Changes To Deer Season? Fish And Wildlife Seeks Hunter Input

September 24, 2009

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to hear from hunters around the state regarding when they think the white-tailed deer rut happens in their neck of the woods.

The FWC, along with its deer management stakeholder group, is considering making possible changes to Florida’s deer hunting zones and corresponding season dates. The first goal of the “Strategic Plan for Deer Management in Florida 2008-2018″ is to manage deer at a more local level and better align hunting season dates with peak rutting (breeding) activity.

deerrut.jpgThe FWC has deer-breeding information from many counties and several of its wildlife management areas, but there are gaps in the biological data. The deer management stakeholder group would like to obtain rut information from hunters to try and close gaps in the data.

The agency recognizes the value of local knowledge and is asking hunters who are familiar with when the deer rut historically occurs in the areas where they hunt to fill out an online survey. The FWC would like to take this information to compare hunters’ perceptions of the rut with scientifically known conception data.

During rutting periods, bucks are more active during daylight (shooting) hours and often less cautious, making the chances of seeing them in the field better.

“Deer hunters want to hunt during the rut, and we want to be able to share comprehensive information about when the rut occurs with the hunting public,” FWC biologist and deer team coordinator Cory Morea said. “We realize a lot of hunters know when the rut happens in their area, and we want to take this information and compare it with our conception data to see if they are similar. It would be great to be able to use any new data to help fill in the holes in what we already know.

“At the very least, we think there is value in knowing what hunters perceive as the peak of the rut where they hunt,” Morea said.

To fill out the deer rut survey, see the latest updates on proposed deer zones and season dates or to comment on these potential changes, go to MyFWC.com/Deer.

Comments

14 Responses to “Changes To Deer Season? Fish And Wildlife Seeks Hunter Input”

  1. Kavin on January 30th, 2011 9:02 am

    I live in Florida but drive to A private tract of land in Alabama to hunt. I gave up on Florida quite a few years ago.The doe population has gotten way out of controll. Its bad to sit in a stand or shooting house all season long whether it is just a green plot or a plot with feeders and see 20 to 30 does most of the times you hunt and maybe only see 2 to 3 bucks all year and those mostly small rack bucks. I hunt because of the sport is fun but I hunt to put meat in the freezer as well. I am a conservationist so I never take more than I will consume from season to season and I always let the younger and smaller deer pass. To see that many female deer against the males and not being able to harvest one at any given time is hard to swallow when the does are just overpopulated. I now hunt in Alabama as I said on private land and see plenty of does to choose a harvest from, more bucks than I did in florida and bigger. I know of several people who have lost intrest in Florida and now hunt in Alabama as well. I think Alabamas regulations from what I have seen over the time I have been hunting there are working. I think florida maybe should shorten the season by a few weeks and allow the harvesting of does i the same or similar mannor as Alabama has. If this were to occur I would probably become a Florida hunter again, after all it’s where I live.

  2. MICHAEL HALL on October 24th, 2010 11:34 pm

    I VE BEEN HUNTING FLORIDA FOR 7 YEARS NOW.I LIVE IN CENTRAL FLA AND THE RUT STARTS ABOUT OCT 24 THAT I CAN ALWAYS SEE ..GIVE OR TAKE A WEEK .AND IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT WHEN IT STARTS ARCHERY SEASON ENDS AND THEN THERESA 3 WEEK GAP TILL GENERAL GUN …..FOR WHAT …….
    I HUNT MANAGEMENT LAND AND SAW NOT A SINGLE BUCK THE WHOLE SEASON AND I HUNT 5 DAYS A WEEK MORNING AND EVENING BUT I SAW ATLEAST 3 DOE EVERY DAY I WAS OUT .THAT HAS TO TELL YOU SOMETHING
    I ALSO THINK THERE SHOULD BE A FORK HORN RULE HERE TOO. LET THE SPIKES GET SOME KNOW HOW IN EM .I ALSO THINK THE DOE POP IS OUT OF CONTROL HERE THERE SHOULD BE A DOE WEEK .THE BUCK HERE AINT AGRESSIVE WHEN IT COMES TO THERE DOE LIKE UP STATE ..THESE BUCKS HEAR A GRUNT SNORT WEEZ OR ANTLERS SMACKIN THEY GO A RUNNIN.I DUNNO HOPEFULLY SOMETHIN WILL HAPPEN SOON

  3. Christopher Mott on September 1st, 2010 6:46 am

    Instead of more doe days, why not more does allowed on tags? I think it will not only increase interest in hunting, especially for the kids when they can be able to go out more often. I think it might also increase the habit of some hunters donating their game to homeless shelters and such.
    Just a thought.

