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Successful Turkey Hunting!

Student Manual

a guide to safe & responsible wild turkey hunting

Acknowledgements
Funding for the Successful Turkey Hunting! education student manual and curriculum was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through a Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Multi-state Grant. Materials for print developed under the grant are free for use by state, provincial, and territorial fish and wildlife agencies. Images used in the manual come from many sources including public domain collections, state and federal agencies, and private companies. Most of the images require separate licensing for use in other types of publications. Many individuals have contributed to the development of the Successful Turkey Hunting! curriculum. These personnel provided comments and information on curriculum content, suggested materials for use, answered technical questions, and ran pilot courses. Special thanks go to the NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) and Bob Eriksen (NWTF Regional Biologist), Harold Daub, Dean Zimmerman, Jim Umberger, Don OBrien.
Photo and Artwork Credits FWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; NWTF -National Wild Turkey Federation; Pennsylvania Game Commission - Jacob W. Dingel, Hal Korber, Joe Kosack

This program received Federal financial assistance in Wildlife Restoration. Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information please write to: The Office for Human Resources U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 4040 N. Fairfax Drive Room 300 Arlington, Virginia 22203

Successful Turkey Hunting!


Table of Contents

Introduction

Course summary and student expectations

Chapter One

The Tale of the Keystone Turkey

Chapter Two

The Wild Turkey

11

Chapter Three

Gearing-up for the Hunt

35

Chapter Four

Firearms, Muzzleloaders & Bows

45

Chapter Five

Scouting for Turkeys

63

Chapter Six

Safe Turkey Hunting

71

Chapter Seven

Turkey Hunting Basics

85

Chapter Eight

Field Care and Preparation

97

Appendix I

Turkey Recipies

111

Appendix II

Skills Class Materials

125

Introduction
Welcome to Successful Tur urk key Hunting!
This voluntary training curriculum has been designed to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills to be safe, responsible, and successful in their pursuit of one of the most challenging game species in North America. The course is presented in two parts, knowledge and skills. In the first part of this course students will be provided with information to study, at their own pace, using either an Internet-based format or written student manual. Upon completing the reading and learning activities found in this study guide, students must attend a one-day training session where they will receive instruction in a number of skill areas. Subjects covered by the instructor team include calls and calling, scouting, land navigation, shotgun patterning, proper shot selection and turkey hunting techniques. Following the completion of all classroom and hands-on instruction, students will take a certification exam that covers material from this manual and the one-day skills training.

How to use this study guide!


Prior to arriving at the one-day training session, students need to thoroughly read all materials in the chapters of this study guide. Completing the learning activities will help students retain the information and knowledge gained through their personal study. This student manual is not a How to... guide, but an introduction to the excitement and thrill that is turkey hunting. This guide will be used by instructors through out the day, directing students to important information and tools needed to successfully complete the hands-on activities. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to use their manuals to take the certification exam at the end of training. Students who do not have a paper copy of this guide will be provided with a copy at the beginning of the one-day training session.

Read y? eady?

lets get started! Then let sg et star ted!

Robert Savannah, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Tale of the Keystone Turkey


The story of Pennsylvanias wild turkey population is one filled with many concerns, trials and successes. Both Native Americans and European settlers relied on this magnificent bird as a steady source of food. Unfortunately, unregulated hunting and habitat destruction almost eliminated the turkeys presence from Penns Woods. Fortunately, the support of management efforts by concerned sportsmen and women have allowed the wild turkeys population to rebound and thrive in Pennsylvania.

CHAPTER ONE

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter One, students will be able to:

Describe the history of Pennsylvanias wild turkey population. Explain the reasons for the past decline in wild turkey populations in North America. Demonstrate an understanding of wild turkey restoration efforts in Pennsylvania. List several wild turkey management practices in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER ONE The Tale of the Keystone Turkey The T ale of the K e ystone Tur ey Ke urk k
Some Native Americans even domesticated the wild tur key. turk

Turkeys have long been important to the people of North America. Its precolonial range covered most of Pennsylvania and much of the eastern United States. Along with passenger pigeons, they were a relatively dependable, tasty food source for Native Americans. However, turkey populations began to decline with the coming of European settlers, who nearly exterminated the turkey with the ax, the plow and the gun. The popularity of the birds with the colonists is demonstrated in a 1683 letter to the Earl of Sunderland; William Penn wrote, Turkeys of the wood, I have had of 40- and 50-pound weight. Of course, Penn was exaggerating, but his mentioning of turkeys in correspondence indicates they were popular and desirable.

There are several theories explaining how the turkey got its name. Early naturalists may have confused it with a species of Old World guinea fowl found in Tur key. urk

PGC Photo

Wild turkeys rapidly disappeared in eastern Pennsylvania, mostly from unregulated hunting and as a result of habitat destruction from increased farming and unregulated land development. But they attracted a following. Colonial statesman Ben Franklin thought wild turkeys were incredible birds. In fact, he proposed that the turkey be our national symbol. The turkey lost out to the bald eagle, but it would lose even more in the years that followed. Wild turkeys, like other game species, were considered a natural crop that could be taken whenever in colonial Pennsylvania. Necessity and opportunity more often determined when turkeys would be taken than other reasons. Recreational hunting was almost unheard of in the 1700s. The same held true for wildlife managers. If game disappeared from an area, it meant you had to hunt somewhere else.

Or the word may describe one of the birds calls, which sounds a bit like turk, turk, turk.

PGC Photo Still a third explanation is that the word sprang from an American Indian name for the bird firkee.

As settlers traveled west, turkey populations correspondingly dropped. John Audubon observed that turkeys were noticeably in trouble in the early 1800s. They are becoming less numerous in every portion of the United States, even in those parts where they were very abundant 30 years ago. According to twentieth century ornithologist W.E. Clyde Todd, turkeys were extirpated in the New England states and New York by the early 1850s. The birds also were absent throughout most of Pennsylvania, although they maintained something of a stronghold in Pennsylvanias ridge and valley region (southcentral counties) through the latter 1800s and into the new century.

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SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

In 1888, Pennsylvania ornithologist B. H. Warren, in his book, The Birds of Pennsylvania, wrote, This noble game bird, although rapidly becoming extirpated, is still found in small numbers in the wooded, thinly-populated and uncultivated districts of this Commonwealth. Further hastening the decline of wild turkey populations was the deforestation of Penns Woods. It was easier to determine where turkeys werent after large tracts of trees were clear-cut. The fragmented habitat remaining also made it incredibly difficult for turkeys to repopulate vacated suitable habitat.
PGC Photo

The Pennsylvania Game Commissions creation in 1895 represented a stay of extirpation for the Commonwealths troubled wild turkey population. The game birds also benefited from the ongoing forest regeneration that was reclaiming the states stump-studded mountains and rolling hills. Thick stands of saplings and briars represented a formidable obstacle to anyone who chose to hunt turkeys. Unfortunately, by the early 1900s most wild turkey populations had been wiped out in North America, victims of centuries of habitat destruction and commercial harvest similar to what had occurred in Pennsylvania. It was estimated that as late as the Great Depression, fewer than 30,000 wild turkeys remained in the entire United States. Fortunately, our nations hunters, wildlife agencies and conservation organizations intervened and turkey populations rebounded dramatically. More than 7 million wild turkeys now roam North America, with huntable populations in every U.S. state but Alaska. Wild turkeys are also hunted in parts of Canada and Mexico. This turnaround began in 1937 with the passage of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which placed special taxes on firearms, ammunition and other hunting equipment and earmarked funds for conservation and wildlife habitat enhancement programs. NWTF Photo These special fees, excise taxes, were levied on items before they were purchased, thus becoming part of the purchase price and not added on at the time of sale. Lobbied for and supported by sportsmen, this tax has raised billions of dollars for wildlife and habitat restoration.

The daily limit for turkeys in 1897 was two. It was reduced to one a da y, with a day season limit of four in 1905. Tur key seasons urk in this era were typically six weeks, running from mid October to the end of vember . No Nov ember.

Since 1985, the National Wild Tur key urk Federations volunteers and par tner s ha ve partner tners hav spent more than $279 million on projects to help wildlife agencies trap and relocate turkeys to areas of suitable habitat and improve the health of our nations forests.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

CHAPTER ONE The Tale of the K eystone Tur Ke urk key


W ild Tur key R estor ation In P ennsylv ania urk Restor estora Pennsylv ennsylvania By 1900, it is presumed only a few thousand wild turkeys remained in Pennsylvanias 45,333 square miles. Even turkey signs were difficult to find. Unfortunately, there was no effort to curb hunting pressure on turkeys. In 1904, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Secretary Joseph Kalbfus said he thought the states wild turkey population was increasing, but lamented that they were being hunted too early. He petitioned the General Assembly to change the opening day from October 15 to November 1. He wasnt successful. But Kalbfus continued pushing his message for more conservative turkey management efforts. The season should be shorter, wrote Kalbfus. The use of dogs in hunting turkeys should be prohibited. Hunting shouldnt start before sunrise. These are only little things, but they mean life and death to the turkeys. Eventually, the Game Commission successfully lobbied legislators to ban the use of dogs by turkey hunters; make turkey blinds unlawful; make it illegal to purchase wild turkey meat; eliminate nighttime hunting for roosting turkeys; and make the use of turkey calls illegal. Governor John K. Tener signed legislation closing the statewide turkey hunting season in 1914 and 1915. PGC Photo It was a huge step forward for wild turkey management, an unprecedented and timely, legislative action to protect the states turkey population. It was the first time turkey hunting had been stopped since the states colonization. Another closure followed in 1926. In addition to the season closures, the Game Commission raised turkeys and stocked birds purchased out-of-state. During this era, the Commission frequently looked to Mexico to buy game birds because birds were scarce in other states, or were being used to fuel other game bird restoration efforts. Turkey stockings continued for years. The Game Commission set aside money to buy lands for its state game lands system that would preserve important wild turkey and ruffed grouse habitat. The PGC Photo Commission also began to experiment with trapping wild turkeys on refuges and transferring them to areas lacking birds.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

In 1929, Game Commissioner Ross Leffler announced the agency had decided to establish a the worlds first turkey propagation farm on a yet-tobe-determined site in central Pennsylvania. Beginning in 1929, the Game Commission started to close certain counties to turkey hunting. The practice continued into the 1950s. In the mid 1950s, the agency began holding statewide seasons. In addition, restricted, or shorter, seasons were employed in some counties beginning in 1947 to expand hunting opportunities, but limit the harvest. In 1930, the Game Commission purchased 938 acres of contiguous farm and forested land in Lack Township, Juniata County, for wild turkey propagation. Additional purchases of neighboring properties increased the overall tracts size to 1,121 acres. About 500 acres were enclosed with PGC Photo nine-foot fence to keep ground predators out and turkeys inside. During its first two years of operation, 3,566 turkey eggs were produced, and 720 turkeys were successfully reared for restocking purposes. The Game Commission steadily increased game farm production of pheasants, quail, partridges and turkeys. Many credited the agencys Turkey Farm for fueling the states wild turkey resurgence. However, this was not causing the turkey population to grow and expand from its core area in Pennsylvanias southcentral counties. That was a product of improving habitat. The Game Commission did aid population expansion to some degree with changes in its land management programs. PGC Photo In the mid 1930s, the agency began to target land acquisitions that were beneficial to wild turkeys; and increased the seeding of tillable areas with grains and legumes, especially in southern counties, to provide food for wild turkeys. The gain for Pennsylvanias wild turkeys provided by habitat improvements and acquisitions were often offset by continuing turkey propagation, winter feeding of turkeys, and the public misconception that stocking pen-raised turkeys would lead to establishment of wild turkey populations.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

CHAPTER ONE The Tale of the K eystone Tur Ke urk key


In 1936, the agency established wild turkey mating areas to improve the quality and wildness of turkeys reared at the turkey farm. The fenced mating areas were placed on state game lands and refuges in what was considered the states finest wild turkey range. Gobblers flew into the roughly 10-acre fenced areas and mated with the penned hens. In the first year of operation, PGC Photo the hens produced 4,431 eggs, which resulted in the production of 1,428 turkeys. There were 21 mating areas in the state by 1942. The agency began doing meaningful wildlife research in the early 1940s, a direct benefit of receiving federal Pittman-Robertson Fund dollars. Game Commission studies probed forest-wildlife relationships; game bird propagation; the life history and ecology of the wild turkey; silvicultural practices affecting deer food sources; and the food preferences of game birds. World War II had an indirect, yet positively affect on wild turkey recovery in the state when labor and feed deficiencies seriously retarded production at the turkey farm in Juniata County. It also stalled the rising interest among Pennsylvanians to hunt when thousands of residents left to fight in the war. In 1945, the turkey farm in Juniata County ran into trouble and it was moved to Lycoming County. The former site had no room for growth and there were contamination problems, inadequate facilities and poor soils. The maturation of more and more of Penns Woods from its pole timber stage allowed the states bottled-up wild turkey population to extend its range beyond the ridge and valley region counties. Turkeys began showing up in places the Game Commissions stocking truck never went. But the expansion was incorrectly attributed to stocking. Interestingly, as turkeys pushed into new areas of the state, they began to decline in their well-established ridge and valley areas. Game Commission biologists estimated wild turkeys expanded their range from about two million to 13 million acres from the early 1940s to mid 1950s. A sobering factor in this rosy picture, explained Game Commission biologist Harvey Roberts, is that the bulk of the turkeys are now being killed on the newly extended range in the northern half of the state. The southcentral portion, which only a few years ago represented the entire turkey range in the Commonwealth, now produces comparatively few birds.
PGC Photo

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

Roberts reported that the turkey farm wasnt a contributing factor in the southcentral counties. For the most part, the liberation of captive-reared birds in these sections met only with failure, and for a time the Game Commission confined its turkey management activities to the established range, Roberts reported. Fortunately for the hunters of Pennsylvania, conditions in other parts of the state gradually improved and suddenly the turkey began to establish itself in areas which had been devoid of the species for many years. Pennsylvania held its first statewide wild turkey season in decades in 1954. At the time, ten or so counties still didnt have naturally-occurring wild turkey populations. The Game Commission however, accommodated those areas by stocking game farm turkeys. The wild turkey populations most significant limiting factor was hunting. Other factors such as disease, predators, winter mortality, starvation and poaching were negligible. In the late 1950s, the agency began to trap and transfer wild turkeys as a way to accelerate range expansion into areas where they had not yet reestablished themselves. Biologists approached the task on a countyby-county basis. During the 1960s the agency redefined its delineation of the wild turkey range into primary and secondary units with shorter and longer hunting seasons to equally distribute hunting pressure. This strategy decreased hunting stress on budding turkey populations PGC Photo and provided outstanding opportunities in areas that could accommodate increased numbers of hunters. However even with this success, the turkey farm lingered as an unnecessary component of the turkey management program. Wild turkey research conducted over the winter of 1962-63 illustrated turkeys could withstand lengthy periods without adequate food and not suffer reproduction setbacks in spring. Long periods of stress created by periodic food shortages apparently have little effect on the survival or reproductive capacity of turkeys. This information supported the findings of other researchers who concluded there was no benefit or wisdom in providing annual, large-scale, winter feeding programs. It also reinforced an early 1960s decision by the agency to stop winter feeding of wildlife.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

CHAPTER ONE The Tale of the K eystone Tur Ke urk key


The Commonwealths first spring gobbler hunting season was held May 6 to 11, 1968. At the time, an estimated minimum fall population of 60,000 turkeys and overwintering flock of 30,000, occupied about 13,000 of the states 25,000 square miles. Approximately one-third of that population were gobblers, the remainder hens. Since gobblers acquire harems of several hens, this was an indication of an excess of gobblers in Pennsylvanias turkey population, two or three times what was needed. The spring gobbler season aimed to remove that gobbler excess, reducing the PGC Photo populations competition for food and territory. The gobbler season was scheduled after the mating season peak. An estimated 1,636 turkeys were harvested in Pennsylvanias first spring season. In 1972, spring gobbler season was expanded to two weeks; in 1975, three weeks; in 1984, four weeks. One of the states largest areas of unoccupied wild turkey range was located in the northeastern counties. Other areas included the southcentral counties and the Alleghenies. Game Farm turkeys were annually stocked in these locations, but did not promote a self-sustaining population. In an effort to address this problem, the agency implemented a trap-and transfer program. From 1960 to 1970, about 650 turkeys were trapped in the northcentral counties and released elsewhere. During the 70s, about 900 birds were trapped and transferred. In 1979, the Game Commission committed additional resources to accelerate the trap and transfer of wild turkeys. By 1980, Pennsylvanias wild turkey trap and transfer program was the talk of the nations wildlife managers. The program was such an overwhelming success that the Commission decided to shutdown the turkey farm. In existence for more than 50 years and responsible for the production of more than 200,000 turkeys, the turkey farm had become a financial burden and an PGC Photo unnecessary, lingering example of outdated wildlife management strategies. The Commissioners voted to stop turkey propagation in October 1980. In the spring of 81 the turkey farm began producing ring-necked pheasants.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

Turkey management zones were established in the state in 1985 to expand turkey hunting opportunities and provide protection for recently established or small, growing turkey populations. The management zones proved to be more successful than the larger management areas employed by the agency in the 60s and 70s, because they provided biologists the opportunity to more effectively manage local populations. Trap and transfer efforts that were so instrumental in establishing selfsustaining wild turkey populations in the most suitable habitat in the state, concluded in 1987. Some additional trap and transfer work was performed in the mid 1990s and over the winter of 2000-2001 to PGC Photo established populations in suitable, but fragmented habitat found in Pennsylvanias southeastern counties. In the late 1990s and into the new millennium, hunters have been enjoying some of the best turkey hunting Penns Woods has provided in the past 200 years. The wild turkey population was estimated at more than 400,000 birds in 2000. A significant increase from the few thousand estimated to be found in the state in the early 1900s. The current success of wild turkey management in the Commonwealth is directly related to increased protection in the early 1900s; the restoration of forested habitat over the past century; aggressive range expansion fostered by trap and transfer work; and conservative fall harvest management PGC Photo strategies that protected the wild turkey populations breeding base. Pennsylvanias wild turkey population restoration wasnt accidental and had nothing to do with luck. It was the result of trial-anderror management efforts, making adjustments when necessary and moving away from tradition. It was a deliberate, scientifically supported and a somewhat indirect approach to restoring wild turkeys to Penns Woods. That work would be become the blueprint that other states would use to restore their turkey populations.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

CHAPTER ONE The Tale of the K eystone Tur Ke urk key


Chapter One Review
1. Tr ue or F alse: Hunting in the 1700s was more for recreation False: than for survival. True or F alse: By the early 1900s most of the turkey populations False: had been wiped out in North America. The main causes for the decline in wild turkey populations in Pennsylvania were unregulated hunting and _______________. In the late 1890s, wild turkey populations benefited from forest ______________. Some credit the creation of the Game Commissions turkey farm as the main reason for an increase in turkey numbers, but it was actually a product of improving ______________. List at least four (4) reasons that helped wild turkey populations grow and expand in Pennsylvania. ________________________ ________________________ ________________________ ________________________

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

Answers: 1.) False; 2.) True; 3.) Habitat Destruction; 4.) Regeneration; 5.) Habitat; 6.) Land management programs, Maturing forests, Wild turkey research, Trap & Transfer programs, Turkey Management Zones, Established seasons and bag limits, Hunting laws and regulations.

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CHAPTER TW O TWO
The Wild Turkey
The wild turkey is an amazing and challenging game bird to hunt. It has very keen eyesight, able to see in color and notice even the slightest of movements. Turkeys can run fast, fly long distance, and swim if necessary. By learning the behaviors and abilities of the wild turkey, hunters stand a better chance of success when pursuing these shy and weary birds.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter Two, students will be able to:

Identify the physical characteristics of male and female wild turkeys. Identify the sub-species of wild turkey found in North America. Explain of the basic biology of the wild turkey. Describe wild turkey behavior. Identify the key components of wild turkey habitat in Pennsylvania. Identify the types of wild turkey habitat in North America. List several wild turkey management strategies. Describe the North American model of wildlife management.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

CHAPTER TW O TWO CHAPTER TWO The Wild Turkey The Wild Turkey
The wild turkey is a shy, permanent resident of Pennsylvanias woods and mountains. Infiltrating a flock of these big birds is no easy feat, and when the hunter or naturalist is finally discovered, hes treated to a spectacle to how the flock breaks up. Turkeys flap upward on loud wings. Some run full tilt, heads extended on serpentine necks. Others sneak along through the understory. Eventually, quiet returns to the woods. And, with time the first tentative calls of regrouping birds break the silence. Before a hunter can enjoy pursuing the largest game bird in North America, one must become familiar with the features, behaviors and characteristics of the wild turkey. Proper identification is important for turkey hunting due to gender harvest restrictions at certain times of the year and to ensure safe experiences while afield.

Wha t Does an Easter n Wild Tur key Look Lik e? hat Eastern urk Like?

Adult males, known as toms or gobblers, normally weigh between 16 and 24 pounds.

PGC Photo

Females, known as hens, are smaller than males and usually weigh between 8 and 10 pounds.

PGC Photo

Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

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SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

Fea ther s eather thers

Both males and females have

Males: Gobblers have iridescent red, green, copper, bronze and gold feathers. They use these bright colors to great advantage when attracting females during breeding season.

fleshy growths on their heads known as caruncles.

NWTF Photo

They both have snoods, fleshy protrusions that hang over their bills and can be extended or

Females: Hens have drab, usually brown or gray feathers. They make great camouflage and hide hens when they sit on their nests.

contracted at will.

Head

PGC Photo

The snood of an adult male is usually much larger than that of a female.

Males: Males have brightly colored, nearly featherless heads. During breeding season the color of their heads alternates between red, white and blue, often changing in a few seconds.
PGC Photo

No one knows for sure what these are for or, , growths ar ef or but both probably developed as ways to attract mates.

Hens: A hens head is gray-blue and has some small feathers for camouflage.

PGC Photo

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CHAPTER TWO The Wild Turkey


Beard
The longest beard on record is more than 18 inches long.

A male turkey grows a cluster of long, hairlike feathers from the center of its chest. This cluster is known as the turkeys beard. On adult males, these beards average about 9 inches long. 10 to 20 percent of hens also grow beards.
NWTF Photo

The longest spurs on record are 2.25 inches long.

Legs
Wild turkey legs are reddish-orange. They have four toes on each foot. Male wild turkeys grow large spurs on the backs of their lower legs. These spurs are pointed, bony spikes and are used for defense and to establish dominance. Spurs can grow up to 2 inches in length.
NWTF Photo

The color of the bands in the tail varies by subspecies.

Tail
Wild turkey tails are usually 12 to 15 inches long and are banded at their tips. Male wild turkeys fan their tails when displaying to attract a mate. Difference between an adult male (tom) and a juvenile male (jake) turkey is found in the tail.
NWTF Photo

All tail feathers of adult males are the same length.

Feathers forming the center of a jakes tail are usually longer than the rest of the tail feathers.

Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

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SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

Comparing a Wild Tur key Gob bler to the ... urk Gobb the...
VARIOUS REDS, WHITES & BLUES MINOR CARUNCLES

SNOOD
-fleshy protrusion, possibly used to attract mates The largest wild turkey on record weighed 37 pounds.

