Wild Turkey Management Program
Ensuring healthy and sustainable wild turkey populations throughout the state, while providing and promoting compatible uses of the resource.
The Osceola turkey, also known as the Florida turkey, is one of the most sought-after game species in Florida. This unique bird is one of five subspecies of wild turkey in North America.
The Osceola lives on the Florida peninsula and nowhere else in the world, making it popular with out-of-state hunters. It's similar to the eastern subspecies (found in the Panhandle) but tends to be slightly smaller and darker with less white barring on the wings' flight feathers.
The white bars on the Osceola are more narrow, with an irregular, broken pattern, and they don't extend to the feather shaft. It's the black bars of the Osceola that actually dominate the feather. In conjunction, secondary wing feathers also are darker. When the wings are folded across the back, the whitish triangular patch formed is less visible on the Osceola. Osceola feathers also show more iridescent green and red colors, with less bronze than the eastern.
Florida Wild Turkey Distribution
Statewide Survey of Florida Turkey Hunters' Opinions and Attitudes
During November and December, 2015, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission partnered with researchers from the University of Florida’s Center for Public Issues Education to conduct a survey of Florida turkey hunters. The purpose of the survey was to examine the opinions and attitudes of resident wild turkey hunters regarding wild turkey population status, management and associated hunting regulations. View the complete report for this survey.
The National Wild Turkey Federation and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognize, in their respective turkey registry programs, any wild turkey harvested within or south of the counties of Dixie, Gilchrist, Alachua, Union, Bradford, Clay and Duval, to be the Osceola subspecies. Eastern turkeys and hybrids are found north and west of those counties in the Panhandle.
If you harvest a turkey with an 11-inch beard or longer and at least 1¼-inch spurs, you can get your name listed in the FWC's Wild Turkey Registry by applying for an "Outstanding Gobbler Certificate." There's also a "First Gobbler Certificate" awarded to hunters under age 16 who harvest their first gobbler, regardless of beard or spur measurements.
View more information on the Wild Turkey Registry, including the complete listing and applications for both certificates.
- 2018-2019 NWTF/FFS/FWC Turkey Cost Share Program
- Living with Wild Turkeys
- 2017-2018 Turkey Permit Annual Report
- Species Profile on Wild Turkeys
- Managing your land for turkeys -- by Tony Young
- Strategic Plan for Wild Turkey 2019-2028
- Natural Resources Conservation Service - Wild Turkey Management
- Wild Turkey - History in Florida
- Wild Turkey - Life History and Habitat
- Learn how the “Power of Partnerships” is improving habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife