OUTTA THE WOODS: Talkin' turkey

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 15:31 PM.

Hopefully, you’ve already started brushing up on your turkey calling, ’cause spring gobbler season is here. Whether you prefer to use a mouth call, box call, slate or any combination, March means it’s time to talk turkey and I, for one, am in full turkey mode!

Youth hunters can benefit from the two-day, youth spring turkey hunting season the weekend prior to the opening of spring turkey season. This Youth Spring Turkey Hunt occurs on private lands and on 78 of theFlorida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s wildlife management areas.

South of State Road 70 this year, that weekend was Feb. 22-23. In the rest of the state, that weekend falls on March 8-9.

Only those under 16 years old are allowed to harvest a turkey while supervised by an adult, 18 years or older. On private land, no license or permit is required of the youth or supervising adult, unless the adult plans to help “call-in” the bird or otherwise participate in the hunt. In that case, he or she will need a hunting license and turkey permit.

Forty-nine of the 78 participating WMAs require a youth spring turkey quota permit, and if the adult supervisor is going to attempt to call in a bird on any of the 78 WMAs, he or she also will need a management area permit in addition to a hunting license and turkey permit.

But, keep in mind that adults are not allowed to do the shooting; only the kids may harvest a bird.

During spring turkey season on WMAs, firearms are restricted to shotguns and muzzleloading shotguns only, using shot no larger than No. 2. All legal bows and crossbows (on most areas) can also be used, but all rifles, pistols, buckshot and slugs are prohibited during spring turkey hunts on WMAs.



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