Check With FWC for Hunting Seasons

It’s late September and time to get ready for hunting season. Fall hunting includes deer, turkey, hogs and small game, even coyotes. As for pigs, they are a nuisance. They have seasons on public lands, while on private land you can hunt them all year. Deer are starting the rut, and are focused on feeding on acorns. The main portion of waterfowl opens in late November and is really popular in the middle of the state.

Just remember Florida is broken up into four hunting zones: A, B, C and D. (I’m in Zone C.) Hunting seasons are often completely different in each zone, and are based on the weather and the habits of the game in that area of the state. For instance, the southern end of Florida is a lot warmer, so spring turkey opens in late February or the first week of March, where it doesn’t open until the end of March in my zone.

It’s really a big deal to pay attention to what seasons are open in your zone, and for planning any trips you have to hunt across Florida. If you’re a passionate hunter, you can hunt in one zone, and when that closes move to another zone, which is pretty easy if you live near the borders of any of the zones.

In our region, we’ve got a ton of public land to the north of me and a little bit of public land to the south of me. You can draw quota hunts to these places by going on and searching the quota hunt options. You can apply for a quota hunt online or take the completed form to your county tax collector’s office. Be sure to pay specific attention to the deadlines for applying for those hunts, or you’ll miss the deadline and have to wait another year to get a hunt.

Before the season starts, spend a little time in the field scouting the area. That way you’ll be familiar with the area you plan to hunt, so you know where you are at all times, even in the dark, and will also understand some of the habits of the animals you’re wanting to harvest.

Don’t forget to wear your blaze orange clothing and hat at all times. I actually wear more than the required amount just to be on the safe side, particularly when hunting public land.

Speaking of which, when hunting public land, if you see a car or truck parked on the side of the road, try to avoid the area and hunt somewhere else unless you know exactly where that person is hunting. It’s too easy to be walking to an area you had planned to hunt and spoil the hunting of someone already in that general area.