Draft Rule Amendments for Wild Turkey Harvest Reporting
The FWC is seeking input on draft rule amendments that would require reporting harvested wild turkeys.
This proposed rule would require all hunters to: a) log their harvested wild turkey prior to moving it from the point where they located their harvest and b) report it within 24 hours of being harvested using the same FWC harvest reporting options used by deer hunters: paper harvest log, telephone, website or mobile app.
Harvest data obtained from harvest reporting would provide biologists with valuable information about the number of wild turkeys harvested during spring and fall seasons. It also would provide data about when wild turkeys are being harvested and from what county or wildlife management area.
If approved, this harvest reporting requirement would apply to spring and fall wild turkey seasons and would take effect beginning with the fall turkey season in 2022.
Provide Your Input
Provide feedback on these proposed rule changes via webinars and an online commenting tool.
Learn more, ask questions and provide feedback by participating in one of the following webinars hosted by the FWC on Microsoft Teams. While the content for each of the following webinars will be the same, participants must use the unique link provided next to the date to access each webinar.
- Oct. 19 Webinar (Completed)
- 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time
- Oct. 20 Webinar (Completed)
- 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time
- Oct. 21 Webinar (Completed)
- 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time
NOTE: If you're planning to participate in these webinars using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, you will need to download the “Microsoft Teams” app from Google Play or the Apple Store before the meeting.
We also recommend joining the meeting before 6 p.m. to allow for time to familiarize yourself with using Microsoft Teams. Learn more about attending a live event in Microsoft Teams.
Online Commenting Tool
If you're unable to participate in a webinar or want to provide additional comments, view the proposed rule changes and provide your feedback via the online commenting tool.
FAQs About Wild Turkey Harvest Reporting
A harvest reporting system will foster bag limit compliance and give the FWC another source of wild turkey harvest data. The FWC will continue to conduct its annual phone survey with turkey hunters after the spring season ends.
It's been shown that voluntary reporting of game harvests does not provide meaningful data for species management decisions. It also does not support bag limit enforcement.
The confirmation number received upon successfully reporting a harvested wild turkey will provide a mechanism to recognize and track legally harvested wild turkeys.
Issuing physical harvest tags is unnecessary because the act of logging a harvested wild turkey produces a virtual tag, which has the same impact as a physical tag.
Most hunters are supportive of providing information that advances game wildlife management. Harvest reporting will provide real time data on when and what county or wildlife management area turkey harvest is occurring as well as the sex and age class of the harvest. This information is a valuable addition to the FWC's post-season phone survey in managing Florida's wild turkey population.
County-level turkey harvest, harvest timing (within season and time of day), fall season harvest, private land harvest, public land harvest from all wildlife management areas, and sex and age class of harvest.
The FWC is charged with managing all wild turkeys in Florida. Private lands comprise the greatest amount of turkey habitat in the state. The detailed information provided by wild turkey harvest reporting would improve monitoring the wild turkey population throughout the state.
If approved, this harvest reporting requirement would take effect beginning with the fall turkey season in 2022.
Harvest reporting requirements would apply to spring and fall wild turkey seasons.
FAQs About Harvest Reporting Requirements
All hunters (including those under 16 years of age, resident hunters 65 years old and older, military personnel on leave for 30 days or less, and those hunting on their homestead in their county of residence*) must (Step 1) log their harvested wild turkey prior to moving it from the point where the hunter located the harvested wild turkey, and (Step 2) report their harvested wild turkey within 24 hours.**
**Hunters must report a harvested wild turkey: 1) within 24 hours of harvest, or 2) prior to final processing of the wild turkey, or 3) prior to the wild turkey or any parts of the wild turkey being transferred to a meat processor or taxidermist, or 4) prior to the wild turkey leaving the state, whichever occurs first.
Hunters must log their harvested wild turkey prior to moving it from the point of harvest, which is that point where the hunter located the harvested wild turkey.
Hunters must report a harvested wild turkey: 1) within 24 hours of harvest, or 2) prior to final processing of the wild turkey, or 3) prior to the wild turkey or any parts of the wild turkey being transferred to a meat processor or taxidermist, or 4) prior to the wild turkey leaving the state, whichever occurs first.
NOTE: After a wild turkey has been logged and prior to reporting it, hunters may field dress their wild turkey and begin processing the meat themselves while afield or at camp. However, if a commercial meat processor is used, the harvested wild turkey must be reported before transferring the wild turkey or parts of the wild turkey to a commercial processor.
It's been shown a 24-hour reporting window provides enough time to complete the harvest reporting process and is consistent with FWC requirements for deer harvest reporting.
You would still be able to log your harvest report. Once you regain cell service, open the mobile app and your harvest report will be automatically submitted. You would then receive a confirmation number.
Harvest reporting does not require or use your location. Like other mobile apps, the Fish|Hunt Florida App is unable to retrieve your location unless you allow the app to access that information to use other app features such as forecasted sunrise and sunset times.
Hunters should have an app-enabled mobile device with the Fish|Hunt Florida App; a mobile device connected to the internet or a wild turkey harvest log with them in a backpack, fanny pack or pocket while hunting to avoid any delays in moving their harvested wild turkey. Hunters will need the following information when reporting a harvested wild turkey:
- Name (first and last name of the person who harvested the wild turkey)
- FWC Customer ID number (CID)
- Date of harvest
- Time of harvest
- Public or private land
- Wildlife management area (if applicable)
- Male or female
- Spur rounded or pointed/sharp
- Estimated spur length
- Beard present
- Estimated beard length (if applicable)
- Method of take
No. Once a wild turkey has been logged and the confirmation number recorded, the harvest log is no longer required to be retained by the hunter.
Yes. All harvested wild turkeys must be logged and reported in addition to checking in at a check station at wildlife management areas that operate check stations.