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Message from the FWC by Chairman Rodney Barreto

Hunter-funded research paves way to a healthy future for Florida’s game species 

St. James Island

Having up-to-date knowledge about Florida’s game species is important for good conservation and the future of hunting, which is why we’re excited about the many research projects underway this year throughout the state. With current research spanning topics such as deer population dynamics, wood duck nesting success, snipe genetics, wild turkey ecology and more, there’s something of interest for all of Florida’s hunters. 

We’re especially pleased about a new project focusing on gobbling and nesting chronology of wild turkeys in south Florida. This project is a three-year study that began this past winter, at the Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area in Hendry County and DeLuca Preserve in Osceola County. The objectives of this research project are to determine the relationship between gobbling, nesting and hunting season dates to ensure Florida’s spring turkey hunting season is set to maximize hunter satisfaction and the sustainability of Florida’s wild turkey population. 

Wild turkeys trapped at the two study sites will allow biologists to gather basic information (weight, size, age, sex, etc.) about each bird. In addition, they’ll band all captured birds and outfit a select number of hens with GPS transmitters. Biologists will regularly monitor hens that received GPS transmitters to determine nesting behavior including when and how many nests are initiated and the success of the nesting effort. 

This research project is the result of a partnership between the FWC and the University of Florida D.E.E.R. Lab. It is funded by money generated from the sale of turkey permits, as well as contributions from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and the Florida State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. 

We invite you to learn more about wild turkey management at