The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is native to North America. In the Czech Republic, it is bred for hunting purposes. It does great here and creates a healthy population of wild turkeys. Being non-trivial and permanent, it is only found in places where it has been planted and successfully cultivated.
The wild turkey is one of the heaviest burrowing birds. Its weight is around 7-10 kg and it grows to a length of around 1 meter. Despite being such a large, raking bird, it flies well.
Its coloring is metallic black with a bald, red head. A major morphological feature between a turkey and a turkey is its large tail, which it spreads in the presence of turkeys or other turkeys. And especially during the flow period, which is from mid-March to mid-April. Turkeys exhibit a very typical clucking that almost everyone knows.
Furthermore, turkeys are about half the size of the turkey itself and their coloring is more brown. This is typical of most burrowing birds, where the female is colored inconspicuously to camouflage the female when sitting on a clutch of eggs.
The tail of a turkey is its unmistakable tail, which the turkey can expand arbitrarily and thus optically increase its size. The gorse always expands when it is in the stream near the turkeys, or when its juice is nearby. When it roars, it spreads its wings and hangs its wings, which it uses to rub the ground. His head is tilted back. This performance of his is interesting and never looks off.
A turkey brush is a pectoral crest (a tuft of elongated feathers) on its chest that grows as it ages. This is a highly prized hunting trophy. The age of the turkey can also be estimated by this brush.
Turkey brush is a very important indicator of a quality turkey, especially from the point of view of genetics. The turkeys themselves select their turkeys based on several traits. Just one of these signs is the chest brush, when the turkey is able to choose an experienced turkey, which is also massive. From the breast brush you can read whether the turkey is in good health.
The turkey looks for smaller woods, draws that alternate with smaller fields. It prefers light, leafy forests. It roosts in these trees at night. By feeding on different bolls, different fruits, or insects, it searches for limits. Shrubs, tall grass, or agricultural crops serve as shelter.
The wild turkey is permanent and inhabits its roost. It is a polygamous bird that has multiple females (just like other grebes).
The turkey goes into flux in the spring (from mid-March to mid-April). The flow is called churning. He steams in front of the turkeys, spreads his tail feathers and rubs his drooping wings against the ground. His head is tilted back and he gives it forward with sound expressions.
In the evening, turkeys roost in tall leafy trees. Compared to their size, they fly relatively well and in case of danger they will fly away or fly to the nearest tree.
During the year, turkeys live in flocks. Only during the flow period are turkeys territorial and defend their territory.
The most interesting time for wild turkey hunting is spring, when the turkeys are in the flow. The turkey flow is from mid-March to mid-April. The legally permitted hunting period in the Czech Republic also corresponds to this.
Turkeys are most active at this time. A loud rumble can be heard across the landscape. Turkeys love to show off in front of turkeys. Turkeys can be easily baited during this period.
The wild turkey is a resident bird. One can spot a turkey roost during the flow, build a sheltered hunting facility there and wait. Of course, it’s good to encourage the turkey, for example, with balabans (turkey imitations) or lures. Hunts are of course carried out individually.
The second main option for turkey hunting is trolling. A turkey leaves behind residence signs that hunters can follow and track down turkeys. Obviously, this method of hunting is interesting in combination with baiting.
Turkey decoys are suitable for both types of hunting (waiting/shuffling). This increases the chances of a successful hunt. There are a number of decoys that emit sound effects. A popular lure for a turkey is to rub the wings against the ground, which imitates another turkey.
Last but not least, turkey bumblebees fit into the lure combination. The turkeys subsequently bypass these balls, they are interested in them, and the hunter can thus approach the turkey at a good hunting distance.
Turkey hunting is not complete without good cover that allows cover in suitable hunting locations.
If we decide to lure a turkey, we need balabans and different types of decoys. It is advisable to combine these lures.
You can hunt turkey either with a shotgun with shot sizes from 5.1 mm. Of course, the shotgun has its limits on accuracy and the distance we can hunt. That is why it is more and more effective to hunt with a small caliber 22LR, or other less powerful calibers – 243 Win., 5.6×57, 5.6×50 Mag., 223 Rem., 222 Rem., 22 Hornet, etc.
A turkey’s chest brush is considered a trophy, which keeps growing as the turkey ages. This is the criterion by which the age of the turkey can be determined and thus the strength of the trophy can be evaluated.
Also, a very popular trophy is the stuffing of the cephalothorax with the whole caudal tuft.
Only the tail feathers, or the entire tartar, can be considered as a trophy. Wild turkey flocks can also be used.
Turkey meat is very tasty and nutritious. Of course, it all depends on how the hunter catches the old turkey. Because in general, with age, the meat becomes tougher with a more pronounced aroma.
Just like the meat from the bred domestic turkey, the meat from the wild turkey is characterized by excellent properties. Individual parts of the body have different structures of meat fibers.
We hope you found this article useful!
Your Huntastic Team