OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Hunting and Game Management

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the commission's Hunting and Game Management Program is to facilitate the safe, responsible, and sustained use of Florida's wildlife.

What services are provided by the program?

The Hunting and Game Management Program's services include
  • coordinating the development and management of public hunting opportunities;
  • delivering hunter safety training and certification;
  • developing and managing public shooting ranges; and
  • providing scientific expertise to inform decisions on managing game wildlife species.

Are there hunting opportunities on public lands?

The commission cooperatively manages public hunting opportunities on more than 5.9 million acres in its wildlife management area system. A person must possess a recreational hunting license (and other permits depending on the species and season) and a management area permit to hunt on wildlife management areas. There are licensing exemptions, including one for persons less than 16 years of age and more than 65 years of age.

Are hunters satisfied with their hunting experience?

For Fiscal Year 2018-19, commission data indicated that 70% of licensed deer hunters surveyed were satisfied with their deer hunting experience.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions


Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation. Maintaining hunting and the shooting sports is important because of the critical role they play in wildlife conservation. The challenge is not only to recruit new hunters and shooters, but also to retain current hunters and shooters and reactivate previous participants. To address these issues, the commission identifies and removes administrative and regulatory barriers to hunting, modifies public hunting opportunities to accommodate hunter preference, and finds new ways to encourage participation by youth and their families in hunting and the shooting sports.

The commission is continuing to evaluate its COVID-10 response and providing information on the open/closed status of wildlife management areas.

Public Shooting Ranges. Safe and well-designed public shooting facilities are critical to the future of hunting and shooting sports in Florida and are important to a large segment of the public. The commission is committed to safely supporting the needs of recreational target shooters, hunters, and hunter safety students with 10 shooting ranges located throughout the state.  To meet the growing demand for public shooting sports facilities, an additional commission-managed range is under construction in Palm Beach County, with funding provided from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. In response to COVID-19, the commission is reopening its managed shooting ranges in a phased approach.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Section 20.331 and Ch. 379, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

George Warthen, Director, Hunting and Game Management, 850-488-3831, email:  George.Warthen@myfwc.com