The Meanest, Nastiest Bird in the South

Hunting season for the Florida Osceola turkey or the Florida Wild Turkey begins in the third Saturday of March up to the third Sunday of April. Thus, if you are planning on bagging a gobbler, schedule your hunt within the season and come prepared. Hunting this species requires patience and skill. Because it is the smallest turkey species and is one of the most challenging to hunt.

What to bring

Obviously, you will have to bring a rifle or gun to shoot the turkeys with; a bow and arrow would also be good. Still, with only a gun, your chances of tracking a turkey can be slim. It is best to bring at least one turkey calling device and a pair of binoculars. You might also consider using an inflatable decoy.

The Osceola turkey is quite clever and elusive; thus, try to be less conspicuous. It is best to wear clothing with forest colors – brown and green – to blend in with the surroundings. Also, try to be as quiet as possible, with only the occasional turkey call from your device making a sound to signal to the gobbler.

Calling and hunting

When calling for turkey, don’t be too excited and produce a lot of sounds – that is not how turkeys sound in the wild. Remember they are considered the Nastiest Bird in the South. So rather, wait about 5 minutes before making another call. Also, it might be good to walk a few paces away from the turkey before making the call to give off an illusion that the hen is walking away – a challenge that most males won’t want to miss.

A rule of thumb: don’t shoot if the turkey is well out of the range of the rifle or bow and arrow – that will only scare the turkeys and leave you empty-handed.