Airgun Hunting has Passed!

Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,406 Officer

7-0 vote is my understanding.

Starting in Fall 2018, .30 and up airguns will be legal for deer, and .20 and up will be legal for turkey.

Woot woot!

Big thanks to everyone that made this happen and to the Commissioners.

I’m excited about hunting again. Not being able to airgun hunt deer and turkeys has been for me what it would feel like for a hard core archer to not be allowed to bow hunt.


  • joekat46joekat46 Posts: 1,848 Captain

    Not to start another FS forum controversy but since these airguns aren't firearms the former felons some are so concerned about these days could soon join us in the field during deer/turkey seasons could they not? Just thinking outside the box >:)

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,406 Officer
    edited February 7 #3

    Sure, airguns aren’t firearms. Felons can possess them so long as they aren’t also subject to an injunction that forbids possession of a weapon. But crossbows and bows fall in that same area. As do some muzzleloaders. Felons can hunt with those too. I doubt felons will be coming out of the woodwork for airguns if they haven’t already been doing so for crossbows.

  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 1,808 Captain

    Bullfrog is pinging on target totally!

    And, by-the-way.....Nothing new about airguns! Lewis & Clark had several with them on their trip exploring the newly purchased western areas. The Native Americans were highly impressed with the air gun's quietness.

  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,836 Moderator

    Glad for you.

  • GeetchGeetch Posts: 70 Greenhorn

    So it this legal? If so, in which season?

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,406 Officer

    To my knowledge, only General Gun/Fall Turkey for private and WMAs, and Spring on private lands only.

    A disabled hunter asked for their use during muzzleloader, but I do not know if they amended the rule for that. The only amendment I am aware of between last meeting and this one was changing the deer minimum to .30 fron the originally proposed .40. I didn’t attend today, I only heard from someone who was there and I didn’t think to ask about any changes to the seasons.

  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,406 Officer

    I can confirm now that airguns for deer/turkey will in fact only be allowed in General Gun/Fall Turkey and Spring gobbler seasons. They will not be allowed in muzzleloader.

  • FLherritageFLherritage Posts: 214 Deckhand

    Hunting turkeys with rifles, great.

  • HuntnfeeshHuntnfeesh Posts: 234 Deckhand

    Already legal Flherritage

  • joekat46joekat46 Posts: 1,848 Captain
    edited February 9 #11

    Yes - on private land only. Hope that doesn't change. More of a safety issue than anything. Are there any WMAs that allow fall turkey hunting with a rifle now? Can't think of any but at 3am not going to look it up.

  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,293 Officer

    Fall turkey in Kiss Chain of lakes for sure

    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • airgunner1airgunner1 FloridaPosts: 1 Greenhorn
    Wait for spring Turkey to am in Ocala forest there' everything here !
  • kci-miakci-mia Posts: 174 Deckhand
    What kind of ballistic performance do you get with these .20 and .30 caliber air guns?
    I've heard some European and Asian air guns will give center fire performance.

  • HollywoodcorollaHollywoodcorolla Posts: 218 Deckhand
    Only question I have is...
    is there a minimum FPS requirement 
    for the deer and turkey guns? 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,406 Officer
    edited April 18 #16
    kci-mia said:
    What kind of ballistic performance do you get with these .20 and .30 caliber air guns?
    I've heard some European and Asian air guns will give center fire performance.

    Depends on the gun and how you define ballistics. If you're defining ballistics in terms of velocity and energy alone, then its more accurate to compare them to rimfires and handguns. Some of the Asian and American airguns have the ballistics of a 9mm firearm round. If you're talking about terminal ballistics (ie an expression of damage done), then many of the larger caliber airguns are like a hybrid between a crossbow bolt and a centerfire rifle. Generally, large caliber pellets are going to be more crossbow-like because the skirt of the pellet cuts and is passes thru, while large caliber airgun bullets are going to be more centerfire-like. Although the airgun bullets carry a fraction of the energy, they are made of almost pure lead and mushroom violently even at lower velocities. Centerfires cannot take pure lead bullets for the most part because the lead melts at firearm temperatures. Firearm bullets fly about 550F thru the air and much of their FPE converts to heat on impact. That's why lead sometimes vaporizes upon a hit and cannot be found. Airguns can take advantage of lead as a soft expansion medium due to the low temperatures they operate at. 

    Only question I have is...
    is there a minimum FPS requirement 
    for the deer and turkey guns? 
    No minimum FPS requirement, just minimum caliber requirements and a requirement that the gun be a PCP. The reason there's no FPS requirement is because FPS does not equal killing power. A heavier projectile flying slower may have superior terminal ballistics to a lighter projectile flying faster. 

    Check out the Airgun FAQ I put up on the sight here. Its been bumped down with all the duck hunting threads, but if you search for it you'll find it. I even have a video demonstrating the terminal ballistics of a .30 pellet at 50 yards thru 1 foot of ballistic gel. 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,406 Officer
    edited April 18 #17
    I can put the FPS answer another way; the caliber requirement for airguns is analogous to the broadhead size requirements for bows and the airgun PCP requirement is analogous to the bow draw weight requirement. The caliber minimums ensure a killing wound channel of a particular size and the PCP requirement encourages certain power and accuracy minimums by the nature of the gun. Just as bows don't have a FPS requirement, because draw weight and broadhead sizeare more important for determining what kind of wound channel is created, so it is with airguns and the caliber and design requirements.

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