The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently was contacted by a turkey hunter who reported injuries caused by a Florida panther. He indicated the incident occurred while hunting in the Tiger Creek area near Lake Kissimmee on March 17. He said he had two wounds to the top of his leg and a cut to his arm. He noted that after being injured, he was able to identify the animal as a panther from its color and long tail.
Immediately after learning of the incident, FWC officers visited the individual and took his statement; however, it was not feasible to confirm the details due to the lapse of time from when the event occurred to when the report was made to the FWC. Turkey hunting is a safe activity, but hunters should always be aware that animals such as bobcats, panthers and coyotes are known to prey on wild turkeys and may follow the sound of hunters’ calls.