Archery Practice Laws in Florida
Archers in the Sunshine State can practice the sport by simply shooting target objects or by hunting wildlife. You can meet other archers and participate in tournaments by joining archery clubs and associations such as the North Florida Archers in Jacksonville and the Florida Archery Association. Many rules and regulations are enforced when it comes to archery hunts. Though no laws in the state regulate target shooting, archery groups and associations often have their own set of rules and regulations.
Archers must obtain an archery permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to practice archery for recreational hunting. You can purchase hunting licenses and archery permits from FWC's website (myfwc.com). You can also obtain hunting licenses and archery permits at tax collectors’ offices, license agents or by calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA. The permits allow you to hunt for different types of wildlife include deer, turkey, quail, and gray squirrel.
Archers need a quota permit to hunt in the state's Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). The FWC has an application process for archers who want to participate in archery hunts in these regulated areas. The permits are issued by random drawing and the FWC requires applicants to be at least 16 years of age. Applicants must complete the application worksheet online to be eligible for the random drawing. Permits are limited and are subject to specific hunt dates and areas. WMAs include Dinner Island Ranch, Devil’s Hammock, Lafayette Creek, Perdido River, Okaloacoochee Slough, Four Creeks, Hatchet Creek, Lafayette Forest, Thomas Creek Kings Road Unit, Hilochee Osprey Unit and Babcock Ranch Preserve. Applicants for the quota permit must also have a valid Management Area Permit authorizing the holder to hunt on areas that are owned or managed by the FWC.
Hunt Seasons and Bag Limits
The FWC publishes a hunting regulations booklet each year that details all the archery hunting laws in the state, including archery hunting seasons and bag limits. The seasons vary depending on the targeted species and the zone or area. For example, as of August 2011, the archery season for deer in Zone A is from July 30 to August 28 for antlered or antlerless deer. Zone A encompasses the lower part of the state, including Sarasota, De Soto, Palm Beach, Dade, Monroe, Glades and Charlotte.
Archery in the Schools
Children can practice and learn about archery by participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). The two-week program provides instructions for international style target archery for 4th-to-2th graders as part of their physical education classes. Teachers who present the archery course undergo an eight-hour training program. The class covers content such as archery history, equipment, technique, safety, mental concentration and self-improvement.
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