Deer Hunting Changes Proposed

August 16, 2013

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking at possible changes to deer hunting in Northwest Florida, including all of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, for the 2014-2015 hunting season.

Under the proposed changes, the FWC is looking at antler-point regulations in Deer Management Unit (DMU) D-1 that 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-1 is south of Interstate 10.

In DMU D-2, which is north of Interstate 10, antlered deer would need at least one antler with three or more points on one side to be eligible for harvest.

Hunters under the age of 16 would be exempt from the proposed antler-point regulations on private lands and on some wildlife management areas.

“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,” said James Kelly, Assistant Deer Management Program coordinator. “During our outreach efforts, we heard a lot of support for increasing the number of bucks in the population, improving buck-to-doe ratios and increasing the size of bucks harvested.”

Other changes under consideration are to shift the antlerless deer season on private lands in DMU D-1 (south of I-10) from the current seven consecutive days to four weekend days during the general gun season.

In DMU D-2 (north of I-10), antlerless deer days would increase to eight weekend days. Three weekends would occur during general gun season, and one weekend would occur during the muzzleloading gun season.

“The proposed change in antlerless deer days in DMU D-1 is to fulfill the stakeholders’ goal of maintaining or increasing the deer population while also increasing the flexibility of antlerless deer days during general gun season,” Kelly said. “Deer-herd density and productivity is higher in DMU D-2, which is why we are recommending more antlerless deer days for this unit.”

Kelly said the regulation proposals are based on detailed input from hunters, landowners, farmers and others during a series of public meetings, public webinars, surveys and technical assistance group meetings.

The proposed changes are recommendations by FWC staff and have not yet been presented to Commissioners for consideration and action. More detailed information and the opportunity to provide feedback on both proposals can be made at


16 Responses to “Deer Hunting Changes Proposed”

  1. ivan salis on April 15th, 2014 10:16 am

    some florida hunters are NOT trophy hunters * thjeir “meat for the table”{ folks

  2. Steve P. on February 9th, 2014 8:22 pm

    The only question I have about the proposed changes is if the weekend for the muzzle loader season is the early season or the late season. If it is the late season suspect you run the risk of harvesting pregnant does. I didn’t see we’re it was specified in the article.( unless I missed it)

  3. W.H.R. on December 3rd, 2013 9:09 am

    We do need doe days extented for archery/crossbow thru the muzzle load season, rather stopping at the early gun season on T’day.I don’t think we need to restrict the buck harvest, to antler size during archery/crossbow season. This would encourage more hunters to get involved with archery/crossbow hunting. You are not going to have an over kill on deer with archery/crossbow. I really agree with the requirement for taking only “quality bucks”, I think it should be 4 points or better on one side, in all the General Gun seasons. This will allow for a mature buck growth/developement also promotes more out of state hunter to seek hunting opportunities in Florida. Thx for all you for posting your valued comments, they are all very good points. We have an obligation to our decendants(children & grans,…), to build up our wildlife & hunting areas and leave a great future for them, even better than what we have now.
    REMEMBER, take a youth hunting.
    Safe & blessed hunting.

  4. Donald Whitehead Jr on August 19th, 2013 6:28 pm

    I agree with 4 point or better but 3 on one side is crazy are us hunter going to have a say so on this or what and we need a year of doe killing in Florida like Alabama had just my opinion. We are in Florida not Iowa

  5. ME on August 19th, 2013 8:07 am

    I am glad to see FWC finally wanting to help manage for a better deer herd. You people who are against this do understand that if you let the small bucks walk, that will make bigger bucks the next year right? I am also glad to see them let doe harvest be increased. It will make for a much better rut.

    Why would you need to carry a GPS with you? If you dont know whether you are hunting North or South of I-10, you dont need to be carrying a weapon anyway.

  6. Leroy Findley on August 17th, 2013 8:06 pm

    I don’t hunts horns. I hunt for the meat. One or two deer per year. I will shoot a cow horn over a rack any day. You don’t have to worry about excessive does around here. One fellow “harvested” most of them last year. I can’t imagine what one person can legally do with that many deer. This is not knocking our wardens. They can only cover so may miles.

  7. ummmmmmmm on August 17th, 2013 9:54 am

    say what??????

  8. Dennis on August 17th, 2013 8:56 am

    Do you hunters understand this?????????????????? From what I read you might want to print a copy and carry a map and gps with you when hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. John on August 16th, 2013 10:11 pm

    Everyone knows that “deer management” doesn’t exist in Northwest Florida. This article made me LOL.

  10. RB on August 16th, 2013 7:10 pm

    Too many rules, hunter numbers will decline. It’s the hunt and enjoyment not the size. Next thing to grow from this is the price of the lease. It seems the lease cost goes up with the size of the deer herd and it’s antler growth. Soon the average hunter will have to quit hunting when the fun is removed by the almighty dollar. When dad quits hunting so does the sons and daughters, just remember that.

  11. AC on August 16th, 2013 3:13 pm

    Yea that makes alot of sence. Lets kill off all the does…. the ones who make more deer. In the area I hunt in, that is the problem. They kill 50 does a year or more our hunting club. And you wonder why we don’t have deer in our area.. Smart move

  12. Billy Ray Jr. Jr. on August 16th, 2013 1:22 pm

    According to that map, my single wide is parked on public land. No wonder nobody ever picks up my garbage cans.

  13. curious on August 16th, 2013 9:51 am

    Hwy.29 will take care of those horny lil bucks, that the Hunters don’t shoot. Plus there’s gonna be alot more younger kids hunting.

  14. TH on August 16th, 2013 9:22 am

    It’s about time…restrict the killing of immature bucks and increase the killing of does…been needing to do this for years.

  15. Hoopdid on August 16th, 2013 8:24 am

    And should be fined accordingly!! Good change IMO. I’m an ex-Pennsylvania native who lived there when they implemented the antler resrictions. You would have thought the game commission declared ‘jihad’ on hunters and deer alike. Fast forward to today, healthy deer population and a lot more deer with exceptional antler growth.

  16. Southerner on August 16th, 2013 7:58 am

    If hunting and fishing laws get too complicated people may violate them accidentally.

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