- Archery, Shotgun
The North American wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, is divided into five subspecies, each with a different range. The Eastern, the largest of the five and most abundant, ranges through 38 states and four Canadian provinces, from the eastern seaboard to parts of North Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma. The Rio Grande can also be found in Kansas and Oklahoma, and in smaller pockets across the West. They're noted for their paler, copper color compared to Easterns. Merriam’s range through the Rocky Mountain states and are distinguished by their beautiful white coloring along the feather tips. Gould’s can be found in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. Their appearance is similar to the Merriam’s, but with a bluish-green body coloration, and they're larger in size. The Osceola is native only to Florida. They're similar to Easterns, but smaller and darker with less white veining and baring. Hunting wild turkeys is divided into spring and fall seasons. In the spring, toms are “called” into shotgun or bow range and often put on a prominent display, fanning their tail feathers, and responding enthusiastically to calls. In the fall, turkeys tend to gather in large groups—often dozens of birds—and hunters will typically break up the flock, and then call them back into formation before taking a tom.