OUTTA THE WOODS: Talkin' turkey

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

This rule does not apply, however, to private property, where any legal rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, crossbow, bow or pistol can be used to take turkeys.

One of the most coveted and sought-after game species in Florida is the Osceola turkey, also known as the Florida turkey. This unique bird is one of five subspecies of wild turkey in North America.

The Osceola lives only on the Florida peninsula and nowhere else in the world, making it extremely popular with out-of-state hunters. They’re similar to the eastern subspecies (found in the Panhandle) but tend to be a bit smaller and typically are darker with less white barring on the primary flight feathers of their wings.

The National Wild Turkey Federation and the FWC recognize any wild turkey harvested within or south of the counties of Dixie, Gilchrist, Alachua, Union, Bradford, Clay and Duval to be the Osceola subspecies. Eastern turkeys and hybrids are found north and west of these counties and into the Panhandle.

For us adults, the highly anticipated spring turkey season comes in first south of S.R. 70 and runs March 1 – April 6. In the rest of the state (except for Holmes County), it runs March 15 – April 20. In Holmes County, the season runs March 15-30.

Hunters may take bearded turkeys and gobblers only, and the daily bag limit is one. The season and possession limit on turkeys is two, except in Holmes County, where the season limit is one.

Shooting hours on private lands are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, but on WMAs, you must quit hunting at 1 p.m.



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