Florida is the perfect setting for this book mostly—because that's where you can actually find burrowing owls. (Source)
But more important than the latitude and longitude of Hoot is that it takes place in a small town. It's already big news that a Mother Paula's Pancake House is coming to Coconut Cove. So the construction site vandalism and eventual owl threat cover-up is huge.
Roy also often compares Florida to his old home in Montana. But as Roy gets more involved in saving the owls, it seems like he's adapting to and accepting Florida as his new home. In the beginning, when he's still missing Montana, Roy dreams of being a bull-riding cowboy like the poster on his wall.
But it all changes after he meets Mullet Fingers—at the end, Roy attempts to catch some mullets of his own. Maybe he'll replace that cowboy with a Florida pro fisherman.