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About Wild Turkeys

The sport of wild turkey hunting is an exhilarating pastime of which very few outdoor pursuits can match. When compared with other popular game, this extraordinary bird gives a hunter a massive challenge and is guaranteed to keep them on their toes throughout the entire hunt. The experience gained by participation and proper research is the key. There are many intriguing snippets of information about wild turkey which will eventually benefit the hunter.
Understanding the basics is definitely the first wild turkey info that should be digested. The male (or tom) has a wingspan that can reach as much as four feet, while the female (or hen) is much smaller and not as striking in appearance. They can surprisingly reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour in flight and around half of that on foot. They usually spend the nights high up in the branches of really tall trees such as pines, oaks, spruces and firs, at the edge of a clearing, with half an eye on emergency exit.

Wild Turkeys live year-round in open forests with interspersed clearings in 49 states (excluding Alaska), parts of Mexico, and parts of southern Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, Canada. Turkeys in northeastern North America use mature oak-hickory forests and humid forests of red oak, beech, cherry, and white ash. Southwestern birds are often found in open grassy savannah with small oak species.

A vital piece of info on turkeys is their eating habits - although they tend to feed sporadically through any given day, they do actually forage more intensely for the last couple of hours immediately before dusk and then again for the first couple of hours after dawn. Their diet includes the likes of fruits, acorns, nuts, grains, shoots, seeds and grass roots. In addition they will also feast on insects and on occasions, small amphibians. Also, during the spring they may dig up plant bulbs if nuts are scarce, while in late summer they will strip seeds from sedges and grasses.

Much of the breeding process begins with the characteristic gobble sound that is so well known among turkeys. They fan their tails, with feathers fluffed and the wings tipped and dragging, then they strut in a quite extraordinary way, letting out a low-pitched hum at the same time. This will be repeated over and over again, until a female is eventually attracted.

The nesting site will usually be close to clumps of vegetation, and will be shallow marked by the hen and covered with the twigs and leaves. She will usually lay up to 14 eggs at a time, which will be of a speckled brown color, and will hatch in around 27 to 29 days. The youngsters do not hang around for long and are ready for flight within 10 days.

The most common predators of turkeys are raccoons, opossums, skuns and foxes. However, coyotes, eagles and domestic dogs should not be forgotten either. Nowadays humans are the most avid turkey hunters.

When going for turkey hunting, it is very important to be well-prepared. This means paying attention at the gear used and while scouting the terrain. Also, choosing the right call is very important in order to have a successful hunting day. For more information about other tips & tricks, check out our special section.

Did you know that the name of the bird comes after the nation of Turkey? The early visitors of the American continent saw this bird who reminded them of a bird known as “Turkey bird”. Also, the wild turkey’s bald head can change color within seconds with excitement or emotion. The colors range from red to blue. What is more, wild turkeys sleep on trees!