Hunter Input Wanted on Deer Management Options

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking input from hunters and other stakeholders, in a series of public workshops concerning deer management.

Seven options to improve the quality of Florida’s deer population are under consideration to replace the state’s current deer bag limit – two deer per day, with a minimum of one 5-inch antler.

Options are:

  • Change nothing,
  • Establish a bag limit of two deer per season and retain the 5-inch antler requirement,
  • Establish a bag limit of two deer per season and require that one of them have at least one three-point antler and the other have at least one 5-inch antler,
  • Establish a bag limit of three deer per season and retain the 5-inch antler requirement,
  • Establish a bag limit of three deer per season and require that one of them have at least one three-point antler and the other two have at least one 5-inch antler,
  • Establish, in specific counties only, a two-deer per season bag limit and require that both of them have at least one three-point antler and to select participating counties based on landowner and hunter preferences, and
  • Allow landowners or groups of landowners with at least 2,000 contiguous acres to ask the FWC to establish, on their land only, a two-deer per season bag limit and require that both deer have at least one three-point antler.

Interested persons can download surveys to express their preferences from the FWC’s Web site at www.floridaconservation.org beginning in March, or they can complete surveys at one of the workshops, or they can request surveys from the FWC’s regional offices.

Workshops are scheduled to take place:

  • March 11, 6 p.m., at the Chipola Community College Arts Center, 3094 Indian Circle, Marianna;
  • March 17, 7 p.m., at the Columbia County School Board Administrative Complex Auditorium 372 W. Duval St., Lake City;
  • March 19, 7 p.m., at the International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach;
  • April 2, 7p.m., at the Rowan Agricultural Complex (Marion County Extension Service) Building Auditorium, 2232 N.E. Jacksonville Rd., Ocala; and
  • April 3, 7p.m., at the Lake Mirror Auditorium, 121 S. Lake Ave., Lakeland.

The deadline for expressing preferences is April 9. The FWC frequently conducts public workshops on a variety of subjects to keep abreast of Floridians’ attitudes and opinions concerning the agency’s management of fish and wildlife resources.

Disabled persons who would require special accommodations to take part in the workshops can make arrangements by contacting Cindy Hoffman at (850) 488-6411 at least five days in advance. Hearing or speech-impaired persons needing assistance should call (850) 488-9542 to make arrangements.