Florida Deer News

FWC refuses to stop deer-dog hunting where Florida families reside November 27, 2014 Florida, Clay Today Online
... t for some inexplicable reason, the agency chooses to allow this relatively rare kind of "hunting" to go on in an area where families reside and must endure this unquestioned harassment, aggravation and threat to liberty.  The Daws family has tried to reason with the deer-dog people and have pled their case to the commission, all to no avail...

FWC looks to expand deer management units, new antler measures to the rest of Florida* November 21, 2014 FWC News
     At its meeting in Key Largo on Nov. 21, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved draft rule proposals aimed at managing Florida’s white-tailed deer at a local level by establishing deer management units (DMUs) throughout the state, each with its own set of antler regulations and antlerless deer harvest days.  These proposals will be brought back to Commissioners for a final vote at their next meeting, in February. If passed, the changes would go into effect for the 2015-2016 hunting season. The purpose of the proposals is to manage deer on a more local scale, tailored to habitat quality, characteristics of the local deer herd and preferences of local hunters and other stakeholders... [read more at link here or above]

Florida lifts ban on silencers for game hunting November 21, 2014 WJXT Jacksonville
...    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday agreed, with little comment, to issue an order that immediately removes a prohibition on the use of noise-suppressors, or silencers, with rifles and pistols.  Florida becomes the 33rd state to allow the noise-suppressors for game hunting...

Deer rescued after discovered in 10-foot deep storm drain November 20, 2014 Florida, Fox Orlando 
...  injected it with a sedative, and about 15 minutes later, the deer fell asleep.  Hurd went into the hole, hog tied the deer, then those above pulled it to safety...

Ban on silencers could be lifted for Florida hunters November 17, 2014 Florida, Atlanta Journal Constitution 
...  Advocates say the rule change would be good for a hunter's health. According to hunters, manufacturers, and the National Rifle Association, a suppressor can protect a hunter's hearing  ... opponents say the silencers could endanger lives... 

... in your retirement you set up a remote homestead and you buy ... 60 acres of solitude where you can live peacefully and raise your horses and dogs... Along comes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC), which issues permits to people who like to “hunt” by setting packs of dogs loose on unsuspecting deer... they have filed a suit ...

State Sued Over Deer Dog Hunts In The Blackwater Forest November 13, 2014 Florida, NorthEscambia 
... William Daws, Jr., and his wife, Ouida Gershon, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Leon County circuit court against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The lawsuit seeks to stop deer-dog hunting in the portion of the Blackwater Wildlife Management Area ...

Daring deed saves dangling deer November 3, 2014 Florida,  members.jacksonville.com 
... large doe dangling from a 6-foot aluminum fence, with one leg looped and locked over two top pieces...

Fall’s arrival means prime deer season October 23, 2014 Florida, Myrtle Beach Online 
... the time period from Oct. 6 to Nov. 15, somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 percent of the doe deer we’ve [studied] actually conceive during that period ... If hunters want to talk about the peak of the rut, during the last week in October and the first week in November, the highest percent of females are conceived ...

East County wildlife deaths spurs concerns October 22, 2014 Florida, Longboat Observer
... Lakewood Ranch ... There have been numerous incidents of deer being struck by cars and subsequently dying.  The group took to the corner of Legacy Boulevard and University Parkway Tuesday night with signs encouraging drivers to slow down and watch for deer ...

Writer, naturalist Joe Hutto guest for science program October 11, 2014 Florida, Tallahassee.com
... His most recent book, Touching the Wild: The Mule Deer of Deadman's Gulch, chronicles his seven-year study of wild mule deer living near his current home of Lander, Wyoming. A film based on the book aired nationally on PBS stations last March...

Deer Being Slaughtered in Dead River, Florida? October 4, 2014 2014
    A reader reports that " I have been told by an undisclosed person, that in the area known as Dead River in Fl along the banks of the Hillsborough River. That a man is hired to come and shoot the bucks to thin them out. After this they are not harvested they just let them lay. I'm unable to find anything out about this on the net. But the info does come from a very reliable source. Any help to finding the truth out about this would be greatly appreciated."
    Report poaching to Wildlife Alert Line at 1-888-404-FWCC or email us and we will pass the information along, confidentially.

Florida Deer Hunting Forecast for 2014 October 1, 2014 gameandfishmag.com
... “Our harvest survey has indicated a stable harvest for the last few years,” ... the Panhandle holds more deer across its private lands than anywhere else ...

