When people think about Thanksgiving, they usually think about turkeys; however, they are not the same as wild turkeys. Wild turkeys are very different from the ones that end up on your plate during Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, you may want to learn more about the specific turkeys you could run into if you decide to hunt wild turkey. Specifically, there are five separate species of wild turkeys commonly found throughout the continental United States and Hawaii. Wild turkeys do have a remarkable ability to live in a wide variety of ecosystems. What types of turkeys might you encounter?
Eastern Wild Turkey: Meleagris Gallopavo Silvestris
The first turkey is called the Eastern Wild Turkey. This is the turkey that was present even when the Puritans first arrived. It has the largest range of any turkey species in the continental United States. They are commonly found in the eastern United States, spanning from Florida to Canada. They are usually found east of the Mississippi River and typically have a tail feather that is tipped and brown, identifying this species.
The Osceola Wild Turkey: Meleagris Gallopavo Osceola
Another common wild turkey is called the Osceola Wild Turkey. This turkey is only found in Southern Florida. It is also the smallest species of wild turkey in the United States in terms of population. It has darker, green feathers that usually give it away. There are only approximately 100,000 birds in the entire population. Make sure you take a look at the regulations if you are planning on hunting this turkey. You need to make sure you are permitted to do so.
The Rio Grande Wild Turkey: Meleagris Gallopavo Intermedia
As the name suggests, this wild turkey is located in the Southern and Central desert regions of the United States. It can also be found in the southern areas of the Midwest as well. The Rio Grande Wild Turkey is a bird that was only recently introduced to the United States. It has made a home for itself in California as well as certain pockets of Hawaii. This turkey also has the longest legs, which is why it can traverse the prairie relatively easily. It does have a relatively high speed because of its long legs. Usually, this turkey is located in pine forests, among mesquite trees, and sitting under scrub oak trees. You may also find this turkey near streams and wading along the bottoms of rivers.
Merriam’s Wild Turkey: Meleagris Gallopavo Merriami
This type of turkey is native to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It can also expand slightly eastward from that direction into the cooler areas of the Midwest. Usually, you will see this wild turkey living in areas where ponderosa pine trees are found. The dead giveaway of this turkey is that it has a nice mixture of black and white feathers. During the winter, these turkeys tend to move down from the mountains to avoid the heavy snow. Then, when spring rolls around, these turkeys tend to move back up the mountains so they can eat seeds that drop from the trees. This turkey was named after C. Hart Merriam, the first chief of the Division of Economic Ornithology.
Gould’s Wild Turkey: Meleagris Gallopavo Mexicana
The Gould’s Wild Turkey is the largest turkey among all of them. It can only be found in New Mexico and Arizona. Sometimes, it can be found in northern Mexico as well. These feathers are usually copper-colored with a green tint to them. They are typically located along dry creek beds. This turkey tends to thrive in drier climates. It eats seeds, berries, and insects. When possible, it scavenges for other food. If you would like to hunt this turkey, you will need to deal with dry, hot climates to do so. It is undoubtedly the biggest prize, in terms of size.
Choose the Right Broadheads from Archery Country for Hunting Turkeys
If you are planning on hunting turkeys, be sure you have the right equipment. That means having the right broadheads for turkey hunting. Every turkey is different, so you need to make sure you have a broadhead that will penetrate appropriately. Take a look at the equipment available today, and make sure you find the right equipment for your next turkey hunt!
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