Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Turkey Season on the Horizon

Duck season is long over and turkey season is looming large. Here in FL we'er just a couple weeks away from our souther zone opener. March 6th will be here before I know it and the birds down south are already starting to do their thing. The rest of the state opens on March 20.

Since FL is the only state that has the Osceola turkey, hunters come from all over the world to chase our long legged swamp chickens. But it's not easy or cheap to find Oscela turkeys. They are by far the tightest lipped and warriest of all the subspecies. Private land hunts range from $1300 to $3000 dollars depending on the quality of the hunt and accomodations. Public land birds are harder to pin down, but are much more affordable for the out of state hunters. A day hunt will run between $300-$500 and your chances can be pretty good if you get a special draw permit for the better quota hunting areas.

Non resident licenses are reasonable and can be obtained via internet by going to www.MyFWC.com and clicking on the licensing links. Licenses are also sold over the phone or over the counter at local retailers like WalMart.

Osceolas range from just north of Gainesville at their northernmost range to far down into the Everglades at the south. They are a smaller bird, usually weighing around 17-18 lbs in most areas, but have excellent beards and spurs. It's not uncommon to shoot birds with spurs in excess of 1.5 inches and beards in the 11 inch range.

If you're ever down in FL and want a shot at one of these illusive and wiley gobblers, drop me a line or check out the list of outfitters and public lands available on MyFWC.com. I'll leave you with a couple pics from last year.

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