Hunting News - Spring Turkey



Where to hunt spring turkeys without a quota permit


CONTACT:
Tony Young, FWC, 850-488-7867
February 8, 2010


If you weren’t lucky enough to get drawn for a spring turkey quota permit, or if you are looking for even more spring turkey hunting opportunity, don’t fret; there are numerous wildlife management areas (WMAs) that don’t require them.

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.

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, Department of Defense and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, who contribute their lands to the state’s public-hunting system.

Hunters need only a hunting license ($17 for residents, $46.50 for 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 can be purchased in Florida at county tax collectors’ offices and at most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies. They also can be bought with a credit card by calling 888-486-8356 or going online at: www.WildlifeLicense.com.

On the following areas, spring turkey season runs March 20 – April 25, 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 23-25 and April 6-8. 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. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Big Bend WMA-Jena Unit - 12,522 acres in Dixie County.

Big Cypress WMA - 565,848 acres in Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Season runs March 6 - April 11. Camping allowed.

Bull Creek WMA - 23,646 acres in Osceola County. Camping allowed. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Devil's Hammock WMA - 7,635 acres in Levy County. Season runs March 20-28. 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.

J.W. Corbett WMA - 60,288 acres in Palm Beach County. Season runs March 6 - April 11, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays only. Camping allowed.

Jumper Creek WMA - 10,552 acres in Sumter County. Camping allowed. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area – 20,360 acres in Polk and Osceola counties. Camping allowed first-come, first-served only at designated campsites. Management area permit not required.

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 6 - April 11. For camping information only, call the South Florida Water Management District at 800-250-4200, ext. 3019. Management area permit not required. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

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

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. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge – 53,000 acres in Dixie and Levy counties. Only shotguns and bows are legal. Management area permit not required, but hunter must sign copy of area’s hunting brochure and have in his possession.

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: March 29 through April 25. Camping allowed only by permit from Division of Forestry; call 352-754-6896. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Santa Fe Swamp Wildlife and Environmental Area - 5,627 acres in Bradford County. Only bows and muzzleloaders are legal.

Three Lakes WMA - 54,628 acres in Osceola County. Camping allowed. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

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. Only shotguns, bows and muzzleloaders are legal.

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:

B> - 14,427 acres in Taylor County. A no-cost, daily-use permit is required to hunt March 20 – April 4 and is 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 5 - April 11.

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 to hunt March 20 – April 4 and is available at the check station.

Blackwater WMA - 191,148 acres in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. Camping allowed. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Choctawhatchee River WMA – 57,299 acres in Bay, Walton and Washington counties. Southern (non-spring turkey quota area) portion of the area may be hunted without quota permit. Camping allowed.

Econfina Creek WMA – 41,159 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 by permit from Northwest Florida Water Management District; call 850-539-5999.

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 allowed.

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 – 3,004 acres in Taylor County. Season runs March 20-28.

Mallory Swamp WMA – 30,283 acres in Lafayette County. Season runs March 20 - April 4.

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 20 - April 4. Camping allowed. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Point Washington WMA - 12,414 acres in Walton County. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

Steinhatchee Springs WMA - 20,909 acres in Lafayette, Taylor and Dixie counties. Season runs March 20 - April 11. There are 40 no-cost, daily quota permits available at the check station on a first-come, first-served basis required to hunt the first nine days. The portion of the area that is in Dixie County is inhabited by Osceola turkeys.

Talquin WMA - 3,053 acres in Leon County. Saturdays and Sundays only. Centerfire rifles are prohibited.

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.

– 29,674 acres in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. Quota permit not required except when hunting Grassy Point and Burnt Grocery Creek areas. Camping allowed in non-quota areas.

Visit MyFWC.com/Hunting - to download the rules and regulations on each of the above management areas, including maps. These brochures also are available at tax collectors’ offices in counties close to wildlife management areas.



(Return to Hunting News)



(Return to HOME PAGE)