Deer hunters: Find answers to your FAQs

Special to Gannett

Part of many deer hunters’ preseason prep includes brushing up on hunting regulations.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission compiled a list of common questions customer call center staff and biologists receive.

Still have questions? For regulations information, visit MyFWC.com/Hunting and click on “2021-2022 Hunting Regulations.” Also find more links and resources at MyFWC.com/Deer. 

What are the new rules for hunters who pursue deer with dogs?

Beginning July 2021, dogs pursuing deer, wild hog, fox or coyote must have collars equipped and monitored with devices that allow remote tracking (GPS or telemetry). This rule change, which was requested by dog hunters, requires these devices be attached by a collar or similar means. 

Beginning July 2021, dogs pursuing deer, wild hog, fox or coyote must have collars equipped and monitored with devices that allow remote tracking (GPS or telemetry). This rule change was requested by dog hunters.

Also new this year: Removing, tampering or otherwise interfering with any collar or tag (including remote tracking devices and behavior correction collars) of a dog used for hunting without the owner’s permission is prohibited. Violating this rule is a second-degree misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500.  

Are all muzzleloaders legal during muzzleloading gun season?

The only muzzleloaders that may be used during muzzleloading gun season are those that are fired by wheel lock, flintlock, percussion cap or centerfire primer. Beginning in July 2021, muzzleloading guns designed to allow accelerant (gun powder) to be loaded at the breech may be used during muzzleloading gun season. 

Do I need to wear hunter orange when deer hunting?

If you are hunting deer on public lands or accompanying someone hunting deer on public lands, you must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material as an outer garment. Hunter orange clothing must be worn above the waistline and may include a head covering. This rule does not apply during an archery-only season or when hunting on private lands at any time. 

What is an antlerless deer? What is an antlered deer?

An antlerless deer is any deer, except a spotted fawn, without antlers or whose antlers are less than 5 inches in length. An antlered deer is any deer having one or more antlers at least 5 inches in length. 

Can antlerless deer be taken during any day of the deer season?

No. Antlerless deer (any deer, except a spotted fawn, without antlers or whose antlers are less than 5 inches in length) may only be harvested when they are legal to take, such as during archery season, and on antlerless deer days or 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. 

Find more information about Private Lands Deer Management Program and Antlerless Deer Program at MyFWC.com/Deer. 

Learn more about how to log and report harvested deer at MyFWC.com/HarvestReport.