Turkey Hunting

2017 turkey hunting map

The red dots within each state represent the counties where I harvested a gobbler.


As a traveling turkey hunter I get to extend my hunting season while hunting beautiful and different types of terrain.  Also, hunting different subspecies is always a challenge and adventure.  For example, an Eastern farmland bird can pose a whole different hunting strategy than a vast western national forest Merriam's. Below are my hunting stats including times of harvest and misses.

Spring Harvest Log - note Harvest Times & Misses

27 States hunted during spring turkey season
Public land was hunted in 19 of 27 states
All hunting done self-guided

Harvest: 104 Spring Gobblers (58 Public Land Birds)
Jakes: 5     2yr olds: 51     3yr old+: 48

Mike helping other hunters fill their tags: 51 assists
helping fill tags

Times of Harvest:

6-8am  44% (46)   8-10am  23% (24)   10-1pm  20% (21)   1-5pm  10% (10)   5-8pm  3% (3)

Why I Missed: 9

Too far (2) - inexperienced beginning years
Too close (2) - both shots under 20 yds (tight pattern)
Awkward shot (2) - twisting uphill shot with unsteady aim
Bad shot (1) - tight shot between trees
Bad aim (1) - bird walking at steady pace
Deflected shot (1) -  hit tree directly in front of barrel



Harvest Yards / Shots Taken

0 - 9 Yds 1                 1%
10 - 19 Yds    12                 11.5%
20 - 29 Yds    42                 40.4%
30 - 39 Yds    37                 35.6%
40 - 49 Yds    12                 11.5%
50 - 59 Yds 0                 0%


States Hunted

NC An opening day gobbler taken in Cleveland county, North Carolina on private land.

FL A long spurred Osceola gobbler taken on public land in Osceola county, Florida.

OK The Black Kettle National Grasslands in western Oklahoma produced this Rio Grande.

TX This Rio Grande was taken on a private ranch near San Angelo, Texas.

SD The vast Black Hills of South Dakota produced this Merriam's gobbler.

CO A brilliant white Merriam’s shot in the San Juan National forest of Colorado.

NY A nice early season New York state land gobbler.

NM A tan colored Merriam’s from New Mexico’s Lincoln National forest.

AZ This Merriam's was shot in Arizona's Apache National forest.

OH The Egypt Valley wildlife area in Ohio produced this trophy public land bird with 1-3/8" spurs.

MO Missouri has produced several incredible public land hunts.

KS A hybrid Eastern/Rio Grande taken on a Walk-in hunting area in southeast Kansas.

WI Rush Creek state forest in southwest Wisconsin produced this public land Eastern.

MN Public land of the Whitewater state WMA gave up this Eastern gobbler.

IN A river bottom Eastern taken on private land in southern Indiana.

TN  Shot this trophy Eastern w/ 1-1/2" spurs on the Tackett Creek public area in northeast Tennessee.

PA A mountain top gobbler taken on private land in Pennsylvania.

IL A big farmland bird taken in Adams county Illinois.

MT  Tagged this Merriam's in the Custer National forest of southeast Montana.

NE  A hybrid Eastern/Merriam's shot on the Omaha Indian Reservation in Nebraska.

IA A heavy farmland Eastern taken in southern Iowa.

SC A nice Eastern shot in the Sumter National forest of South Carolina.

WV  Bluestone Lake WMA in West Virginia produced this public land bird.

GA This Georgia bird had 1-3/8" spurs and a 11" bird.

KY  A western Kentucky public land bird.

VA  Public land in south central Virginia produced this Eastern.

AR The vast Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas is where I tagged this bird.

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