Predators & Small Game
Florida may not be known as a whitetail hotbed but the Antler Nation report reveals some interesting information.
Season Dates (2012): Florida’s season dates are broken up by its four zones. Zone A, Florida’s southern zone, opens the earliest, with bowhunters hitting the woods July 28, and seasons finally wrapping up Jan. 6. Muzzleloader, crossbow and modern firearms hunters all get their chance during that timeframe. Zone B (Interior-Western): Oct. 13 to Feb. 17; Zone C (Peninsular Florida): Sept. 15 to Jan. 20; Zone D (Panhandle): Oct. 20 to Feb. 24.
The Grade: C
Your odds of killing a Booner in Florida are about as high as finding a white-sand beach full of bikinis in Iowa—possible, perhaps, but not likely. But trophy potential isn’t everything—far from it. Florida has a high deer population, liberal seasons, cheap licenses and an amazing 5.5 million acres of land in its WMA system. Hunters who put in their time in the Sunshine state have a good chance of killing a deer, even if it won’t make the book. Not a thing wrong with that in our eyes.
Deer Nation Knowledge: There are around 30 subspecies (give or take, biologists argue about the true number) of white-tailed deer. Florida claims three of these: the Florida coastal deer, found in the Panhandle; the Florida whitetail, found in the interior; and the key deer, a tiny, protected species found on Big Pine Key. In part because of this diversity, and no doubt in part because of the tropical climate, Florida whitetails have some of the widest-ranging rut dates of any deer in the nation, with breeding taking place from July through early March.
Record B&C Typical
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
Taken by Clark Durrance in Wakulla County in 1941, ranking No. 2,265 of all time.
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit
License Fees: Resident hunting licenses and deer permits for gun, archery and muzzleloaders total just $32.
Nonresidents can get a 10-day license for $46.50 and tack on the additional permits for another $15. An annual nonresident license costs $151.50.