Turkey Hunting

Texas is blessed with 3 types of wild turkeys; the Rio Grande the most numerous and it occupies the central portion of our State, the eastern turkey found in east Texas, south of the Red River and east of the Trinity River and a scattering of Miriam’s turkey found in the mountainous regions of west Texas.  The Rio Grande is the type we hunt around here, but I’ve got plans for a go at the eastern variety.

A little history of the eastern turkey, originally it occupied over 30 million acres in our State with a range of from the coastal prairies, south of the Red River and east of the Trinity, but by 1900 it was virtually eliminated.  In 1927 the State began a wild turkey restoration program and this continued through 1978, all efforts failed and there was no expansion of the eastern wild turkey population.  Beginning in 1979 our biologists, in concert with landowners, big paper companies and the National Wild Turkey Federation, began a program of trapping eastern wild turkeys in states with an excess of birds, releasing them in our eastern Counties and by 1986 this program was considered successful and currently in most areas, the big birds are holding their own.

My grandson, Wesley, happens to live in one of those eastern counties and judging by a game cam “shot” he sent me, 2 gobblers and one unidentified turkey are using one of their feeders.  Eastern turkeys have a dark band at the end of their tail feathers, while Rio Grande’s have a buff or off white band at the end of theirs.

The off white or buff band is very plain on this Rio Grande.  I took this picture from a real “hide” on April 9, 2009 and see my post, “[Counting Coup]” on April 4, 2009.

The season for eastern wild turkeys opens on April 15th and I plan on being over there, snuggled down, camo’d up and clucking away!