Wild Turkey Management Program
Please participate in FWC’s annual harvest survey
The FWC is conducting its annual survey of spring turkey hunters to get a better understanding of hunter participation, harvest, needs and preferences. You may receive an email or a phone call from Responsive Management. Depending on which phone carrier you use, the call will display as coming from Responsive Management or from area code 850 (Tallahassee). If you receive a call or an email, we hope you'll take part in this survey. See the wild turkey hunting status reports from 2021 and 2020.
Turkey Hunting Resources
- Find Wildlife Management Areas
- Season Dates and Bag Limits
- Wild Turkey Registry
- Hunting License and Fees
- Tips for Safe and Successful Turkey Hunting
- How to Hunt Wild Turkeys
- Wild Turkey Distribution Map
- 2022 Spring Turkey Hunt Guide
- Youth Turkey Hunt Weekends
- About Wild Turkeys
- Special-Opportunity Hunts
- Quota Hunts
- National Wildlife Refuge Hunts
- Hunting Regulations
- WMA Harvest Reports
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.
Harvest Reporting Begins Fall of 2022
At the FWC's March 2022 meeting, Commissioners approved rule changes related to 2022-2023 hunting seasons including rules that require reporting harvested wild turkeys. This new harvest reporting requirement takes effect starting with the 2022 fall turkey season and applies to spring and fall wild turkey seasons.
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 2021-22 the total cost-share funding was $407,635. That amount, combined with $1,724,553 from in-kind funding, provides a grand total of $2,132,188 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 has a new habitat suitability index map for Florida. This map shows the level of habitat quality – good, fair or poor – based on the location, amount and arrangement of key habitat needed throughout a wild turkey’s life cycle. Using that information combined with results from wild turkey summer surveys allows biologists to estimate Florida's wild turkey population. Learn more about wild turkey habitat and the distribution and abundance of wild turkeys in Florida.
The FWC conducts an annual survey after spring turkey season to get a better understanding of turkey hunter satisfaction, effort and success. See the following survey results:
Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Lemmon.
Every year from June 1 to Aug. 31, the FWC encourages everyone to report all wild turkey sightings in Florida. This information provides more insight about annual nesting success, brood survival, and the distribution and abundance of wild turkeys.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Whittington
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.