'Osceola' wild turkeys displaying

'Osceola' wild turkeys displaying

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, everyone is starting to think about turkeys. Those hosting friends and family for the holiday feast are exploring ways to prepare the main course. An interesting option is to go organic by serving wild turkey for Thanksgiving.

Wild turkey populations are abundant and provide sustainable hunting opportunities throughout the state. When knowledge, skill and good fortune result in a successful hunt, it provides an opportunity to impress dinner guests with the delicious flavor of wild turkey. A recipe for cooking a wild turkey with citrus brine is available from the chefs at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in partnership with the wild turkey experts at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

There are two wild turkey subspecies that occur in this state: the eastern and the Osceola wild turkey. Florida is unique because the Osceola subspecies lives nowhere else in the world but on the state’s peninsula. Osceolas are similar to the eastern wild turkey subspecies, which is found in north Florida and throughout the eastern United States.

“Turkey hunting in Florida is a chance to experience the outdoors in a really special way,” said Buddy Welch, wild turkey program coordinator for the FWC. “However, wild turkeys are extremely wary and possess sharp eyesight and excellent hearing so hunting them is a challenge.”

The FWC uses scientifically-proven wildlife management strategies and professional expertise to meet conservation objectives and provide sustainable wild turkey hunting opportunities.

Learn more about wild turkeys, including their behavior, habitat needs and where they live in Florida at MyFWC.com/Turkey.

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