Chasing the Grand Slam

The NWTF recognizes several types of “ slams. ” here, in the U.S., there are three recognized slams, and one that mixes U.S. hunting with a mexican turn. All of these slams are considered top feats or goals to diehard turkey hunters. The Grand Slam will take you around the country, chasing each of the four most coarse angry turkey subspecies in the U.S. : eastern, Merriam ’ mho, Osceola and Rio Grande. Add a Gould ’ s to your Grand Slam and you ’ ve got a Royal Slam. If you ’ rhenium feel piquant, head to Mexico to hunt an Ocellated joker and you ’ ve got yourself a World Slam .
There ’ sulfur besides the canadian Slam, which consists of shooting an eastern and a Merriam ’ sulfur in any canadian state, and the Mexican Slam, completed by killing a Rio Grande, Gould ’ sulfur and Ocellated south of the border .
then there is the Mt. Everest of slams : the U.S. Super Slam. Finishing the Super Slam involves tagging a barbarian turkey in each of the 49 states that have turkeys ( Alaska is null of turkey tags ) .

Being introduced to turkey hunting in Minnesota in the 1990s, I can recall the first ever turkey tender issued in 1996. I believe that revenue stamp still resides in my memorabilia box. Back then, turkeys were entirely huntable in the southwestern dowry of the country. now, turkeys are huntable in closely every county in Minnesota. It wasn ’ t until the wildfire-type spread of the Eastern wild joker in Minnesota that my addiction truly took hold. I began traveling to other states, taking friends and family members out, and truly tuning in to turkey talk and the nuances and gear in the turkey hunting picture. furthermore, the quest for my Grand Slam was born .
Eastern Wild Turkey
The eastern subspecies is the most widespread of the five subspecies. You can find Easterns in many states, and most consider them the wiliest of all of the subspecies. These smart, loud-roaring gobblers carry above-average spur duration and full beards ; it ’ south hard not to get excited about an eastern in strut. They have mild-brown or chestnut-colored tips on their fans and rump feathers and possess noticeable white barring on their bombastic wings .
As mentioned, Minnesota is now loaded with turkeys, and closely all of them are the eastern subspecies. minnesota does have some hybrids in the western function of the state, where stocking efforts from North and South Dakota tribes have bled over. My beginning Eastern was shot with my first pump, a Remington 870 12 gauge with Remington Nitro No. 5 shot. After killing respective Eastern gobblers, I was one-fourth of the way to the Grand Slam .
Rio Grande Wild Turkey
The Rio Grande, or “ Rio ” to most, is sometimes referred to as the “ abandon bird. ” The dub comes from the climate in which the Rio resides and thrives. Dry, arid areas like Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are hotbeds for the Rio Grande. With tan dock fan tips and rump feathers, the Rio Grande is easily distinguished from an Eastern. In some states, like Kansas and Nebraska, some hybridization can cause confusion. An easterly crossed with a Merriam ’ randomness can appear much like a Rio. Modest beard length, spurs and gobbles teamed with the Rio ’ s call-receptive nature gives them an underestimate tag. Some would say that the Rio is the most cooperative subspecies to hunt .
I have been lucky adequate to harvest two Rio Grande wild turkeys — one when I was about 19 years honest-to-god while hunting with my forefather and buddy, and another in a literal blizzard. Trust me when I say that I wasn ’ t any less delirious about harvesting a Rio than any other subspecies. I shot my first Rio using an old Remington 870 pump with hi-brass No. 5 pheasant loads from my old man ’ randomness assorted shells bag. The Rio was my second subspecies to hit the dirt and put me center to my Slam .
Merriam’s Wild Turkey

When you think of places in the crazy West, be assured there are Merriam ’ s fantastic turkeys there. Places like South Dakota, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming come to mind as hotbeds. The gangling Merriam ’ mho is known for its ability to climb and its light tips on the chase sports fan and buttocks feathers. Some Merriam ’ randomness fans about appear vitamin a white as paper. Hunting Merriam ’ south can be difficult if you ’ re not prepare to hike ; however, even an unsuccessful day of hunting Merriam ’ randomness beats any day in the joker woods in my opinion. large ponderosa pines and burn areas in the Black Hills or on the Rocky Mountain edges are breathtaking sites. Stopping to take in the view while hunting this subspecies isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate merely necessary to catch your breath, it ’ second recommended for connecting your soul with nature. Thinner and shorter beards with short spurs make the Merriam ’ second less desirable for take-home prizes, but those snow white tail fans make up for it .
I ’ thousand train for my third gear Merriam ’ second hunt as I type this. I was successful in the first gear 30 minutes on my first travel for Merriam ’ second in the Black Hills of South Dakota with a good acquaintance and my beautiful wife. I ’ ve besides called in birds for my wife and my best supporter out west. My first was shot with a barbarian 212 shotgun with Federal 3rd Degree ammunition. My Merriam ’ randomness put me three-fourths of the manner to my Slam and very kicked in the love to complete it .
Osceola Wild Turkey
The Osceola, the Florida turkey, the Seminole bird, the ghost of the Everglades. Whichever list you give it, the Osceola subspecies is the most covet of the four birds needed for the Grand Slam. The reason ? You ’ ll only find the Osceola in north-central and southern Florida. A true Osceola will be distinguished by his hanker spur, even on younger birds, dark wings with little white bar, bright iridescent feathers and long swamp-walking branch. The fan tips and rump feathers are dark than those of the Eastern, but not much. Often coming in mutely and not gobbling about equally much as other subspecies, the Osceola sincerely is a ghost at times. Their long legs are thought to be used for walking in the ankle- to knee-high water, and I ’ ve personally witnessed a gobbler roosting on an island walking through a creek and swamp grass to get to his hens. The Osceola is the most covet because of the small area it inhabits, and the measure of pressure it receives. Every hunter reading this probably wants to shoot an Osceola, or another Osceola, and we ’ re all going to find ourselves in the lapp general area .
I precisely returned from my third base feat for an Osceola and the completion of my Grand Slam. I can, without a doubt, say the Osceola is the toughest dame to bag. From the confuse applications and areas, differing hunt hours from one WMA to the following, price of the stumble ( specially if you decide to utilize an outfitter ), places to hunt, supernumerary baggage to help stay dry … the list goes on when you ’ re talking about why the Osceola is the hardest dame to tag. But, this class, I was able to punch my tag and add my name to the number of hunters who ’ ve completed the Grand Slam. I shot my boo with a savage 212 using raw Federal Heavyweight TSS. Slam arrant .
Planning Your Slam
If you ’ re going to chase the Grand Slam, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate rush it and don ’ thyroxine pressure yourself. Give yourself enough of time to inquiry each boo and familiarize yourself with the areas you are going to hunt. After all, it ’ s about the search, the memories with friends and family, the watch and the experience. Utilize other hunters. This turkey thing has us all looking like we ’ re in a cult, but, it ’ second more like a family, and we ’ rhenium always willing to help one another. Whether you ’ re hunting public land or private land, with your grandfather ’ s Model 12 or a custom-made turkey accelerator with modern tungsten loads, enjoy yourself and learn. Be wake up and alert, because there is nothing more beautiful than watching the sun ascend through the turkey woods.


Be surely to check out the great information on the NWTF ’ s site to learn more about each subspecies — www.nwtf.org/hunt/article/wild-turkey-subspecies
— Matthew Breuer

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