DEWLAP
- flap of loose skin

PGC Photo

MAJOR CARUNCLES
- small, fleshy growths turn red during mating

...W ild Tur key Hen ...Wild urk


GRAY-BLUE COLOR
-more drab than male

SNOOD
-smaller than males

DEWLAP
- flap of loose skin

CARUNCLES

GRAY-BROWN PLUMAGE
-more drab than male

PGC Photo

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Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

CHAPTER TWO The Wild Turkey


Sounds of the Wild Tur keys urk
Turkeys make a wide range of sounds. The following list is a summary of the common calls that can be heard. Students will receive more focused instruction on how to reproduce these sounds during the hands-on training event. Cluck The cluck consists of one or more short, staccato notes. The plain cluck, many times, includes two or three single note clucks. Its generally used by one bird to get the attention of another. Its a good call to reassure an approaching gobbler that a hen is waiting for him. Putt The putt is a single note, generally associated as an alarm. It could be several sharp or rapid notes and usually means they have seen or heard something, and are alerting others of the danger. Plain Hen Yelp The yelp is a basic turkey sound. It is often delivered in a series of single note vocalizations and can have different meanings depending on how the hen uses it. Tree Call The tree call is usually a series of soft muffled yelps given by a roosted bird. Sometimes it picks up in volume as fly down time nears. It may be accompanied by soft clucking and is generally acknowledged as a call to communicate with others in a flock. Cutting of Excited Hen A series of fast, loud, erratic single notes is referred to as cutting. Its a modified cluck and is a distinct, abrupt call with a somewhat questioning nature. It can be heard at a great distance and is often used by a single turkey looking for companionship. Adult Hen Assembly Call The adult hen assembly call is a series of loud yelps used to assemble her flock or young poults.
Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

PGC Photo

PGC Photo

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SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

Kee Kee The kee kee is the lost call of young turkeys and variations made by adult birds. Its often associated with fall hunting, but can be used successfully in the spring. A variation of the call, the kee kee run is merely a kee kee with a yelp. Fly Down Cackle The cackle is generally associated with movement. It can be heard when a bird is flying up or down from a roost, flying off a ridge, or flying across a creek. A cackle usually consist of three to 10 irregularly spaced notes. Its a movement call, so use it sparingly. Purr Purring is a soft, rolling call turkeys make when content. It can usually be heard by feeding birds. This is not a loud call, but is good for reassuring turkeys as they get in close to your position. Cluck and Purr The cluck and purr is a single note or notes often associated with flock talk or the feeling of contentment. It is sometimes amplified. It is a cluck followed by a rolling, almost staccato call. Gobbling The gobble is one of the principal vocalizations of the male wild turkey and is used primarily in the spring to let hens know he is in the area. Owl Hooting (Locator call) The eight-note hoot of the barred owl is often used as a call to locate gobblers in the early morning or late evening hours.

PGC Photo

To hear e xamples examples of these calls, log onto the National W ild Tur key urk Federations website at: www .nwtf .or g www.nwtf .nwtf.or .org

PGC Photo

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CHAPTER TWO The Wild Turkey


Wild Tur key Biolo gy urk Biolog
North American turkeys, including the domesticated bird, belong to the single and highly variable species Meleagris gallopavo. Taxonomists recognize at least six subspecies; the variety found in Pennsylvania is known as the Eastern wild turkey and ranges the entire eastern half of the United States. Turkeys are gallinaceous, chicken-like birds (order Galliformes), related to grouse, quail, pheasants and chickens. Between 5,000 and 6,000 feathers cover the body of an adult turkey in patterns called feather tracts. A turkeys feathers provide a variety of survival functions. They keep him warm and dry, allow him to fly, feel and show off for the opposite sex. The head and upper part of the neck are featherless, but if you look close, you can see little bumps of skin on the bare area. The gobbler, or male turkey is more colorful. Plumage is an overall rich brown. In shadows, turkeys appear black. In bright sunlight, their PGC Photo feathers exhibit a metallic glittering, called iridescence with copper, blue, green and mahogany highlights. A hens plumage is duller and not quite as iridescent to camouflage her with her surroundings. Her breast feathers end in a brown or buff band, while those of a gobbler are tipped with black. Two major characteristics distinguish males from females; spurs and beards. Both sexes have long, powerful legs covered with scales and are born with a small button spur on the back of the leg. Soon after birth, a males spur starts growing pointed and curved and can grow to about two inches. These sharp, bony spikes on the backs of their legs are used in fighting other males. Most hens spurs do not grow. PGC Photo Gobblers also have beards, which are tufts of filaments, or modified feathers called mesofilophumes growing out from the chest. These beards grow quickly for the first four or five years, then more slowly, until theyre about 12 inches long. Beards usually grow to an average of 9 inches. The ends may break off though, so beard length isnt a reliable indicator of age.

About 10 to 20 percent of hens have beards.

Pennsylvania Game Commission (January 2011)

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SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

Physical Characteristics and Behaviors


Like most birds, turkeys have keen eyesight during the day but dont see as well at night. Turkeys also possess keen hearing. They hide cleverly, swim with ease, but they usually rely on their feet to escape danger, fly an estimated 40-55 m.p.h. and can cover more than a mile while airborne. The strides of chased gobblers have been measured at four feet and their top speed estimated at 18 to 25 m.p.h. Tracks vary somewhat by the age of the bird. A young tom for example, might have a shorter print than an adult hen. But any track larger than 41/4 inches from the back of the heel pad to the tip of middle toe, was probably made by a male. In the evening, turkeys fly into trees to spend the night. They prefer the shelter of conifers during inclement weather due to the trees thermal insulating ability. In early morning the birds glide to the ground, call, and regroup for feeding.

Mating and Reproduction


During the mating season, beginning more toward the end of March in Pennsylvania, a male turkey changes physically. His fleshy crown swells and turns pale, his caruncles redden and hang from his head, and he develops a thick, spongy breast layer containing oils and fats to help sustain him through the breeding season. Toms gobble loudly in early morning and sometimes in late evening. If hens are present, a gobbler will display by fanning his tail, erecting his feathers, and tucking his head back against his body. He will strut back and forth, hissing and dragging his wing tips on the ground. Rival males fight, each grasps the others head or neck in his bill and tries to shove or pull his foe off balance. The first bird to let go or lose balance gets thrashed with wing and spur.
A flock of 6 to 40 birds may roost in the same tree or in adjacent trees.

NWTF Photo

Year-old birds are sexually mature. Hens often mate during their first spring, but young males usually cant compete with mature gobblers. A dominant male may collect a harem of 8-12 or even more hens. Males are polygamous. A gobbler mates with several hens and plays no part in nest site choice, brooding eggs or rearing young.

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In late April, mated females slip away from the flock. They choose nesting spots in wooded or brushy areas, near water sources and usually close to forest clearings or old fields. The nest may be located under the curve of a fallen log, concealed by vegetation or fallen branches or at the base of a tree. In most areas, nests can be found in a shallow dirt depression, surrounded by moderately woody vegetation that conceals the nest. The gobblers sperm is stored in the hens oviduct, so that fertilized eggs may be laid up to four weeks after mating. A hen lays an egg nearly every day during a two-week period until her nest contains 8-15 eggs. The average is 12 with smaller clutches by laid younger birds. She wont begin incubating constantly until after all eggs are laid. Eggs are oval and pointed markedly at one end. The smooth, dull shells PGC Photo are colored pale buff and are evenly marked with reddish-brown spots or fine dots. The hen will incubate her eggs for about 28 days, occasionally turning and rearranging them until they are ready to hatch. Young turkeys, called poults are covered with a fine, brownish fuzz and even at hatching have a wild turkeys distinctive long neck and legs. After the young hatch, the hen broods them until theyre dry and then if the weather is mild, leads them away from the nest. Poults are easy game for predators, their main defense is to hide. They scatter and freeze at the hens warning call, remaining motionless until she sounds the all-clear. A hen may feign injury to lure intruders away from her young.
PGC Photo

One mating is usually sufficient to f er tiliz e an fer ertiliz tilize entire clutch.

Foxes, bobcats and g rea t hor ned gr eat horned owls prey on nesting hens.

Eggs are eaten by these predators as well as mink, raccoons, opossums, black snakes, skunks, crows and red squir rels . squirr els.

keys usuall y Tur urk usually feed in early ning and in morning mor the after noon. afternoon.

When poults are about three weeks old, several family groups may merge into a flock of hens and poults.

Poults need high-protein food, and the hen soon leads them to open areas where insects abounds. Newly-hatched poults must be ready to leave the nest within 12 to 24 hours to feed. Poults eat grasshoppers, crickets, other insects and larvae, tender greens, fruits and seeds, while adults will eat anything from acorns and berries to insects and small reptiles. Wild turkeys like open areas for feeding and mating. They use forested areas as cover from predators and for roosting in trees at night. A varied habitat of both open and covered area is essential for wild turkey survival.

PGC Photo

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Six-week-old poults are fairly strong fliers, and by autumn theyre practically self-sufficient. Birds of the year can be identified by their middle tail feathers, which are longer than the others. In adults the edge of the fanned tail forms an unbroken curved line. In autumn flocks often contain several old hens and their young. Occasionally hens that have not raised broods, for a total of 40 or more birds. Old toms usually remain apart in pairs or trios. During early winter, family groups disperse and form new flocks by sex and age; hens, young toms and old toms.

Wild Tur key F ood Sour ces urk Food Sources


In spring, turkeys eat tender greens, shoots, tubers, leftover nuts and early insects. As the weather warms up, they eat more insects, including grasshoppers, walkingsticks, beetles, weevils, dragonflies and larvae. They also consume spiders, harvestmen, ticks, millipedes, centipedes, snails and slugs. But even in summer, a majority of the diet, perhaps 90-percent is vegetable. A wide variety of plant species are eaten, as well as a number of plant parts, including fruits, seeds, seed heads, tubers, roots, bulbs, stems, leaves, flowers and buds. In fall turkeys eat mast (beechnuts, acorns); fruits (dogwood, grape, cherry, gum, thornapple); and seeds (grasses and sedges, ash, corn, oats, weeds). During winter they rely on seeds, nuts, and fruits left over from autumn, and on green plants, crustaceans and insect larvae found in and around spring seeps PGC Photo where ground water emerges along a hillside or in a flat. Temperature of this water is above freezing, so the seeps remain open all winter, providing food for turkeys and other wildlife. A turkey often scratches for its food, kicking forest duff and leaves behind. If the bird finds an acorn, it picks up the nut in its beak, straightens its neck, and swallows. The nut is stored in the birds crop, a flexible bag in which juices and body heat work to soften it. Then the nut passes into the gizzard, an enlarged, thick-walled section of the food canal which contains small stones and gravel called grit. Strong muscles use the grit to grind down the acorn.

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Turkeys may range up to several miles a day in search of food and water, sometimes establishing regular feeding areas if left undisturbed. In autumn, hunters read the turkey scratchings to determine when a flock passed by, what size the flock was, and which way the birds were headed.

PGC Photo

General Habitat Requirements


Turkeys have shown more tolerance for fragmented habitat like wood lots, and human disturbance than previously believed, but they still depend on forested habitats and do best with limited human activity. Habitat diversity varying habitat types and differing ages is the key to good turkey habitat. Turkeys seem to do best with a mix of PGC Photo forested, actively farmed and reverting farmland habitat types. A turkey flock uses an extensive area, several thousand acres during a year to meet its needs, so a small landowner shouldnt expect to have a resident flock. However, anyone with forested land can do something to benefit turkeys, especially if neighboring landowners will cooperate.
Maximum mast production occurs when trees are 50 to 100 years old.

Trees such as oaks, beech, cherries, etc. are most beneficial to turkeys when producing the maximum mast. Landowners can manage their woodlands for sawtimber by conventional even or uneven age silvicultural approaches and pushing young hardwood stands to maturity by culling out less vigorous and non-mast-producing PGC Photo trees. Some woodland cuttings, which arent economical in terms of timber management can be made to allow more sunlight to reach grape, dogwood, greenbrier, hawthorn, viburnum and other food-producing understory species. Planting shrubs such as Asiatic crabapple and Washington hawthorne will provide abundant and persistent winter foods.

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SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

Forest clearings are especially used by hens and poults. Here sunlight penetrates the tree canopy and allows grasses and forbs to spring up, increased plant life gives rise to increased insect life, and insects form a key part of a young turkeys diet. Thus, forest openings resulting from cleared timberlands, old logging roads and logging camp sites, power line rights-ofway and old beaver meadows should be preserved, or planted with a grasslegume mixture if needed.

Spring seeps are also impor tant, important, as they provide insect and vegetable food over winter . winter.

Wild Tur keys and Pr eda tor s urk Preda edator tors
From death comes life in the scheme of nature. It is eat or be eaten. This food web begins with microscopic plants, extends through various levels of animals, depending on the ecosystem, and results in a series of predator-prey relationships. A predator lives by killing and eating other species, which are called prey. Wild turkeys eat insects and other small animals, so they are predators, in a sense, but they become the prey of other birds, reptiles or mammals.
NWTF Photo

Predators are usually oppor tunistic opportunistic feeders, looking for the easiest meal.

Predator-prey relationships have evolved over thousands of years. Normally, they have target species they prefer, but will take other species if given the opportunity. Prey species must produce many more offspring than what will survive, to offset the multitude of predators that use them for food. Populations of a prey species maintain themselves because of the collective interests of the group, not by the survival of specific individuals. Individuals who are less suited to survive are cropped from the breeding population as well as those that are old, sick or diseased, assuring the population survives. Fit individuals maintain a healthy breeding population, which is the result of selection pressure by predators. From the time an egg is laid, there is a predator looking for a ready-made omelet. Snakes, skunks, crows, ravens, opossums, raccoons, and coyotes, to name a few, are always on the lookout for a nest and an easy lunch. These predators, along with hawks, owls, foxes, and other large predators will grab a young unsuspecting poult. All of these predators will take turkey eggs, poults or, under the right circumstances, adults; but most of their diet consists of small birds, rodents and rabbits.
About half of the turkey nests make it to hatching hatching.

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CHAPTER TWO The Wild Turkey


Role of Habitat Habitat quality is also an important part of how a species survives pressure from predators. Early successional plant stages, or those that follow a habitat disturbance and need full sunlight, provide shelters for high numbers of small mammals including rats and mice, which are the normal diet of many predators. This benefits wild turkeys, too. The location of these habitats, and their plant diversity can mean life or death to individual wild turkeys. Case in point: If the ground-level vegetation is sparse, the hen and poults become vulnerable to predators. On the other hand, if suitable habitat with good cover is available to the brood group, the poults have a better chance of living. This is the essence of what Aldo Leopold realized in the 1930s when he wrote that game management was the art of making land produce sustained annual crops of wild game for recreational use. How we manage the plant communities, and where they are located, is critical to wildlife populations and it doesnt matter whether you are dealing with songbirds or wild turkeys. Habitat quality and its distribution are more important than the number of predators. Predator Management Controlling predator populations has always been a controversial issue. There are situations where it may have a place, such as an area with a newly established population of a rare species. However, making an impact on a predator population is very expensive and labor intensive. Even after going to the trouble of removing hundreds of wild turkey predators from PGC Photo an area over several years, it is doubtful that you would see a significant increase in the numbers of wild turkeys. This is due in part to the movement of more predators from surrounding habitats into the area. Predators are important components of the ecosystem and really benefit the prey species in the long run. Wild turkey numbers have increased dramatically over the last two decades, while at the same time predator populations have also increased. While certain predators may need to be controlled in specific instances, the long-term solution to maintaining wild turkey populations at huntable levels will be dependent not on the predator control, but on mans activities and good habitat management.

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The Nor th American Model of Wildlif e North ildlife Conser vation Conserv
The North American model is a system where wildlife resources are scientifically managed by well-trained professionals so that sustainable wildlife populations can be maintained and held in public trust for all to enjoy. Unlike preservation, or no use, conservation efforts focus on wise use of the resource. It is important to note that these measures have benefitted bird and animal species not designated as game species. Key features of the North American model: 1. Wildlife is a public resource. In the United States, wildlife species are held in common trust by the state for the benefit of all citizens. So, wildlife is owned by no one, but rather by everyone. 2. Elimination of markets for trade in wildlife. Buying and selling meat, feathers and other parts of game and/or nongame species was made illegal. This removed the negative impact market hunting had on those species. However, the sale of furbearers was permitted to aid in their management as a sustainable resource. 3. Surplus resource allocation by law. The public is directly involved in how surplus wildlife resources are allocated. States utilize laws and regulations to allocate surplus wildlife, not influenced by land ownership, social status or special privilege. 4. Wildlife is harvested for legitimate purposes. Laws are created and enforced to prevent reckless and wasteful harvesting of wild animals, those actions society finds unacceptable. 5. Wildlife species are considered an international resource. Countries need work together to prevent negatively impacting the others efforts. Focus on cross border cooperation, primarily on migratory species. 6. Wildlife policy supported by scientific study. Scientific research and study guides the continuous modification of state agency wildlife management policies and strategies, benefiting all wildlife. 7. Hunting as a management tool. Because anyone is afforded the privilege of hunting, not exclusive to the wealthy and privileged, its effectiveness as a management tool has proven to be the essential component necessary for the models undeniable success.

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Wild Tur key Identif ica tion Quiz urk Identifica ication
Correctly identify the highlighted physical features in the pictures below using the word bank at the bottom of the page.

PGC Photo

Turkey Features
Beard Dewlap Fan Gizzard Major Carnuncles Minor Carnuncles Snood Spur

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The Wild Tur key s R ang e urk ys Rang ange

NWMAP COURTESY OF NWTF

Wild turkeys are native to North America and there are five subspecies: Eastern, Osceola (Florida), Rio Grande, Merriams and Goulds. All five range throughout different parts of the continent. The Osceola subspecies is only found on the Florida peninsula, while the Rio Grande ranges through Texas and up into Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. Rios are also found in parts of the northwestern states. The Merriams subspecies ranges along the Rocky Mountains and the neighboring prairies of Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. And you can find Goulds throughout the central portion of Mexico into the southernmost parts of New Mexico and Arizona.

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Easter n Wild Tur key Eastern urk
(Meleagris gallopavo silvestris)
The eastern wild turkey is the most widely distributed, abundant, and hunted turkey subspecies of the five distinct subspecies found in the United States. It inhabits roughly the eastern half of the country. The eastern wild turkey is found in the hardwood, mixed, and pine forests from New England and southern Canada to northern Florida and west to Texas, PGC Photo Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. It has also been successfully transplanted in California, Oregon, and Washington, states outside its suspected original range. L.J.P. Vieillot first described and named the eastern subspecies in 1817 using the word silvestris, meaning forest turkey. Since the eastern wild turkey ranges the farthest north, individuals can also grow to be among the largest of any of the subspecies. The adult male, called a gobbler or tom, may measure up to four feet tall at maturity and weigh more than 20 pounds. Its upper tail coverts, which cover the base of the long tail feathers, are tipped with chestnut brown and tail tips with dark buff or chocolate brown. In contrast, the breast feathers are tipped in black. Other body feathers are characterized by rich, metallic, copper bronze iridescence.

Florida Wild Tur key urk


(Meleagris gallopavo osceola)
The Florida wild turkey, also referred to as the Osceola, is found only on the peninsula of Florida. This particular subspecies was first described in 1890 by W.E.D. Scott who named it for the famous Seminole Chief, Osceola, who led his tribe against the Americans in a 20-year war beginning in 1835.

PHOTO BY LOVETT E. WILLIAMS JR.

Its similar to the eastern wild turkey but is smaller and darker in color with less white veining in the wing quills. The white bars in these feathers are narrow, irregular, and broken and do not extend all the way to the feather shaft. The black bars predominate the feather. Secondary wing feathers are also dark, and when the wings are folded on the back, there are no whitish triangular patches as seen on the eastern. Feathers of the Florida turkey show more iridescent green and red colors, with less bronze than the eastern. The dark color of the tail coverts and the large tail feathers tipped in brown is similar to the eastern, but unlike the lighter colors of the three western subspecies. Its colorations and behavior are ideal for the flat pine woods, oak and palmetto hammocks, and swamp habitats of Florida. Adult females, or hens are similar to the males but duller and lighter colored throughout, except wing feathers, which are darker.

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The reproductive cycle for the Florida wild turkey begins only slightly earlier than the eastern wild turkey in other southern states. However, in southern Florida, turkeys gobble during warm spells in January, several weeks before actual mating. Egg laying is mainly in April with the cycle complete with peak hatching occurring in May. Breeding behavior is triggered primarily by the increasing day length in spring, but unusually warm or cold spells may accelerate or slow breeding activity. This behavior begins while birds may still be in large winter flocks prior to separating as individuals or into small groups. The Wild Turkey Records program administered by the National Wild Turkey Federation recognizes any turkey taken south of a line between Taylor and Dixie counties on the Gulf to a line between Nassau and Duval counties on the Atlantic as the Florida subspecies. Any turkey taken in any of the following 24 counties is considered an eastern subspecies: Baker, Bay, Calhoun, Columbia, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Lafayette, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwanee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington.

Rio Gr ande Wild Tur key Grande urk


(Meleagris gallopavo intermedia)
The Rio Grande wild turkey is native to the central plains states and got its common name from the area in which it is found the life giving water supply which borders the brushy scrub, arid country of the southern Great Plains, western Texas, and northeastern Mexico. This subspecies was first described by George B. Sennett in 1879 who said it was intermediate in appearance between the eastern and western subspecies, hence its scientific name.

PHOTO BY WYMAN P. MEINZER JR.

It is similar in general appearance to the other subspecies of the wild turkey and similar in body size to the Florida turkey, about four feet tall, but with disproportionately long legs. The Rio Grande turkeys are comparatively pale and copper colored. They are distinguished from the eastern and Florida subspecies by having tail feathers and tail/rump coverts tipped with yellowish-buff or tan color rather than medium or dark brown. Although there has been more variation in the shade of buff/brown in the tail feathers among Rio specimens, the color is consistently lighter than in the eastern or Florida birds and darker than the same feathers in the Merriams or Goulds subspecies. Adult females, called hens, are smaller in size compared to the males, called gobblers, and similar in color but duller. Hens average 8 to 12 pounds while gobblers may weigh around 20 pounds at maturity. Feathers of the breast, sides, and flanks are tipped with pale pinkish buff.

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The Rio inhabits brush areas near streams and rivers or mesquite, pine and scrub oak forests. It may be found up to 6,000 feet elevation and generally favors country that is more open than the wooded habitat favored by its eastern cousins. The Rio Grande is considered gregarious and nomadic in some areas, having distinct summer and winter ranges. They may form large flocks of several hundred birds during the winter period. It has been known to travel distances of 10 or more miles from traditional winter roost sites to its nesting areas. Rios apparently choose the tallest available tree, regardless of species, by a stream or in a deep valley when selecting winter roost sites. Gobblers are more likely to use winter roosts throughout the year. When suitable roost trees are scarce or nonexistent, Rios roost on man-made structures like power lines, windmill towers or oil storage tanks. The climate in the Rio Grande range varies from tropical in Mexico to continental in Kansas, a much wider variation than the rainfall which ranges from 15 to 35 inches per year. Even the Rio Grande turkey is not adaptable to treeless prairies or vast spaces between wooded areas. It lacks coloration for concealment and is too large to hide in grassy vegetation. But as the hardwoods from the stream zones encroached onto the grassland with the advent of livestock farming and the control of prairie burning, turkeys seemed to increase in numbers. Some of the changes in vegetation actually improved the habitat for the Rio Grande turkey providing food, cover and roost sites. Rio Grandes have been introduced and have expanded wild turkey ranges into the more typically drier summer habitats of the lower elevations of the west in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota and California. They have been successfully transplanted in areas of greatly differing habitat as well, from northern Idaho to Hawaii.

