Florida Turkey Season

Florida Turkey season is all set, and both seasoned hunters and novices will need to know when it begins and what is required of them to prepare for their trips and get the proper licenses, permits, and equipment. As the turkey hunting season approaches, hunters should familiarize themselves with the most recent developments to ensure they comply with all rules and regulations.

During the spring turkey hunting season in Florida, the Osceola subspecies of the wild turkey are open for authorized hunting. Osceola turkeys are only found in Florida, yet they are very popular among hunters owing to their large size and unusual look. Swamps, pine forests, cow pastures, and even regions with alligators and venomous snakes are all fair game during Florida’s turkey hunting season. Turkeys often choose these spots as roosts, especially when the weather is warm.

Turkey Season in Florida 2023

Fall Turkey Hunting Season

Fall Season Turkey HuntingZonesStart DateEnd Date
Archery seasonZone ASaturday, July 29, 2023Sunday, August 27, 2023
Crossbow seasonZone ASaturday, July 29, 2023Friday, September 01, 2023
Muzzleloading gun seasonZone ASaturday, September 02, 2023Friday, September 15, 2023
Fall turkey seasonZone AMonday, October 09, 2023Sunday, October 15, 2023
Fall turkey seasonZone ASaturday, November 18, 2023Sunday, January 07, 2024
Archery seasonZone BSaturday, October 14, 2023Sunday, November 12, 2023
Crossbow seasonZone BSaturday, October 14, 2023Friday, November 17, 2023
Muzzleloading gun seasonZone BSaturday, November 18, 2023Friday, December 01, 2023
Fall turkey seasonZone BSaturday, December 02, 2023Sunday, January 28, 2024
Archery seasonZone CSaturday, September 16, 2023Sunday, October 15, 2023
Crossbow seasonZone CSaturday, September 16, 2023Friday, October 20, 2023
Muzzleloading gun seasonZone CSaturday, October 21, 2023Friday, November 03, 2023
Fall turkey seasonZone CSaturday, November 04, 2023Sunday, December 31, 2023
Archery seasonZone DSaturday, October 21, 2023Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Crossbow seasonZone DSaturday, October 21, 2023Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Crossbow seasonZone DMonday, November 27, 2023Friday, December 01, 2023
Muzzleloading gun seasonZone DSaturday, December 02, 2023Friday, December 08, 2023
Fall turkey seasonZone DThursday, November 23, 2023Sunday, November 26, 2023
Fall turkey seasonZone DSaturday, December 09, 2023Sunday, January 14, 2024

Note: The daily bag limit for this zone is 2 turkeys, and the season and possession limit is 2 for all fall seasons combined.

Wild Turkey Florida Spring seasons

FL Spring Turkey SeasonHunting Dates
North of State Road 70March 16 - April 21
South of State Road 70March 2 - April 7

Note: The daily bag limit for the spring turkey seasons in Florida is 2 wild turkeys and the season and possession limit for the spring turkey seasons is also 2 wild turkeys.

Youth Turkey Season

Youth Turkey Hunt WeekendHunting Dates
North of State Road 70March 9 - March 10
South of State Road 70Feb 24 - Feb 25

Download the Schedule (Print PDF)

FL Turkey Season Maps

FL Turkey Zone Map
Florida Turkey Hunting Season/ Photo Credit: pexels.com/Myhaylo K

Turkey Regulations 2023

Here is a summary of the rules and regulations regarding hunting equipment in Florida:

  • Hunting turkeys without a valid license or permission is prohibited.
  • While hunting, hunters must maintain a specified distance from the bait.
  • Only bows may be used when in archery season.
  • During the muzzleloading season, only bows, crossbows, and muzzleloaders with traditional ignition systems (percussion cap, wheel lock, flintlock) are allowed for hunting, or centre fire primer (including 209 primers) are permitted. During this time, breech-loading firearms are prohibited.
  • Shotguns, centerfire pistols and rifles, bows, crossbows, muzzleloaders, and pre-charged air guns are all legal during the general gun season (pneumatic).
  • To hunt without the proper licenses and permits is unlawful, and there are regulations about the safe distance between hunters and bait.
  • New to the hunting and outdoor recreation scene in northeast Florida is the Silver Springs Forest WMA, where you may go spring turkey hunting, archery hunting, general rifle hunting, muzzleloading hunting, small game hunting, frogging, or fishing.

