeable about when to hunt so that your trip is successful.

Most serious deer hunters use crossbows as they allow for stealthy movements without scaring away nearby animals before getting into bow range. But rifles or shotguns can also be used if preferred – it’s up to each hunter’s preferences.

Please note that hunting on private property requires permission from the landowner beforehand which means having an appropriate license or tag depending on your state laws; not following these regulations could result in hefty fines and even jail time, so always check local laws before heading out hunting in Florida.

Deer Season Florida

Antlered Deer Season

Zone Dates Season
A Jul 29 – Aug 27 Archery
A Jul 29 – Sep 01 Crossbow
A Sep 02 – Sep 15 Muzzleloader
A Sep 09 – Sep 10 Youth deer hunt
A Sep 16 – Oct 15, Nov 18 – Jan 07 General Gun
B Oct 14 – Nov 12 Archery
B Oct 14 – Nov 17 Crossbow
B Nov 18 – Dec 01 Muzzleloader
B Nov 25 – Nov 26 Youth deer hunt
B Dec 02 – Feb 18 General Gun
C Sep 16 – Oct 15 Archery
C Sep 16 – Oct 20 Crossbow
C Oct 21 – Nov 03 Muzzleloader
C Oct 28 – Oct 29 Youth deer hunt
C Nov 04 – Jan 21 General Gun
D Oct 21 – Nov 22 Archery
D Oct 21 – Nov 22 Crossbow
D Nov 23 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Feb 18 General Gun
D Dec 02 – Dec 03 Youth deer hunt
D Dec 02 – Dec 08, Feb 19- Feb 25 Muzzleloader

Antlerless Deer Season

Zone A

Zones Dates Season
A2 Jul 29 – Aug 06 Archery
A3 Jul 29 – Aug 13 Archery
A2 Jul 29 – Aug 06 Crossbow
A3 Jul 29 – Aug 13 Crossbow
A2, A3 Sep 09 – Sep 10 Youth deer hunt
A2 Nov 18 – Nov 19 General Gun
A3 Nov 18 – Nov 21 General Gun

Zone B

Zones Dates Season
B Oct 14 – Nov 12 Archery
B Oct 14 – Nov 12 Crossbow
B Nov 25 – Nov 26 Youth deer hunt
B Dec 29 -Dec 31 General Gun

Zone C

Zones Dates Season
C Sep 16 – Oct 15 Archery
C Sep 16 – Oct 15 Crossbow
C5 Oct 21 – Oct 22 Muzzleloader
C Oct 28 – Oct 29 Youth deer hunt
C1 Nov 17 – Nov 20 General Gun
C2 Nov 17 – Nov 19 General Gun
C3 Nov 17 – Nov 19 General Gun
C4 Nov 17 – Nov 20 General Gun
C5 Nov 04 – Nov 05, Nov 18 – Nov 19 General Gun
C6 Nov 17 – Nov 20 General Gun

Zone D

Zones Dates Season
D Oct 21 – Nov 22 Archery
D Oct 21 – Nov 22 Crossbow
D2 Dec 02 – Dec 03 Muzzleloader
D Dec 02 – Dec 03 Youth deer hunt
D1 Nov 25 – Nov 26, Dec 30 – Dec 31 General Gun
D2 Nov 25 – Nov 26, Dec 16 – Dec 17, Dec 30 – Dec 31 General Gun

Deer Dog Training

Zone Dates
A Aug 12 – Aug 31
B Oct 28 – Nov 16
C Sep 30 – Oct 19
D Oct 28 – Nov 16


Alligators are an integral part of Florida’s ecosystem and have been around for millions of years. Present in all 67 counties, they’re most populous throughout the southern and central regions.

Every year, over 500 thousand hunters take to the field eager to hunt them – a season that runs from August 15th to November 1st with valid licenses and permits needed before setting out.

The best way to catch ‘gators is at night when they’re more active; utilize spotlights from boats or stalk along shorelines during daytime hours if necessary. Once spotted, use a harpoon or bow-and-arrow combo then subdue it with bang sticks or snare poles once captured. Don’t forget you’ll need permission from private property owners before hunting on their land.