Hunters urged not to bring infected deer from other states September 30, 2014 Florida, The Independent Florida Alligator
... As a neurological disease spreads in deer throughout the country, Florida hunters are reminded of importation laws prohibiting out-of-state deer, moose or elk carcasses ... The law even includes deer semen ... If the sperm is infected and used for breeding purposes, it has the potential to spread the Chronic Waste Disease, which is comparable to mad cow disease...

... CWD is a contagious neurological disease that has been found in captive and wild cervids (white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and elk) within 22 states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea.  The disease has been detected in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia, Missouri, North Dakota, Maryland, Texas, Alberta and Saskatchewan Canadian provinces, and in South Korea.  Hunters need to know that it is against the law to bring into Florida whole carcasses of any deer from any of the above-listed areas...

Key Deer: Curious, but shy creatures September 19, 2014 Florida, Orlando Sentinel 
... It is believed that the Key Deer migrated to the Florida Keys from the mainland over a land bridge during the Wisconsin glaciation... a subspecies of the White-tailed deer, live only in a few of the Florida Keys. An endangered species, there are only about 700-800 of these animals left...

Panhandle hunting season right around the corner September 18, 2014 Florida, Pensacola News Journal
... a couple of new regulations they need to be aware of this year...  North of I-10 is DMU-D2, and all antlered deer must have at least 3 points (1 inch or more in length) on one side or have an antler with a main beam length of 10 inches or more to be legal to take... 

Floridians hunting deer out of state need to be aware of CWD laws September 18, 2014 Crestview News Bulletin
... CWD is a contagious neurological disease that has been found in captive and wild cervids ... within 22 states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea...  it is against the law to bring into Florida whole carcasses of any deer from any of the above-listed areas...

Fawn to be ambassador for species September 17, 2014 Florida, Florida Keys News 
... A mother was killed and her male fawn was injured and orphaned...  the fawn has bonded with humans and will not be able to be released back into the wild.  "He will now become an ambassador for the Key deer, and people will not have to stop their cars and rattle a bag of Doritos to see them," ...

... The proposal will now be advertised in the Florida Administrative Register, and the commission is expected to vote on the new rule in November.  While critics said muzzling rifle shots could increase the risk of people being struck by wayward bullets or cause people to wander unaware into hunting areas, backers of the proposal said such concerns are unfounded...

Deer Nutrition & Management Seminar September 2, 2014 Florida, Chipley Bugle 
... The seminar will be held at the Washington County Agricultural Center (1424 Jackson Ave., Chipley) on Thursday, September 18. The seminar will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m. This event is free to the public...

UH Plan - 2014
... The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is proposing to open approximately 6,000 acres on the northern section of the refuge to a limited quota deer hunt with unlimited take of feral hogs. This proposal applies to specified lands owned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and managed by the USFWS as a National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This Environmental Assessment (EA) is being prepared to evaluate the effects associated with this proposal and complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) ...

Residents hoping to help deer with giant tumor August 22, 2014 Florida, WWSB ABC 7
... Residents of a East Sarasota County neighborhood want to help a deer that has large tumor on its chest, but wildlife officials advise against it...  It has been especially hard for Aughey to watch a deer with a large tumor like growth on her chest...

Say no to hunters using silencers August 11, 2014 Florida, Sun Sentinel 
... Proponents, including the Florida branch of the National Rifle Association, contend silencers will better protect hunters' ears from loud reports ... Florida hunters of deer, turkey and other wild game have every conceivable, technological advantage over their virtually unprotected prey...

Should hunters be allowed to use silencers? August 8, 2014 Florida, SunSentinel 
... poor hunters need more of an advantage, don’t they?  Right now, all they have are high-powered rifles, powerful sights, camouflage outfits, bows and arrows, knives, water, food, guides, dogs, and a few other things... Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will consider a proposal to permit silencers ...

Fences for sewer work driving Key deer into the road, will be modified August 1, 2014 Florida, Keys Net
... "What we put together is a combination of the fence and a waddle to keep the silt out and make it easier for the deer to get through. That will be the combination we'll have the contractor use for the rest of the project, in any area we have the deer," ....
It’s the season to see Key Deer July 31, 2014 Florida, The Miami Herald 
... Fully grown, these Key Deer stand only two to three feet high, but resemble their bigger siblings in every respect:.. Most are found on Big Pine Key, much of which is under the protection of the National Key Deer Refuge ... Refuge information: 305-872-2239, www.fws.gov/nationalkeydeer

... State statute specifically requires that 75 percent of the license tag funds from the “deer tag” be used to fund programs and projects within the state that “preserve open space and wildlife habitat, promote conservation, improve wildlife habitat, and establish open space for the perpetual use of the public...