Mer riam s Wild Tur key Merriam riams urk


(Meleagris gallopavo merriami)
The Merriams wild turkey is found primarily in the ponderosa pine, western mountain regions of the United States. It was named by Dr. E.W. Nelson in 1900 in honor of C. Hart Merriam, first chief of the U.S. Biological Survey. Within its suspected historic range in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, the PHOTO BY RONALD M. JONES Merriams was relatively isolated from the other subspecies of wild turkey. Current evidence supports the hypothesis that it was a relative newcomer to western American wildlife when the Europeans discovered it. It has been successfully stocked beyond its suspected natural range in the Rocky Mountains and outside of the mountains into Nebraska, Washington, California, Oregon and other areas.

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Merriams are found in some habitat areas that, if altered by timber harvesting, overgrazing or development, populations may be lost. Their normal range receives annual rainfall amounts averaging between 15 and 23 inches. Adult males are clearly distinguished from the eastern, Florida and Rio Grande by the nearly white feathers on the lower back and tail feather margins. Merriams closely resemble the Goulds turkey, but its tail margin is not usually quite as pure white nor is the lighter margin of the tail tip quite as wide. Its size is comparable to the eastern turkey, but has a black appearance with blue, purple and bronze reflections. The Merriams appears to have a white rump due to its pinkish, buff, or whitish tail coverts and tips. These tail feather tips are very conspicuous when the strutting gobbler appears against a dark background. The males exhibit black-tipped breast feathers, while the females, or hens, have buff-tipped breast feathers. The white areas on her wings are more extensive giving a whiter appearance to the folded wing. The head of the female is considered feather covered with smaller, dark feathers extending up from the back of the neck. Females lack the caruncles or fleshy protuberances of skin at the base of the front of the neck that are bright red on the gobbler, but may exhibit more coloration than hens of the other subspecies. Beards and spurs are generally considered secondary sex characteristics in males. Beards may be present on about 10 percent of the hens, however, they are thinner and shorter than those of adult males. Spurs on hens are uncommon, but when present, are usually rounded and poorly developed. Merriams wild turkeys winter in low elevation ponderosa pine habitats and pinyon- juniper woodlands. Snow depth and duration, food availability, and the presence of suitable roost trees are key factors that determine where turkeys winter or if populations will survive. Snow conditions may force turkeys into riparian habitats well below the conifer zone. Here turkeys may use cottonwoods for roosting and may become dependent upon human-related sources of food such as barnyards, grainfields, silage pits or feedlots.

Gould s Wild Tur key Goulds urk


(Meleagris gallopavo mexicana)
The fifth recognized, but least known wild turkey subspecies is the Goulds found in the southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico as well as northern Mexico. It was first described by J. Gould in 1856 during his travels in Mexico. Like the Merriams, the Goulds is a bird of the mountains. It exists in very small numbers in Arizona and New Mexico along the U.S./ Mexico border, but is apparently abundant in the northwestern portions of Mexico. The Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, the Centro Ecologico de Sonora, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and other agencies are working cooperatively to reintroduce a strong Goulds population first into Arizona and then into other states where suitable range exists.
PHOTO BY DALE BOUNDS

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The Goulds turkey is the largest of the five subspecies and somewhat resembles the Merriams turkey. They have longer legs, larger feet, and larger center tail feathers than any of the other wild turkey subspecies in North America. Goulds differ by having distinctive white tips on the tail feathers and tail rump coverts, which usually separate to show an eyelash appearance. Lower back and rump feathers have copper and greenish-golden reflections, not like the faintly iridescent velvety black found on the Merriams. Goulds body plumage is said to be somewhat blue-green in coloration. Adult females have a less pronounced metallic greenish and reddish sheen and are more purplish. The Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in Mexico are the center of the Goulds turkey Mexican range, extending south from the U.S./Mexico border. Populations exist in Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco and Coahuila. In the U.S. Goulds turkeys are found in the Animas and San Luis mountains of New Mexico and in the Peloncillo Mountains of New Mexico and Arizona. Mountain ranges where Goulds are found orient north and south with elevations ranging from 4,500 to 6,500 feet in the U.S. and over 9,800 feet in Mexico. Turkey habitat can be rough with steep and rocky canyons. Goulds turkey range in the U.S. has a continental climate characterized by wide daily and annual fluctuations in distinct seasonal changes with hot summers and mild winters. Average annual precipitation is 18 inchesmore than half falling between July and September. About 10 inches of snowfall in winter accounts for the rest. In Mexico climate conditions are about the same as those found in the U.S., however winters are colder and there is more snow in the higher mountains. Breeding behavior is triggered primarily by the increasing day length in spring, but unusually warm or cold spells may accelerate or slow breeding activity. This behavior can begin while birds are still in large winter flocks prior to separating as individuals or into small groups. The Goulds turkey has been studied the least and as a result, has the smallest amount of information available about it. However, new studies are underway in Arizona, New Mexico, as well as Mexico to help us learn more about this unique subspecies.

Ocella ted Tur key Ocellated urk


(Meleagris ocellata)
There are only two species of turkey in the world; the North American wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), divided into five distinct subspecies, and the ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata). While the 5 subspecies of the North American turkey can be found from northern Mexico throughout all the United States, except PHOTO BY WENDY SHATTIL Alaska and into Canada, the ocellated turkey exists only in a 50,000 square mile area comprised of the Yucatn Peninsula of Mexico, northern Belize and the El Petn region of northern Guatemala.

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The Yucatn Peninsula range includes the states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Petn, and Yucatan, as well as parts of southern Tabasco and northeastern Chiapas. The ocellated turkey is known by several different names that vary by Central American locale: pavo, pavo ocelado, or its Mayan Indian name, ucutz il chican. Very little research has been done on the ocellated and less is known about the ecology of this turkey than any of the 5 subspecies of North American wild turkeys, including the Goulds (Meleagris gallopavo mexicana). The National Wild Turkey Federation, in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society and Hornocker Wildlife Institute, helped sponsor the first research project to trap and place radio transmitters on ocellated turkeys in Guatemala in 1993. Much of the information provided in this bulletin is a result of this NWTF-sponsored study. The ocellated turkey is easily distinguished from its North American cousin in appearance. The body feathers of both male and female birds have a bronzegreen iridescent color mixture, although females sometimes appear duller in color with more green than bronze pigments. Unlike North American turkeys, breast feathers of male and female ocellated turkeys do not differ and cannot be used determine sex. Neither male nor female birds have a beard. Tail feathers in both PHOTO BY HOWARD QUIGLEY sexes are bluish-gray in color with a well defined, eye-shaped, blue-bronze colored spot near the end followed by bright gold tip. The tail feather spots are similar to those seen on peacock feathers, which led some scientists to once believe the ocellated was more related to peafowl than turkeys. In fact, these spots helped give the ocellated its name, as the Latin word for eye is oculus. Much more information is needed regarding the ecology of the ocellated turkey. Population estimates in parts of its range indicate a decline in numbers over the last 20 years, especially in Guatemala and parts of the southern Yucatn Peninsula where widespread logging and dry season burning eliminate habitat and destroy nests. Uncontrolled market hunting occurring primarily during March, April and May could seriously impact local populations. Unfortunately, only Mexico has apparently discovered the benefits involved with implementing some hunting regulations, conserving the resource, and attracting nonresident hunters who bolster the economy of many small villages each year.

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Chapter Two Review
1. During the breeding season, the color of the male turkeys head changes between red, white and ______________. Tr ue or F alse: Female turkeys can grow beards. False: Two major characteristics distinguish males from females; beards and _______________. True or F alse: In the early morning, wild turkey groups fly down False: in different directions from their roosts in search of food, regrouping again just before dark ______________. Tr ue or F alse: In fall, turkeys eat green shoots, tubers, and False: seeds. _____________________ is the key to good turkey habitat. As part of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, wildlife belongs to _________________ . The __________________ wild turkey is found primarily in the Ponderosa Pine, western mountain regions of the U.S. The __________________ turkey is found only in the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico.

2. 3.

4.

5.

6. 7.

8.

9.

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Answers: 1.) Blue; 2.) True; 3.) Spurs; 4.) False; 5.) False; 6.) Habitat diversity; 7.) Everyone and no one; 8.) Merriams; 9.) Ocellated.

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Gearing-up for the Hunt


The right gear for where and when you are hunting turkeys can make the difference between an enjoyable hunt and a miserable misadventure. Clothing that isnt meant for current weather conditions, boots that are not made for rocky terrain, calls that do not work, and poorly displayed decoys are just a few things leading to an unsuccessful hunt.

CHAPTER THREE

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter Three, students will be able to:

Identify the type of clothing needed to hunt wild turkey during different seasons and locations. Identify the types of calls used to hunt wild turkey. Explain how different turkey calls work. Describe the proper use of decoys while hunting.

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CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER THREE Gearing-up forHunt the Gearing-up for the
Clothing and Safety

Hunt

Regulations can be found in the annual Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Dig est Digest you receive with your hunting license purchase. -Orat the Pennsylvania Game Commissions website

The secret to successful and safe turkey hunting is making sure youre wearing the right clothes. Since wild turkeys can be hunting in both the fall and spring in Pennsylvania, hunters must be aware of the always changing regulations for the use of fluorescent orange. Whats legal in season is not always the same for another. Ignorance of hunting regulations is not an excuse for violating them. Wild turkeys have excellent vision, being able to see color, so head-to-toe camouflage is recommended to help keep you and your movements concealed. Additionally, the use of camouflage clothing provides a secondary safety benefit. Because camo patterns are not solid colors but a mix of colors and patterns simulating certain vegetation, turkey hunters blend in to their surroundings. This masking effecting helps prevent turkey hunters from being mistaken as a turkey by other turkey hunters.
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www.pgc.state.pa.us

Turkey hunters should also be aware of the color of clothing they wear besides their camo gear. T-shirts, sweat-shirts or pants, socks, gloves, hand kerchiefs can become visible at any time with out the hunter knowing. When hunting wild turkey never wear colors that can be mistaken for a turkey, especially not red, white, blue or solid patches of black because these are the colors of a wild turkey gobbler. Wear dark undershirts and socks, and pants long enough to be tucked into boots. Shirts, Jackets, and Pants When choosing outerwear for pursuing the wild turkey, hunters need to consider many factors. Weather and temperature, vegetation, function and comfort are only a few items to think about. Although having different clothing for all situations is desirable, novice turkey hunters are probably not ready to invest that much money in getting started. The camo pattern should match the area to be hunted. Although any type of pattern is better than none at all, camouflage may not work well to break-up a hunters outline if the pattern is significantly different than the pattern of the hunting location. Camouflage patterns need to match the ground cover during a certain time of the year, either spring or fall, and the area of North America where the hunt will occur.

The forests of Pennsylvania are ver y dif fer ent ery diff erent than the swamps of Florida during the spring seasons.

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Camouflage patterns can change during the hunting season as well. What works well in the beginning of the spring season (browns, tans, greys) may not be effective a few weeks later when new, green vegetation dominates the surrounding landscape. The type of material hunting clothes are made from can affect a persons comfort level and hunting duration. Being too cold or warm, wet from rain, or getting torn-up by vegetation all impact the amount of time a hunter will spend in pursuit of their quarry. Clothing should be able to withstand the elements as well as wear and tear from use. Clothes that are made from waterproof materials are a good idea. These materials will keep a hunter dry and comfortable during days when the weather isnt perfect. Another way to stay dry during those fall or spring showers is carry a camouflage rain suit that can be removed if the weather clears. Instead of purchasing a set of hunting clothes for warm weather and another for colder seasons, consider a medium weight material. Using this strategy, hunters can adapt to temperature changes by dressing in layers underneath their hunting clothes. Turkey hunters should wear dark colored, or camouflage, under clothing to help prevent being mistaken for a wild turkey. In areas were hunters will encounter heavy cover, multiflora rose, cactus, or other destructive vegetation; tear resistant clothing should be worn. Even though turkeys do not prefer thick cover, hunters may have to travel through such areas to get to their spot. Fading Out? You can protect the color of your camo from fading by following a few steps, and by treating your camo like you treat a fine bow or shotgun. Before washing your camo, turn the garments inside out. You can then choose to wash them by hand or in a washing machine. Hand washing will give you the longest color life and can be achieved by taking a five-gallon pail of cold water and some baking soda and sloshing the camo up and down in the mixture a few times before letting them stand overnight. In the morning, wring out your garments, shake them out and then hang them to drip dry. This will reduce color loss by reducing abrasion and heat applied to the fabric. If you need to use a washing machine, wash in cold water on the delicate cycle with baking soda and hang the camo to drip dry. If youre in a rush, use a clothes dryer, but turn the garments inside out and run on the short cycle just long enough to dry them.

Safety Note!
Ar tic les of Artic ticles n clothing w or wor orn under nea th undernea neath camouflage clothing should not be in the colors of a wild turkey; red, blue, black, or white.

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Footwear The type of footwear needed to hunt wild turkeys varies with the time of year, terrain, and climate. During spring hunting seasons, a light weight, lightly insulated, waterproof boot works well. In areas that are extremely wet, turkey hunters may choose a high rubber boot. When the weather turns colder during fall seasons, more insulation may be preferred to provide more protection and comfort. In locations with sizable snake NWTF Photo populations, it would be a wise investment to purchase a pair of snake boots or snake-proof guards for the lower legs. Snakes are difficult to see when walking through cover, stepping over logs, or moving through rough terrain. Protective boots and/or gaiters significantly lessen the chances of being bitten by a surprised snake when turkey hunting. Some hunters take a different approach to footwear. Instead of buying specific boots for a variety of weather conditions, they change the type of socks they wear. Socks are made with various materials to focus on the type of activity and intensity of a persons participation. It is important to note however, hunters and other outdoor enthusiast should avoid wearing all cotton socks. When cotton gets wet, either from perspiration or submersion, it retains moisture but not warmth. Head, Face, and Hands Many novice turkey hunters pay so much attention to getting the proper camouflage pants, jackets, and boots that they forget about areas where the need to be camouflaged the most, the face and hands. Since the wild turkey has such keen eyesight, unconcealed hands or face of a hunter will stand-out against the background. This warning signal may stop turkeys from moving within shooting range. The simplest way to camouflage the hands is with gloves. Gloves are made from a variety of materials that provide protection from the elements while allowing to comfortably and safely use a firearm or bow. Some prefer to use gloves with the finger tips cut off so they can feel the trigger or release. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and comfort. No matter which type, an extra pair should be carried in case a pair is lost or becomes wet.
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More rugged rain ma y need terr may ter footwear with more foot and ankle suppor t. support.

From lite hiking to extreme cold wea ther , eather ther, water pr oof or terpr proof moisture wicking socks provide a cost effective way for new hunters to hunt in a variety of locations, weather conditions, and temperatures.

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Turkey hunters normally use facemasks or head nets to camouflage their face and neck. These items come in a variety of styles; from full masks covering the entire head and face to partial nets covering half to 3/4 of the face. They are made from very fine mesh which allows hunters to see through them, styles without eye holes cut out, and do not hinder breathing. Elastic straps or draw strings are used to keep masks from slipping down. The most common head cover is the baseball cap. Turkey hunters use a variety of covers depending on the conditions. Cooler temperatures may require something more substantial, but any hat with a wide brim works. Not only does a wide brim keep rain off of your face and mask, but also helps control the suns glare from affecting a hunters vision. Vests and Packs Other items that turkey hunters wear into the woods include small backpacks, waist packs, and turkey hunting vests. Small packs are advantageous because of all the gear turkey hunters may carry with them. Calls, food and water, flashlights, extra socks and gloves, insect repellants, knives, and rain gear are but a few things that may be hauled into a hunting location. Depending on the style, a hunting vest provides more versatility for turkey hunters. A large game pocket for carrying a turkey, smaller pockets for easy access to essential NWTF Photo equipment, shot shell holders, fold down or detachable cushions, concealed fluorescent orange safety strips are some of the features that help turkey hunters to be organized, comfortable and safe.

Hunters can also use camouflage paint. These come in sticks or cases and are ver y easy to ery appl y. pply

Unf or tuna tel y, Unfor ortuna tunatel tely removing camo paint takes a little bit of time and ef for t. eff ort.

Tur key Calls urk


Next to a turkey hunters choice of firearm or bow, the selection and upkeep of a turkey call or calls is the most important consideration when selecting gear. Calls come in many different styles and are made with a variety of materials, both natural and synthetic. A turkey call is only as effective as the skill level of the caller. Hunters need to choose a call and practice often to become proficient.

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Slate Calls Pot and peg calls, also known as slate calls because of the primary material they were once made of, now come in a variety of surfaces. The slate call is usually picked up quickly by novice turkey hunters. To make sounds on a slate call, pull a striker; a stick like item made out of different types of wood, plastic, and carbon across the surface of the call. Each surface and striker for a slate call makes a little different sound. Sometimes a slight difference in pitch or tone will make a turkey gobble. Turkey hunters should try a few different slate calls and strikers to see what works best for them.
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A slate call can produce most calls very well. The only call that is somewhat difficult to make with a slate is cutting which is made by doing fast and excited clucking. Clucks are quick, sharp pulls on the slate. Another call, the purr, is made when the striker is dragged slowly across the calls surface. One last call, the yelp, is made by drawing small circles with the striker on the slate. Whether your call is made of glass, aluminum, slate or some other material, using some general maintenance rules can make them last for many hunting seasons. Most importantly, always make sure to keep fingers, other oil surfaces and dust off the striking surface. Use storage pouches, holsters or plastic bags when you are carrying your slate calls or storing them. Store your calls in a cool, dry place to prevent the warping of the calls wooden chambers. Keep your call surfaces sanded, and only sand in one direction. Never sand back and forth and certainly not in a circular motion. Sanding in one direction makes for a more reliable sounding sweet spot from which to pull your best calls. Use sandpaper, light steel wool or a sanding stone to rough up the surface of the call. A good rule of thumb is to use light grit sandpaper for true slate calls and heavier grit for other surfaces. Its also important to lightly sand your striker tips with an emery on a regular basis to clean them of oil and dirt. Like your calls, sand the striker tips in one direction as well.

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Box Calls A good box call is one of the most costly calls to buy, but proper care in the field and regular maintenance will turn that crafted piece of wood into a loyal companion in the turkey woods for many years. The box call is one of the easiest calls to learn how to use. Sounds, or calls are made by sliding the wooden lid across the open box. Box calls have limited capabilities. Calls like the yelp and cutting or cackling are easy to make, but calls such as a cluck or purr can be difficult for new callers. The box call is to best used to locate turkeys or when you are trying to try get one to gobble. However, box calls are not a good choice when a turkey is in close range because a turkey may see the hunters hand movements while calling. This will probably alarm the turkey and cause it to flee the area.
Most box calls are made out of different types of wood, however synthetic material box calls are becoming more common.

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Keep the calls surfaces clean and do not ever use sandpaper on it. Sandpaper can change the tone of your call.

Its also important to handle your box call carefully. Keep your fingers off the striking surfaces: the edges of the box and the underside of the lid. Skin contains natural oils, which can affect the sound and life of your call. Use only chalk, such as box call, teachers or carpenters chalk and stay away from chalks with an oil or sugar base. Only use chalk on the underside of the lid. The beveled edges of the call are important in its design, and use of chalk on the edges can wear them down. Make sure you blow out the sound chamber of your box call from time to time. This will get rid of any chalk dust that might have settled. Diaphragm Calls Diaphragm, or mouth calls can be difficult to learn to use and take practice to become efficient. Once mastered, these calls can make all turkey sounds, leaving hands free to aim and shoot a firearm or draw a bow. The call consists of a latex reed or reeds, a frame, and a skirt. The call is placed in the roof of the mouth, the tip of the tongue should barely be over the front of the call. Turkey hunters make sounds by pushing air over or through the reeds while using their mouth to form certain words for specific types of calls.
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Storage
Storing your box call is simple. If you dont have a holster , stor ey our holster, store your box call in a large, plastic bag. This will protect the call from moisture.

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As the season comes to a close, one way to get a jump on next year is to make sure you keep your calls in good working order. This is particularly true of your mouth calls, which can dry out if not properly stored. Mouth call care should begin as soon as the call comes out of the package. It should be washed with warm water to remove any latex residue. Then, if you like, spray it with an antiseptic. After use, put your mouth call in a case or a plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator. This will provide a dark, cool environment and the colder temperature will tighten the latex reeds, which will provide optimum sound. A flat toothpick is also helpful in mouth call care before and during storage. Run the toothpick between the reeds to clean them, always being careful not to tear the latex. When storing, place a toothpick between the reeds so they wont stick together between uses. A word of caution: Store mouth calls away from heat sources. Heat will cause the latex to expand, lose pliability and create too much vibration when used. Tube Calls The tube call is very popular with a select group of hunters, but is often overlooked because some consider it hard to find and difficult to use. However, its for these very reasons that the tube call is so great in the woods turkeys never hear them. Kenny Morgan of Morgans Turkey Callers patented the first tube call in 1973. Since then, other companies, including Hunter Specialties and Knight & Hale have marketed tube calls. Tube calls are excellent for tight-lipped gobblers, because they sound different than the diaphragm, box and slate calls, which are commonly used during the spring, and because they are different hunters can get a response. Tube calls are also good because they make all wild turkey sounds including gobbles and kee kee runs with a little practice. Another advantage of tube calls is that they can be made quite easily using household components. All you need is a PVC pipe couple, butter lid, latex glove and a rubber band to make a call that will make any gobbler puff up with excitement.
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Locator Calls Locator calls are used to shock a male turkey into gobbling to reveal his location. These calls are made to mimic the sounds of owls, crows, coyotes, hawks or pilated woodpeckers. The sound of these calls are loud and cause a reflex response from the turkey because the bird has been startled or is fearful of predators in the area. Keep in mind when using a locator call; calls should be short at first so that a quick response can be heard. Dont overcall! Continuous calling NWTF Photo is not natural and turkeys will leave the area. Additionally, hunters shouldnt strictly focus on hearing a gobble, other sounds such as hens yelping or other hunters will help in developing a plan of action. Turkey calls, like all hunting equipment, continue to change over time. New designs and materials continue to enhance the performance of calls. Hunters should take time to research what calls they want to use and then practice, practice, practice until they are proficient.

Decoys
Decoys can be the deciding factor between harvesting a bird or watching a tom strut just out of shooting range. When hunting open areas; fields, meadows, or small clearings, males responding to a hen call may become nervous when they cant identify the hen making the call. A well-placed and natural looking decoy will often cause gobblers to continue to move in closer to investigate or keep their interest focused so hunters can position a firearm or bow undetected.
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There is a safety concern when using decoys. Any type or style of decoy may fool careless or novice hunters. Position decoys to provide a wide field of view to identify approaching birds, or hunters. Additionally, hunters should set-up off to the side of possible avenues of approach into decoy sets. This lessens the risk of being in the line-of-fire should another hunter shoot at the decoys. Since either sex birds can be harvested in many areas during fall seasons, decoys shouldnt be used at this time of year as an additional turkey hunting safety strategy.

There are negative aspects to using decoys as well. Some decoys are bulky and awkward to hile car r y, w carr while others do not hold-up well in poor weather conditions and look unrealistic.

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Decoys are manufactured from a variety of materials and to resemble either sex. Depending on a hunters tactics or strategy, decoys used can be hens, jakes, gobblers or any combination. These hunting aids also come in a variety of positions. Turkey decoys can be fully erect, bent as if feeding, full-strut or halfstrut. Some are even designed to move the head or body when the hunter pulls on a long string connected to the decoy. Motion adds extra element of realism to the decoy, which can be that extra NWTF Photo enticement needed to pull weary birds in close for a clean and ethical shot.

Decoys add another element to the thrill and enjoyment of hunting the wild tur key. turk

Points to P onder Ponder


Answer the following questions about this chapter. 1. Why should turkey hunters wear camouflage clothing? ______________________________________________________ 2. When cotton gets wet, either from perspiration or submersion, it retains moisture but not _____________.

3. What type of call will leave hands free to aim and shoot a firearm or draw a bow?

4. Since skin contains natural oils, which can affect the sound and life of a box call, hunters need to use ____________ on the underside of the lid to properly maintain the call. alse 5. Tr ue or F False Hunters should set-up off to the side of possible avenues of approach into decoy sets. This lessens the risk of being in the line-of-fire should another hunter shoot at the decoys.
Answers: 1.) Turkeys have color vision; 2.) Warmth; 3.) Diaphragm calls; 4.) Chalk; 5.) True
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Firearms, Muzzleloaders & Bows


In Pennsylvania, hunters can choose from a variety of firearm and bow types to hunt wild turkey depending on the season. No matter what a hunter decides to use to hunt turkeys, he or she needs to understand and follow the basic firearm safety rules. Also, a sportsman or sportswoman must have a firm understanding of how the bow or firearm functions, its capabilities and limitations.

CHAPTER FOUR

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter Four, students will be able to:

Identify the types of sporting arms used to legally harvest wild turkey in Pennsylvania. Demonstrate or explain safe firearm and bow handling. Identify the components of turkey hunting sporting arms used to harvest wild turkey. Describe how to properly select a shotgun for hunting wild turkey. Identify the components of a shot shell and their function. Describe the different types of shot used in turkey hunting shot shells.

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CHAPTER FOUR CHAPTER FOUR Firearms, Muzzleloaders & Bows Firearms, Muzzleloaders & Bows
Hunters can use a variety of firearms, muzzleloaders, bows and crossbows to harvest turkeys. The choice of is completely up to the hunter so long as it is a legal device for the season and location. Sometimes cost is a factor or familiarity with firearm or bow. Then for more experienced turkey hunters, the lure of a new challenge may sway a decision one way or another. No matter what firearm or bow is selected, hunters need to be aware of all the benefits and challenges involved with their choice. Before heading to the sporting goods store to purchase a new turkey shotgun, small caliber rifle, compound or crossbow, all hunters need to learn or refresh their knowledge about these tools. Turkey hunting success and safety begins with a strong working knowledge of how to properly use and maintain firearms, muzzleloaders or bows.

Fir ear ms Firear earms


All firearms, either rifles or shotguns, are comprised of three basic groups of parts; the action, the barrel, and the stock. Although the components that make up these groups vary somewhat from one firearm to the next, the designed function of the basic groups remain the same.

Action - The action is the moving parts of the firearm that load, fired, and eject ammunition.

Barrel - The barrel is a metal tube that the bullet or shot travels through after the action has caused the cartridge or shotshell to be fired.

Stock - Basically the handle of the firearm. Can be a single piece or two separate pieces and made from wood or a synthetic material.

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Actions
Firearms are generally categorized by their type of action. The following action examples are found on both rifles and shotguns. These actions are the more common ones used for hunting wild turkey. Which action type a hunter decides to use is primarily a choice of personal preference and comfort.

Bolt Action Works very similar to the bolt in a door latch. Lift up and pull back on the handle to open the action and eject spent shells. Push forward and down on the handle to load ammunition and close the action.

Break or Hinge Action This action operates just like a door hinge. Press or slide a release on the receiver and the action unlocks. Using both hands, hold the rear stock with one hand while pressing the barrel down with the other. The action opens for loading and unloading shells. Hold the rear stock and pull up on the barrel and the action closes. Pump or Slide Action The pump action moves like the slide on a trombone. Press a release on the receiver and pull back on the fore grip. The action opens for loading and unloading shells. Push forward on the fore grip to close and lock the action. With this action type the shooter can load another shell without loosing sight of the target or game.

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Semi-Automatic Action This action operates when a shot is fired. The action opens, ejects a shell and reloads the next. To manually open, grasp the operating handle on the bolt and pull it to the rear to lock. Pull back on the handle and release or press the lock release mechanisms to close the bolt. In Pennsylvania, the only semi-automatic firearms allowed for hunting are shotguns. Semi-automatic shotguns may be used to hunt wild turkey, waterfowl and small game species only during the regular seasons. Remember to check the regulations each year for changes or modifications.

Safety Mechanisms
Fir ear m Firear earm Safeties
Slide/T ang Saf ety Slide/Tang Safety
- A sliding bar or button that blocks the firing action.

A firearm safety is a mechanical device designed to prevent the action from firing accidentally. Unfortunately, with all mechanically devices, safeties can fail due to excessive wear, improper maintenance, or malfunction. The mechanical safety should not be considered the primary safety when using firearms. The shooter is the most effective safety when properly trained and well informed on firearm handling. Mechanical safeties are located on the receiver of the firearm. The exact position of these devices varies by action type and manufacturer. The diagram below identifies the common locations where a firearm safety may be found.
Pivot Safety

Pivot Safety
- Pivoting lever or tab blocks the trigger or firing pin.

Slide or Tang Safety

Cross-Bolt Safety
- Push button action that blocks the trigger or hammer.

Cross-Bolt Safety

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Choosing the Right Shotgun


The level of sophistication in firearms available to the turkey hunter has followed the same path as turkey calls. As more hunters have joined the sport, manufacturers have responded to their needs by making shotguns with features ideally matched to the turkey woods. Here are a few tips for making sure hunters have the right gun for the job:
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Make sure the shotgun fits you

There is no sure way to determine gun fit other than seeing a firearms expert. To ensure that the gun fits, pull the gun to the shoulder with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Ask the following questions: Does it swing into place without extra movement or effort? Does the weight feel comfortable? -Try adjusting the placement of the forward hand. Can the shotgun be held steady for a given amount of time? Can the shotgun be comfortably carried for long distances?

Camo or no camo?
Tur keys ha ve urk hav keen eyesight. A shotgun with a functional camouflage tter n could pa patter ttern give you an added advantage.

The hunter should be able to answer yes to all of these questions. These variables play a role in determining gun fit for turkey hunting.

Bigger isnt always better

With the new, high-powered turkey loads and chokes available, 20-gauge shotguns have become very popular for use in the spring turkey woods. Better advice than simply purchasing the largest gauge or load size would be to ensure appropriate length, weight and recoil for the person doing the shooting.

Pattern, pattern and then pattern again

Take the time to shoot the shotgun with different loads, shot sizes and even choke constrictions when possible. Most shotguns come with several choke options and the aftermarket chokes have shown great success in increasing pattern performance down range.

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Know the limitations of your firearm

Almost all f ir ear m fir irear earm manufacturers make shotguns made specifically for turkey hunting.

Patterning, experimenting with different loads and chokes and practicing real hunting situations on the range will help hunters learn when to shoot and when the shot may be risky, only wounding birds If using a 20 gauge, hunters should be within 25 yards of the target for a killing shot. The same distance could be used as a rule of thumb for very young hunters. Making sure you are aware of the capabilities of the hunter, as well as the firearm, can be the difference between success and disappointment.

Hunters probably already own the right shotgun for hunting wild turkeys. It may just require some experimentation and practice to determine the best choke constriction, load, shot size and distance. Gauge Bore Dia.
PGC Photo

Shotguns are classified by gauge. At one time, gauge was determined by the total number of lead balls, the size of the bore diameter, that it would take to weigh one pound. Example: a 12-gauge would take 12 lead balls of that diameter to weigh one pound. Thankfully, today the gauge of a shotgun is determined by simply measuring the inside bore diameter of the barrel. Almost any shotgun gauge can be used to hunt turkey. Heavy gauge shotguns, like the 10-gauge, are not necessarily the better choice. While the .410 and 28 gauge may not provide enough pattern density to effectively and humanely harvest a bird. The 12-gauge has a good effective range and pattern density. Shotguns of this gauge can be quite heavy to carry over long distances. A increasingly popular shotgun gauge for turkey hunting is the 20-gauge. Traditionally regarded as a youth or ladies shotgun, the 20-gauge has recently come into its own as a turkey gun. Not only are these shotguns generally lighter but also have less recoil than larger gauge shotguns. The downside of using the 20-gauge is the reduced range. Shots should be made at 30-yards or less to increase the chance of harvesting a bird. Success in the turkey woods is largely a factor proper choke and ammunition selection and pairing. Hunters must experiment with choke and ammunition to find the right combination. Shotshells of different loads and shot size, even different manufactures, will not fire the same pattern in any shotgun. Sometimes the variation between shot types, size and composition, can have significantly different pattern densities at varying ranges.

Many turkey hunters choose a 12-gauge shotgun because its versatile and ammunition is easy to obtain.

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Chokes The choke of a shotgun, whether fixed or changeable, is basically the narrowing of the bore diameter. The function of the choke is to pack the shot pellets together as they leave the shotgun muzzle, and holding them in a tighter pattern as they fly toward the target. This tighter pattern allows more pellets to hit the target area. There are several different chokes that hunters can use. The choice however, is dependant on the game species and method of hunting. Typical shotgun chokes range from cylinder (no constriction) to full (most constricted). Chokes for special purposes are also available, an extra-full choke being one used predominantly by turkey hunters. Turkey hunters normally use the tightest choke available for their shotgun to increasepattern density and extend its killing range. By using a full or extrafull choke, birds can be harvested at ranges of up to 40 yards. However, shooting a turkey in the body at close range with a full choke will cause the bird to be hit with too many pellets. This may severely damage the bird and leave it inedible. Additionally chokes with too much constriction may actually create patterns with poor pattern uniformity causing shots to miss. Head shots are always preferred with a shotgun. One feature that can be found on some chokes and barrels, are holes or ports. The porting of shotgun barrel or changeable choke helps to reduce muzzle movement and felt recoil. This is a benefit to those hunters that use higher power or magnum shotshells. The downside to using this type of choke is that the shot is extremely loud, so hearing protection is a must when using them. Shotshells Although shotshells are not components of a shotgun, the firearm is worthless without them. When hunting turkey, it is important to select the most efficient and effective choke/load combination to be successful in the field. In order to choose which shotshells to use for patterning, novice turkey PGC Photo hunters will find it helpful to gain a basic understanding of the types of shotshells and the components from which they are made.

Choke effectiveness will var y. Har der ary Harder pellets like steel and tungsten pr oduce tighter , produce tighter, ns denser pa tter patter tterns than softer pellets made of lead or bismuth.

W her e to here star t? start?


Whatever gauge shotgun used, star t with a full start choke. If after tter n testing pa patter ttern with different loads, a tighter pa tter n density or patter ttern greater range is desired, move up to an extra-full or special turkey choke.

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It is important to note that not all turkey loads will shoot the same in every shotgun. Some will provide better patterns with sufficient pellet energy, while others may demonstrate less impressive results. A shotgun shell is comprised of five main parts: 1. Hull (or case): The hull is the outer shell made up of a brass or steel base and plastic outer layer. The hull holds the components of the shell together; primer, powder, wad, and pellets. 2. Primer: The primer, a small percussion cap in the base of the hull, is a chemical compound that will explode when struck by the firing pin igniting the gunpowder. 3. Powder: The powder burns and creates gas pressure to move the wad and shot down the barrel and out the muzzle. 4. Wad: Positioned between the powder and the shot. Wads are usually made of plastic and are one-piece. In the past wads were often made of paper or cardboard. The wad protects the shot and/ or barrel and seals the gas behind the shot charge. 5. Shot: The shot (pellets) that strike the target, resting atop the wad and just under the crimped mouth of the shell. Shot or pellets are for the most part made of lead but there are other pellets available made from bismuth, steel, tungsten-iron, tungsten-nickel-iron and even tungsten polymer. As hunting technology continues to evolve, more pellet materials are sure to be developed. With the different turkey loads available to hunters today, recognizing their capabilities when properly matched to shotgun and choke; a turkey hunter really has little reason to miss or have a hit that causes wounding loss of a bird. Usually when a shot is missed, the reason lies with the hunters ability and not with firearm or shells used. A hunter that takes the time to prepare NWTF Photo properly and understands the capabilities of their gun/choke/load combination has removed almost all the factors impacting the end result of the hunt. The only factor that remains is the human factor, which will be covered later in this course.

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SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

A novice turkey hunter may not understand what shot size and/or pellet composition to use to bag a bird. The bigger the shot size number the smaller the diameter of the individual pellets. This means that more pellets will fit into a shotshell, but these smaller pellets will not provide the same penetration energy at longer ranges as larger pellets can. Typically depending the shotguns gauge, lead pellets in sizes 4 through 6 are commonly used for turkey hunting. However, there has been a lot of work done on the development of pellet materials that can provide the same or better results as lead, without causing negative environmental impacts. Turkey loads made from some of these materials can produce more killing energy at greater ranges then lead pellets of the same size. Basically, the higher the density of the pellet material, the more slowly the pellet loses velocity and energy on the way to the target. Below is a brief overview of some of these non-toxic shot pellet materials:

Non-to xic Shot Non-toxic


1. Steel: Steel is only about 70 percent as dense as lead. a. Steel pellets the same size as lead pellets deliver a lot less energy downrange. b. A steel pellet needs to be 2 sizes lager to produce the same per pellet energy as lead. c. Steel shot doesnt equal the performance of lead at all distances, because the same size shell cannot contain the same number of larger steel pellets as lead. d. NOTE: Steel shot may damage the barrels of older shotguns, especially those with thin barrel walls. 2. Bismuth: Bismuths density is greater than that of steel, but still lower than the density of lead. a. Delivers excellent downrange performance. b. Will not damage shotgun barrels. 3. Tungsten-Matrix: A little heavier than bismuth. a. Tungsten is extremely hard, but when blended with the right amount of plastic (or polymer), it becomes about as soft as lead and its density is lowered to close to that of lead. b. Blending keeps the cost affordable without losing effectiveness.

Non-to xic Shot Non-toxic


- steel shot or other non-toxic shot approved by the United States Fish and Wildlife vice as an Ser Service acceptable nonto xic alter na ti ve to toxic alterna nati tiv lead shot.

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CHAPTER FOUR Firearms, Muzzleloaders & Bows


4. Tungsten-Iron: A mixture of tungsten and iron, with about the density as Tungsten-Matrix. W her e to star t? here start?
Consider these basic 3 loads to pa tter n test a 12g a patter ttern 12ga shotgun: Tar get Distances arg 30 yds. #6 Lead 40 yds. #4 Steel #5 Lead #6 TungstenComposite

a. More individual pellet energy than steel when pellets of the same size are compared. b. Tungsten-Iron shot is harder than steel shot and can be used in guns designed for use with steel. 5. Hevi-Shot: Composed of tungsten, nickel and iron, heavier even than lead with a density of 12.0 gms/cc. a. Hevi-Shot should be used only in guns designed to handle steel shot. b. Since Hevi-Shot is slightly more dense than lead, hunters can use shells with pellets one shot size smaller than lead shot to increase pattern density significantly. When looking for shotgun shells to pattern test, turkey hunters may come across loads that have Buffered listed on the box. What does this mean? Buffered shot means that the balls of shot are intermixed with plastic granules. This mixing does not affect the shotguns recoil, but it does affect shot ballistics by reduced pellet spin and deformation from the extreme initial acceleration of the shot. The buffering provides more even pattern density just like the way nickel or copper plated shot, which do not deform as much as uncoated shot pellets, improve patterns. Buffered loads in combination with plated shot usually make the most uniform and best patterning loads. Information on shotgun shell ballistics, load information, choke/load combination suggestions and more can be found on the Internet. Below are just a few sites to get a novice turkey hunter started: http://www.federalpremium.com/ http://www.hevishot.com/ http://www.kentgamebore.com/index.asp http://www.remington.com/ http://www.winchester.com/Pages/Home.aspx .

The most effective choke/load combinations to use for turkeys should have a minimum of 210230 pellets in a 30 circle with 5 to 7 skull/cer vical hits . skull/cervical hits. The load should have enough pellet energy to penetrate the vital areas at a given distance.

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Sights Shotguns for turkey hunting need some sort of sighting system to be effective. The least preferred are the white or silver beads that are found on many shotguns. These work well when hunting other small game species, but can be cumbersome to align on the head of a turkey at 35 yards. A better option is to use fiber-optic sights, which are easy to use in lowlight conditions. These sights come in a variety of colors and can be easily installed on older model shotguns.

NWTF Photo

Shotguns can also have low-power speciality scopes mounted on them for hunting turkey. The benefits of using a scope for turkey is that the crosshairs or illuminated reticle make it easier to aim for the head and neck of the bird. If the scope is correctly sighted-in, the shot should strike the target area every time. A drawback to using a scope is that the field of view is rather limited. This could cause difficulty in locating birds moving into range. However, by setting the scope to its lowest magnification and practicing identifying targets, hunters can compensate for this issue.

Rif les f or Tur key Rifles for urk


In Pennsylvania, turkey can be hunted with rifles during the fall season. Hunting turkeys with a rifle requires good marksmanship to make the often long-range head shots. A turkey hit in the body with a large caliber rifle will be killed, but little edible meat will be left. When hunting turkey with a rifle, smaller calibers are preferred. Some turkey hunters hand-load their own rifle ammunition so that they achieve great accuracy while reducing bullet velocity to lessen the amount of damaged meat. Rifle hunters going after turkey, and planning on shots at less than 100 yards, have success using calibers like the .22 WinMag and .17 HMR. The small grain bullet used in these rounds kills a turkey instantly and will not cause a lot of tissue damage. A scope is recommended for turkey hunting with a rifle. Any variable power scope with a wide field-of-view will work well. Many turkey hunters favor a scope such as one with 3-9 x 40 specifications to achieve successful shot placement. Remember that any firearm, with or without a scope, is only as accurate and effective as the shooters skill.

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Muzzleloaders
Turkey hunters wanting to challenge themselves are looking more and more to muzzleloading shotguns. Until recently, muzzleloading shotguns were not really designed for turkey hunting and were looked at as less than effective. The cylinder-bore barrels common to most of these earlier shotguns could not produce the tight patterns at longer ranges needed to effectively harvest a turkey. However, manufacturers have picked-up on this desire for a new challenge and have designed muzzleloading shotguns well suited for turkey hunting. The newer generation of muzzleloading shotguns can be purchased with either fixed full-choke barrels or interchangeable choke systems. It should be made clear however, a modern muzzleloading shotgun can not compare to the effective range and firepower of a modern 12-gauge pump action or semiautomatic turkey gun. Still more and more turkey hunters are willing to accept the limitations of a muzzleloader to experience the challenge and satisfaction of harvesting a bird by more traditional means, all the while enhancing their hunting skills to get birds closer than is necessary with a modern day shotgun. Traditional Muzzleloaders One type of muzzleloading shotgun that turkey hunters seem to lean toward more than others is the 12 gauge caplock double barrel. The double barrel allows for a quick second shot if needed but does require extra caution when used. After firing one barrel always remove the percussion cap from the nipple of the loaded barrel before reloading the empty barrel. Additionally, tamp down the load in the loaded barrel after shooting because the recoil may have created a space between powder charge and shot.
NWTF Photo

Finally, make sure the same barrel has not been loaded twice. Shooters can mark or cut a small grove into the ramrod at the point where it is even with the muzzle when the rod rests on the full charge. If the mark is in line with muzzle, the barrel is charged. Should the mark be below the muzzle, the barrel is empty. Caution: If the mark is well above the muzzle, another charge may have been loaded on top of an existing charge. DO NOT attempt to fire these loads! You will have to empty the barrel of all charges using the ramrod and necessary attachments or with a CO2 discharger.

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Four components are needed for a muzzleloading turkey-hunting load : Powder: Hunters will need something that will keep powder or Pyrodex pellets dry and readily accessible, such as a powder horn, as the traditionalists call them. A flask, either in the classic teardrop shape or the popular cylinder shape is preferred. Hunters carry a supply of shot in the field in shot flasks or shot snakes, which are long leather pouches. They are usually attached to a sling, with some sort of shot-measuring device at the end. For turkeys, try doses of 4, 5 and 6 shot at the range to see which patterns best.

Shot:

Percussion caps: Small copper or brass cylinder with one closed end. Inside the closed end is a small amount of a shock-sensitive explosive material such as fulminate of mercury. The cap is placed over a hollow metal nipple at the rear end of the gun barrel. Pulling the trigger releases a hammer which strikes the percussion cap and ignites the explosive primer. Wads: Materials vary from pre-lubed felt to punched-out cardboard and there is a host of ways to carry them. Small leather bags for the traditionalist or choose a bag with interior pockets, which can be used to sort the various wads and cards.

Make sure you thoroughly clean your gun every 3-5 shots because powder build-up can create erratic shot patterns. Beginning muzzleloader hunters must read and study the manufactures owner manual before loading the muzzleloader for the first time. Loading tables for the particular muzzleloader can be found in the manual. Caution: Shooters should never exceed the maximum (stronger) load recommended by the muzzleloader manufacturer. Additionally, hunters should never load synthetic powders that are not specifically listed as compatible with the muzzleloader being used. Check the manufacturers recommendation for which synthetic powders or blackpowder may be used in your modern muzzleloader shotgun.

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Some hunters assume that the maximum recommended powder load gives the best performance, however more is seldom better. When determining the best, most effective load for a muzzleloading shotgun, hunters need to try many different combinations to get the best results. Trying to find the perfect load for a muzzleloader takes a lot of effort and attention to detail. Shooters need to be aware that each load is a custom load and that hours are spent on the range trying out and mixing different components. The desired result is a load that has a combination that provides sufficient penetration power, range and pattern density.

Side-lock Percussion cap Muzzleloader

Side-lock Flintlock Muzzleloader

In-line Muzzleloaders Many manufacturers make in-line shotguns. The loading, unloading, firing and cleaning procedures are almost identical to those for traditional muzzleloaders. As with all firearms and hunting equipment, thoroughly read all materials provided by the manufacturer.

In-line Muzzleloader

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Bo whunting f or Wild Tur key Bow for urk


Trying to kill a turkey with bowhunting equipment is very challenging. Calling a turkey within the effective range of 15 to 20 yards needed for a killing shot with bow and arrow or crossbow, requires skill and patience. Bow Types Longbows The longbow is also known as a traditional bow. This bow has straight limbs that curve back slightly, looking like the letter D when strung. Longbows are most often as tall as the person using it, possibly being difficult to use in a blind or from a kneeling/sitting position. Most longbows average a draw weight of about 50 lbs. Recurve Bows The recurve bow is similar to the longbow, but the limb tips curve back away from the shooter. Recurves are shorter than long bows and the back curved limbs provide more power than a longbow of a similar size. These bows are relatively smooth and quiet to shoot.

Compound Bows The compound bow has many design variations. All function basically the same way; wheels (or cams) and cables are attached to the limbs. This makes it easier to hold at full draw for extended amounts of time and propels the arrow faster than longbows or recurves. Draw weight on compound bows is adjustable to a degree.