Hunting Alligators in Florida

Alligator Season in Florida

Season Dates Bag Limit
Alligator Season Aug 15 – Nov 01 2 per season
Week 01 Aug 15 – Aug 21 2 per season
Week 02 Aug 22 – Aug 28 2 per season
Week 03 Sep 05 – Sep 11 2 per season
Week 04 Sep 12 – Sep 18 2 per season

Wild Hog

Hog hunting is an activity that can be enjoyed year-round in Florida. The state provides ample opportunity to hunt feral or wild hogs due to their abundance, especially during the late winter and spring seasons. To hunt on private land, you don’t need a license – just permission from the owner.

Public lands governed by FWC have specific regulations; they allow any weapon type throughout all open hunting seasons with no bag limits so you’re sure to get some game. Hunting at night isn’t allowed however, it’s supervised by wildlife management for your safety.

Wild Hog Hunting Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Wild Hog Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit


If you’re looking for a wild turkey hunt, Florida is the place to be. You can find different types of turkeys here from gobbler and bearded ones to the rare Osceola species. But when it comes down to hunting season, August through October offers peak times in this state.

To pursue your prey, make sure you have a valid license issued by FWC, or else your hunt will be unsuccessful.

Turkey Season Florida

Season Dates Zone
Archery July 30 – Aug 28 A
Crossbow July 30 – Sep 02 A
Muzzleloader Gun Sep 03 – Sep 16 A
Fall Turkey Season Oct 01 – 03 Oct, Nov 19 – Jan 01 A
Archery Oct 15 – Nov 13 B
Crossbow Oct 15 – Nov 18 B
Muzzleloader Gun Nov 19 – Dec 02 B
Fall Turkey Season Dec 03 – Jan 29 B
Archery Sep 17 – Oct 16 C
Crossbow Sep 17 – Oct 21 C
Muzzleloader Gun Oct 22 – Nov 04 C
Fall Turkey Season Nov 05 – Jan 01 C
Archery Oct 22 – Nov 23 D
Crossbow Oct 22 – Nov 23, Nov 28 – Dec 02 D
Muzzleloader Gun Dec 03 – Dec 09 D
Fall Turkey Season Nov 24 – Nov 27, Dec 10 – Jan 15 D


Raccoons are a common sight in Florida, and their intelligence and resourcefulness make them well-adapted to various habitats. From wooded areas to wetlands, they can be found living both in urban and rural settings.

As omnivores, these crafty creatures consume both plants and animals including fruits, nuts, insects, small mammals’ eggs as well as carrion or human-provided food sources like trash cans or pet food left outside.

In the state of Florida, hunting raccoons is allowed year-round with no bag limit restrictions nor size constraints – but only during daylight hours using shotguns or muzzleloaders loaded with #4 buckshot ammunition or .22 caliber rimfire ammo.

Nighttime hunts require a special permit from the FWC (Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission).

Raccoon Season Florida

Species Dates Bag Limit
Raccoon Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit


Rabbits are a major attraction in Florida for hunters of all ages, offering an exhilarating and satisfying experience. Whether you’re using shotguns, bows, or air rifles, these game animals can be found across the state in fields, woodlands, meadows and wetlands – even along roadsides and near residential areas.

To ensure success during rabbit hunting season, it’s important to have the right gear on hand: camouflage clothing for blending into your surroundings plus a shotgun with tight choke and heavy shot size will help ensure clean kills.

For food sources, rabbits love clover patches or alfalfa fields that provide plenty of cover from predators. So grab your gear this season – there’s no better way to enjoy Florida than through some exciting rabbit hunting.

Hunting Rabbits in Florida

Rabbit Season in Florida

Species Dates Bag Limit
Rabbit Jan 01 – Dec 31 12


Coyotes are a species of wild canines that have been present in Florida since the mid-1900s. These adaptable animals have become increasingly common across the state, particularly in rural areas, and inhabit various environments such as wetlands, forests, and even urban settings.

