A person born on or after June 1, 1975 may not be issued a hunting license in this state without first having successfully completed a hunter safety course. Hunters affected by this requirement must present proof of satisfactory completion of Florida's hunter education course or an approved course provided by another state or province when purchasing a license.
Hunter Safety Requirement Deferral:
Anyone 16 years or older and born after May 31, 1975 may hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter, 21 or older, without having to complete the state's hunter safety certification. For more information see Hunter Safety Mentoring Exemption.
Free Hunter Education Course:
Whether you have been hunting all your life or are a newcomer to the sport, the FWC's Hunter Education Course has something for you. The free, 16-hour course does more than just teach you how to handle a firearm. Included topics are outdoor ethics, wildlife identification and management, survival, field first aid, firearm laws, and the Florida Wildlife Code. The basics of archery and black powder hunting also are covered. For those interested in bow hunting, a bow hunting course is also available. In addition to classroom work, participants take a field trip and practice what they've learned. Successful completion of the course is accepted in all states where hunter education is a requirement to hunt.
To learn more about this free course, contact your regional Hunter Education Officer at the nearest FWC administrative office. Clay County residents should contact the Lake City FWC office at (386) 758-0525. You can find out course locations, dates and times, and can also sign up for the course.
Admission to fall classes is often difficult as class sizes are limited and many hunters wait until the two months before the hunting season to seek hunter safety certification. You can avoid the rush by taking the course in the spring or summer.