Tuesday, February 14, 2012
2012 Florida Spring Turkey Primer
As of this very second, the Interweb says I’m 1st in line for a Special Opportunity Spring Turkey hunt at Homosassa WMA. I covet this tag. I’m in Homosassa all the time, and it’s a pretty successful hunt from what I understand. Out of five available quota tags for this hunt, there is one left.
Unfortunately, this is Round 3 of permit pickups. The deadline to pay for this tag is April 22nd, the last day of Spring Turkey season. So, this goon in front of me can either buy this permit at the last second or not even bother with it, allowing it to go unused and unloved. This is the closest I have come to drawing this tag. It is maddening. It wouldn’t be so bad if I’d drawn a quota tag but whiffed in this lotto, too.
But, I have tentative, alternate plans. I’ve been invited to South Carolina and hope to pull that off. Our new lease has transient birds – with luck, the toms will spread out from adjoining property and roost on ours. There’s public land, of course. I’d love to visit friends in North Carolina or take a week-long hunt-by-boat adventure down the Kissimmee River and traipse the public hunting areas there. With the twins, though, either option and Carolyn would have my head on a silver plate. She’d have her Toyota adorned with those charming Family Car Stickers prevalent on the rear windows of minivans and Xterras these days. My headless stick-figure body would be laid prone and puked on by the babies, while she held my little round head with X’s where my eyes should be.
Despite the risks, I have to turkey hunt, no matter where it may be. 2011 was an odd year, and I’m hoping for a change in luck. According to many hunters I spoke with, the toms just didn’t gobble as hard as in years past. It rained a lot during the middle of the season, flooding many areas. It’s hard to tell the value of these anecdotes because plenty of hunters did indeed fill their bag. I was not in the latter group.
(Remember, if you are seeking the Osceola, they inhabit the peninsular area of the state. The Eastern subspecies is found in the panhandle.)
Florida Spring Turkey Seasons
Zone A (Youth): Feb. 25 – 26
Zone A (Regular): Mar. 3 – Apr. 8
Zones B, C, D (Youth): Mar. 10 – 11
Zones B, C, D (Regular): Mar. 17 – Apr. 22
Holmes County (Youth): Mar. 10 – 11
Holmes County (Regular): Mar. 17 – Apr. 1
Spring Turkey Daily bag limit: 1
Season and possession limit: 2 for spring season
Florida WMA’s that do not require quotas
Map of Florida WMA’s
State Turkey Densities
(Information provided by myfwc.com)