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Crossbows The crossbow is shot like a firearm. The string is pulled back and locked in the cocked position. The short, but powerful limbs move a short distance, but produce more power than other bows with similar sized limbs. The short, heavy power stroke creates more noise than conventional bows. Crossbow styles included compound and recurve types.
If legal to use in the area hunted, a ground blind helps to disguise the movement of w. dr awing the bo dra bow

Compound bows or crossbows are preferred for turkey hunters using a bow. It is very difficult to hold a traditional bow at full draw for a long time. The compound permits the hunter to hold the string drawn for some time with minimal effort and fatigue. Where legal, a crossbow is the best choice of archery equipment for turkey hunting because the arrow is pre-loaded, the string is pre-drawn and then held by mechanical means. The average deer-hunting bow is more than sufficient to kill a turkey. Hunters should consider setting the draw weight lower, around 30 lbs. to 45 lbs. This will allow holding the string back for a considerable amount of time with the least effort and reducing fatigue. Arrows should be tipped with a broadhead that has a large cutting diameter with some sort of adaptation to prevent a complete pass through shot. Special collars can be added to the shaft behind the broadhead to prevent this from occuring. Birds will be very difficult to retrieve a bird after a pass through shot. Turkeys will take off and fly away, even if mortally wounded. An arrow that remains in the bird will help prevent the turkey from flying off. Expandable broadheads are an very good choice for harvesting a turkey with a bow or crossbow. These broadheads, when matched properly to the bow, have great consistent accuracy and cutting area. Most archers using expandable broadheads state that they fly similar to target points.

In Pennsylvania, natural blinds are not legal to use while hunting.

Decoys can be used to distract birds away from the hunters location.

This can be an advantage to a bowhunter by reducing the chance of being detected when dr awing a bo w. dra bow

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Spor ting Ar m Saf ety Sporting Arm Safety


A sporting arm in the hands of a skilled shooter can hit and quickly harvest a turkey at a distance of about 40 yards. Unfortunately, many turkey hunters lack the skill to accurately shoot birds at these long distances. Many hunters wait until the season is upon them before attempting any sort of practice or patterning. Some hunters do not fire one shot at the range before hunting season. Their excuse for not practicing or pattern testing is, Well, I got one last year didnt I? No matter how accurate the firearm is, it is the hunter using it who makes the difference. Clean, well placed shots come from practice, pattern testing and understanding the shooters limitations. How many turkeys are lost each year because hunters do not have well-developed marksmanship skills or know the limitations of their sporting arm? It is the responsibility of every turkey hunter to practice and hone his or her skills to harvest their quarry quickly and humanely. Another responsibility of all hunters is to safely use their sporting arm while in the field, at the range, when cleaning and storing them at home. During the hands-on skills, portion of this class, students will have an opportunity to use their own sporting arms in live-fire activities. So that students arrive prepared to safely participate, they should be familiar with the five (5) basic safety rules. If students are S.M.A.R.T., they will have a safe, enjoyable, and worthwhile learning experience.

S.M.A.R.T . .M.A.R.T.
Safe Direction: Make Sure: Always Check:
Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction at all times. Positively identify your target.

Know whats beyond your target before shooting.

Respect Firearms: Treat all firearms as if they are loaded. Trigger Caution:
Dont touch the trigger until youre ready to shoot.

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CHAPTER CHAPTER FOUR FOUR Firearms, Firearms, Muzzleloaders Muzzleloaders & Bows & Bows
Chapter Review
1. What are the names of the mechanical safeties at these locations?

a.

b.

c.
2. 3. Tr ue or F alse: Mechanical safeties always function correctly. False: Which shotgun gauge is larger, 10 gauge or 20 gauge? The effectiveness of a choke will vary depending upon the _______________ of the pellets in the shotgun shell. When hunting turkey with a rifle, accurate rifles chambered for ______________ calibers are preferred. Tr ue or F alse: Hunters can use any type of black powder or smokeless powder False: when shooting a muzzleloading shotgun. Tr ue or F alse: In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to use natural blinds to hunt from. False: When hunting wild turkey with a bow, hunters should use a bow with the draw weight set around _______________ lbs. Tr ue or F alse: Compound bows or crossbows are preferred for turkey hunters False: using a bow.

4.

5.

6.

7. 8.

9.

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Answers: 1.) a. Slide or tang safety; b. Pivot safety; c. Cross-bolt safety 2.) False 3.) 10 gauge 4.) Composition 5.) Smaller 6.) False 7.) True 8.) 30 9.) True

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Scouting for Turkeys


Successful turkey hunters invest a lot of time patterning shotguns, shooting 3-D targets with their bows, practicing calling and prepping equipment. But one activity that is overlooked until the last minute is scouting for turkeys and signs that turkeys are in an area. How a turkey hunter goes about scouting for hunting locations; developing strategies and hunting methods, how often and what time of year, will greatly influence the hunts success and enjoyment. In this chapter, students are introduced to the basics of scouting for turkey hunting areas. During the hands-on skills training, students will use this knowledge in a simulated hunting area where they will look for sign, determine if there are any limiting factors for turkeys, locate food sources and possible roosting sites.

CHAPTER FIVE

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter Five, students will be able to:

List several turkey scouting strategies. Deescribe how to locate areas to hunt wild turkey. Identify different types of turkey signs. Effectively use topographic maps and areial photos of possible hunting areas.

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Scouting or Tur keys for urk Scouting forf Turkeys


Successfully harvesting a wild turkey, either in the spring or fall, is not as simple as one may think. Hunters do not walk into the woods or across fields, set-up, begin calling and then pull the trigger a few minutes later on a strutting tom or big hen. The most successful turkey hunters continuously hone their skills and spend hours researching for their next hunt. This research includes scouting for and then observing birds. The more that is known about the turkeys in a hunting area, the greater the chance of harvesting a bird.

CHAPTER FIVE CHAPTER FIVE

Locating Hunting Areas


Finding Public Hunting Grounds Its one of the greatest challenges facing every hunter. No, its not calling in that longbeard or figuring out how to get the tightest pattern out of a shotgun. Its finding a good place to hunt. While a small handful of hunters own their own land and even more are able to join hunt clubs and leases, many others search every year for that perfect spot. For these hunters, it means finding good public land. The first step in every hunters search for good public hunting lands should begin with their state wildlife agency. These agencies are responsible for managing much of the land available for public hunting, such as wildlife management areas or state forests. Wildlife agencies can usually provide complete information on areas close to home and those areas with the best opportunity for tagging a wild turkey or whatever game it is a hunter is after. State wildlife agencies can provide license requirements, costs and additional fees that may be needed to be paid to hunt these areas, along with maps and information on access roads, parking and even local camping or lodging. Some season dates or legal hunting hours may even differ from the rest of the state, so it is important to make sure you understand the rules of hunting each individual public hunting area. But dont just figure the search is complete with a state agency. Other sources of finding public hunting opportunities lie with companies with large land holdings. While more of these companies only lease land to hunt clubs or the state, some still allow hunters to purchase passes to hunt some tracts of company-owned land. Another great place to check is with military bases or federal government facilities. Many bases in rural areas take up thousands of acres used periodically by the military for training exercises or sit unused for future military needs. Many of them provide hunting to those willing to secure a permit.

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Hunters interested in finding out if a military base or federal installation near them has hunting opportunities need to contact the bases public information office. The public information office will be able to provide them with the infomation they will need to obtain access and take part in some of the great hunting these areas can provide.

Scouting
Year-round Scouting Although turkey seasons in North America only occur during certain times of the year and are relatively short in length, opportunities for locating prime hunting locations are available year-round. Turkeys hunters need to take advantage of all the time they spend outside, whether hunting other game animals, camping, or just out for a drive. Keep a record of where and when turkeys are seen, weather conditions and any other factors that may cause turkeys to be there. Areas where a lot of turkeys are found in winter provide a starting point for locating birds in the spring. Usually, the birds will not move too far from that location once spring begins. The movement of turkeys during spring will vary depending on PHOTO BY BILL KINNEY where the birds are hunted and what types of turkeys are being perused. Western turkeys, such as the Merriam and Rio Grande, are known to travel up to 10 miles or more to get to preferred areas for spring from their winter areas. Though eastern wild turkey have been known to travel long distances occasionally, generally their home range is much smaller. Most of what they need for year-round survival in a smaller area of several square miles. Pre-Season Scouting Scouting a few weeks before hunting season will help locate a general area that has good numbers of turkeys. Although passive scouting throughout the year is beneficial, turkeys observed using a certain area in the winter does not guarantee they will be there later in the spring. Turkeys often leave their winter haunts and move to other areas about the time when most spring seasons start. This is because during the winter months, the birds are focused on food and thermal cover for survival. In the spring, although still searching for new food sources, turkeys have a new focus - reproduction.

Hunters should hold off on using locators calls during preseason scouting, this tends to educate the birds that youre there.

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CHAPTER FIVE Scouting for Turkeys


Clues to Success Turkey Hunters need to look for clues that indicate birdsare in the area. A hunter must understand the needs and behaviors of a wild turkey to find these signs. However, continuous scouting pressure in an area can cause the birds to leave or go into hiding. Try not to disturb birds, be cautious and remain out of wide open areas when looking for promising hunting spots. Tracks If the middle toe of a turkey track is more than 2 inches long it is most likely a gobbler. Hen prints are smaller. Look for fresh tracks in fields, burns and old roadbeds; around creeks, and other water sources; and anywhere the soil is bare, muddy or sandy.

PGC Photo

Feathers Long, white-barred wing feathers with a square, rubbed tip, indicate a strutting gobbler. Black-tipped breast feathers belong to toms and rounded brown tipped feathers come from hens. Finding a lot of feathers at the base of trees may point to a roosting area.

PGC Photo

Droppings The droppings of a gobbler are large and shaped like the letter J. The scat of a hen will be smaller, spiral and rounded in shape. The color of fresh droppings will be greenish with white splotches. Droppings found beneath trees are another sign indicating a roosting area. They are also found in feeding areas and travel corridors.

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Scratchings These large, torn up areas indicate that birds are looking for seeds, acorns, insects or green vegetation beneath grass, leaves or pine needles. A turkey will use each foot a couple of times when scratching, leaving a rough V shape in the debris.
PGC Photo

Strutting Marks These long, narrow scratches in the soil on each side of set of large tracks point to where gobbler scraped the tips of his primary wing feathers as he strutted. Seeing a lot of these marks may indicate an area visited routinely by toms to show-off for large numbers of hens gathering daily at that location.

PGC Photo

Dusting Areas Turkeys do not bathe in water to remove parasites. The birds scrape out a bowl of loose soil to sit in and kick over their bodies to dust themselves daily. This activity usually occurs in the mid to late morning. A large number of these dust bowls may point to a nesting area. This would be a good spot to set-up to ambush strutting toms in the spring seasons.

PGC Photo

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Roosting Locations Turkeys do not sleep on the ground, but roost in trees. Favorite roosting trees are fairly tall and open with solid branches they can easily stand on to roost. The wild turkey has the ability to sleep in trees without falling because of a unique physical attribute. As the bird squats down on its legs, their toes close tightly and lock onto the limb where they are perched. Turkey hunters should look for large trees with good horizontal branches near water as possible roosting areas. This is because given a choice, turkeys would prefer to roost relatively close to a water supply. In areas with wooded ridges and hills, look for roosting areas below the ridge not on the crest. Birds will climb to the top of the ridge then fly down to their roosting tree, which will be located on the slope away from prevailing winds if possible. In colder climates, birds will seek out evergreen trees to provide thermal cover during cooler evenings in the fall. Remember that feathers and droppings will be found at the base of roosting trees. Hunters can determine how often or how long ago turkeys were there by the amount of scat and feathers left behind and how fresh the droppings are. Weather and wind will scatter feathers and degrade droppings over time. A large amount of fresh turkey sign may indicate that birds have been there recently and may continuously use the area. The most time efficient way of locating roosting areas is to just simply listen. Hunters need to get out either before daybreak or just prior to sunset and listen for the birds flying up or calling from the roost. This is often called roosting the bird. Although some hunters use owl calls to locate the roosting birds during the hunting seasons, it is not recommended for the pre-season. Turkeys are intelligent birds and will catch on to the continuous locator calling as not being the real thing. By the time the season rolls around, the birds may remain quiet and not respond to the locator calls at all. Another way to locate roosting trees, and the birds that frequent them, is to get out the binoculars and look. By keeping distance between the turkeys and the hunter during the pre-season, birds will not be nervous when the big day comes. Climbing a ridge at first light or near sunset, and glassing the area may prove beneficial in finding that elusive gobbler during hunting season.
PGC Photo

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Obstacles During scouting trips, hunters not only need to locate the areas where birds are or may frequent, but also take into account the places where turkeys will not be. Obstacles that turkeys avoid or detour around include such terrain features as ravines, gullies, streams, thick vegetation and fences. Hunters who do there geography homework will be able to find the preferred travel corridors around and through such areas. Setting up along these paths may give hunters an advantage when calling birds in to their spot. If the birds location and path can be figured out, the odds of successfully harvesting a turkey increase.

Topo graphic Ma ps and Aerial Photo graph y opog Maps Photog phy
Another aspect of the lay of the land that a hunter needs to consider is the topography of the area. Topography includes the elevation of hills and valleys. A good way to plan for the influences of the topography of the area is to use topographical maps and aerial photographs. These pieces of information can be easily obtained from the Internet or from state and federal agencies. Internet sources include: http://terraserver-usa.com/ - Maps and satellite photos www.topozone.com/ - Maps yahoo.com - Satellite photos State and Federal Agencies include: Pennsylvania DCNR - State Forest Maps Pennsylvania Game Commission - State Game Land Maps United States Geological Survey (USGS) - Maps and photos By matching topographic maps with aerial photos, hunters can scout the area before actually setting foot on the ground. Then, after the hands-on scouting has been done, maps and photos can be used to note where different turkey signs and areas were found. Things such as roosting sites, strut zones or dusting areas, feeding areas and water sources can be recorded. Additionally, obstacles that were encountered can be added to the maps and photos. When all of this information has been collected and placed on the maps or photos, turkey hunters have a very valuable tool to help plan for a successful and enjoyable hunting experience.

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CHAPTER FIVE Scouting for Turkeys


Watc h and Lear n tch Learn
The last component of scouting for turkey hunting locations, after the clues have been found and obstacles accounted for, is to watch and learn the behaviors of the birds to be hunted. Observing the game being pursued, in its natural setting under various conditions, is the only way to develop an understanding of that animal. Turkey hunters who can observe birds undetected will have an extra advantage when gobblers prove to be uncooperative or when flocks seem to just disappear. Each hunting situation, as well as individual birds, will be different from previous experiences. The only way to know the numbers, size, sex, characteristics, and the time to expect the animals in particular locations is by spending some time and effort observing them.
High ground can also give a listening advantage ying to when tr trying pin down a gobblers travel routes.

The best place to set-up an observation site will be the highest point in the area with a good view. The key is to stay at a distance away from the birds so that they will not be disturbed during their everyday activities. This stealthy approach will provide valuable information on how the birds react to weather, daylight conditions, human presence, predators and other factors.

Scouting Activity Record


In Appendix II, there is a sample of blank scouting activity record. When hunters head to the woods, marshes or fields looking for turkeys and turkey sign before the season, a record of what was encountered is a handy thing to have. Knowing the what, where, when, how, and how often will prove useful in planning an effective strategy for a successful hunt. How to use the Scouting Record Most of the information is self explanatory, but here are some basic ideas of how to make entries into some of the data field: Sky Weather Wind Terrain Habitat Cloudy, Clear, Completely Overcast Clear, Rain, Fog, Snow Direction and Speed (if known) Ridges, Fields, Hills and Valleys, Mixed Hardwoods, Pines, Swampy/Marshy, Grassland, Prairie, Agriculture with Wood Lots

Map Information: Place an X in the check boxes as the information is added to the scouting map. This also helps remind the hunter of things to look for while out scouting for a good hunting spot.

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Safe Turkey Hunting


There are many different hazards that turkey hunters need to be aware of and to prepare for while in the field. Changes in weather, physical condition, insects and reptiles, firearms, and inexperienced or irresponsible hunters are just a few. An enjoyable hunting adventure can turn stressful or even life threatening when something unforeseen occurs. By understanding what could happen while hunting, turkey hunters can plan and prepare for these situations and be able to properly react to them should they occur.

CHAPTER SIX

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter Six, students will be able to:

Explain the main causes of turkey hunting HRSIs (Hunting-Related Shooting Incidents) occurring in Pennsylvania. Explain basic wild turkey hunting safety practices. Explain the concept of premature closure and how it can cause turkey hunting incidents. Describe possible environmental hazards while hunting wild turkeys. List the basic firearm safety rules.

(Photos courtesy of the NWTF)

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CHAPTER SIX CHAPTER SIX

Safe Turkey Hunting Saf e Tur key Hunting Safe urk


During the fall and spring seasons, turkey hunters take to the woods and fields with the hope of harvesting a bird. However, even though turkey hunting is one of the safest outdoor activities, incidents do occur. In Pennsylvania, the two main causes for Hunting Related Shooting Incidents (HRSIs) during turkey seasons are hunters in the line-of-fire with a turkey and faliure to positively identifying the target.

Hunting-Related Shooting Incidents (HRSIs)


A Hunting-Related Shooting Incident (HRSI) is defined as: ...any occurrence when a person is injured or kiled as the result of the discharge of a sporting arm during actual hunting or trapping activities. Often these incidents result from failing to follow some very basic safety rules. While one such incident is one too many, the marked decline of turkey hunting shooting incidents can be attributed to the success of hunter education and the recommended or required use of fluorescent orange clothing while hunting in Pennsylvania. NOTE: Hunting regulations may change from year-to-year. Hunters must check for regulation updates and modifications prior to each hunting season. Ignorance of hunting laws and regulations is not an excuse for violating them. Line-of-Fire Incidents An incident deemed line-of-fire occurs when a hunter shoots at a game species and strikes another hunter or non-hunter who is located either: a.) between the target and the shooter or, b.) on the opposite side of PGC Photo the target in line with the shooter. During turkey hunting seasons, these incidents occur from a few different scenarios. The most common line-of-fire incident occurs when a hunter moves into another hunters area undetected in the pre-dawn hours. When there is enough light to see, both hunters are set in their spots, camouflaged and still. Neither knows the other is there. When a shot presents itself, one hunter shoots at a bird thinking it is safe to do so, but the other hunter is in line with the shooter and the target. This situation also occurs when members of the same hunting party lose track of where other members are located.

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Line-of-fire incidents also occur when hunters are stalking turkey sounds and come across turkey decoys. Usually the hunter that has set the decoys is located in-line with the expected travel route of incoming birds and the decoys. The approaching hunter, unaware of the other, sees the decoys and attempts to get a quick shot before the flock scatters. Unfortunately, the other hunter is between or just opposite the decoys and is struck by pellets from the blast. Shot for Game Incidents The majority of turkey hunting incidents are the result of some hunters failing to positively identify their target before shooting. These incidents are the most tragic and are avoidable. Nearly 75% of incidents occuring during turkey hunting seasons are categorized as shot for game incidents. During the 1990s, 11 individuals lost their lives in Pennsylvania while turkey hunting. The main reason that these incidents occur is that the shooter did not take the time to positively identify the target as a legal turkey before shooting. The hunter may want so badly to see a turkey during the hunt that any movement or sound may be misinterpreted as a bird. The shooter typically sees movement often coupled with hearing sounds thought to be made by a turkey. Before the shooter positively identifies these sights and sounds as being a turkey, his/her sensory NWTF Photo processes close and the decision is made to shoot. Psychologist call this Premature Closure and it can happen to any hunter, beginning or experienced. In an effort to reduce or even eliminate this type of incident, hunters and non-hunters in the field during turkey seasons should not wear clothing with solid colors that are found on the wild turkey. Additionally, its wise to wear a fluorescent orange hat when moving in areas where turkey hunting is occuring. Make sure of your target! During the spring season in Pennsylvania, legal turkeys must have a beard. Hunters must be patient and wait to see the entire bird, checking out the head coloration and the beard. If the target is too far away to see physical features, wait. Take the time needed to positively identify the target as a bird. It is better to miss an opportunity at a gobbler than to injure or unintentionally kill another person.
put your finger on the trigger unless you are sure that your target is a tur key. turk

NEVER

ABSOL UTEL Y ABSOLUTEL UTELY

You, the , ar e shooter, are shooter tasked with the responsibility m of f ir ear irear earm fir safety when in the field!

Remember, after the shot is made you cant take it back!


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Stalking Tur keys urk
There are times when some turkey hunters will stalk turkey sounds. This is done by moving slowly in the direction of a calling turkey, trying to get close enough for a shot. Since many hunters are skilled callers, sounding better than an actual turkey in some cases, it is not uncommon for novice turkey hunters to be fooled. This seemingly innocent activity may become dangerous very quickly. New, or even experienced turkey hunters, should never stalk turkey sounds when hunting. The hunter doing the stalking may come across another turkey hunter set-up and calling. When the stalking hunter is close to the other hunters location, they may mistakenly identify the moving hands on a call or a head turning as the movement of a turkey and shoot. The calling hunter may even identify the other hunter at a distance, but a hand wave signalling Im here could cause the other to mistakenly fire as well. Turkey hunters should never wave or move to alert approaching hunters of their presence. Dont use calls or whistle, these may be misinterpreted as coming from a turkey. Instead, remain still and shout STOP, then wait until the approaching hunter identifies the hunters general location. Then it will be safer to move and communicate with the approaching hunter if necessary. The stalking hunter is also in jeopardy of being mistaken for a turkey. As the hunter moves slowly toward the caller, their movements may be mistaken as those of bird. The caller may see the other hunter first and shoot before properly identifying the target as a turkey.

During Pennsylvanias spring turkey season, stalking is unlawful.

Decoy Safety
While decoys may increase success, they can also increase danger. Todays decoys are very real looking and can draw fire from unknowing hunters. When using decoys, be sure to: 1. Always keep decoys covered during transport. Many of the new decoys fold up for easy storage in turkey vests. 2. Always set up against a tree that is taller than your head and wider than your shoulders. 3. Establish a clear line of vision for at least 100 yards and then set up the decoys 20 yards from your position on the line. 4. If you see another hunter, call out in a loud, clear voice to alert them to your position. 5. Always check carefully that no one is stalking your decoys before leaving your position.
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Saf e Tur key Hunting Pr actices Safe urk Practices


There are several safe practices that turkey hunters should follow when in the field. The list below includes many of the most important items to consider when pursuing turkeys. POSITIVELY IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET!

100% identification of your target prevents others being mistakenly shot for game. These colors include blue, red, white and solid patches of black. Check regulations to determine if fluorescent orange is not required to be worn or displayed during turkey hunting seasons. Even if it is not required, its still a good idea to wear it when moving. Cover with fluorescent orange or completely conceal from view. May be another hunter calling. Select the largest stump, blow-down, tree trunk or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head to place your back against when calling. Protects from undetected hunter that may approach from the rear. Alert other hunters of your presence without causing them to possibly shoot at movement. Zone-of-fire is the area in front of a hunter, approximately 45o in width, that is safe to shoot into.

DONT WEAR COLORS FOUND ON A WILD TURKEY

WEAR FLUORESCENT ORANGE AS REQUIRED BY LAW

NEVER CARRY HARVESTED TURKEYS IN THE OPEN

NEVER STALK A TURKEY OR TURKEY SOUNDS

PROTECT YOUR BACK

SHOUT STOP AT APPROACHING HUNTERS!

PRE-SELECT A ZONE-OF-FIRE

KNOW WHERE YOUR HUNTING PARTNERS ARE LOCATED CHOOSE SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE HUNTING PARTNERS

Do not hunt with anyone that is not safe and responsible. Watching other game or listening for the alarm cries of Blue Jays, crows, squirrels or woodpeckers. When songbirds, crows or your turkey becomes quiet, another hunter may be moving in the area.

