Those planning to deer hunt this year are reminded about the deer harvest reporting requirements that went into effect last year. All hunters, including those exempt from hunting license/permit requirements, must log and report their harvested deer. Beginning this year, hunters will have new user-friendly reporting options. The Fish/Hunt Florida App many hunters and anglers already rely on to buy and store their licenses now includes an easy-to-use option for hunters to log and report harvested deer. Even if you’re in an area without cell service, you’ll still be able to log and report. Once you regain cell service, open The Fish/Hunt Florida App and your harvest report will be automatically submitted and you’ll receive your confirmation number.
Where it’s possible to connect to the internet, you can log and report and receive your confirmation number at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com by logging into or creating a customer account.
You also can log your deer harvest using a paper harvest log and report it within 24 hours online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, through the Fish/Hunt Florida App, or by calling toll-free 888-HUNT-FLORIDA (888-486-8356). Those using the automated telephone reporting system can receive their confirmation number via email if they have a valid email address on file. Whatever option you choose, it will be available for your use anytime day or night.
Having a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) customer ID number is helpful when reporting harvested deer online or via the app and necessary if you’ll be using the toll-free phone number. Hunters exempt from license requirements who do not have a customer ID number can obtain one by going to GoOutdoorsFlorida.com before going hunting.
Don’t forget, you must log your harvested deer prior to moving it from the point of harvest, which is that point where the hunter located the harvested deer. Then you are required to report harvested deer: 1) within 24 hours of harvest, or 2) prior to final processing of the deer, or 3) prior to the deer or any parts of the deer being transferred to a meat processor or taxidermist, or 4) prior to the deer leaving the state, whichever occurs first.
Please note that after a deer has been logged and prior to reporting it, you may field dress your deer and begin processing the meat while afield or at camp. However, if a commercial meat processor is used, the harvested deer must be reported before transferring the deer or parts of the deer to a commercial processor. Learn more about how to log and report by reviewing FAQs about harvest reporting requirements.
We also want to thank everyone who reported their harvest last year. This information provides another valuable source of deer harvest data that, along with the annual hunter phone survey conducted after the season, helps inform white-tailed deer management in Florida. Visit MyFWC.com/Deer for more information about deer management in Florida.
Annual statewide bag limits for deer
It’s also important to brush up on another rule that took effect last year: the annual statewide bag limit. This regulation set the annual statewide bag limit at five deer per hunter of which no more than two deer may be antlerless (any deer, except a spotted fawn, without antlers or whose antlers are less than 5 inches in length).
The annual statewide bag limit for deer applies to all hunters, including those exempt from hunting license/permit requirements, and it includes the combined total of all deer harvested on private lands and public lands, which includes public hunting areas (e.g., wildlife management areas) in all four hunting zones. The limit also includes deer harvested under permits issued for public hunting areas (quota, special opportunity, antlerless, track vehicle, airboat, recreational use permits, etc.) and during any and all seasons (e.g., archery, crossbow, muzzleloading gun and general gun).
Youth (15 years and younger) have their own individual bag limit, and it may include only one antlered deer (any deer having one or more antlers at least 5 inches in length) that does not meet deer management unit antler regulations.
Don’t forget, antlerless deer (any deer, except a spotted fawn, without antlers or whose antlers are less than 5 inches in length) may still only be harvested: 1) during seasons when they are legal to take, such as during archery season, 2) on antlerless deer days and 3) 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.
The annual statewide bag limit was developed through extensive collaboration with staff and stakeholders and is intended to improve hunting opportunities by encouraging harvest among more hunters as well as greater selectivity while helping maintain a healthy and reasonably balanced deer herd.
Find more information by reviewing the FAQs about deer hunting rules. Also, get updates about Florida hunting opportunities, programs and regulations by following the HuntFlorida Facebook page at Facebook.com/HGM.FWC. In addition, sign up to receive the monthly Hunting Hot Sheet e-newsletter.