Chapter 1: Hunting in Florida
Historically, game laws and regulations were enacted to halt the exploitation of game and wildlife from the impacts of "market hunting" - or selling wild animals for food - and to protect species of special concern. Today, every state has laws and regulations designed to conserve wildlife resources, ensure public safety, and provide for fair chase and equitable opportunities.
In Florida, managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of the people is the responsibility of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The FWC's seven Commissioners are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate to five-year terms. Commissioners meet five times per year at various locations across the state to hear public comment on hunting and fishing regulations.
The Commission develops rules and regulations based on scientific data provided by more than 500 FWC biologists. Even though the FWC has constitutional authority to regulate fish and wildlife, the Florida Legislature still plays a very active role in establishing laws regulating public safety, funding and many other areas directly related to the success of the Commission. Thus, public opinions about hunters and hunting play a vital role in continuing the hunting heritage. Hence, it is imperative that all sportsmen are safe, responsible and law-abiding participants in order to continue to maintain public support for the privilege to hunt.