BE OBSERVANT TO DETECT MOVEMENT

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Fir ear m Saf ety Firear earm Safety
A firearm in the hands of a skilled shooter can hit and quickly harvest a turkey at up to 40 yards. Unfortunately, many novice turkey hunters lack the skill to accurately and quickly harvest a turkey at a distance. Additionally, many hunters wait until the season is upon them before attempting any sort of practice or patterning. Some turkey hunters do not fire one shot at the range before hunting season. No matter how accurate a firearm is, it is the hunter using it who makes the difference. Clean, well placed shots come from practice and understanding the shooters limitations. How many game animals are lost each year because hunters do not have well-developed marksmanship skills? It is the responsibility of every hunter to practice and hone his or her skills to harvest game quickly and humanely. When using any firearm, be sure to follow these five primary safety rules. They can easily be remembered by just thinking S.M.A.R.T. !

S.M.A.R.T . .M.A.R.T.
Safe Direction: Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction
at all times.

Make Sure:
shooting.

Positively identify your target. Know whats beyond your target before

Always Check:

Respect Firearms:
shoot.

Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.

Trigger Caution: Dont touch the trigger until youre ready to

Hearing Protection The sound from a firearm discharge reaches up to 140 decibels or louder. This is louder than sitting close to the stage during a rock concert. Take into consideration some turkey shotguns with ported barrels and the sound can be even louder. Continual exposure to sound above 85 decibels is dangerous and hearing loss may develop. Hunters should use earmuffs, earplugs or some other hearing protection when shooting and hunting.

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Outdoor Safety
Turkey hunters need to be aware of additional hazards they may encounter while in pursuit of birds. The areas hunters choose to hunt, although familiar to them, pose health risks from weather and other critters. All hunters should take a basic first-aid course and carry a small but well supplied first-aid kit to be ready for health emergencies while afield. Hypothermia Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing a drop in the bodys core temperature. A person can develop hypothermia by exposure to cold, wet conditions. One does not need to fall into a creek or pond to develop hypothermia. Being out in the rain, snow, sleet, or even damp, cold weather can bring on hypothermia. Although the body heats-up from exertion, the cooling system built into the human body can cause a serious hypothermic situation. Moisture from sweating will soak into clothing over time. Clothing not designed to wick away moisture, such as cotton T-shirts, will remain damp and not provide thermal insulation. The body will continue to cool down, below normal body temperature, allowing hypothermia to begin. Wind will also lower body temperature as it evaporates moisture from the skin. Hypothermia can be prevented by dressing properly, avoiding hazardous weather conditions, and by drying out as quickly as possible when you get wet. Hunters should consider taking along extra pairs of socks and undershirts to change into when the clothes they are wearing become damp. High-calorie foods, such as trail mixes, chocolate candy, and ceratin power bars provide quick energy that helps your body produce heat. Symptoms of Hypothermia

Uncontrolled shivering - Usually the first obvious symptom - Ends as hypothermia worsens

Slow, slurred speech Memory loss Odd behavior Loss of body movement & coordination Sleepiness Unconsciousness - Occasionally leading to death
PGC Photo

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Treating Hypothermia

Find shelter if possible Remove wet clothing and put on dry clothing if available Drink warm, not hot, liquids to hydrate and warm - Never drink alcohol Mild cases, use another persons body heat to warm the victim Advanced stages - Warm the victim slowly by using another person in body contact - Place canteens of hot water insulated with socks or towels on the groin, armpits, and sides of the neck of the victim

Victims at or near unconsciousness must be treated with extreme caution


- NEVER place victim in a warm bath or exposed to a large

fire. (May lead to traumatic shock or death)


- Immediately contact emergency medical personnel to

evacuate the victim to a hospital for treatment

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is the opposite of hypothermiacore body temperature increases, usually the result of hot, humid conditions, plus a lack of water. In temperatures above 80 F, the body does not have enough surface area to get rid of heat fast enough. So the body sweats to make evaporative cooling possible. When humidity is low, the apparent temperature will be lower than the air temperature since evaporating sweat cools the body quickly. However, in higher humidity, it feels hotter than the actual air temperature because evaporation is occurring slowly. In hot , humid environments, the body can get into a dangerous situation by not being able to cool down. Hunters should drink plenty of water when hunting in hot, humid areas to prevent heat exhaustion. If the location requires hiking long distances, take frequent breaks along the way to prevent over-heating. Finally, hunters should dress in layers and then shed them as needed to prevent the bodys core temperature from rising too high.
PGC Photo

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Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion Common Symptoms


Pale and clammy skin Weakness Loss of appetite Headache Dizziness

Less Common Symptoms


Muscle cramps Nausea Chills Rapid breathing Tingling in hands and/or feet Confusion

Treatment of Heat Exhaustion


Find cooler location or shade, and slowly drink water Fan to lower body temperature

Hea t Str ok e Heat Strok oke


Heat stroke occurs when the bodys core temperature exceeds 107 F due to heat exposure with a lack of thermoregulation (cooling). This is distinct from a fever, where there is a physiological increase in the core temperature of the body. Heat stroke should be treated as a medical emergency because it can be fatal. Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Dry, hot, and flushed skin Dilated pupils Headache Dizziness Rapid, weak pulse and breathing Confusion Loss of consciousness Seizures

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Treatment for Heat Stroke Hea t str ok e is a medical emergency that may result in death if Heat strok oke treatment is delayed. Start cooling measures immediately and continue while waiting for transportation and during evacuation!

Move the victim to a cool or shady area or improvise shade Loosen or remove the victims clothing Spray or pour cool not cold water on the victim and fan Massage the victims arms and legs Elevate the victims legs If the victim is conscious, have him slowly drink at least one canteen of cool water

(Do Not have the victim drink COLD water, this may cause the victim to go into shock!)

Venomous Snak es Snakes


The best way to handle a venomous snakebite is to remain calm and get to a hospital emergency room immediately. Do not try to cut and suck-out the poison from a snakebite. This may do more harm than good.
Remember what the snake looks like. A description of its color , mar kings or color, markings head shape will help doctor s deter mine doctors determine the method of treatment.

Fear and panic may worsen snakebite reactions. If the victim is unable to move or be moved, try to calm the victim as much as possible. Keep the victim in a reclining position to slow the spread of venom. If the bite is on a limb, keep the wound at or below the level of the heart. Since cellular phones and radios can have limited capabilities in remote areas, anyone providing assistance may have to leave the victim and go for help.

PGC Photo

When hunting in areas with venomous snake populations, watch where you step if possible. Avoid areas with thick brush or tall grasses. Prior to stepping over downed trees, logs, or other obstacles, take a moment to look on the opposite side and ensure it is clear. Snakes will attack or bite if threatened or surprised. Another good idea is to wear high boots or purchase snake proof chaps to wear when hunting in notably snake prone locations.

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Ticks
Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that are often found in tall grass and shrubs where they will wait to attach to a passing host. A tick will attach itself to its host by inserting its cutting mandibles and feeding tube into the skin. Physical contact is the only method of transportation for ticks. Ticks do not jump or fly, although they may drop from their perch and fall onto a host. Some species stalk the host from ground level, emerging from cracks or crevices located in the woods or even inside a home or kennel. Changes in temperature and day length are some of the factors signalling a tick to seek a host. Ticks can detect heat emitted or carbon dioxide respired from a nearby host. They will generally drop off the animal when full, but this may take several days. In some cases ticks will live for some time on the blood of an animal. Ticks are more active outdoors in warmer weather. Ticks can be found in most wooded or forested regions throughout the world. They are especially common in areas where there are deer trails or human tracks. Ticks are especially abundant near water, where warm-blooded animals come to drink, and in meadows wherever shrubs and brush provide woody surfaces and cover. Lyme Disease Lyme disease is a potentially serious disease carried by deer ticks. The symptoms of Lyme disease vary from one person to another. Frequently, but not always, patients initially develop a darkened area at the site of the tick attachment that resembles a bulls eye. They also may experience some combination of fatigue, fever, flu-like achiness and joint pain. As the infection progresses there can be arthritis, neurological and heart related symptoms, as well as visual impairment. The juvenile deer tick, or nymph, is abundant in late spring and summer and is about the size of a poppy seed. It is black in color. Adult ticks are active throughout the fall, warm winter days and early spring and are about the size of a sesame seed. Adult females (seen much more often on humans than males) are black toward the front and a dull red toward the rear.
PGCPhoto

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Preventing Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

Unless you have a medical reason not to wear insect repellant containing DEET apply in accordance with manufactures directions. DO NOT APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE SKIN! Be vigilant looking for deer ticks - frequent tick checks and a daily fullbody inspection are amust. Promptly remove any ticks that are attached to the body using finetipped tweezers; take a pair of tweezers when hunting.

NOTE: Thorough inspections are the first line of defense against Lyme Disease. Prompt removal will prevent disease from spreading from the tick to the victim. The bacteria that causes Lyme disease begins to move from the tick to the person beginning 36 hours after the tick has attached and begun to feed. Seek medical assistance if a tick is imbedded in the skin!

Always thoroughly wash hands and tweezers immediately after handling ticks of any type. Once hunters have returned from the field, they should wash clothing and clean firearms and accessories.

HRSIs - Rendering Assistance


Pennsylvania Game Law requires a person who has inflicted injury or witnessed the infliction of injury to a human being with any firearm or bow and arrow, while hunting or furtaking, to render immediate and full assistance to the injured person. Fleeing the scene or failing or refusing to help the injured person is a violation of law and is punishable by fines, imprisonment and/or forfeiture of hunting privileges.

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Just in Case
Whether hunting, backpacking, or just out for a hike, those who love the outdoors know that anything can happen when they go off the beaten path. Although one cannot be prepared for every possible hazard, there are a few items which are a good idea to take on every trip outdoors: Batteries Cellular phone or radio Compass/GPS Fire starter First-aid kit Flashlight (two, if possible) Food Emergency blanket Insect repellent Knife Map Medications (two day supply) Multi-tool Socks Signal mirror Water Whistle

What else should you take?


(Remember, you have to carry it all!)

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Chapter Review
Draw a line from the term in column A to the corresponding word or phrase in column B

Column A

Column B Snake bite

Shot for Game Premature Closure After the shot is made.... Yell STOP Always Check Blue, Red, White & Black Memory Loss Flu-like symptoms Zone-of-Fire

Striker Dont wear these colors 45o in front of you Hypothermia 75% Heat exhaustion You cant take it back Wear these colors Sensory processes close Whats beyond your target When a hunter approaches Lyme disease

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Answers: Shot for Game - 75%; Premature Closure - Sensory processes close; After the shot is made ... - You cant take it back; Yell STOP - When a hunter approaches; Always Check - Whats beyond your target; Blue, Red, White & Black - Dont wear these colors; Memory Loss - Hypothermia; Flu-like symptoms - Lyme disease; Zoneof-Fire - 45o in front of you.

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CHAPTER SEVEN
Turkey Hunting Basics
Not ever turkey hunter is successful the first time they go after a gobbler. But the chances of success are greatly increased when he or she has a firm understanding of the basics. Hunters who take the time to learn about the wild turkeys behavior during different times of the year and what basic strategies to use have a more enjoyable experience. And many will successfully bag their first bird as well!

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter Seven, students will be able to:

Describe seasonal wild turkey behavior. Demonstrate or explain how to safely use turkey decoys. Describe basic strategies for hunting wild turkey during spring seasons. Describe basic strategies for hunting wild turkey during fall seasons.

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Turkey Hunting Basics Turkey Hunting Basics


Hunting wild turkey in North America is exciting, challenging and fun. Opportunities to harvest birds exist during the spring and fall of the year in many parts of the continent. A successful turkey hunter needs to understand the characteristics of their quarry, the influence that different environments have on birds, and the basic hunting strategies to be mastered.

Spring Tur key Hunting urk


The reproductive cycle for the wild turkey usually begins in late winter through early to mid-spring depending on the species and location. Breeding behavior is triggered primarily by the increasing day length in spring, but unusually warm or cold spells may accelerate or slow breeding activity. It is this behavior that makes a spring hunt exciting and challenging. Gobbler Behavior Hunters will never know exactly what a gobbler is thinking. However, it would be safe to assume that his motives in the spring focus on breeding.
When hunting turkeys during the spring in Pennsylvania, only bearded birds can be har vested. harv

During summer, fall and winter a gobblers movements will be guided by where he can find his next meal. As the days grow longer, they turn their attention toward breeding. Learning how a gobbler reacts to hens can improve a hunters chances of tagging a longbeard during the spring. In principle and theory, spring turkey hunting is not difficult. Find a gobbling bird in the predawn darkness and set up nearby. As the sun starts to break the horizon, let out a few hen yelps and sit at the ready. When the bird flies down and walks within 30 yards, take him.
NWTF Photo

In the woods however, it doesnt always work that way. Often, the trick to turkey hunting is finding the right bird at the right time in the right place. The same bird that ignored calls in the morning may run right into a hunters set-up later that day. As a novice turkey hunter, one should learn as much as possible about turkey behavior in order to be successful. As an introduction to why does he do that, some general tips about turkey behavior in the spring have been listed on the following pages.

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Gobbler Behavior Background

Gobbling is used to bring hens to the gobbler. Remember that you are trying to do the opposite when you are turkey hunting. Be patient and adjust your calling intensity to suit his mood. You will typically want to try and get him fired up. Strutting is a close-range technique to attract hens to the gobbler. Dominant toms usually gobble more than subordinate ones. Jakes do gobble and strut. However, they are often afraid to do so, especially later in the spring after a dominant bird has whipped them a few times. Just because the spring woods are quiet doesnt mean there arent any turkeys around. Gobblers are usually surrounded with hens early in the morning. Toward mid-morning, the hens will often leave them to sit on their nests. The time to be there is when a old tom is alone. Did you ever have a vocal bird at predawn working your calls only to have the bird shut up when he flew off the roost? It is probably no surprise, but he most likely had hens all around him. Gobblers still mate in the rain they just dont gobble as much or you cant hear them as well due to the noise.There is no reason why hunting rainy-day gobblers cant be successful. Look for birds in fields and pastures when it is raining. A common misconception is that toms sometimes just get tired of gobbling and shut up later in the season. This is not true. Gobbling will peak just before hens are ready to breed, usually just beforeyour hunting season starts, and again after most hens have started to incubate their eggs usually toward the middle to later part of your season. Lateseason hunting is a great time to find lonesome toms. Roosting birds the night before a hunt is a major strategy in turkey hunting. Shortly before dark, slip into your hunting area and listen for gobbles and birds flying into trees. The birds will be in the same area the next morning.

The Dominant Bird Most turkey hunters would like to shoot the biggest, oldest gobbler in the woods. The problem is that it can be hard to tell which gobbler this is until one actually has him in hand. Fortunately, there are a few clues that may give a turkey hunter an advantage in picking out the dominant tom.

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Most of the time, the biggest and/or oldest gobbler is likely to also be the dominant one within a flock. He can often be identified by the way he acts. When watching a small group of gobblers in the spring as they approach a hen or come to your calling, look for the longbeard that does all or most of the strutting. He will be the dominant bird nearly every time. The other gobblers around the dominant bird will often strut too, but usually they will not strut as NWTF Photo long or as fully fanned. The boss gobbler may not come out of strut at all. His head is usually pulled in close to his body, and his fan is sticking straight up. Another clue to identifying pecking order is to watch for attacks from the dominant tom toward other gobblers. The big boy may chase the others, or he may just turn their way, causing them to move off or break strut. Gobbling behavior may also give clues to pecking order. Many times, but not always, the first turkey to gobble on a given morning is the dominant bird. However, on occasions when he doesnt gobble first, hunters may note that other gobbling turkeys suddenly fall silent when he finally sounds off. Another clue is that the hens may yelp back more often and with more excitement to the dominant bird.

Setting Up
Openings and fields are important to turkeys. In summer, most of the turkeys food sources are found in open, sunny places. Newly hatched broods may be seen along of field borders and other openings, which provide the poults primary meal of insects, a variety of seeds and berries. Grasses, berries and insects also are primary foods for adult turkeys at this time of year, with plant material providing more than half of the summer diet for the turkey.
NWTF Photo

Fields are good places to view the attentive hen as she teaches her brood the ways of the wild turkey. And when the following spring rolls around, they are also good places to set-up and wait for a feeding longbeard when the birds refuse to gobble.

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Stumps make a natural and safe natural blind. Select the largest stump, blow-down, tree trunk or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head to place your back against when calling; a hunter is more likely to spot another hunter when moving to the front or side than from behind. Additionally, these objects will help break-up the hunters outline, allowing him or her to blend in with the surroundings and possibly outwitting a weary tom.

Tur key Deco ys urk Decoys


While decoys may increase chances, they can also increase danger. Todays decoys are very real looking and can draw fire from unknowing hunters. When using decoys, be sure to: 1. Never transport decoys uncovered. Many of the new decoys fold up for easy storage in turkey vests. 2. Always set up against a tree that is taller than your head and wider than your shoulders. 3. Establish a clear line of vision for at least 100 yards and then set up the decoys 20 yards from your position on the line. 4. If you see another hunter, stay still and shout STOP in a loud, clear voice to alert them of your position.

NWTF Photo

5. Always carefully check the surrounding area before leaving your position to ensure that other hunters have not moved into the area while stalking your calls and decoys. With turkey decoys, large spreads, such as with ducks and geese, are not needed. Two hens with a jake decoy are plenty. Some hunters only use a single hen decoy. When placing decoys always set the jake decoy facing you so when the gobbler faces his competition, you can adjust your aim.

Sounds of the Wild Tur key urk


From gathering poults to finding a mate, wild turkeys make a vast array of sounds. On the following page is a list of the calls these birds use and the purposes of each.

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If access to the Internet is possible, hunters can go to the NWTFs website and listen to examples of these calls. Just log on, go to the following link, click on the Listen to audio icon found under an explanation of each call and enjoy:

http://www.nwtf.org/all_about_turkeys/sounds_of_turkeys.html
Yelp The yelp is a basic turkey sound. It is often delivered in a series of single note vocalizations and can have different meanings depending on how the hen uses it. Tree yelp The tree call is usually a series of soft muffled yelps given by a roosted bird. Sometimes it picks up in volume as fly down time nears. Maybe accompanied by soft clucking. Generally acknowledged as a call to communicate with others in a flock. Cluck The cluck consists of one or more short, quick notes. The plain cluck, many times, includes two or three single note clucks. Its a good call to reassure an approaching gobbler that a hen is waiting for him. Kee Kee - The kee kee is the lost call of young turkeys. Its often associated with fall hunting, but can be used successfully in the spring. A variation of the call, the kee kee run is merely a kee kee with a yelp. Purr - Purring is a soft, rolling call turkeys make when content. It can usually be heard by feeding birds. This is not a loud call, but is good for reassuring turkeys as they get in close to your position. Cackle The cackle is an excited call often heard when a turkey flies down from the roost. Some hunters use it in the early morning to get a gobbler to fly down and walk into their set up. It usually consists of three to 10 irregularly spaced notes. Putt The putt is a single note that sounds very similar to a pop. It is also a sound hunters dread to hear as it is the turkey signal for danger and usually means that the birds are leaving. Gobble The gobble is the primary sound a male turkey makes in the spring to attract hens. The gobble is unmistakable in the morning woods and is what turkey hunters hope to hear. Owl hoot The owl hoot, the best is a barred owl, is a locator call used to make a tom shock gobble and give away his location. The cadence is very simple. To make the sound blow into the call the words, Who cooks for you. Who cooks for you all. Cupping the exit with your hands can change the sound of the call. Crow call The crow call is another locator call used to get a tom to shock gobble. It is quite simple to use. Blow into the call with quick, sharp bursts of air three to seven times.

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Popular Spring Strategies


Hunters with patience effectively use a method of turkey hunting commonly referred to as waiting it out. A hunter will set up over a feeding area, dusting hole or strutting zone, call sparingly, and wait for a gobbler. The wait can be used with or without decoys. Waiting it out

Before the season begins, scout for turkeys. Look for flat, open stretches of ground with tracks going in both directions and lines in the dirt where the gobblers wings scrape the ground as he struts. Openings on hills such as logging roads, fields and cut-overs are good places to look. Gobblers like to call from a high vantage point where the hens will hear them. If using decoys, set up just before daylight in an area near where it is believed turkeys are roosting.

NWTF Photo

Make sure you have a good line of vision and a safe backrest against a tree wider than your shoulders and taller than your head. At daylight, perform some slow, soft yelps as if the hen is just waking up. If a tom responds, increase intensity and do a fly down cackle. Continue calling to the tom. Listen to his reactions and adjust your strategy accordingly. If no bird responds, continue calling with yelps and clucks every 15 to 20 minutes. Stay ready as toms can come in silently.

Staying comfortable for long periods of time is required when employing this style of turkey hunting. A good vest with a cushion or a low-profile stool can really help a hunter remain relatively motionless. Some movement may be required toward the direction of a distant or stubborn bird. Listen to the bird and try to determine his direction of travel. His actions will determine where to set up and whether a move to a better calling location is needed.

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An aggressive tactic requiring large amounts of movement and calling to locate a tom that is willing to talk is known as the Cut n run or the Run n gun. NOTE: This is not stalking! Hunters should never stalk turkeys or turkey sounds. A loud, high-volume call is good for making the yelps and cutts needed to find a bird. Locator calls mimicking crows, owls or coyotes also work well. Cut n Run

Scout for turkeys before the season. Look for feeding areas, roost trees and strut zones. Start before daylight in a likely area with a locator call. High areas allow you to hear and call long distances. When a bird is located, move within a couple hundred yards of the bird and set up with a good line of vision and a safe backrest. Call to the bird as needed with yelps, cutts and clucks. Be sure youre positioned in front of a safe backrest when calling. Be prepared to move as needed if the bird hangs up or heads the other way. Learn to read the bird to know whether to move or stay.

Decoys can be used, but some hunters avoid them in this situation because of the added weight and the additional time needed to set up and NWTF Photo take down decoys. A vest is an excellent investment. It keeps calls close at hand, provides a cushioned seat while still allowing quick mobility, and decoys can be stored and used if the situation requires.

Fall Tur key Hunting urk


In many parts of the country, either males or females may be harvested during the fall season. Although the priorities of the birds have changed from breeding and rearing poults to feeding, the basic strategies that worked in the spring will carry over to the fall. However, the areas that turkeys were inhabiting in the spring may not be holding the birds in the fall. Hunters need to identify fall target areas to be successful.

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Fall Target Zones What makes a good quick-strike area? Below is a list of areas to consider as potential locations to find birds during fall hunts.

Wooded areas surrounded by large fields, pastures or clear cuts. Birds will use these islands of cover to roost, feed and lounge during the day. Pockets of mast - producing trees amidst pine plantations, particularly along streamside management zones,where timber crews usually leave a barrier of hardwoods standing along waterways.

NWTF Photo

Open woods surrounded by overgrown cut-overs or young forests. Turkeys will avoid the thick woods, which provide cover for predators. Areas that naturally funnel wildlife traffic such as old windrows, viney undergrowth or wide creeks bordered by open areas for birds to scratch in search of mast and insects.

Fall Tactics Although hunters can set-up and call for turkeys during fall seasons, a popular tactic used during that time of the year is busting flocks. A hunter locates flocks of turkeys and then scatter them by running at them yelling never run with a loaded firearm! After sending the birds in every direction, the hunter sets up and waits to hear the birds calling to get back together. The hunter calls to the turkeys using the same sounds and cadence to bring one into range. Fall hunting requires stamina and physical exertion to bust the flock, so it is advised that hunters be in good physical shape. Being in good shape will help reduce the risk of injury while searching for and then busting a flock. Turkey hunters must be knowledgeable of the sounds made by turkeys in the fall as well. Some of the calls used in the fall are:

Kee Kee Run Cluck Purr Yelp

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Toms do not feel the need for company in the fall, so they take their time regrouping after the flock is broken up. Additionally, males gobble less during the fall, so finding a group of toms requires dedication and a little bit of luck. Patience is the key to harvesting a gobbler during the fall. Sit still and wait patiently, calling very sparingly unless one is sounding off. If that happens, respond in the same manner. Most states allow hens to be harvested in the fall. Be sure to check your regulations to determine if your state offers a fall season and allows the harvesting of hens.

