Where to hunt spring turkeys without needing a quota permit

2017 Florida Spring Turkey Guide

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers 42 public hunting areas statewide where hunters need only to “walk on” to hunt spring turkeys.

Hunters need a hunting license ($17 for residents, $46.50 for nonresident 10-day license), management area permit ($26.50) and turkey permit ($10 for residents, $125 for nonresidents) to spring turkey hunt on the following areas listed below.

These licenses and permits can be purchased in Florida at county tax collectors’ offices and at most retail outlets that sell hunting/fishing supplies.  They also can be bought with a credit card by calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA (486-8356) or at GoOutdoorFlorida.com.  

The only firearms allowed to take a spring turkey on wildlife management areas (unless otherwise noted below) are shotguns and muzzleloading shotguns, using shot no larger than No. 2.  Bows and crossbows also may be used on most areas.

Only gobblers (male) and bearded turkeys may be taken.  The daily bag limit on these wildlife management areas is one turkey, and the season limit is two.  Baiting is against the law, but using decoys is allowed.

You may not use dogs to hunt turkeys, use recorded turkey calls or sounds, or shoot turkeys while they are on the roost.          

Spring turkey season runs March 18 – April 23 and shooting hours on the following wildlife management areas is one-half hour before sunrise till 1 p.m., unless otherwise noted below.  Click on an area’s link to download its rules and regulations, including a map of the area. Find an outfitter or guide to hire.

See more information about wild turkey management and spring turkey hunting regulations on private lands.

 

 Map of Turkey Hunt No Quota

 

Osceola turkeys inhabit these areas

Big Bend WMA - Jena Unit – 11,651 acres in Dixie County.

Big Cypress WMA – 728,274 acres in Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.  Quota permit required to hunt in the Addition Unit only.  Season runs March 4 – April 9.  Camping allowed.

Devil's Hammock WMA - 7,600 acres in Levy County.  Season runs March 18-26.  There are 15 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis.

Green Swamp WMA - 50,692 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.

Herky Huffman/Bull Creek WMA - 23,646 acres in Osceola County.  Camping allowed. 

J.W. Corbett WMA - 60,288 acres in Palm Beach County.  Season runs March 4 – April 9, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays only.  Allowed to hunt until sunset.  Camping allowed.

Jumper Creek WMA - 10,552 acres in Sumter County.  Camping allowed but only accessible by boat.

Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area - 21,028 acres in Polk and Osceola counties. Allowed to hunt until sunset. Camping allowed first-come, first-served only at designated campsites.  Management area permit not required. 

Kissimmee River Public Use Area - 30,864 acres in Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola and Polk counties.  Area is split between turkey hunting zones. When hunting south of S.R. 70, the season runs March 4 – April 9.  For camping information only, call the South Florida Water Management District at 866-433-6312, option 2.  Management area permit not required.

Lake Monroe WMA - 3,098 acres in Volusia and Seminole counties. 

Lochloosa WMA - 11,149 acres in Alachua County.

Log Landing WMA - 5,048 acres in Dixie, Gilchrist and Lafayette counties.  Season runs March 18-19 and 24-26, and March 31- April 2, and April 7-9, 14-16 and 21-23.

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge Adobe PDF External Website - 55,000 acres in Dixie and Levy counties.  Season runs March 18 – April 9.  Management area permit not required, but hunters 16 and older must purchase Lower Suwannee NWR Hunting Permit.  

Raiford WMA – 9,141 acres in Bradford and Union counties.  Quota permit not required April 6-9.  Only bows and muzzleloaders (including muzzleloading rifles) are allowed. 

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.  Camping allowed only by permit from the Florida Forest Service by calling 352-797-4140.

Santa Fe Swamp Wildlife and Environmental Area - 7,272 acres in Alachua and Bradford counties.  Only bows and muzzleloaders (including muzzleloading rifles) are allowed.

