Regulations/Taking the Shot
Learning turkey hunting regulations
During spring turkey season, only gobblers or turkeys with beards can be harvested. When comparing male and female turkeys, males are larger and darker in color. Gobblers have heads that are fleshy with patches of red, white and/or blue. Hens have feathers extending along the back of their necks almost to the head, which is a dull blueish-gray. If you are unsure if it is a male or female wild turkey, it is legal to take if there is a beard protruding from its chest.
In Florida, the spring wild turkey season limit is two birds. On lands outside of the wildlife management area (WMA) system, you may take two in one day. On WMAs, the daily bag limit is one turkey.
Harvest Reporting Requirement
All hunters (even those exempt from license requirements) are required to log and report wild turkeys they harvest. This rule applies to spring and fall wild turkey seasons. Upon harvesting a wild turkey, all hunters must: a) log their harvest prior to moving it from the point where they located it and b) report it within 24 hours of being harvested.
Hunters can log and report their harvest using the FWC’s Fish|Hunt Florida App or at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Hunters can also log their harvest using a paper harvest log and report via the phone by calling 888-486-8356 (888-HUNT-FLORIDA).
Learn more about harvest reporting at MyFWC.com/HarvestReport.
Taking the shot
After you have positively identified the wild turkey as legal to shoot and one you wish to take, wait until the turkey is within 40 yards and aim for where the major caruncles (the large bright red bumps of fleshy skin) meet the feathers on the front of the turkey’s neck. It’s best to take the shot when the turkey is standing tall and has its neck stretched out. It is not recommended to shoot a turkey while it is in full strut, because it’s harder to see its head and neck, and the feathers may interfere with shot penetration.
To know if a turkey is in shotgun range (within 40 yards), you can step off the distance between where you are sitting and easy-to-identify trees or bushes before your hunt. In general, every long stride you take is approximately 1 yard. It’s best to measure these distances after you get your blind set up and before there are turkeys in the area. You also can use an electronic rangefinder to determine distance.