Florida Deer News

Big bucks found with horns locked, apparently drowned March 23, 2015 Florida, gulflive.com
... Two big bucks, possibly one that was well-known among locals, apparently drowned last week after hooking horns in bay waters at St. Andrews State Park ...

... Agency:  University of Georgia.  Location: Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Big Cypress National Preserve.  website

... In the United States, illegal trade in white-tailed deer is a high dollar industry... In this case ... these facilities were high fence white-tailed deer hunting preserves that catered to hunters from around the United States. According to court documents, Wainwright, Sr. illegally trafficked in live white-tailed deer. Wainwright, Sr. illegally shipped deer to Florida from Ohio ...

Seminole Tribe's cattle operation protects wildlife March 8, 2015 Florida, WJXT Jacksonville
... The tribe's 36,000-acre cattle operation on the Brighton Reservation, north of Lake Okeechobee, is an important pathway for migrating wildlife including panthers, bobcats, bears, deer, wild hogs and turkeys. So is the even larger Big Cypress reservation ... 

Poaching and Shameful Wildlife Waste in Innerarity Point/ Perdido Key Florida Big Lagoon State Park Deer Criminally Wasted by roadside Poacher with Crossbow - March 1, 2014



... The pythons devour wading birds, endangered small mammals and rodents, Florida deer and even alligators, and some estimates say there are up to 150,000 ... We’re never going to get rid of them ...

FWC establishes deer management units, new deer hunting regulations February 5, 2015 Florida, Suwannee Democrat
...  In five of the six units in Zone C  ... which includes Suwannee, Hamilton, and Lafayette Counties, antlered deer must now have at least three antler points (each point at least an inch long) on one side or have a main antler beam length of at least 10 inches to be legal to take. ...

4 men, 4 dead deer found in 1 MINI Cooper January 31, 2015 Florida, abc13.com
... The men said they partied all night, then went on an illegal, out-of-season 3 am joy ride and deer hunt. Then, they all passed out..


Coyotes making home in Palmetto State in alarming numbers January 23, 2015 Florida, Myrtle Beach Online 
... first making a documented appearance in the state in the late 1970s, coyotes are now found in all 46 counties in the state and in surprisingly large numbers... the number of coyotes killed annually by deer hunters as a reference point.... about 30,000 ... most publicized is their habit of feeding on the fawns of white-tailed deer ...

Where to spot Florida's wildlife December 31, 2014 MiamiHerald.com
... Key Deer, These miniature deer, only two to three feet tall, are found only on a few islands of the Florida Keys. The best place to see them is at the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key. The tiny deer, which are relatively tame, are often seen on Key Deer Boulevard...

Florida man fined $5300 for hunting violations December 30, 2014 Florida, Tribune-Review
... ordan K. Richards, 25, of Eastland was seen on surveillance footage entering Keystone State Park in Derry Township after dark on Oct. 18 carrying a crossbow and a spotlight and wearing camouflage ...

...  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...  Many hunters surveyed wanted larger deer populations, more bucks in the population and a better chance to see and harvest heavier and larger-antlered deer.  
These new antler regulations would protect most 1.5-year-old bucks ...

State Officials Nail Poachers With ‘Robo Deer’ December 15, 2014 Florida, Space Coast Daily 
... Fifteen minutes after, officers set up the deer and hid in a safe area, they heard a shot.  A poacher had driven up and fired at the robo deer...

... Three Central Florida residents have filed a legal challenge against a state decision allowing hunters to use silencers, citing safety issues as their primary concern ...

Hunters with hounds eager for hunting season December 3, 2014 Florida, Santa Rosa Press Gazette
... Brad Wellnecker, president of the South Eastern Dog Hunters Association, said hunters were up between 3:30 and 4 a.m. for the start of deer season...

Florida Deer Hunting Notes  December 1, 2014 The Ledger 
... General Gun starts in the Panhandle this month ... Doe harvest limitations and Antler Point Restrictions (APR’s) are two major tenets of these units... 

... higher roadkill numbers have a lot to do with a rebounding population ... Estimates put the population at between 120 and 180, up from as few as 30 before a genetic restoration project in 1995 ... livestock depredation and reduced deer herds...

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 ...

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.
   Panther population in 2014 estimated from 120 to 180, up from 30 in 1995, the start of a restoration program. 

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.