.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Where to Hunt Spring Turkeys

-A A +A
By The Staff

 

 

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 non-resident 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 below.  Shooting hours during spring turkey season on WMAs are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. Osceola turkeys inhabit these areas   Arbuckle WMA - 13,531 acres in Polk County.  Season runs March 24-26 and April 7-9.  There are 10 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping allowed only by permit from the Division of Forestry by calling 863-635-7801.   Big Bend WMA-Jena Unit - 12,522 acres in Dixie County.  A no-cost, daily use permit is required and available at the check station.   Big Cypress WMA - 565,848 acres in Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.  Season runs March 7 - April 12.  Camping allowed.   Bull Creek WMA - 23,646 acres in Osceola County.  Camping allowed.   Devil's Hammock WMA - 7,635 acres in Levy County. Season runs March 21-29.  There are 15 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis.   Green Swamp WMA - 49,768 acres in Polk, Sumter and Lake counties.  Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first weekend, but there are 200 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis for the remainder of season. Camping allowed only by special permit from the FWC.   Jumper Creek WMA - 10,552 acres in Sumter County. Camping allowed.   J.W. Corbett WMA - 60,288 acres in Palm Beach County.  Season runs March 7 - April 12, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays only.  Camping allowed.   Kissimmee River Public Use Area - 23,433 acres in Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola and Polk counties.  Area is split between Central and South hunting zones.  When hunting the South Zone, the season runs March 7 - April 12. For camping information only, call the South Florida Water Management District at 800-250-4200, ext. 3019.  Management area permit not required.   Lochloosa WMA - 11,149 acres in Alachua County. Camping allowed only by permit from St. Johns River Water Management District; call 386-329-4404.   Log Landing WMA - 1,147 acres in Dixie County.   Richloam WMA - 58,146 acres in Hernando, Pasco, Sumter and Lake counties.  Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first nine days, but those without one may hunt the remainder of the season, beginning March 30 through April 26.  Camping allowed only by permit from Division of Forestry; call 352-754-6896.   Three Lakes WMA - 54,628 acres in Osceola County. Camping allowed.   Upper Hillsborough WMA - 5,178 acres in Polk and Pasco counties. Wednesdays and Thursdays only. There are 75 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping allowed.   Upper St. Johns River Marsh WMA - 124,623 acres in Brevard and Indian River counties. Camping allowed.           Eastern turkeys inhabit these areas   Apalachicola National Forest - 581,837 acres in Franklin, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties. Camping allowed.   Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area - 86,140 acres in Franklin and Gulf counties. Camping allowed. Management area permit not required.    Aucilla WMA - 47,532 acres in Jefferson and Taylor counties. Camping allowed. Big Bend WMA:   Hickory Mound Unit - 14,427 acres in Taylor County. A no-cost, daily use permit is required and available at the check station.   Snipe Island Unit - 11,687 acres in Taylor County. Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first 16 days, but those without one may hunt the remainder of the season, April 6 - April 21.   Spring Creek Unit - 14,600 acres in Taylor County.   Tide Swamp Unit - 19,538 acres in Taylor County. A no-cost, daily use permit is required and available at the check station.   Blackwater WMA - 191,148 acres in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. Camping allowed.   Eglin Air Force Base - 265,000 acres in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.  Hunting and camping allowed only by permit from Jackson Guard Natural Resource Office by calling 850-883-1152. Only shotguns, bows and muzzleloaders are legal.    Escambia River WMA - 34,476 acres in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Camping owed.

 

Joe Budd WMA - 11,039 acres in Gadsden County. Saturdays and Sundays only.  There are 20 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters may use bows and muzzleloaders only.  Camping allowed.   Lower Econfina River WMA - 2,837 acres in Taylor County. Season runs March 21-29.     Mallory Swamp WMA - 29,463 acres in Lafayette County. Season runs March 21 - April 5.   Ochlockonee River WMA - 2,790 acres in Leon County. Saturdays and Sundays only. Only shotguns, bows and muzzleloaders are legal.   Osceola WMA - 266,270 acres in Baker and Columbia counties. Camping allowed.   Pine Log WMA - 6,911 acres in Bay and Washington counties. Season runs March 21 - April 5.  Camping allowed.   Point Washington WMA - 12,414 acres in Walton County.   Santa Fe Swamp Wildlife and Environmental Area - 5,627 acres in Bradford County. Only bows and muzzleloaders are legal.   Steinhatchee Springs WMA - 20,909 acres in Lafayette, Dixie and Taylor counties. Season runs March 21 - April 12. There are 40 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis to hunt the first nine days.      Talquin WMA - 3,053 acres in Leon County. Saturdays and Sundays only.   Twin Rivers WMA - 9,288 acres in Madison, Hamilton and Suwannee counties.  Season runs March 27-29 and April 17-19. There are 12 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis.    Upper Chipola River WMA - 7,377 acres in Jackson County. Camping allowed only by permit from Northwest Florida Water Management District; call 850-539-5999.   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 wildlife management areas.