Kee ping R ecor ds eeping Recor ecords


Some hunters are content to simply spend a day in the big hardwoods, while others hope to bring home a longbeard. Unfortunately, methods that produced during the spring may be worthless in the fall. Successful methods vary between the two seasons. Recording the events of hunting trips will prove to be valuable tool in being successful at harvesting birds. Since few hunters remember the methods and calls that produced at different times, a written account of each days hunt can save you many unproductive hours. Keeping a journal will help separate methods that worked from those that didnt. In addition, the journal helps hunters recall more of the fun and excitement shared with hunting companions.

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A Turkey Hunters Code of Conduct


As a responsible turkey hunter, I will

not let peer pressure or the excitement of the hunt cloud my judgment; learn and practice safe hunting techniques; hunt the wild turkey fairly; know the capabilities and limitations of my gun or bow and use it safely; obey and support all wildlife laws and report all violations respect the land and the landowner and always obtain permission before hunting; avoid knowingly interfering with another hunter and respect the right of others to lawfully share the out-ofdoors; value the hunting experience and appreciate the beauty of the wild turkey; positively identify my target as a legal bird and insist on a good shot; share responsible turkey hunting with others; work for wild turkey conservation.
(Courtesy of the National Wild Turkey Federation - NWTF)

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CHAPTER SEVEN Turkey Hunting Basics Chapter Review


1. During summer, fall and winter, a gobblers movements will be determined, in large part, by where he can find ____________. Strutting is a close-range technique to ___________________. ___________________ hunting is a great time to find a lonesome tom. ______________ make a natural and safe blind. When placing decoys always set the jake decoy facing _________ so when the gobbler faces his competition, you can adjust your aim. The _____________________ is the lost call of young turkeys. The ___________ owl hoot is the best owl locator call. A hunter sets up over a feeding area, dusting hole or strutting zone, calling sparingly, waiting for a gobbler; this tactic is called ____________________________________. 9. A popular tactic used during fall season is ___________________.

2. 3.

4. 5.

6. 7. 8.

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Answers: 1.) Food; 2.) Attract hens to the gobbler; 3.) Late season ; 4.) Stumps; 5.) You; 6.) Kee kee; 7.) Barred; 8.) Waiting it out; 9.) Busting flocks; 10.) True

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Field Care and Preparation


Harvesting a wild turkey is a thrilling and satisfying experience. The effort in developing skills, patterning shotguns or practicing with a bow, going on scouting trips, has paid off as they sit with the harvested bird and admire the feather colors, spurs, and beard. Turkey hunters cherish these moments for a lifetime and show respect for the bird by properly cleaning and preparing it for mounting and to eat.

CHAPTER EIGHT

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
Upon completing Chapter Eight, students will be able to:

List the steps for proper field care for a harvested wild turkey. Explain how to prepare a harvested wild turkey for mounting. Describe how to prepare a harvested wild turkey for consumption.

(Photos courtesy of the NWTF)

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Field Care and Preparation Field Care and Preparation


Once a bird is taken, hunters need to fill out and attach the harvest tag immediately as required by law. Additionally and if required, all harvested turkeys should be reported to the state or territory where the hunt occurred. This information is important for research and it is the law. The next step is to field dress the bird.

Field Care Basics


Hunters need to keep in mind the three factors that may cause the meat to spoil as they field dress and transport the bird.

Heat Moisture Dirt

Of the three, heat is the major concern followed closely by moisture. Bacteria which causes illness will grow rapidly in the carcass when it is not properly cooled and kept dry. On average, meat will begin to spoil at temperatures above 40o F. This is accelerated when excess moisture collects in the carcass.

Field Dressing
In hot weather conditions, field dressing the bird is a good idea before it is cleaned for the table. To field dress a turkey, start by placing the turkey on its back. Find the bottom of the breast plate and insert the knife, making a cut to the anal vent. Remove the entrails from this opening and then reach into the cavity to sever the windpipe, heart and lungs. Take a rag or paper towel and wipe out the cavity to remove excess moisture. If ice is available, cool the cavity by placing it inside the chest .

Plucking vs. Skinning


Plucking is a perfect way to prepare a bird to be roasted, smoked or whole deep-fried. Before removing the entrails or field dressing, pluck the turkeys feathers to help keep the moisture in the turkey while cooking it whole. Remove the feathers after dipping the bird in hot water. Some people use boiling water but it has been said that 140-degree water is optimal for plucking a bird. Plucking takes time and produces more mess than skinning. However, the taste of deep-fried NWTF Photo or roasted turkey skin is worth the effort.

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Many of todays turkey hunters prefer skinning to plucking. Skinning a turkey allows the bird to be cooked by frying or grilling the pieces of meat. Skin and fillet the turkey breasts, and slice as much meat from the legs and wings as possible. Make a cut just along one side of the breastbone. Then, its just a matter of working the skin off the breast halves, down the back and over each of the legs. In some states its illegal to only fillet the breast out, leaving the rest of the carcass behind. Always check your states hunt regulations, and make sure your turkey is properly tagged for transportation.

Cleaning a Wild Tur key urk


Cleaning your turkey is the first step, and regardless of whether you plan to skin, pluck or breast out and cut up your bird, doing it properly is both quick and easy. Just follow these simple steps:

1. If not cooking the bird whole, start by laying the turkey on its back. Remove just enough breast feathers so as to expose the skin.

2. To remove the breast filets, pull or cut the skin back from the breast. Make cuts along each side of the breastbone as well as on the inside of both wings or the clavicle. To save the wings, peel the skin back and remove the wings from the cavity by cutting through the joint.

3. Find the breastbone and make an incision down each side of the breastbone to loosen the breast filet from the bone. Work from the rear of the breast forward, filleting off the breast by pulling the filet and using the knife as needed. Repeat this for the other side of the breast.

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4. To remove the thigh and leg, cut through the thigh muscle where it attaches to the back. Then grab the thigh or leg and pull up until feeling the joint pop loose. Keep cutting through the thigh until it comes free from the turkeys body.
(Illustrations courtesy of the NWTF)

Making a Tur key Ca pe urk Cape


Although there are several ways to display a trophy tom, one of the easiest and least-expensive ways is by caping the turkey. Caping is inexpensive, easy to do, and extremely satisfying. Simply skinning the turkey from head to tail, cleaning, boraxing the skin, and pinning it to a flat piece of cardboard is all thats involved. Follow the simple instructions below for an attractive way to capture the memory of a special hunt: 1. Hang the tom by the head. 2. With a sharp knife, cut the skin where the feathers on the neck meet the skin of the head. 3. Continue down the center of the back and toward the tail, remove the skin in an approximate two-inch wide strip. *The feathers attach to the skin in rows and the narrow strip of skin actually holds a much wider angular blanket of feathers. 4. Remove skin to and including the tail skin. 5. With knife and spoon, remove the fat and flesh. 6. Cover wet skin in Borax and lay on a large piece of flat cardboard. 7. With straight pins, pin the head end to cardboard. 8. Fan tail, spread to desired width and pin each feather in place. NWTF Photo 9. Lay each feather in place. 10. Let dry three to four weeks. 11. Remove pins, shake loose Borax and hang.

If desired, mount the cape on a piece of wood cut to fit the cape.

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Mak e a Spur Nec klace Make Necklace


Another way to show-off a trophy bird is to turn the spurs into a necklace or a hat band. Directions: 1. Draw two guidelines across the turkeys leg on either side of the spur. (A section of leg bone slightly wider than the spur.) 2. Cut through the scale and bone. Hacksaws, jewelers saws and band saws work well. 3. Peel the dried scale and skin from the bone. Trim the skin around the base of the spur. Make sure to not cut the spur cap from the bone! 4. Clean the leg bone by scraping with a knife, sanding with sand paper and steel wool and polishing it with a buffing tool. 5. Note that the leg bone is hollow. String the spurs on heavy monofilament fishing line (15 to 30 lb. test line works best). 6. Beads may be added as spacers. 7. Tie off the line to finish or add a clasp or a barrel connector. These fastening devices can be found at hobby shops and jewelry supply stores.

Full Body Mount


Including a full-body mounted turkey into home decor is a dream of many turkey hunters. Here are the NWTFs tips for shipping a turkey to the taxidermist. Stuff turkeys mouth with paper towels. Roll head in paper towels and tape closed. Tuck head inside wing. Fold the wings tight against the turkeys body. Place turkey head first into plastic garbage bag and tape closed. Cover feet and tail feathers with piece of cardboard, but do not tie the feet and feathers together. Tape or staple the cardboard into position. Place turkey in freezer on its side for 36 to 48 hours. Take out of freezer and wrap in bubble wrap. Place bird head first in a tight fitting box to prevent damage in shipping.

Be sure to ship your trophy early in the week. Sometimes packages sit undelivered over a weekend. If the turkey thaws, the mount will be ruined.

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Tur key F an Mounting urk Fan
All good taxidermy begins in the field, as soon as the bird is harvested. Care should be taken not the let the bird flop in the brush, dirt, mud, or wet grass. Also attempts should be made to keep any blood off of the feathers. After taking photographs , bring out a sharp knife and locate the base of the tail feathers; a triangle-shaped lump of flesh which holds all of the tail feathers plus a few rows of feather closer to the front. Cut this part off and also remove the beard and legs. Now cut the legs 3/8 inches above and below the spurs, if they are to be included and clean the tendons and morrow out of the bones. If your tail is ruffled or muddy or bloody now is the time to correct it. The tail can be washed in regular dish detergent to remove stains and the feather tracks can be straightened. After washing the fan it can be dried with a blow dryer on low heat and the feathers can be smoothed. If it will be a while before continuing, place the fan in the refrigerator for a few days or freezer for longer periods. Procedure 1. Lay the tail down on cardboard or paper and begin to skin the feather base from the flesh toward the tail feather on the front and backside. As you do this, you will begin to expose the knob of flesh and bone that holds all of the tail feather quills.
NWTF Photo

2. When you have reached the point where the skin has been skinned to the base of the quills, it is time to begin to remove the fleshy piece. The photo to the left shows the angle to cut the bone and do the same thing on both sides and trim until the flesh is removed.
NWTF Photo

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NWTF Photo

3. The picture to the left shows the feather quills with the flesh removed, however, all of the fat and remaining flesh on the skin and quills must also be removed. If it is not removed, the fat will break down into grease and the flesh will rot. The skin can be preserved but not flesh and fat.

4. Cleaning the skin and quills is the hardest part. Begin by separating each quill with the small scissors and trim all of the fat that you can and also cut between the feather tracks then remove the flesh and fat from here as well.
NWTF Photo

5. When you have removed all that is possible, take a small stainless steel brush and begin to scrape and brush the fat from between the quills and off the skin until it begins to look like the photo to the left.
NWTF Photo

6. In this photo, you can see the oil port where the bird gets preening oil. You will notice that there are several rows of feathers saved in front of the port while the actual tail feather and the next longest row are behind this port. This is done so the front feather will protect the longer feathers while you clean the fan and handle it.

NWTF Photo

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7. The final cleaning of the quills and the removal of all unwanted, flesh, fat and bone. Soak the fan for about an hour in Coleman Camp Fuel (white gas), which will de-grease the skin and quills. From here they go to a soak comprised of a total saturation solution of dry preserve as used in taxidermy or you can substitute Borax (powdered is best).

NWTF Photo

8. This brine will soak into the skin and preserve it against invasion by mites and other insects. It should soak for about an hour or until all of the fat and grease is dissolved. When ready, the skin and quills will look like this.
NWTF Photo

9. Now you are ready to begin the mounting process. The first thing is to rub Borax into the skin and around all of the feather quills, like in the photo to the right, on the front and back sides.
NWTF Photo

10. Lay out the feathers and tack them out into a fan shape and remove any of the shorter feathers that are not necessary parts of the finished mount. At this point, you will cut away the feathers to the front of the oil port if you only want to display the longest two rows of feathers.
NWTF Photo

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11. Long brads (1 1/4 in.) are put on each side of the center feather and worked around. Since we have removed all of the flesh and bone, there is nothing to naturally align the feathers in the fan shape and there is nothing left that could spoil and attract insects, or smell.
NWTF Photo

12. If you are blessed with an 18feather tail, you will even be able to hide broken or shot feathers since you align them as you wish. Work your way from side to side as you come down each side, and make both sides even and uniform. When satisfied, cover the feathers with paper to keep airborne dust, dirt, or some other malady from happening.

T he f an should dr y fan dry for about two weeks, but you can proceed with some of the other steps while you are waiting. NWTF Photo

NWTF Photo

13. Prepare a piece of leather to actually hold the fan. The piece of leather that is recommended is fairly heavy (bootsaddle leather) and is 6 X 11 inches. A pattern is made to mark the cuts for the leather. The rough side of the leather is used here, but use the side you prefer.

The next step is to attach the feathers. The way that we do this is to mix a small batch of Dyna-Lite Putty (or Bondo), and cover the quills and feather shafts. Repeat this same process on the front and be sure to work the putty in and around the quills. Caution: this putty sets up quick so be ready! Since the smooth side of the leather is attached to the inside, the putty will not stick to it. The leather is used as a mold after doing the back side. The fan is placed on the leather in the desired position and the putty is added to the bottom edge, as well as the front top quills. Next, fold the piece of leather up. This molds the putty to give a smooth uniform shape.

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14. After the putty sets for about an hour, drill a small hole through the putty, fan and leather. Use a flat washer and a drywall screw to attach this to the wooden plaque.
NWTF Photo

15. The fan is now secure in a piece of leather formed in the shape of a taco shell and is screwed down tight to the board. Now, turn the fan right side up and see if everything is aligned to your satisfaction. Visualize the point from which you would like the leather laces to exit and hang down displaying the beard and spurs. NWTF Photo Make a small mark at this spot and drill a hole through the entire fan mount and board with a 1/4 in drill bit. If you should hit a feather quill, it is of no concern since the putty is holding everything in place.
If you make a minor mistake, take the edge of a knife blade or a small metal bristle brush and ruff up the suede to erase small er ror s. err ors

16. Take a large sewing needle and a length of string and thread this through the board from the rear, out the front, over the lace and then back out the rear. Take both ends of the string, and, pulling from the rear, pull the lace through until you can reach it. Now pull on the loop of lace until the beard and spurs hang out of the front to suit your taste. Usually the fit is so tight that it will not move.

NWTF Photo

Go slow and be patient.

The next thing to do is to shade the leather. Use an airbrush and black dye but you can do the same with flat-colored spray paint in flat black brown or walnut colors. Make a stencil that fits behind the leather of the mount, and make sure you cover all of the feathers when you paint. When using spray paint, be sure to cover all of the feathers. Practice on a piece of cardboard to monitor the size and density of your spray pattern. A good tip is to let the paint go on as over spray, so the color and density do not build up too dark and too quickly. Also, hold the beard and spurs out and away from the mount, so that they do not block the flow of paint and cause light color lines on the leather.

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17. When you are happy with your shading, allow the paint to dry. Remove the paper, blow off the dust and check the feathers for any needed adjustments. Smooth the feather tips, and make sure to call your friends to come see your handy work.
NWTF Photo

Ho w to Scor e A Wild Tur key (NWTF standar ds) How Score urk standards)
Before beginning to score a turkey, ensure to note that all measurements are taken in 1/16-inch increments and converted to decimal form. A current NWTF member or another licensed hunter from the state where the bird was harvested must verify all measurements. A conversion chart for measurements is included at the end of this chapter. Step 1: Step 2: Weigh the bird in pounds and ounces and convert ounces to decimal form. Measure each spur. Spurs must be measured along the outside center, from the point at which the spur protrudes from the scaled leg skin to the tip of the spur. Add both spur measurements and multiply the combined length of the spurs by 10. This is the number of points received for the turkeys spurs. Measure the beard length (a beard must be measured from the center point of the protrusion of the skin to the tip) and convert it to decimal form. Next, multiply the beard length figure by 2. This is the number of points received for the beard length. If you have an atypical bird (multiple NWTF Photo beards), measure each beard, convert them to a decimal number, then add those figures together and multiply by two. This is the number of points received for the turkeys beards. Step 4: Add together the weight, the points for spurs and points for beard(s): This is the score for the turkey.

NWTF Photo

Step 3:

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Con ver sion Char t Conv ersion Chart
1/8 Measurements 1/8 = .1250 2/8 = .2500 3/8 = .3750 4/8 = .5000 5/8 = .6250 6/8 = .7500 7/8 = .8750 1/16 Measurements 1/16 = .0625 2/16 = .1250 3/16 = .1875 4/16 = .2500 5/16 = .3125 6/16 = .3750 7/16 = .4375 8/16 = .5000 9/16 = .5625 10/16 = .6250 11/16 = .6875 12/16 = .7500 13/16 = .8125 14/16 = .8750 15/16 = .9375 Weight 1 OZ. = .0625 2 OZ. = .1250 3 OZ. = .1875 4 OZ. = .2500 5 OZ. = .3125 6 OZ. = .3750 7 OZ. = .4375 8 OZ. = .5000 9 OZ. = .5625 10 OZ. = .6250 11 OZ. = .6875 12 OZ. = .7500 13 OZ. = .8125 14 OZ. = .8750 15 OZ. = .9375

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Chapter Review 1. What are the three factors that can cause meat to spoil?
1. 2. 3.

2. ________________________a turkey allows the bird to be cooked by frying or


grilling the pieces of meat.

3. Using the NWTF scoring steps and chart from the previous page, determine
which gobblers scores the highest. Joshuas Gobbler Weight = 20 lbs. 6 oz Spur #1 = 1 3/16 inches Spur #2 = 1 7/8 inches Beard (1) = 8 1/8 inches Emys Gobbler Weight = 19 lbs. 3 oz Spur #1 = 1 5/16 inches Spur #2 = 2 inches Beard (1) = 7 6/8 inches

Answers: 1.) Dirt, Heat, Moisture 2.) Skinning 3.) Emys bird scores higher - 67.8125 to Joshuas - 67.25

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Turkey Recipies
Hunters pursue the wild turkey not only for the challenge and excitement of the competition of wits and skill between bird and human, but also for the excellent table fare. As with any wild game or fowl, once harvested and dressed, there are many different ways to prepare them for the table. On the following pages are recipes for wild turkey, provided courtesy of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF).

SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING! APPENDIX I

Recipes
- Baked Turkey and Rice Casserole - Beagle Club Pie - Brine Wild Turkey - Cajun Mardi Gras Wild Turkey Breast - Deep-Fried Wild Turkey - Grandpa Fitzs Smoked Turkey - Marinated Wild Turkey Rolls - Spicy Roast Turkey Wings - Swiss Turkey Breast Over Rice - Turkey Burgers Turkey Fried Rice - Turkey Pot Pies - Wild Turkey in Cranberries & Chardonnay Over Wild Rice - Turkey and Wild Rice Soup - Wild Turkey Stir-fry - A Thanksgiving Feast in Black and White
Turkey Waldorf Salad Stuffed Midwestern Wild Turkey Squash Casserole Sweet Potato Souffle Apple Cake

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Baked Turkey and Rice Casserole
Ingredients 1 - (10 -ounce) can cream of celery soup 1 - (10 -ounce) can cream of mushroom soup 2 soup cans milk 2 cups rice 4 cups chopped, uncooked turkey 1 - (1.15-ounce) envelope onion soup mix Into a 3-quart baking dish, combine both soups, milk, and rice. Top with turkey. Sprinkle with onion soup mix. Cover with foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until turkey is tender. (4 to 6 servings)

Beagle Club Pie


Ingredients

(6 servings)

1 1/4 to 2 pounds wild turkey breast fillets 1 1/2 to 2 quarts chicken broth Salt and pepper to taste 3 hard-boiled eggs 1 (10-ounce) can of cream of chicken soup 1 cup biscuit mix 1 cup whole milk

Cook the turkey breast in the chicken broth until tender; reserve the broth. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and arrange in a 12-inch square baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the eggs over the meat. Combine the soup with an equal amount of broth and pour over the meat. Refrigerate the mixture for at least two hours to allow it to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the biscuit mix and milk and pour over the mixture. Bake uncovered, until the topping is brown (about one hour). Serve hot.

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Brine Wild Turkey


Ingredients

(10 servings)

1 1/4 cups kosher salt 1 gallon of water 1 wild turkey, cleaned 2 Granny Smith apples 1 large onion 3 celery stalks Fresh ground pepper to taste Dissolve the salt in the water in a container large enough to hold the turkey. Lower the turkey into the water. Refrigerate for eight to 12 hours. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey and pat dry. Cut the apples and onion into slices and the celery into three-inch pieces. Place these in the cavity of the turkey and around it. Season the turkey with pepper. Arrange in a large roasting pan. Roast, breast side up for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 degrees and turkey the turkey breast side down and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn again and bake until cooked through, about 25 minutes per pound. Let stand until slightly cooled before carving. Use apples, cut into wedges, to brace the turkey when it is roasting breast side down.

Cajun Mardi Gras Wild Turkey Breast (4 to 6 servings)


Ingredients 1 pound bacon, diced into 1/4-inch pieces Cajun poultry seasoning, as needed 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 1 (2-pound) boneless turkey breast, cut into 1-inch chunks 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce In a large, heavy skillet, add bacon and sprinkle it with Cajun seasoning. Fry until crisp. Drain, discard grease and set aside. In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and saute the chopped onion until tender. Remove onion, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine turkey, 2 tablespoons of oil, Worcestershire sauce and more Cajun seasoning. In the same skillet, heat remaining butter and oil until sizzling. Add turkey, bacon and onion. Saute until turkey is brown and tender. Serve entree over rice.

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Deep-Fried Wild Turkey (10 servings depending on size of the bird)
Ingredients 3 to 5 gallons peanut oil 1 wild turkey cleaned Seasonings of choice (both injectable and dry rubs work well) Heat the oil to 300 to 350 degrees. Rub the turkey with seasonings and inject with further seasonings, if desired. Hook a wire coat hanger around each of the drumsticks and carefully lower the turkey into the oil. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the white meat registers 180 degrees. The turkey tends to float when cooked through. Remove the turkey from the oil and drain well. Wrap in foil to keep warm. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Dee p-F r ying Saf ety Deep-F p-Fr Safety


Clean the turkey in the same manner you would for roasting. Do not stuff the turkey when deep-frying. To determine how much oil to use in the deep fryer, fill the pot with water and

lower the turkey into it. The water should cover the turkey without spilling over. Remove the turkey and measure the amount of water left in the pot. Discard the water and fill the pot with oil.
Be sure to dry the turkey thoroughly before lowering it into the oil.

