Hunting Goals: How to Get a Turkey Grand Slam
Many hunters who are passionate about turkey hunting have a goal of one day achieving a turkey hunting grand slam. To earn this, you’ll need to kill four of North America’s wild turkey subspecies. There are two species of turkey that are game animals in North America, the Ocellated turkey and the wild turkey. The wild turkey is further divided into six subspecies, four of which make up the grand slam of wild turkeys.
Turkey Hunting Grand Slam
Earning a turkey hunting grand slam is a great achievement for any turkey hunter and one that is not easy to do. To get a turkey grand slam, a hunter must kill the following wild turkey subspecies: Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam and Osceola (Florida). Hunters may harvest these turkeys over the course of one or multiple seasons, there is no time limit.
How to Earn a Turkey Hunting Grand Slam
Turkey hunters will cross the country in order to complete the grand slam and will encounter many different types of terrains and climate. Each of the birds offers a different challenge and location to hunt them.
Rio Grande Turkey
Rio Grande Turkeys are located mainly in the central plains states. These birds are many times found near rivers, streams, oak and pine forests and along marshes. States that have good populations of the Rio Grande are (not limited to these states) Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oregon.
The most common subspecies of wild turkey in the United States is the Eastern turkey. These turkeys are located in many states including all of the East coast and much of the Northern midwest. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and East of that all have good populations of the Eastern wild turkey. This is also the largest subspecies and the one that is hunted the most.
Merriam’s turkey is one of the hardest wild turkeys to hunt. They are located in the Rocky Mountains and are found in high altitudes many times. These turkeys are common in South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico. Oregon and Idaho also have populations of these birds and they were introduced there.
The Osceola wild turkey is the turkey that is least common in the United States. The bird only has one state of residency and that is Florida. Osceola turkeys are common on the Florida peninsula and are many times found near swamps where the birds eat amphibians.
Hunting a Wild Turkey Grand Slam
Hunters who wish to try to accomplish the feat of earning a wild turkey grand slam can be recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation.