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Forecasts Hunting Turkey

Florida Turkey Hunting Forecast for 2014

by John E. Phillips   |  March 11th, 2014 1
Gobbler, Turkey, Turkey Hunting, Hunting Turkey, Florida Turkey Hunting

Bruce Layne of Navarre Florida shot this 18 pound 8 inch beard turkey Christmas eve.

Although we can’t say that we’re crawling with gobblers for folks going Florida turkey hunting, the Sunshine State does have a nice population of birds, and hunters have a decent shot at getting a gobbler some time during the season.

Roger Shields is the state turkey program coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  He said that the past two nesting seasons haven’t been the best that Florida has seen.

“Particularly during the 2013 season, a large portion of the state had pretty heavy rains during the late part of the summer,” he said.  “Then we had heavy rains in south Florida throughout the summer.  I think our reproductive output was a little bit down for 2013, so the number of jakes for 2014 will be lower.”

Two years, from the Panhandle to about Lake City, early summer also was very wet.

“We don’t do any kind of brood survey, so I don’t have concrete numbers,” he said.  “But in thinking about reproductive chronology, nesting usually is in March and April with hatching in April and May, so hopefully enough of the poults were old enough that the rains that came later on didn’t have devastating effects on them.”

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