Wild Turkey Management Program
Turkey Hunting Resources
Surveys, Assessments and Reports
The FWC is conducting a three-year research project in south Florida beginning in the spring of 2023. The study will occur at Okaloacoochee Slough WMA in Hendry County and DeLuca Preserve in Osceola County. It will allow biologists to obtain more information about when and how often gobbling occurs and to examine nesting activity. The goal of this research is to determine the relationship between gobbling, nesting and hunting season dates to ensure Florida’s spring turkey 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 check in with hens that received GPS transmitters to monitor nesting behavior including when and how many nests are initiated and the outcome of the nesting effort.
Hens will also be tested for lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV). First identified in 2009 in Arkansas, this disease can cause wild turkeys to develop tumors in the spleen, liver and other organs and on their skin. Testing for LPDV as a part of this study will provide biologists with the opportunity to assess whether it affects wild turkey reproduction rates.
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 the money generated from the sale of turkey permits, which are required to hunt wild turkeys in Florida (unless exempt) as well as contributions from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Florida State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
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:
- 2020 Annual Wild Turkey Hunting Status Report
- 2021 Annual Wild Turkey Hunting Status Report
- 2022 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 turkey sightings in Florida. This information provides more insight about annual nesting success, brood survival, and the distribution and abundance of wild turkeys.
Find more information and reports summarizing survey results from previous years.
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.