Wild Turkey Grand Slam

Merriam's Wild Turkey

A Wild Turkey Grand Slam includes an Eastern; Merriam’s; Rio Grande; and Osceola wild turkey.

Eastern Wild Turkey

Eastern wild turkeys are the most widely distributed subspecies east of the Mississippi River. This subspecies is also the most abundant of all the subspecies. In fact, they are hunted in 38 states and numerous Canadian provinces. The southern range is from northern Florida west to eastern Texas and the northern range is from New England and southern Canada west to Minnesota. The Eastern Wild Turkey has also been introduced into some of the Midwestern and  western states such as Kansas, northern California, Oregon, Washington and also into Ontario. This turkey lives in the most diverse of environments and habitat; from the south-east hardwood forests and pastures, to the northern woods.

They have chestnut-brown tips on tail feathers, with white and black bars on the wings. Eastern turkeys have VERY long beards, making them a great trophy. They have the loudest gobbles of all of the subspecies of wild turkey, however, they’re tough to call in…second only to the Osceola.

Eastern Wild Turkey Hunts offered by Outdoors International

Merriam’s Wild Turkey

The Merriam’s wild turkey is found primarily in the ponderosa pine country of the western mountain regions of the United States. Within its suspected historic range in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, the Merriam’s was relatively isolated from the other subspecies of wild turkey. This subspecies has also been introduced into some Midwestern states such as Nebraska.

Merriam’s are about the same size as their Eastern cousins, but has a different coloration. It is black with blue, purple and bronze reflections. White feathers on the lower back and tail feather margins distinguish the Merriam from other subspecies of turkey. Merriam’s appear to have a white rump due to pinkish buff, or whitish tail coverts and tips. It closely resembles the Gould’s turkey but its tail margin is not usually quite as pure white nor is the light margin of the tail tip quite as wide as in the Gould’s.

Merriam's Wild Turkey Hunts offered by Outdoors International

Rio Grande Wild Turkey

The Rio Grande wild turkey is similar in size to the Osceola (Florida) wild turkey, but tend to have longer legs giving them the same height as the Eastern subspecies. The tips of their tail and covert feathers yellowish or tan in color, and they tend to be lighter than the Eastern and Osceola (Florida) birds, but usually darker than the Merriam’s. Their body feathers are an iridescence of copper, bronze and sometimes have a greenish sheen.

Rio Grande turkeys are found in the mid to southern Great Plains, from southern Texas, north into Oklahoma, Kansas and southern Nebraska. In the Western United States, they have been introduced into central and western California, western Oregon, and parts of Washington. In the late 1950s, they were also introduced into several of the Hawaiian Islands.

Rio Grande Wild Turkey Hunts offered by Outdoors International

Osceola Wild Turkey

Florida is home to two of the five wild turkey subspecies in the United States, with the Osceola turkey (also known as the Florida wild species) found in peninsular Florida being the smallest of the five. While similar in appearance to the eastern subspecies that inhabits the rest of the eastern seaboard and northern Florida,  the Osceola turkeys are usually smaller and darker in color.

The flight feathers of the wings have less white barring, with the white bars being narrower and irregular and black bars dominating their wing feathers. Osceola turkeys also have more iridescent green and red hints in the feathers than the eastern subspecies found in northern Florida and the east coast of the U.S. Those darker colors and longer legs of the Osceola turkey make them better adapted to survive in Florida’s varied habitats. While the differences between the Osceola Turkey and Eastern Turkey are subtle, the Osceola is one more animal that makes Florida a special place.

Osceola Wild Turkey Hunts offered by Outdoors International

Outdoors International

 

Discover why thousands of people have trusted us with their adventures.

Request Pricing Or More Info Talk To a Consultant