The 2014 Florida Hunting Zones are seeing a shift. Read on to get the facts.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is switching up some of the state’s northern Hunting Zones thanks to a noticeable difference in deer herds.
Northern portions of Zone A will now be in Zone C. Other changes included:
If you hunt in the Panhandle in Zone D, that zone has now been divided into two deer management units (DMUs), each with its own unique set of antler regulations and antlerless deer harvest days.
If you hunt in southern Manatee County, Sarasota County, southwest DeSoto County, west Charlotte County, southeast Okeechobee County, south St. Lucie County, Martin County or north Palm Beach County, you now have later fall hunting season dates than what you’re used to, because the boundary line between the two zones has been adjusted.
The new boundary line between hunting zones A and C begins at the Gulf of Mexico and runs northeast through Charlotte Harbor and up the Peace River until it intersects with S.R. 70. The line then follows S.R. 70, running east until it meets U.S. 441 north of Lake Okeechobee. It then follows U.S. 441 south, where it proceeds around the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. The line then turns off U.S. 441 and onto S.R. 80 and runs just a few miles before turning east and following County Road 880, running just a few miles before joining back up with U.S. 98/441/S.R. 80/Southern Boulevard until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean.
Hunters pointed out that deer living in the counties listed above had a breeding period similar to those living in Zone C. The boundaries were moved to better adjust for when the rut happens in the area.
Some more changes:
In DMU-D2 (north of I-10), antlerless deer season is now eight days distributed across four weekends. These weekends are the Saturday-Sunday after Thanksgiving, the first weekend of muzzleloading gun season, the third weekend of general gun season and the weekend after Christmas.
In DMU-D1 (south of I-10), the antlerless season is now four days consisting of two popular holiday weekends – the weekend after Thanksgiving and the one after Christmas.
Consult the FWC’s website for full hunting regulations.