Wild Turkey Management Program
Spring Wild Turkey Public Hunting Opportunities
Interested in hunting wild turkeys at a wildlife management area or national wildlife refuge during the 2021 spring season? You have through Nov. 30, 2020, to apply for the following opportunities during the Phase I application period:
- Spring turkey quota permits
- Youth spring turkey quota permits
- Special-opportunity spring turkey permits
- St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge spring turkey permits
- Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge family spring turkey hunt permits
Photo courtesy Nathaniel LemmonApply Now!
Florida is home to two subspecies of wild turkey — the eastern wild turkey and the Osceola or Florida wild turkey. The Osceola lives on the Florida peninsula and nowhere else in the world. The Osceola wild turkey is best distinguished from the eastern subspecies, which it closely resembles, by the white barring on its wing feathers. On Osceola wild turkeys, the white bars on the primary wing feathers are narrower than the black bars and are irregular or broken, which tends to give the wing an overall darker appearance compared to eastern wild turkeys.
Check out the wild turkey species profile for more information.
Where to Find Osceola Turkey
The National Wild Turkey Federation and the 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 an Osceola subspecies.
Wild Turkey Registry
If you harvested a turkey with an 11- inch beard or longer and spurs measuring at least 1 ¼ inches, you can apply for an “Outstanding Gobbler Certificate” and have your name listed in FWC’s Wild Turkey Registry.
A "First Gobbler Certificate" is awarded to hunters under the age of 16 who have harvested their first gobbler, regardless of beard or spur measurements.
Learn more about FWC's Wild Turkey Registry, including the complete listing and applications for both certificates.
Turkey Cost Share Program
The turkey cost-share program is a partnership between FWC, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Florida Forest Service to help provide funding for projects to maintain or improve turkey habitat on public lands.
The cost-share program has grown since it began in 1994-95 with a total funding of $15,463. In 2020-21 the total cost-share funding was $271,950. That amount, combined with $1,120,572 from in-kind funding, provides a grand total of $1,392,522 for wild turkey habitat management.
Thanks to money generated from the sale of turkey permits, the FWC is able to significantly contribute to the cost-share program each year, providing funding for wild turkey habitat management.
For project details, see the annual summaries below.
Surveys, Assessments and Reports
The FWC conducts an annual survey after spring turkey season to get a better understanding of turkey hunter satisfaction, effort and success. See the results of the 2020 Annual Wild Turkey Hunting Status Report.
Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Lemmon.
Every year from June 1 to Aug. 31, the FWC encourages everyone to report all wild turkeys sightings in Florida. This information provides more insight about annual nesting success, brood survival, and distribution and abundance of wild turkeys.
Review a summary of the 2020 Wild Turkey Summer Survey.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Whittington
In 2011, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) put together an interactive map of predicted wild turkey occupancy.
Please note: Although this information is useful for depicting the general location of turkeys within Florida, caution should be taken when considering small units, since this survey information was not intended for such close examination.
During November and December of 2015, the FWC 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.