Red Deer / Elk June 25, 2014 Florida, Dixie Sportsman's Hunting Preserve
... Red deer known as Elk in North America are the second largest deer in the world, second only to moose.  ...

World's coolest hotel rooms June 25, 2014 Florida, USA Today 
... Reachable only by boat or seaplane, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is located on a private island where wild Key deer roam. A favorite getaway for celebrities ...

Wild Florida -- Key Deer June 10, 2014 Florida, Daily Kos 
... The Key Deer, Odocoileus virginianus clavium, is a subspecies of the ordinary ubiquitous Virginia Whitetail Deer, but the Key Deer is found only on the islands of the Florida Keys--particularly Big Pine Key. It is an example of a phenomenon known as "island dwarfing", in which a population of large animals that finds itself living isolated on an island, often responds by becoming smaller in size...

FWC to meet June 17-19 in Fort Myers June 9, 2014 Florida, FWC News
     The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet June 17-19 at the Crowne Plaza, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers. The half-day discussion session June 17 starts at 1 p.m., while the full-day business sessions on the 18th and 19th start at 8:30 a.m.  The public is invited to all three days and will be provided opportunities to speak.  Highlights of the agenda include:  Staff-proposed draft rules for the Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area to allow hunting on the Big Cypress National Preserve’s Addition Lands. This would include a recommendation for walk-in hunting and quotas to address the 2014-2015 hunting season....

... A trapper then arrived on scene and helped deputies lift the deer out of the spa... "I think she finally figured out that the Sheriff's Office, the two deputies that were here to help her out," ...

Doe takes a swim in a Florida family's hot tub and has to be rescued in the process.



... Deer harvest peaked during the 2008-09 season, topping out at almost 180,000 dead deer – up 3-fold from 1998-99 of 60,000 animals…but there are ups and down throughout the population/harvest chart, which is pretty normal. Still, the population is on a general upward path...

Deer Management in North Central Florida [PDF] April, 2014 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Hunting and Game Management 
   This PDF file is a presentation made by FWC about Deer Management, focusing on new rules in Northern Florida.  

There's a WHAT wandering around? April 23, 2014 Florida, Sun Sentinel 
... the deer was a recently acquired pet that escaped when construction at an adjacent house knocked down a fence...  a muntjac deer, a species native to southern Asia. Considered the oldest living deer species ...

Deer hunting regulations, Antler Point Restrictions April 22, 2014 Florida, Weather Alert
... The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission made big two changes ... north of I-10 buck's must have three-points that are  one inch long. They must also have at least one antler that's five inches or longer. The antler could also have a beam of 10-inches or more. To the south of I-10, buck's must have two-points that are one inch long and at least one antler must be 5 inches or more...

State officials seek input on deer regulations at DeLand meeting April 23 April 21, 2014 Florida, Daytona Beach News-Journal 
... State wildlife officials are changing the way they manage deer populations. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will switch to a more regional approach to give locals a greater opportunity to comment...

North & Central FL (Zones B & C) Deer Hunters: We Want To Hear From You! April 9, 2014 Florida, Florida Wildlife Commission
View an online presentation and then take a quick survey on our website MyFWC.com/Deer/DMU. This will alow you to learn about the new Deer Management Unit (DMU) process and provide input on deer management in the DMU you are interested in.

...Robbie is a robot deer  ... "I can have the deer facing away from him, and then when they make a noise, I can have that head turn towards that noise ... 

Monticello Hosts Deer Management Meeting April 4, 2014 Florida, WCTV 
...  FWC is asking if residents want more, about the same amount, or less deer. In addition, FWC would also like preferences on antler regulations, antlerless deer, and other important deer-related issues....

Deer Carcasses Found Underneath Abandoned Lynn Haven Business April 3, 2014 Florida, WJHG-TV
... An abandoned Lynn Haven business is under fire for some hazardous animal remains. Clean up crews say they found several deer carcasses, debris, and rats under the former Done-Right Deer Processing facility off Highway 77...

Author Hutto to appear in PBS documentary March 31, 2014 Florida, Tallahassee.com
... “Touching the Wild, Living with the Mule Deer of Deadman Gulch. ” ... A documentary film with the same title premieres April 16 on PBS at 8 p.m ... Joe’s last words in the clip, referring to a specific wild mule deer, are “I was not seeing something, I was seeing someone.” ...

... All participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts and opinions on deer management in Zones B and C of North and Central Florida [see articles for locations and times] ... Not able to attend one of the public meetings? You can still participate via webinar ... dates to be announced soon...

Plant in spring to ease stress of late summer March 15, 2014 Florida, Florida Today
...  management practices such as prescribed burning and timber thinning will create a habitat with enough resources to carry the herd until hard mast crops begin to fall ... “Cow peas, purple-hull peas, those summer annual legumes do pretty good,”  ...

Gun Season Over, But Local Deer Hunting Lasts Through March 2 February 24, 2014 Florida, NorthEscambia.com
...  Zone D’s late muzzleloading gun season runs a week longer until March 2... No dogs may be used in the pursuit of deer during this season. However, leashed dogs can be used to track a wounded deer if necessary... allowed to take deer and hogs over feeding stations on private land, but it’s illegal to do that on WMAs...

... Clint Galentine was on a nature walk in Florida this past Sunday when a hunter allegedly mistook him for a deer and shot him twice ... 

FWC modifies some hunting zones; adjusts turkey bag limit on private lands February 12, 2014 Florida, FWC News Release
... Hunters had noted, and recent biological surveys have confirmed, that deer living below the zonal line in the counties of Sarasota, St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach have a breeding period that occurs later than that of most of the deer in Hunting Zone A. These deer actually have a breeding period more in line with deer living north of the line in Zone C. The breeding period, also known as “the rut,” is the time of year when bucks actively pursue female deer, which more often leads bucks to venture out during daylight hours, giving hunters a better chance at seeing and harvesting one....

... This unique late season, which occurs only in Zone D, was established to give hunters the chance to hunt the rut, which occurs from mid-January through February in the Panhandle...

Deer Farmers Pleased with Farm Bill February 6, 2014 agwired.com
... The 2014 Farm Bill includes several key victories for NADeFA and the national cervid farming industry, such as: • Deer in USDA’s Research Initiatives: The USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiatives (AFRI) program has been amended to include emphasis on disease (EHD, CWD), mapping the genome, pest/parasite, diagnostics and vaccination research for deer, elk and other cervidae.  • Venison Added to Country-of-Origin-Labeling: The Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL) program requires fresh meat and produce to be clearly labeled in English as to its origin, allowing the U.S. consumer to know if they are buying a foreign or domestic product. ...

... a doe through the high fence of a deer pen off County Road 251 ... call the Wildlife Alert number at 888-404-3922 to report the crime ...

A large Florida buck freed from entanglement in a fence along the boundary road of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge in Chiefland Florida. - January, 2014














Florida data: An estimated 700,000 or more white-tailed deer in 2011 through 2014, likely.  A stable population.   A small population of Florida Key Deer are protected in the Keys.  There were as few as as 250 in the early 1980s, estimated at about 600 in 2011 through 2014 after 30 years of protection.  Deer harvest peaked in 2008-09 at almost 180,000 up from about 60,000 in 1998-99.  The Florida deer population is growing more slowly than in neighboring states.
     Approximately 137,000 deer hunters in the state taking about 20 percent of the herd each year.   Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) has recently done a particularly thorough job in collecting and documenting recent hunting statistics, annual reports are available on the FWC site.  A study of deer populations in 2009 [PDF] including deer from the northwest and southwest regions shows a balanced buck to doe ratio of close to 50:50 with fawning rates of 41% singles, 57% twins, 2% triplets. [Click on harvest data graph to enlarge]
    Deer were numerous in the Florida Panhandle based on reports from the late 1600's, but commercial hunting for deer hides resulted in the first hunting regulations, a ban on fire hunting west of the Suwanee River in 1828.  Development in Florida opened up much of the state beginning in the late 1800's.  Over hunting decimated the population with the historic low population in the 1930's of about 20,000.  The legislature authorized participation in the Federal Aid to Wildlife program in 1941, beginning an era of deer conservation.  By 1951, the deer herd had grown to around 45,000 to 50,000.  By 1985, the annual deer harvest rose to over 100,000 for the first time, marking the beginning of the modern era of deer management.  See FWC History of Deer Management.  According to a recent survey, 70 to 75 percent of hunters in North Florida support antler restrictions.

Report poaching: Wildlife Alert Line at 1-888-404-FWCC 
- Hunt Florida, FWC's Hunting Information FaceBook Page

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Deer Management: (1) ensure the existence of robust deer populations that meet the public's desire for recreational opportunities and protection of private property while ensuring the long-term welfare of the species, (2) ensure a high degree of public satisfaction with deer management in Florida, and (3) manage deer habitats consistent with ecosystems health, deer population goals, and customer satisfaction goals. From: Strategic Plan for Deer Management in Florida 2008-2018.

 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the FWC is seeking public input to assist management practices in each newly formed geographic area. - January 17, 2013