Dogs may be used as an aid in taking game mammals and game birds, unless otherwise prohibited. Persons owning or using dogs shall not knowingly or negligently permit such dogs to trail, pursue or otherwise molest wildlife during closed seasons. When using archery equipment and muzzleloaders during their respective archery, crossbow and muzzleloading gun seasons, the taking of deer by the use or aid of dogs is prohibited. Dogs on leashes may be used to trail wounded game mammals during all seasons. Taking turkeys by aid of dogs at any time is prohibited. Hunters, who use dogs for hunting, including bird dogs or retrievers, are required to have their dogs wear collars that identify their owner’s name and address. This regulation also requires dog hunters to possess landowners’ written permission before using their dogs to pursue game on private property. On private land rabbit, raccoon, opossum, skunk, nutria, beaver, coyote, hog, fox and bobcat may be chased throughout the year with free running dogs. For more information, contact an FWC regional office (see page 5).
Deer dogs can be trained during closed seasons when dogs are constantly attached to leashes or ropes in the hands of their trainers for training purposes. Deer dogs are permitted to run free for training purposes only during deer-dog training seasons (see page 19). Taking deer or any other wildlife with a gun is prohibited while training deer dogs.
Statewide deer-dog registration:
Deer hunters using dogs on private properties in Florida must obtain a no-cost registration from the FWC. Registration requirements apply to the deer-dog training season and during any open deer hunting season when it is legal to take deer with dogs. Applications must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the final day of general gun season in the hunting zone where the property is situated. To comply with the registration rule, deer-dog hunters on private lands must have registration numbers on their dogs’ collars; possess copies of the registration; and keep their dogs on registered roperties. For more information and to apply visit the FWC Deer page.
On private lands during closed seasons, bird dogs may be trained with pistols firing blanks or balls or by taking pen raised quail (with shotguns only), when birds have been banded with owners’ names prior to releasing them. Fox dogs: Foxes cannot be killed, but may be chased year-round with dogs (see Furbearer regulations on page 28).