If you weren’t lucky enough to get drawn for a special-opportunity or spring turkey quota permit, don’t fret; there are numerous wildlife management areas (WMAs) that don’t require them.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers 37 public hunting areas statewide where hunters need only to “walk on” to hunt spring turkeys.
These hunts are made possible through the FWC’s partnerships with the state’s Division of Forestry, Florida’s water management districts, the U.S. Forest Service, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Park Service and Department of Defense, who contribute their lands to the state’s public-hunting system.
Hunters need only a hunting license ($17 for residents, $46.50 for a nonresident 10-day license), management area permit ($26.50) and turkey permit ($5 for residents, $100 for nonresidents) to spring turkey hunt on the following areas. These licenses and permits are available for purchase at county tax collectors’ offices and at most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies. Also, hunters can purchase them with a credit card by calling 888-486-8356 or online at www.wildlifelicense.com.
The spring turkey season runs March 7 – April 12 in the South Hunting Zone and March 21 – April 26 in the Central and Northwest zones, unless otherwise noted on the linked pages (Osceola | Eastern). Shooting hours during spring turkey season on WMAs are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m.
For more information on spring turkey hunting, or to download management area rules and maps, visit MyFWC.com/Hunting. Brochures also are available at tax collectors’ offices in counties close to the nties close to the wildlife management areas.