On the Trail of a Osceola Wild Turkey

If you are hoping to get a crack at hunting all five of the subspecies of wild turkey, plan to hunt in Florida for the Osceola.

Actually, in some areas of Florida, you will find both the Eastern and the Osceola wild turkeys, sharing the same habitat.

The Skinny on the Osceola 

Of all the subspecies these are considered the most beautiful. They have

Most Biologists Consider the Osceola to be the Most Beautiful of the 5 Subspecies of Wild Turkeys.

more golden and green body feathers.

Perhaps because Osceola’s call the Florida swamps ‘home,’ their legs, spurs, tails and beards are longer than average.

‘Pure’ Osceola’s only live in southern Florida.  Because Eastern wild turkeys also live in Florida, some biologists consider all the turkeys as hybrids and refer to them as “the Florida subspecies.”

What Makes the Osceola Unique

These birds prefer to roost over water in cypress trees. Their habitat includes hardwood swamps, palmetto grass lands and live oaks.

When gobblers want to strut their stuff, they fly to dry land near their roosts.

Because of the difficult habitat of Osceola’s, non-natives find hunting these beautiful birds difficult, dangerous * and expensive.

Hunting the Osceola 

By the time you factor in out-of-state licenses, lodging and land (on which to hunt the Osceola), the price of a domestic turkey in the supermarket is an amazing bargain!

Hunting the Osceola isn’t much different from hunting the Eastern turkey except for the handicapping factor of having to maneuver in swampy conditions.

One helpful factor is that the Osceola roost in the same areas each day — unless they are spooked or over-hunted.

Land Options

It can get rather crowded hunting the Osceola on public lands.  Remember to call less – because of the added pressure of so many hunters.

Hunting on private land can be quite expensive.  Before putting your hard-earned dollars on the table, make inquiries about guided hunts, as well as public and private land hunting prices and conditions.

You want the hunt to be memorable for the enjoyment you had and not the staggering price you paid!


* The Osceola hang out with some heavy-hitters:  alligators, water moccasins, mosquitoes and diamondback rattlers!


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Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 6:51 am  Comments Off on On the Trail of a Osceola Wild Turkey  
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Let’s Talk Turkey — Hunting the Wild Ones!

Wild Turkey!

One Wild Turkey! *

This has been such a beautiful day, can spring be far behind?’ Today, I’m going to begin a series on hunting turkey. However, I’d like to  share a few words about the remarkable restoration of the turkey in the US.

Turkey 101

In 1959, the total turkey estimate (in the US) was: 465,809.  By 1990, the number of these graceful birds had risen to 3.5 million! According to Wikipedia, current turkey totals are over 7 million!

This revitalization of the wild turkey has come about because of hunters! Through their licenses, fees and excise taxes, turkeys have been trapped and released to new areas by state wildlife departments.

Turkeys are available for hunting in every state except Alaska!  These beautiful fowl are available in at least 10 new states – places they did not originally live.

The Skinny on Turkeys

The Latin name is ‘Meleagris gallopavo’ and they have been in North America for thousands of years.  The turkey has learned to thrive in a variety of habitats.

Originally, they lived out their lives in and around timber regions. However, they have learned to adapt to agricultural and even plains areas.

There are 5 Subspecies

Eastern turkey – has the largest numbers.  They are available along the eastern coast from Maine to northern Florida, and as far west as Oklahoma.

Merriams –  live in the western US.

Osceola – live only in Florida.

Rio Grande – reside mostly in Texas, but range as far north as Kansas and as far south as Mexico.

Gould’s Wild Turkey – lives mostly in central Mexico and some reside in New Mexico. BTW, each has unique characteristics that call for specific hunting techniques.


* Photo from Wikipedia!


Turkey Behavior You Need to Understand; Preseason Ideas for the Turkey Hunter; and more!


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Published in: on January 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm  Comments Off on Let’s Talk Turkey — Hunting the Wild Ones!  
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