Locating a place to hunt and Scouting
Locating a place to hunt
Florida has one of the largest wildlife management area (WMA) systems in the country at nearly 6 million acres. Florida WMAs offer a wide range of hunting opportunities including quota/limited entry hunts, special opportunity hunts, and public hunting areas where people can walk on to hunt.
Before hunting on a WMA, make sure to:
- Check the specific regulations for the area.
- Most WMAs require a quota permit to hunt during spring turkey season.
- November is the time to apply for these quota permits.
- Go to GoOutdoorsFlorida.com for your license or permit.
- Some WMAs don’t require a quota permit to hunt some or all of the season.
Finding wild turkeys
To find wild turkeys you'll need to locate their preferred habitat. Looking at aerial satellite maps can help you identify key areas such as openings/clearings within forested areas that are close to rivers, creeks or cypress ponds. Turkeys often like to roost (sleep at night) in trees over or near water and low areas. Once you've found these habitat components on a map, visit the site to look for signs wild turkeys are using the area such as:
- Dust bowls
- Scratch marks in the dirt
- Turkey feathers
- Turkey tracks
- Turkey scat
- Strut marks on the ground where a gobbler (male turkey) has been dragging his wing tips
See examples of turkey sign in the photos below.
Sandy roads and muddy areas are ideal places to look for tracks and strut marks. You may even see wild turkeys, however, they have excellent vision so you may need binoculars to help spot them at a distance.