  4. Patrick Leary on February 12th, 2010 3:05 pm

    I’ve hunted in florida now for over fifty years,and find that the rut averages the second or third week of november. I do believe that weather helps stimulate the rut. That the first cold weather is what starts the rut. I have found this to be consistent for about two thirds of our state,fromTampa to Pensacola. If you want to increase the quality of the hunt in this state changes need to be made ! I’vehunted here all of my life and what has changed-nothing.The time frame for hunting deer is way to long,the gun season should be no more than three weeks. With the advent of trail cameras the state should be able to perform far more accurate animal counts. With this information better quoate hunts can be established.Reduction in doe numbers should be considered.options should be given to the harvasting of either sex,for the first week of hunting season.We have taken from these woods but what have we given back? Why can’t we develope a food plot program?

  5. Heath on November 18th, 2009 10:10 pm

    I have lived in Monroe Co.Alabama all my life, now I live in Century. I was in one club for 25 years we could go out in the morning, evening, or sit all day and see plenty of deer. then one year we got doe tags, we got tags for several years, after that you couldn’t hardly see any… After that even when doe days got to be all year we cut it to two does per member…. I don’t think doe tags are a good idea, if they bring in doe days all year if you want to see deer don’t kill all you see…… As far as bucks I think it should fork horns on one side or better……. NOT LIKE ALABAMA………

  6. Jim Festa on November 17th, 2009 4:42 pm

    I think we can learn a lot from the other states. Think a tag system should be use and have some sort of antler restrictions. I hunt Jackson county and there are a lot of nice deer but I think it could be better. I like the system Georgia has…2 bucks(one of which has to have 4 on one side) and 10 doe. That’s 12 deer, if you need to kill more then that you have problem.

  7. everet on November 14th, 2009 3:10 pm

    Steven: i will cull a doe on your property as soon as you let me. i am game club range officer & president (was) & was gun captain aboard usa war ship. i have references if you need. i am a mature friendly gentleman. i respect others property 100%. thank you for taking the time to read my comments.
    (PS) i am a ONE shot hunter-rem. model 700 in 3006 cal. live in central fl.

  8. Mike Fischetti on November 4th, 2009 3:31 pm

    I would like to know why we can’t close the gap in north Fla. from Nov.26-29 2009 thru the end of the season Feb.17 2010. And I go along with others about having more doe days.

  9. Steve H on November 4th, 2009 1:46 pm

    I see Comments on shooting does and more doe days and I agree.The question is the rut in your hunting area. I would like to see the season extended possibly in the central fl. area I have seen bucks running does as late as the end of febuary on our property. The rut does not even get started until January.
    Help us out!! Good hunting to all that support us.

  10. paul munnilal on October 13th, 2009 2:41 pm

    We need more doe days , more days for the youth hunt so we can get more kids into the sports and away from the tv and video games.

  11. redneck123 on September 28th, 2009 7:37 pm

    I think it would be a good thing to make the same as Alabama,For at least 2-3 years.

  12. robert on September 28th, 2009 11:53 am

    I don’t think it needs to be like Alabama but we do need more doe days in Florida. I hunt a 50 acre tract of land in Walnut Hill and i sat one stand the complete season two years ago and seen 76 deer of which i was positive of 3 of them being legal shooter bucks and i killed 2 out of the three. Some places i hunt in Alabama are being really hurt by the full length doe season. We have 76 acres in Monroe county we used to see any where from 10 to20 deer an evening in our green patches but now your lucky to see 2 to 3 deer an evening. We try to hunt with some sense but there are a lot of others out there who just want to shoot what ever comes out. I am also in a club in the same county we killed 29 deer last season and of that number 19 of them were bucks. for those of you thinking that is not a bad season on killing bucks it really is. out of 19 bucks there were only 3 of them that were forked horn deer. that is the problem with a full length doe season is that you wind up takeing a lot of small bucks out because yoiue shoot the first derer that walks out.

  13. Kenny Keeven on September 25th, 2009 10:22 am

    I said in other surveys that the buck and doe ratio should be 1 buck to 2 does but I know that will never happen. Start some kind of program to harvest does and keep the doe harvest in check by managing the doe hunts by giving out permits for does. Make some money, give one permit for free and sell additional permit for a reasonable price. Look at what other states are doing. But something needs to happen, start by using a little common sense.

  14. Traye Harrison on September 25th, 2009 9:18 am

    Florida needs MORE doe days!!! i think the buck to doe ratio is getting out of hand. Late last season my daughter and I went to Destin from Crestview to a movie and on the drive back between college blvd in Niceville and the Shoal river bridge just south of town we counted 72 deer with only 4 being bucks. On our hunting lease we have killed our share of bucks, but see a great many does. I know bucks are more cautious than does typically but we need more doe days. The weekend does days for only a few weeks isnt helping the population at all. Why not do like Alabama(where I hunt as well) and have a 8-10 stretch of doe days in a row and unlimited(within reason) on private land.





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