Hunting Season

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This week signifies a lot of things, the beginning of the holiday season, the end of the regular college football season, and the beginning of hunting season. Once again this year, wildlife officials are hoping people will enjoy the sport, but follow the rules.

Rifles, deer stands, and ammunition are the topic of conversation for many folks in northwest Florida this time of year.

Thursday marks the start of this year’s hunting season. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission wants you to make sure your equipment is ready before you hit the woods.

David Arnette with FFWC says, "If you have tree stands that were there in previous years, you need to go check those stands and make sure that the wood's in good shape."

The same goes for the ever-popular portable stands. Check them for lose nuts and bolts, and of course every hunter needs to make a presence in the woods.

Highly encourage individuals to wear hunter orange . Florida law requires it on public hunting areas for anyone deer hunting, but we encourage it for all hunters."

Gun experts say if that rifle's been in the closet since last hunting season there are a few things you'll need to do.

Eddie Monk with Outpost Guns & Ammo says, "For guns that you hunted with last year, you make to make sure that the barrels are good and clean and it's in a good state of repair. You wouldn't want to take a gun to the woods and have a malfunction, something that would cause an injury to you or someone else."

Anyone 16 and older must complete a hunter safety course and have a hunter’s license. If you haven't taken a hunter safety course by now, you can take one online or register to take one in your area at