Completing a turkey slam is a rewarding and memorable experience for any sportsman. Here’s how to get it done.
Modern wildlife management practices have benefited turkey populations throughout North America. In the United States, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has been a leader in conservation, education and stewardship. There are higher turkey populations across a wider area than in any previous time period in history.
The word “slam” in the hunting industry is attached to the achievement of taking a series of sub-species of a type of animal. For the NWTF, a Grand Slam includes harvesting a Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriam’s and Osceola bird. The separate sub-species are only found in certain areas of North America, and as a result achieving a slam involves planning, travel, money, and of course a little hunting luck.
Here are some tips to maximize your turkey slam:
Choose the right gear
Turkey hunting gear remains similar regardless of the sub-species you are after. You can use natural brush from each area you will hunt to supplement the camo pattern of your blind. An open concealment pattern like A.S.A.T. will prove effective in any environment.
As far as a gun or ammo goes, the differences in the turkey sub-species aren’t enough to call for a need to use a different firearm. Go with what you’re comfortable with, and what you’re experienced with.
Calls may require some more homework, and some more decision making.
Hit the road
Tampa and Orlando are good focal points since both locations are near the heart of the highest Osceola turkey populations. Starting in Jacksonville affords you the opportunity to drive south for your Osceola bird and then north for your Eastern bird.
South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi are destinations for an Eastern turkey. The non-resident license fees for these states are reasonable.
Rio Grande turkeys are populous in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. There are population that have flourished due to relocation and management practices along the West Coast.
A turkey Grand Slam can be accomplished on one extended trip of two weeks or more if you plan carefully to overlap seasons, purchase licenses in advance online where possible and solicit assistance that can put you on birds without delay.
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When will you go after your Grand Slam?