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Grandpa Fitzs Smoked Turkey


Ingredients 15 to 20 lb. fresh turkey 1/4 stick of butter Celery Salt (1 tsp) Garlic Salt (1 tsp) Salt & Pepper (to taste) Mustard Powder (1 tsp) Paprika (1 tsp) Olive Oil (1/4 cup) Lemon Juice (1/4 cup) Balsamic Vinegar (1/4 cup) Tabasco (1 tsp) Salt & Pepper (to taste) Slice butter into four to five pieces. Use a knife to make slits in skin of turkey breast and legs and slide the butter slices under the skin. Mix celery salt, garlic salt, mustard powder, table salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub mixture on outside of turkey to season it. Rub the inside of the turkey cavity with the paprika. Stir the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, tabasco sauce, salt and pepper together in another small mixing bowl and inject the resulting basting sauce into the breast and thighs of the turkey. Fire up the smoker and place the turkey on the poultry stand. Cook for approximately two hours, or until its done. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey by placing it in the breast. Cook with apple chips for a splendid flavor and crispy skin.

Marinated Wild Turkey Rolls ( 6 servings)


Ingredients 1 (5 lb.) wild turkey breast, deboned 12 ounces commercial Italian dressing 12 strips thickly sliced bacon Cut breast along the grain into long, thin 1/4-inch-thick strips. Submerge strips in dressing, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for three to six hours. Drain. Place a strip of bacon onto each sliced turkey breast strip, cut the bacon/turkey strip 4 inches long, roll and secure with a toothpick. Place in a large non-stick skillet and cook over very low heat for about an hour. You may also try baking them at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. The turkey roll is done before bacon browns.

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Spicy Roast Turkey Wings (6 servings)
Ingredients 6 turkey wings 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon allspice Water and salt, as needed

Place turkey wings in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Add salt. Cover with lid. Cook over moderate heat until tender, for about 40 minutes. Cool slightly. Reserve broth. Remove wings, and rub well with cinnamon and remaining ingredients. Place wings in roasting pan. Roast at 350 degrees, basting frequently with broth and pan drippings for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Swiss Turkey Breast Over Rice (6 servings)


Ingredients 2 large boneless turkey breasts, cut into three portions each Nonstick cooking spray 6 slices Swiss cheese 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup 1/4 cup milk 1 (8-ounce) bag herb-seasoned stuffing mix 1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted

Arrange turkey breasts in a lightly-greased, 3-quart baking dish. Top with cheese. Combine soup and milk in bowl. Spoon over cheese. Sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter on top. Cover, and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serve over wild rice.

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Turkey Burgers (15 servings)


Ingredients 3/4 cup heavy cream 4 eggs 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped 1/2 cup chopped fresh thyme and 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives 2 lbs. mushrooms, destemmed, and sliced 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 1 small onion, diced 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 5 pounds ground turkey 1 1/4 cups fine breadcrumbs Mix cream, eggs, parsley, thyme and chives. Cover and refrigerate. Saute mushroom, garlic and onion in oil until tender; add to cream mixture. Transfer to mixer; add turkey, salt and pepper, and mix well. Slowly add bread crumbs; dont over mix. Divide into seven-ounce patties. Grill or pan fry until desired degree of doneness.

Turkey Fried Rice (6 servings)


Ingredients 6 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided 2 eggs 1 small bell pepper, chopped 1 cup diced turkey breast 1 small onion, chopped Soy sauce, as needed 2 carrots, sliced 2 cups cooked rice 1 cup broccoli florets

Heat wok. Add 2 teaspoons oil. Add pepper, onion, carrots and broccoli florets. Cook until crisp, yet tender. Remove, and set aside. Add 2 more teaspoons oil to wok. Add eggs, scramble, remove; set aside. Add remaining oil. Add turkey breast, and stir-fry until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add soy sauce to taste. Return vegetables and eggs to wok. Add rice and additional soy sauce, as desired. Mix thoroughly and serve hot.

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Turkey Pot Pies
Ingredients Turkey Celery (three stalks, cut into large chunks) Carrots (1 carrot per 4 pounds of meat) Onions (2 whole) Thyme (one handful, to taste) Whole pepper seeds (one handful, to taste) Potatoes (1 potato per 4 pounds of meat) Pillsbury ready-to-bake dinner rolls Remove the head, legs at the joint above the spur, wings, and tail and gut the bird. Peel all the skin off . You can just peel skin off with feathers still attached to save time. If desired, cut the breast meat out and use it in another recipe. Next start quartering the bird: Separate the legs from the main bird and place in pot. Cut the bird in half in the middle of its back from wing to wing not head to tail and place all of it in a pot. Chop one carrot per four pounds of bird and place in a pot with the bird. Then, place two whole onions in the pot with carrots and meat. Chop a stalk of celery in big chunks and place in the pot. Next, add a handful of whole black pepper seeds and a handful of thyme into the pot. Push everything down as packed in as you can get it and fill the pot up with water so its roughly one inch above top of the bird. Allow this to cook at just below a boil until the water is an inch below the top of the bird. Then let cool thoroughly. After cooling, hand-pick the meat off the bone and place in container in bite size chunks. Throw away celery, onion and carrots. Chop up potatoes into bite size pieces (one potato per four pounds). Next chop up three carrots and one or two sticks of celery into bite size pieces. Cook until vegetables get softened to your liking, then add the pulled meat. Let meat and vegetables cook for about 30 minutes, and remove from heat. Finally, thicken the mixture by any preferred method. Place into individual portions or in containers and bake rolls and place on top.

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Wild Turkey in Cranberries & Chardonnay Over Wild Rice


Ingredients 1 Turkey Breast 1 Can whole Jellied Cranberries 2 Cups Orange Juice 1 Bag frozen Pearl Onions 1 Cup Honey 1 Cup Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil 1 Cup White Wine Salt & Pepper Place Turkey Breast in Crock Pot. In a bowl combine all other ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture over turkey and let cook on low heat for 6 hours. Serve with wild rice and vegetables.

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup (8 servings)


Ingredients 6 tablespoons margarine 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup chopped carrots 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour Salt and pepper to taste 2 (10-ounce) cans chicken broth 4 cups milk 2 cups cooked wild rice 2 cups cubed cooked turkey Melt the margarine in a large pan and saut the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms until tender-crisp. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the chicken broth and milk and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the wild rice and turkey. Adjust seasonings. Simmer until heated through.

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Wild Turkey Stir-fry (4 servings)
Ingredients 1/4 cup orange juice 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 (1-pound) boneless, skinless turkey breast, cut into strips 3/4 cup chicken broth 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 cup chopped broccoli 1 1/2 cup snow peas or green beans 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips 3/4 cup sliced green onion 1 medium carrot, cut into thin strips 2 cups cooked white or wild rice

In a shallow glass bowl, combine orange juice and cornstarch. Add turkey, and stir to combine. Cover, and chill for 2 hours. Drain turkey, and discard juice mixture. Combine chicken broth and soy sauce. Set aside. In a wok or large skillet on medium heat, add oil, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add broccoli, turkey and next 4 ingredients, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth mixture. Simmer about 1 minute. Serve over rice.

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A Thanksgiving Feast in Black and White


The members of the National Wild Turkey Federation have compiled a recipe list from folks from across the country who want to share their favorite recipes to make a complete Thanksgiving feast. The Shopping List One 10- to 12-pound turkey A package of bacon Milk Butter Eggs Sour cream Brown sugar Sugar Flour Vegetable oil Baking soda Vanilla One chicken bouillon cube Salt Ground pepper Mayonnaise A bag of chopped walnuts A half dozen red apples One package of herb stuffing mix One package of cornmeal stuffing mix One can of cream of mushroom soup One small jar of chopped pimento Two onions Three or four sweet potatoes A pound of squash Lemon juice Celery Dry red wine

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Turkey Waldorf Salad (recipe from Shelia Clark, Greensboro, N.C.)
Ingredients 2/3 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons of lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper 2 cups of cooked turkey, diced 2 red apples, cored and diced 2/3 cup of celery, sliced 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped In a large bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add turkey, apples and celery; toss to coat well. Cover; chill. Just before serving, sprinkle with walnuts.

Stuffed Midwestern Wild Turkey (12 to 15 servings)


(recipe from A.M. Glombowski, Lake Forest, Ill.) Ingredients 14 slices of bacon, divided 1 cup of onion, chopped 1/4 cup of celery, chopped 1/2 cup of water 1 (8-ounce) package of cornmeal stuffing mix 1 chicken bouillon cube 1/2 cup of hot water 1 cup of dry red wine, divided 1 (10- to 12-pound) wild or domestic turkey Fry eight slices of bacon until crisp. Drain bacon, crumble and set aside. Saute onion and celery in bacon drippings. When vegetables are tender, add 1/2 cup water and simmer for five minutes. Stir in stuffing mix and crumbled bacon. Dissolve bouillon cube in 1/2 cup hot water. Add 1/2 cup red wine to bouillon. Add bouillon-wine liquid to stuffing mixture and stuff turkey.

Transfer turkey to roasting pan. Lay four slices of bacon across the breast, and wrap a slice of bacon around each leg. Cover pan with foil; then place lid on pan. Bake in 300degree oven for 4 1/2 hours. Remove cover and foil. Pour remaining wine over turkey. Baste every 10 minutes while cooking an additional 40 minutes.
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Squash Casserole (recipe from Larry and Connie Miller, Hemingway, S.C.)
Ingredients 1 pound of squash, cooked, mashed and seasoned 1 small jar of chopped pimento 1 cup of sour cream 1 large onion, chopped 1 can of cream of mushroom soup 1 package of herb stuffing mix 1/2 cup of butter, melted

Add butter to stuffing mix; mix well. Add half of the stuffing mix, soup, pimento, onion and sour cream to squash and stir. Butter a casserole dish. Place half of the remaining stuffing mix in bottom of casserole. Fill with squash mixture. Top with remaining stuffing mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Sweet Potato Souffle (recipe from Sharon J. Boney of Greenwood, S.C.)


Ingredients 3 cups of sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/3 stick of butter 1 cup of sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients; pour into greased baking dish. Top with the following: 1 cup of brown sugar 1/3 cup of flour 1 cup of walnuts, chopped 1/3 stick of butter, softened

Mix all ingredients and crumble over souffle. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Apple Cake (recipe from Randy and Diane Showalter, Roann, Ind.)
Ingredients 1 1/2 cup of sugar 1 tablespoon of vanilla 1 teaspoon of baking soda 1 cup of vegetable oil 3 cups of flour, sifted 3 cups of apples, peeled and sliced thin 3 eggs 1 cup of walnuts, chopped 1 teaspoon of salt

Combine all ingredients. Pour into a 13- by 9-inch ungreased pan and bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes.

Glaze 3/4 cup of brown sugar 3/4 stick of butter 3 tablespoons of milk

Bring to a boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Pour over cooled cake.

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APPENDIX II Skills Class Materials


SUCCESSFUL TURKEY HUNTING!

During your one-day training session, you will receive instruction in a number of skill areas. Following the completion of all classroom and hands-on instruction, students will take an openbook certification exam. All materials presented during the one-day training session and from independent study manual may appear on the exam. During the certification exam,students can use this manual and any notes taken at the one-day training session. Below is a list of the skill stations conducted during the one-day trainining and the student learning objectives for each.

STATION ONE: TURKEY HUNTING LAWS & REGULATIONS


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station, students will be able to: Demonstrate knowledge of Pennsylvanias hunting laws and regulations.

State three reasons for the existence of turkey hunting laws and regulations. Locate information about hunting and trapping laws using the Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations.

STATION TWO: SAFE TURKEY HUNTING


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station students will be able to: State the primary causes of turkey hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSIs).

List and explain safe turkey hunting strategies. Demonstrate proper judgment to know when and when not to shoot at a turkey.

STATION THREE: MAP & COMPASS BASICS


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station students will be able to: Understand how a compass works and identify its basic components.

Identify basic topographic features on a map. Orient a topographic map using a compass. Take a bearing from one point on a map to another and from their position to a landmark.

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STATION FOUR: SAFE & EFFECTIVE SHOT SELECTION
LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station students will be able to: Demonstrate and/or explain the five primary rules of firearm safety.

Explain how firearms and bows kill a turkey. Identify the locations of vital organs of a wild turkey. Demonstrate or explain safe shot selections when presented with safe/unsafe and /or ethical/unethical shot opportunities. Demonstrate and/or explain how to prevent wounding loss when hunting wild turkey.

STATION FIVE: TURKEY CALLS & CALLING


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station students will be able to: Demonstrate and/or explain how to prepare turkey calls for use.

Identify and explain the meaning of various turkey sounds. Demonstrate how to use turkey calls in various hunting situations.

STATION SIX: TURKEY HUNTING METHODS


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station students will be able to: Scout hunting areas to locate turkey habitat, food sources and sign.

Identify and discuss turkey signs that indicate the presence of turkeys. List several spring turkey hunting methods. List several fall turkey hunting methods. Demonstrate and/or explain safe turkey decoy use.

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STATION SEVEN: DISTANCE ESTIMATION


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station students will be able to: Understand and demonstrate the importance of learning to judge distance when turkey

hunting. Recognize the difficulty in accurately judging distances in hunting situations. Demonstrate and/or explain how to use subtending to determine distance.

STATION EIGHT: SHOTGUN PATTERN TESTNG


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
At the conclusion of this station students will be able to: Demonstrate and explain how to pattern test a shotgun.

Demonstrate and explain how to evaluate different pattern test results for selecting the most effective shot shell/choke combination.

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Map & Compass Basics Part 1: Parts of a Compass a. b. c. d. e. f. f. d. a. b.

e.

c.

Part 2: What colors and symbols represent on a map. Colors Green - Vegetation Blue - Water Red - Roads Brown - Contour lines Black - Man-made objects Purple - Updated Information

Symbols Solid Black Boxes - Buildings Dashed Lines - Trails Wavy Blue Lines - Waterways/streams Parallel Solid Lines - Roads Dash/Dot Lines - Utility Lines

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Part 3: Terrain Features Major Terrain Features a. Hill b. Ridge

c.

Valley

d.

Saddle

e.

Depression

Minor Terrain Features a. Spur

b.

Draw

c. Cliff

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APPENDIX II Skills Class Materials Turkey Calls


Making turkey sounds with Push/Pull Calls
A.) Purrs

For best results, hold the call without touching the bottom. pressure.

To reproduce a purr, gently push the dowel while applying slight upward

B.) Clucks

Note: If not done correctly, an excited cluck may sound like a putt, which is a call of distress or alarm. Apply slight pressure with the thumb to the paddle and gently tap the dowel. Vary the tone by applying more or less thumb pressure to the paddle.

C.) Yelps

Apply slight pressure with the thumb to the paddle while pushing the dowel downward.

Making turkey sounds with Box Calls


A.) Clucks

Laying the lid on the side of the box, use a stroke across the top of the box.

B.) Yelps

An individual note made by pulling the lid across the box. About 1" strokes are enough to produce a yelp.

C.) Cutting

Made with strokes, similar to clucks but the strokes are more rapid.

D.) Tree call


Move the lid across the box 2 or 3 times very softly. Stroke should be no more than about . Note: When to not use the tree call: 1.) Before area begins to lighten up at daybreak. 2.) If a tree call is used before light, especially in low areas or close to a roosting gobbler, the bird will be spooked. 3.) Possibly wondering why a hen is on the ground before daybreak.

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Making turkey sounds with Slate Calls


A.) Yelps

Quickly drag striker across the surface in a to 1" oval shape.

Repeat this action for each yelp without removing the striker from the calling surface. B.) Clucks With light pressure, quickly move the striker 1/8" to 1/4" across the calling surface. C.) Purrs

Slowly drag the striker across the calling surface. Try dragging in a straight line or an up side down J. With firm pressure, quickly move the striker 1/8" to 1/4" across the calling surface and back without lifting the striker from the calling surface. Repeat the movement for each cut.

D.) Cutting

Making turkey sounds with Diaphram Calls


A.) Fitting a diaphragm call

Place the call in the mouth with the open-end facing out. Gently push up it up into the roof of the mouth with the tongue. If the call is too wide, trim some of the tape to better fit your mouth. Avoid bending the frame because it will loosen the reed(s) and affect the quality of the sound. Manufacturer presets the rubber or latex reeds for the proper tension for ease of use and sound quality. Never trim the latex/rubber reed.

B.) Yelps

Hold the call with the tongue against the roof of the mouth, exhale the letter H and force the air between tongue and the call. If air is escaping between the call and the roof of the mouth, this is incorrect. The harder the tongue is pressed against the reed, the higher the tones will be. Less pressure will produce lower tones. Say the word putt with the teeth clinched as exhaling.

C.) Clucks

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APPENDIX II Skills Class Materials


D.) Cackle (or Fly-down Cackle)

A yelping call hens vocalize flying off their roosts, crossing water or when excited. Several yelps starting slowly, quickly speeding-up and then slowing down again. About 10 to 15 notes total.

E.) Kee Kee call


Make 2-4 of the high-tone calls. Followed by 2 or 3 yelps (high/low tones).

Using Locator Calls


A.) Owl Call

Used to cause a shock gobble from a mature male turkey, giving away its location. Owl calls should be used in the early morning darkness to cause shock gobbling from males in the area. Hunter creates backpressure by loosely covering the end of the call with a cupped free hand. Blow into the call and try to create the phrase: Who cooks for you, Who cooks for you all?

B.) Crow Call


Call quickly, in short bursts, and then go silent to listen for a response. Add a little guttural sound by growling while calling to add the gravelly sound that really fires up gobblers. Use a crow call as the sun comes up, between 7:30 and 10 a.m. seem to work very well.

C.) Gobble Tubes


The mating call of male turkey, given in spring to attract hens. Not really effective in the fall. Works on old and young gobblers, seldom produces results on middle-aged toms. A realistic gobble can be the most difficult call to make.

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Decoy Set Examples

Note: Position Jake decoy to face calling location.

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APPENDIX II Skills Class Materials


Background Information on Shotgun Patterning
Following exerts from the article: TURKEY LOADS - WHAT DOES IT TAKE AND WHICH ONES WORK
By Craig Endicott (Updated April 2008)

Pattern Density enough pellets in the pattern, at a given range, to ensure multiple hits on the targets vital areas. For turkeys, the load will have to place a minimum of 210-230 pellets in a 30inch diameter pattern with at least three to four skull and/or cervical vertebrae (S/CV) hits on a turkeys head-and-neck area to be deemed effective. Pellet Energy enough per-pellet energy to reliably penetrate the targets vital areas at a given range. To ensure the pellets retain ample per-pellet turkey-S/CV-penetrating energy the pellets must not be used beyond their maximum effective ranges. Maximum Effective Ranges Maximum effective ranges for pellets comprised of different metal types are: 35 yards No. 6 lead shot 45 yards No. 6 tungsten-composite shot (min. 12 g/cc), No. 5 lead shot or No. 4 steel shot 55 yards No. 5 tungsten-composite shot (min. 12 g/cc), No. 4 lead shot or No. 3 steel shot

Calculations
Pattern Percentage: Pattern count (avg.) divided by In Shell Pellet Count (avg.) = Pattern Percentage Example: Pattern Count (5 shots avg.) Shot #1: Shot #2: Shot #3: Shot #4: Shot #5: Average: 367 340 379 321 346 1753 / 5 = 350.6 351 hits (rounded up) In Shell Pellet Count (5 shots avg.) Shell #1: Shell #2: Shell #3: Shell #4: Shell #5: Average: 428 433 422 435 430 2148 / 5 = 429.6

430 pellets (rounded up)

Pattern Percentage for this load/choke combination is 81.6%


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Chart from the article TURKEY LOADS WHAT DOES IT TAKE AND WHICH ONES WORK By Craig Endicott (Updated April 2008)

In-Shell Pellet Count averages were the result of cutting open and counting the pellets from five shells out of the same box/lot as the pattern loads. Pattern Counts, Pattern Percentages and Skull/Cervical Vertebrae (S/CV) Hits were the average of five patterns. 12-gauge 3-inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Special Purpose shotgun with a 26-inch barrel (I.D. / .728 inch). The lead loads were shot through a Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.063inch constriction) and the tungsten-composite loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi Density Shot and Heavyweight Shot) and steel shot loads were shot through a Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.053-inch constriction). 12-gauge 3 -inch loads were shot through a Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Turkey shotgun with a 23-inch barrel (I.D. / .727 inch). The lead loads were shot through a Remington Turkey Super Full Extended Choke (.062-inch constriction) and the tungsten-composite loads (Hevi-Shot, Hi-Density Shot and Heavyweight Shot) and steel shot loads were shot through a Remington Hevi-Shot Super Full Extended Choke (.052-inch constriction).

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Student Notes:

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Table1 30YardPatternTestResults InShell PelletCount Pattern Count Pattern Perecntage S/CV Hits

Load (Gauge,maker,shotsize&type,length)

Shotgun:

Choke:

Barrel Length:

In Shell Pellet Count - average number of pellets in a shot shell of a certain type.

Pattern Count, Pattern Percentage and S/CV Hits ( Skull/Cervical Vertebrae Hits) are the average of all pattern tests with a particularload.(Recommend5testshotsforgoodresults)

Table1 40YardPatternTestResults InShell PelletCount Pattern Count Pattern Perecntage S/CV Hits

Load (Gauge,maker,shotsize&type,length)

Shotgun:

Choke:

Barrel Length:

In Shell Pellet Count - average number of pellets in a shot shell of a certain type.

Pattern Count, Pattern Percentage and S/CV Hits ( Skull/Cervical Vertebrae Hits) are the average of all pattern tests with a particularload.(Recommend5testshotsforgoodresults)

Table1 30YardPatternTestResults InShell PelletCount Pattern Count Pattern Perecntage S/CV Hits

Load (Gauge,maker,shotsize&type,length)

Shotgun:

Choke:

Barrel Length:

In Shell Pellet Count - average number of pellets in a shot shell of a certain type.

Pattern Count, Pattern Percentage and S/CV Hits ( Skull/Cervical Vertebrae Hits) are the average of all pattern tests with a particularload.(Recommend5testshotsforgoodresults)

Table1 40YardPatternTestResults InShell PelletCount Pattern Count Pattern Perecntage S/CV Hits

Load (Gauge,maker,shotsize&type,length)

Shotgun:

Choke:

Barrel Length:

In Shell Pellet Count - average number of pellets in a shot shell of a certain type.

Pattern Count, Pattern Percentage and S/CV Hits ( Skull/Cervical Vertebrae Hits) are the average of all pattern tests with a particularload.(Recommend5testshotsforgoodresults)

Scouting Record
Location: ____________________________________________________________ Date: ________________ Time: ________________ Sky: ___________________ Weather: ___________________ Temperature: _________ Wind: _____________ Terrain : __________________________ Map Information: Droppings Dusting Areas Obstacles Openings Roosting Areas Scratchings Sightings - Hens Sightings - Jakes Sightings - Toms Strutting Marks Tracks Trails Scouting Map Habitat: __________________________ Miscellaneous Information

A Tur key Hunter s Code of Conduct urk Hunters


As a responsible turkey hunter, I will
not let peer pressure or the excitement of the hunt cloud my judgment; learn and practice safe hunting techniques; hunt the wild turkey fairly; know the capabilities and limitations of my gun or bow and use it safely; obey and support all wildlife laws and report all violations; respect the land and the landowner and always obtain permission before hunting; avoid knowingly interfering with another hunter and respect the right of others to lawfully share the out-of-doors; value the hunting experience and appreciate the beauty of the wild turkey; positively identify my target as a legal bird and insist on a good shot; share responsible turkey hunting with others; work for wild turkey conservation.
(Courtesy of the National Wild Turkey Federation - NWTF)

NWTF Photo NWTF Photo

NWTF Photo

NWTF Photo

PGC Photo

Todays Turkey Hunter is a ...

Conservationist Companion Mentor Leader


NWTF Photo Pennsylvania Game Commission Hunter - Trapper Education Division 2001 Elmerton Avenue Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797 Telephone: (717) 787-7015