Note: Also stay up to date on the latest hunting seasons in Florida with information on deer, small game, and waterfowl. Our website has useful information on state-specific dates, regulations, and tips.

Florida Turkey Hunting Season Update

Florida Turkey Hunting Season UpdateDetails
Date of Update18-Sep-23
State AgencyFlorida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Turkey Hunting ScheduleNo changes planned as of September 18, 2023
Turkey Population in FloridaFlorida not experiencing significant turkey decline compared to other states
Monitoring and EvaluationUniversity of Florida (UF) is tracking and evaluating turkey populations in collaboration with FWC
Fall Turkey Hunting in Southeastern StatesFlorida, Tennessee, and Alabama open for fall turkey hunting
Potential Increase in Turkey CatchExpected increase in turkey hunting due to Thanksgiving tradition
Turkey Population TrendsFlorida has seen a slight decrease (2.9%) in poults per hen from 2020 to 2022
Fall Turkey Season in Other StatesSeveral states have canceled fall turkey seasons due to declining turkey numbers
Turkey Hunting Season in North Central Florida (Alachua County)Runs from November 4 to December 31, with a limit of two turkeys for the season

FAQ related to Florida Turkey Season

When is the Best Time to Hunt Turkey in Florida?

The early and late morning hours, from around 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., are the most productive for turkey hunting in Florida. During this time, gobblers are often seen with hens after the hens have flown down from their roosts in the early morning. Later in the morning, the hens often leave the gobblers to nest, and the gobblers become more receptive to calls. However, turkey hunting in Florida can be difficult as the breeding season ends in April.

When does Florida's spring turkey season opens in 2023?

Florida will have two spring wild turkey seasons in 2023, one south of State Road 70 and one north of State Road 70. On non-WMA (wildlife management area) areas south of State Road 70, the spring season begins on Saturday, March 4, 2023, and ends on Sunday, April 9, 2023. The 2023 spring season will begin on Saturday, March 18, and end on Sunday, April 23, in the area north of State Road 70. This implies that, according to local laws, rules, and policies, wild hunting turkeys is permitted in certain areas at specified times.

When shooting wild turkeys in Florida outside of a WMA, what kind of rifles and other hunting gear are allowed?

Hunters can use any legal firearm for hunting wild turkeys on these lands, including rifles, shotguns, pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air guns of at least .20 calibre, muzzleloaders, crossbows, bows, and pistols.”

What are the requirements for obtaining a hunting license and a turkey permit for hunting wild turkeys outside of wildlife management areas in Florida? 

A valid Florida hunting license and turkey permit are required for hunting wild turkeys in these areas. Unless the hunter is exempt, they must get the necessary licenses and permits before going on a hunting trip (for example, if the hunter is under 16 years old or is a Florida resident over 65). It’s important to follow the proper licensing and permitting process to ensure that you are hunting legally and responsibly.

How can hunters obtain a hunting license and turkey permit for hunting wild turkeys outside of wildlife management areas in Florida? 

A valid hunting license and turkey permit are required for hunting wild turkeys in these areas. Unless the hunter is exempt, they must get the necessary licenses and permits before going on a hunting trip (for example, if the hunter is under 16 years old or is a Florida resident over 65). 

Hunters can obtain a hunting license and turkey permit through the GoOutdoorsFlorida website or by calling (888-486-8356) telephone number. These licenses and permits can also be purchased at most Florida sporting goods stores and county tax collectors’ offices. In most cases, you may pay with a credit card or another acceptable form of payment.

What are Osceola spring gobblers, and where is it found in Florida?

The Osceola spring gobbler is a unique subspecies of wild turkeys native to Florida. They stand out because of the black and white barring on the primary flight feathers of their wings and the irregular width of those white bands. Hunters highly prize these turkeys. Although they are most commonly found in southern Florida, they have been known to roam further afield. You are more likely to see a native Osceola in southern Florida.”

What shooting techniques for wild turkeys in Florida are prohibited by law?

In Florida, the use of decoys is allowed during the turkey hunting season. However, several other methods of shooting turkeys are strictly prohibited by law. Hunting turkeys with dogs, luring them with recorded turkey calls or noises, or shooting them while on the roost is illegal. Additionally, hunters are not allowed to take wild turkeys within 100 yards of a game feeding station while the feed is present. These regulations are implemented to ensure fair treatment of both hunters and turkeys during the hunt.”

John Lewis
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