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Open Season | The Osceola Gobbler

Florida’s turkey species consist of the Osceola gobbler – the turkey native to South Florida, the hybrid turkey – a cross between the Osceola gobbler and the eastern gobbler and the eastern wild turkey found in north Florida.

The Osceola Wild Turkey is also known as the Florida Turkey and can only be found on the Florida Peninsula.  The Turkey was named after the famous Seminole Chief Osceola in 1890.  Most Osceola turkeys are concentrated in the middle of the state.  The Lake Trafford Sporting Ranch is unique for many reasons, however, one of the most important is its prolific population of Osceola Turkeys. Hunters prize the Osceola Turkey due to its limited range and distribution.

  1.  Scout, scout, scout. When setting up for your hunt, you want to be aware of all the predators that also call Florida swamps home and keep these turkeys on alert. Understanding not where your turkey will be roosting, but where he will land will serve valuable.
  2. Location, location, location. Due to the predatory nature of the swamp, some turkeys will hang in the dryer terrain such as an improved cattle pasture, a fresh burn, or a field edge. Be prepared to be in knee-deep water as well as tracking across acres of pasture.
  3. Listen. The Osceola’s gobble is affected by hunting pressure, weather and the point they are at in the breeding season. He may gobble two or four times a day and then lay quiet.
  4. Look. Again, go where the turkey wants to go. Always follow tracks, droppings, feathers and strut zones.
  5. Hurry up…and wait.


Photos from Fay Ranches opening weekend hunt on Trafford Lake Ranch, Immokalee, Florida

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