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No Antlerless Deer Season on Florida Public Lands

Access to private land can be a great thing in Florida. In the case of a recent Trophy Room post, we see a young lady taking her first deer, a great-eating doe, shot with a .243 at 40 yards. See the post here.

At the same time, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds hunters that antlerless deer season does not apply on FWC-managed lands that are part of its public hunting system.

Most of these 163 public hunting areas were established as wildlife management areas, but others were established as wildlife and environmental areas, national wildlife refuges, military bases, public-use areas, public small-game hunting areas and places such as the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area.

The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area was established and included in the state's public hunting area system during the 2009-2010 hunting season. Those who hunt Kissimmee Chain enjoy many hunting opportunities that are usually allowed only on private property.

Some of these opportunities include long hunting seasons, a crossbow season, a fall turkey season and year-round hog hunting. There also are no quota permits required for any of the area's hunting seasons, and hunters don't even need the $26 management area permit to hunt there, like they do on nearly every other public hunting area.

But there is one important hunting regulation difference between Kissimmee Chain and private lands: the take of antlerless deer (does and bucks with antlers less than 5 inches in length) is prohibited during all hunting seasons on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area.

So, while the antlerless deer season in Zone B might be running Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, this seven-day season does not occur on Kissimmee Chain, or on any other established public hunting area in the state.

Before hunting on any public hunting area, or even setting foot on one, the FWC advises to first read the rules and regulations brochures published for each area, which can be found here.

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