The wild turkey is the most interesting game bird in North America.
From our nation’s beginnings they were in fact highly revered. When the bald eagle was suggested as the nation’s symbol, founding father Benjamin Franklin suggested the wild turkey because of its wild nature and the eagle’s penchant for scavenging. He thought a scavenger was beneath America’s symbol. Now, it’s probably a good thing they didn’t choose the turkey.
After all, knowing the “Gobbling Turkeys Of America” are coming to fight doesn’t sound intimidating but the point is turkeys are greatly respected by those in the know.
On my radio program “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI I recently had on Becky Humphries, Executive Director of the National Wild Turkey Federation and we discussed the incredible stories of turkeys in America. Click the box below to listen.
Wild turkeys went from a nation-wide population of just a few hundred thousand to more than five million. In fact, Texas alone has more than 500,000 birds. Most of those are the Rio Grande variety but there are also scattered Merriam’s in the Trans Pecos and a growing number of eastern birds in the Pineywoods.
We at Fishgame.com are beginning a new level of commitment to wild turkeys, their conservation and hunters. In fact, next month we will release a three-part newsletter series dedicated to the turkey. I have learned much on this quest and am looking forward to digging even deeper into the fascinating story of this unique game bird.
Thanks to everyone at the National Wild Turkey Federation for their help and to all of the biologists, hunters, landowners, ranchers and farmers I have spoken with. Turkeys are not as fierce as an eagle but in this wildlife journalist’s opinion they are every bit as fascinating.
Chester Moore, Jr.