Coyotes hunt small mammals like rabbits or rodents for food; they also may threaten livestock or pets if given an opening. As a result, it’s important for hunters to be aware of coyote activity near them and take steps to reduce potential conflicts with these creatures.

One way to minimize issues with coyotes is through hunting them responsibly – this helps maintain their population size while avoiding dangers posed by preying on other wildlife or domestic animals.

Keep in mind that successful tracking demands knowledge and experience due to their craftiness around humans; plus always abide by local laws when targeting these predators as some parts of Florida protect them from being hunted down entirely.

Coyote Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Coyote Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit


The beaver is Florida’s largest rodent, weighing about 30 to 50 pounds on average. Its muscular body is covered with a glossy brown coat and enhanced by dense grayish underfur. It has large incisor teeth that are orange-yellow in color and incredibly strong jaw muscles as well.

Their back feet have webbed toes for swimming while their broad, flat tail serves as an efficient rudder when they go underwater or propel themselves forward. Although mainly nocturnal creatures, you might get lucky enough to spot one!

Beaver Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Beaver Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit


Florida is an excellent destination for hunters looking to shoot quail. The most common species of these birds found in the state are Northern Bobwhite, Gambel’s Quail, and Mountain Quail. All three of them can be spotted throughout Florida in both public and private hunting grounds.

Northern Bobwhites prefer open grassy fields with plenty of cover from shrubs and trees – making it easier to locate them by signs such as tracks or droppings. They feed on a range of seeds, insects, and other small creatures.

Gambel’s Quails inhabit dry brushy areas along with tree/shrub cover which provides sustenance for their diet consisting mainly of seeds, bugs, etc. Hunting this species requires patience as they tend to move around often while searching for food sources.

Mountain Quails are rarer than the other two but still present in some parts of Florida; they favor high elevations plus vegetation offers camouflage against predators.

Quail Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Quail Nov 11 – Mar 03 12


When hunting squirrels in Florida, it’s important to be up-to-date on the regulations and laws. The best time for going after these critters is during autumn and winter when they’re more active and in greater numbers.

To make sure you have a successful hunt, having the right equipment is essential – from rifles or shotguns to binoculars that can help spot targets from afar.

Don’t forget about your trusty hunting knife too; it’ll come in handy for cleaning game once caught. With all this at your disposal plus an eye for detail, there’s no stopping you from getting the most out of your next Florida squirrel adventure.

Squirrel Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Gray Squirrel Oct 14 – Mar 03 12

Skunk Season

Hunting Skunks in Florida

Species Dates Bag Limit
Skunk Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit

Nutria Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Nutria Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit

Opossum Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Opossum Jan 01 – Dec 31 No Limit

Otter Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Otter Dec 01 – Mar 01 No Limit

Bobcat Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Bobcat Dec 01 – Mar 31 No Limit


Duck Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
General Duck Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28 6
Teal and Wood Duck Sep 16 – Sep 20 6
Teal Sep 01 – Sep 24 6

Merganser Season

Hunting Mergansers in Florida

Species Dates Bag Limit
Merganser Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28 5

Coot Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Coot Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28 15

Goose Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Canada Goose Sep 02 – 24 Sep, Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 01 – Jan 30 5
Light Geese Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28 15

Rail Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
King and Clapper Rail Sep 01 – Nov 09 15
Sora and Virginia Rail Sep 01 – Nov 09 25

Crow Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Crow Aug 12 – Oct 29, Nov 11 – Feb 18 No Limit

Dove Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Mourning Dove Nov 01 – Feb 15 8

Snipe Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Snipe Nov 01 – Feb 15 8

Woodcock Season

Species Dates Bag Limit
Woodcock Dec 18 – Jan 31 3

Florida Hunting License Information

Florida offers a plethora of hunting opportunities for those ready to take part. Before any hunting in Florida, the appropriate license must be obtained in accordance with the type of game being hunted.

For small prey such as rabbits, squirrels, and quail, you need a Florida Resident Small Game Hunting License that’s valid for an entire year from the purchase date; this lets you hunt these creatures all around the state.

If your sights are set on larger prey like deer, wild hogs, or turkey, then either get yourself a Resident Hunting License (valid for 1 year) or a Non-Resident Five-Day Hunting License (valid only within 5 days). The latter is specifically designed if you’re not native to Florida but still want to join the chase.

Senior, Disability, and Veteran Licenses are also available in The Sunshine State.

Where Can You Hunt in Florida?

Hunting in Florida is a great experience, with plenty of options available for everyone. From free national forests and wildlife management areas to private hunting clubs offering exclusive access to prime grounds, there are lots of places to explore where you can take your next hunt.

At public land sites such as state parks and trails or military bases, hunters don’t need expensive leases or permits – just minimal fees for access – giving them exciting opportunities to pursue their favorite game species.

Private clubs offer an array of amenities like guided hunts with experienced guides so that you can make the most out of your time outdoors.

Public Hunting Places in Florida

Osceola National Forest

Osceola National Forest in northern Florida is a great destination for hunting. This sprawling 200,000-acre haven of woodlands contains flat terrain with hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, and cypress swamps – ideal habitat for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, feral hogs, and small game such as squirrels and rabbits; not to mention various waterfowl.

Hunting season typically runs from September through March but will vary depending on the species you’re chasing after. Before heading out into the woods it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary licenses or stamps required by the state of Florida so that your hunt remains legal and safe.

Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola National Forest is an incredible destination for hunters. Located in Florida’s panhandle, this majestic expanse of land provides some of the best hunting experiences around.

From deer and turkeys to wild hogs and small game, there’s something here for everyone. You can find white-tailed deer, wild turkey, black bears, bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes, feral hogs quail, and rabbits living within its borders – each with their own season that changes every year.

When visiting Apalachicola National Forest, it’s important to stay vigilant; wear bright colors like blaze orange so other hunters can spot you easily. Be sure to get all applicable permits before engaging in any type of hunt – not doing so could result in serious consequences. Follow all safety regulations when out on your adventure; they are put into place for a reason.

Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park is a paradise for outdoor adventurers, boasting over 37,000 acres of lush wetlands, prairies and hammocks. Home to plentiful deer, wild hogs, and turkey – hunters can use archery or firearms during the fall season to hunt deer or hogs year-round.

Small prey like squirrels and rabbits are also up for grabs with either firearm or bow throughout the entire year. Waterfowl hunting is permitted during certain times of the year but only with shotguns allowed.

Before entering this natural haven though, you must possess a valid Florida hunting license as well as abide by all state regulations when taking part in any activity within Myakka’s boundaries; harvested animals should be reported to the FWC within 24 hours post-harvest too.

Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest is one of the top places in Florida for hunters of all levels. Boasting over 400,000 acres of hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, sandhills, and wetlands in north-central Florida – it’s the perfect spot to experience hunting in Florida.

Deer and wild hogs are top game here; deer hunting requires an appropriate license while hog hunting goes year-round without one. Plus there’s more on offer with turkey, quail, dove, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons even waterfowl like ducks & geese depending on what season you choose to come explore.

Before taking off into the field, make sure to check local wildlife management offices for any restrictions or rules that might apply.

Seminole State Forest

Seminole State Forest is an ideal spot for hunters in Central Florida. Spanning over 25,000 acres of land, this woodland boasts bountiful opportunities to hunt species like white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and wild hogs. From sandhills to flatwoods and swamps to hardwood hammocks – the diverse habitats provide perfect conditions for a broad range of wildlife.

Deer are particularly common here due to ample food sources and cover provided by lush vegetation; while turkeys can be spotted strolling through the forest floor or perched on branches. If you’re lucky, you may even catch sight of some feral pigs along roadsides and trails.

Private Hunting Places in Florida

Hunting on private lands in Florida offers plenty of opportunities for success, as they have fewer restrictions than public areas. You’ll be free to pursue animals with more freedom and can work with landowners to customize your experience – from setting up stands to providing food plots for wildlife.

Plus, you’re less likely to compete with other hunters since there’s often a less heavily hunted area available. This lets you increase your odds of bagging that trophy buck or turkey.