Hunting in Florida
If you enjoy hunting in the abundant natural resources of South Florida, you want to be sure that your enjoyment is not interrupted by the loss of privileges, or worse, a criminal charge from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”).
Going hunting is not as simple as grabbing your bow or rifle and disappearing into the woods. There are several statutes, rules, and regulations to be aware of first to ensure a safe and legally compliant hunt.
If you find yourself needing assistance with a hunting or firearm violation, you have come to the right place. Call Attorney Sando to see how we can help you.
Governing Authority for Hunting in Florida
The hunting rules in Florida are primarily governed by FWC rule 68A (Freshwater Fish and Wildlife) put in place by FWC to enforce compliance over Florida’s hunting resources.
Anyone hunting should keep in mind that hunting is a privilege, not a right. As such, special statutes and rules in Florida allow for lesser privacy protections when voluntarily engaging in certain activities to allow law enforcement to properly enforce compliance. For example, the refusal or obstruction of any person hunting wildlife to permit a search or inspection by any authorized officer of the state can be its own violation. In other words, you may have already “consented” to a search or inspection by simply taking part in the voluntary act of hunting and thus your refusal is not without penalty.
Reasons like the above is why it is best to hire an experienced attorney well-versed in this unique area of the law. If you violate one of Florida’s hunting laws or rules, you could receive a violation typically ranging from a noncriminal infraction to a misdemeanor offense, and in some cases, even a felony.
There are many things to consider before a hunting expedition to ensure you avoid tickets and violations.
Checklist to review before you hunt
10 things to consider to avoid hunting & firearm violations:
- Do you have the proper licensing? (To be kept on your person)
- Do you have the proper permits or stamps in addition to your license?
- Did you check your season open and close dates?
- Did you verify the method of taking that is allowed?
- Do you have the legally correct safety gear and ammunition?
- Did you verify the legal bag limit?
- Are you aware of where you need to enter and exit the hunting area?
- Did you check any additional rules based on where you are hunting (ex: Stormwater Treatment Area or Water Management Area)
- Did you make sure anyone else you will be with has read this list?
- Did you visit the contact page to scan the QR code and quickly save Attorney Sando to your phone contacts just in case?
Remember – It is up to you to become familiar with the statutes, rules, and laws before you set out. Pleading ignorance after a violation is committed is not a legal defense.
Good luck and SHOOT SAFE – never pull the trigger unless you know exactly what you are shooting at and know what is behind it.
What do I do after receiving a hunting violation?
Generally, most hunting violations are the result of licensing or permit violations. These types of violations result in noncriminal tickets issued by FWC. If you receive a hunting ticket for a violation of FWC regulations, call Sando Law, P.A. to see how we can help you. Take any noncriminal ticket seriously as enhanced penalties can apply to future violations.
DON’T JUST PAY THE TICKET – CALL US FIRST!
Paying the civil penalty waives your right to a hearing before the county court to make any legal arguments or challenges in your case.
Attorney Sando may be able to have your charges dismissed, lessened, or negotiate a better resolution than the default penalties that may apply.
Other hunting violations that can result in criminal convictions typically stem from FWC rule 68A, an area of the law very familiar to Attorney Sando from his time as a former special prosecutor handling FWC cases.
As the recipient of FWC’s Prosecutor of the Year Award and the North Palm Coastal Conservation Association’s Prosecutor of the Year Award, Attorney Sando has experience and knowledge in this area of the law that is unmatched.
DID YOU KNOW:
According to the FWC “Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, and 16 years or older, must pass a hunter safety course before purchasing a hunting license unless using the deferral from the hunter safety certification requirement and hunting under the supervision of a qualified hunter.”
Source: FWC https://myfwc.com/hunting/safety-education/