The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has launched a new online guide with information about how to hunt wild turkeys. Hunters can learn about finding a place to hunt, scouting, calling, needed apparel and gear, regulations, license requirements, and more. Florida’s wild turkey season opens March 7 south of State Road 70 and March 21 in the rest of the state on lands outside of the wildlife management area system.
“Wild turkeys are challenging to hunt. They’re extremely wary and have sharp eyesight and excellent hearing,” said Buddy Welch, FWC’s Wild Turkey Management Program coordinator. “Our new guide is a great way to learn the basics about turkey hunting but there’s no substitution for getting outdoors and putting your skills to the test.”
Florida’s abundant wild turkey populations offer sustainable harvest opportunities throughout the state. For hunters who don’t know where to go, the FWC also offers a guide that lists public hunting opportunities where a quota permit is not required. However, to hunt one of these wildlife management areas, hunters need a hunting license, turkey permit and a management area permit. Because season dates and other regulations can vary, hunters should always check the WMA regulations brochure for the area they wish to hunt.
The Sunshine State is home to healthy populations of two wild turkey subspecies: eastern and Osceola. Florida is unique because the Osceola subspecies lives only on the state’s peninsula and nowhere else in the world. Osceola wild turkeys are similar to the eastern wild turkey subspecies, which is found in north Florida and throughout the eastern United States. However, Osceolas tend to be smaller and darker with less white barring on the wings.
The FWC’s wildlife professionals use scientific data to conserve wild turkey populations and provide regulated and sustainable hunting opportunities. Hunters also play an important role in wild turkey management by purchasing licenses and permits, and along with other shooting sports enthusiasts, contributing to the successful Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
Learn more about wild turkey management and hunting by visiting MyFWC.com/turkey.