Skip to main content

What Is a Turkey Slam? [PICS]

Ever wondered what a turkey slam is? Keep reading to find out what you need to do to achieve a turkey slam and why achieving one is such an accomplishment.

what is a turkey slam Merriam’s wild turkey

It’s spring time and that means that turkey season is upon us in the United States. Wild turkeys are a challenging, yet incredibly satisfying animal to hunt. They are present in 49 states (all but Alaska), Canada, and in Mexico. The different species and sub-species of turkey are as varied as their habitats.

For the truly dedicated turkey hunters out there, the National Wild Turkey Federation has created the term “turkey slam” to recognize the accomplishments of hunters who manage to successfully hunt the various species of wild turkey. Due to the fact that they are so challenging to hunt, completing a turkey slam is an incredible feat.

The most basic turkey slam is the Grand Slam. This is accomplished by successfully hunting all four sub-species of wild turkey commonly found in the United States: Eastern, Osceola (Florida), Rio Grande and Merriam’s.

The next turkey slam is the Royal Slam, which is accomplished by completing a Grand Slam (eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, and Merriam’s wild turkey) with the addition of a Gould’s turkey. The World Slam is next. This turkey slam consists of a Royal Slam (eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam’s and Gould’s wild turkey) plus an ocellated wild turkey.

The Canadian Slam is accomplished by taking an eastern and a Merriam’s wild turkey in Canada. Similarly, the Mexican Slam is accomplished by taking a Rio Grande, Gould’s and ocellated turkey in Mexico.

The final, and most difficult, turkey slam is the United States Super Slam, which requires the harvesting of a turkey (regardless of sub-species) in every single state except Alaska.

If you are an avid turkey hunter, click through the slideshow to learn about the different species and sub-species of turkey you must hunt to complete each turkey slam.

Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams at The Big Game Hunting Blog. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigGameHunt.

Eastern Wild Turkey

turkey slam eastern turkey

American Hunter

The eastern is the most widely distributed and most common sub-species of wild turkey in the United States. They are found in basically every state east of (and including) Texas, plus California, Washington, Oregon, Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba. Eastern wild turkey normally have chestnut-brown tips on their tail feathers, white and black bars on their wings, and typically have the longest beard of any sub-species of wild turkey.

Turkey Slams: Must be taken to complete the Grand Slam, Royal Slam, World Slam, Canadian Slam, and U.S. Super Slam.

Osceola Wild Turkey (aka Florida Wild Turkey)

turkey slam osceola wild turkey

TampaBay.com

As the name states, the Osceola wild turkey is only found in the state of Florida. Named after the Seminole Chief Osceola, they live in peninsular Florida. Osceola wild turkey sport dark brown tips on their tail feathers, mainly black wings with small white bands, and iridescent green feathers on their body. They typically are slightly smaller in the body and have shorter beards than eastern wild turkeys. However, they often have very long spurs.

Turkey Slams: Must be taken to complete the Grand Slam, Royal Slam, World Slam, and may be a part of the U.S. Super Slam.

Rio Grande Wild Turkey

turkey slam rio grande wild turkey

Wild About Utah

Unsurprisingly, Rio Grande wild turkeys are commonly found in central and western Texas. There are also Rio Grande wild turkey populations in Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and even Hawaii. Their tail feathers have tan-colored tips and they have neither particularly large nor small body sizes, beard lengths, or spur lengths.

Turkey Slams: Must be taken to complete the Grand Slam, Royal Slam, World Slam, Mexican Slam, and U.S. Super Slam.

Merriam’s Wild Turkey

turkey slam Merriam’s wild turkey

Pintrest

Merriam’s wild turkey live in the Rocky Mountain range and can be found in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and in the higher elevations of New Mexico, and Arizona. The tail and lower back feathers have white tips with purple and bronze iridescence.

Turkey Slams: Must be taken to complete the Grand Slam, Royal Slam, World Slam, Mexican Slam, and U.S. Super Slam.

Gould’s Wild Turkey

turkey slam gould's wild turkey

24 Hour Campfire

Gould’s wild turkey live in southern Arizona and New Mexico, as well as northern Mexico. They are the largest bodied of any species of wild turkey and have white tips on their tail feathers to go with greenish copper-colored feathers on their bodies.

Turkey Slams: Must be taken to complete the Royal Slam, World Slam, Mexican Slam, and may be a part of the U.S. Super Slam.

Ocellated Turkey

turkey slam ocellated turkey

Wikimedia

Ocellated turkey are a separate species of turkey and live only in Southern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. Due to their brilliant coloration of rainbow colored feathers, scientists have theorized that they are genetically related to peacocks. Oscellated turkey have very long spurs, but lack beards.

Turkey Slams: Must be taken to complete the World Slam and Mexican Slam.

5 Best States to Turkey Hunt

Liked this slideshow? Check this one out.

What Is a Turkey Slam? [PICS]