Three Lakes WMA - 63,470 acres in Osceola County. There are 625 no-cost, daily quota permits available first come, first served at the following check stations: U.S. 44 - 375, Canoe Creek – 50, S.R. 60 - 200.  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 - 120,386 acres in Brevard and Indian River counties.  Camping allowed.

 

Eastern turkeys inhabit these areas

Apalachicola WMA - 581,290 acres in Franklin, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties.  Camping allowed. A camping permit issued by Northwest Florida Water Management District is required when camping on that portion of the area.

Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area - 82,975 acres in Franklin and Gulf counties.  Camping allowed, but camping permit required if camping in designated campground.  Management area permit not required.  

Aucilla WMA - 50,471 acres in Jefferson and Taylor counties.  Camping allowed. 

Big Bend WMA:

  • Hickory Mound Unit - 14,427 acres in Taylor County. 
  • 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 April 3-9. Allowed to hunt until sunset. 
  • Spring Creek Unit - 14,600 acres in Taylor County.
  • Tide Swamp Unit - 19,538 acres in Taylor County.

Blackwater WMA - 191,651 acres in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. May not turkey hunt in Field Trial Area. Camping allowed at designated campsites.

Chipola River WMA - 9,094 acres in Jackson and Calhoun counties.  Quota permit required to hunt Altha Tract only.  Camping allowed only at designated campsites by permit from Northwest Florida Water Management District.

Choctawhatchee River WMA - 57,688 acres in Bay, Holmes, Walton and Washington counties.  Southern (non-spring turkey quota area) portion of the area may be hunted without quota permit.  Camping allowed.  A camping permit issued by Northwest Florida Water Management District is required when camping in designated campgrounds.

Econfina Creek WMA - 41,424 acres in Washington, Bay and Jackson counties.  Quota permit not required to hunt after the first nine days, except in the Cat Creek and Fitzhugh Carter areas (where quota permit is needed).  Camping allowed only at designated campsites by permit from Northwest Florida Water Management District.

Eglin Air Force Base External Website - 250,000 acres in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.  Hunting and camping allowed only by permit from Jackson Guard Natural Resource Office by calling 850-882-4164.   

Escambia River WMA - 35,413 acres in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.  Camping allowed.  A camping permit issued by Northwest Florida Water Management District is required when camping in designated campgrounds.

Joe Budd WMA - 11,133 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.  Only bows and muzzleloaders (including muzzleloading rifles) are legal.  Allowed to hunt until sunset.  Camping allowed at High Bluff campground by permit from the Florida Forest Service on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 850-488-1871.

Lower Econfina River WMA - 3,004 acres in Taylor County.  Season runs March 18-26.

Mallory Swamp WMA - 31,318 acres in Lafayette County.  Season runs March 18 – April 2.

Ochlockonee River WMA - 2,790 acres in Leon County.  Saturdays and Sundays only.

Osceola WMA - 266,270 acres in Baker and Columbia counties.  For camping information on Osceola National Forest, call 386-752-2577; on John M. Bethea State Forest, call 904-259-2157 or click on area link and see “Camping.”

Pine Log WMA - 6,911 acres in Bay and Washington counties.  Season runs March 18 – April 9.  Camping allowed.

Point Washington WMA - 15,247 acres in Walton County.

Steinhatchee Springs WMA - 24,382 acres in Lafayette, Taylor and Dixie counties.  Hunters must have a quota permit to hunt the first nine days, but those without one may hunt March 27 – April 9.  The Dixie County portion of the area is inhabited by Osceola turkeys.

Talquin WMA - 3,053 acres in Leon County.  Saturdays and Sundays only.

Yellow River WMA - 29,696 acres in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.  Season runs March 18-20, March 31 – April 2, April 7-9 and April 21-23 in the Burnt Grocery Creek; and March 18 – April 23 in the remainder of the management area.  Camping allowed.

Map of Florida showing wild turkey population densities

Map of Turkey Population

Turkey Population Map 

Visit MyFWC.com/Turkey for more information on turkey hunting in Florida.



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