Chapter 14: Wildlife Identification
It is crucial for all hunters to have wildlife identification skills, in order to ensure they only take legal game on their hunt. In this chapter we will explore some of Florida's wildlife which hunters might encounter in the field. Remember that hunting regulations change on a yearly basis. Always check hunting regulations before the hunting season to get the most current regulations on the game you will be hunting.
There is no hunting of fully protected animals. You cannot possess a fully protected animal, reptile, bird, or any part thereof, without a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and/or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Florida panther is also called a puma, cougar and mountain lion. The panther is the Florida state animal as chosen by the school children of the state. The panther is a large cat, tawny to gray in color, never black. Males grow up to seven feet in length with a weight of 130 pounds. Females are smaller - six feet in length - weighing 60 to 80 pounds. The Florida species is identified by a cowlick, or swirl of fur in middle of its back. The Florida panther has irregular flecking with patches of white hairs on neck and shoulders, and its tail has a crooked tip. Adult panthers need up to 200 square miles of territory for their home range. The species is endangered due to habitat loss and inbreeding. The panther’s diet consists mainly of deer and hogs.
Source: FWC Hunter Education Program