Turkey Hunting – The Grand Slam!


To score an American grand slam you’ll have to shoot one turkey from each of the four major subspecies—Eastern, Osceola, Merriam’s and Rio Grande. The turkeys should be mature, long-bearded toms called in and killed with a shotgun or bow in the spring. To complete a North American slam, you’ll have to head down to the Sierra Madres of Mexico and bag a Gould’s gobbler.

Some hunters with a big stock portfolio and lots of free time on their hands go for a grand slam in a single spring. But for most of us a slower approach is more practical and realistic. After 20 years of serious turkey hunting from Virginia to South Dakota to Texas, I finally headed down to Florida and shot an Osceola with 1 ½-inch hooks. Man was I happy! All the time, effort and penny-pinching it took to cap my slam seemed to make the whole experience sweeter.

Chances are you’ve killed some Eastern toms, so you’re one-quarter way there. This spring or next, try to plan a hunt for a Rio Grande, which is typically the second link of a slam. Do your research and hunt in a good spot in Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas. You should have little trouble shooting a longbeard and getting halfway home.

In a couple of years go west for a Merriam’s. Whenever you can swing it, travel south to the land of sun and fun. The Osceola or Florida turkey is the capstone of most hunters’ slams.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if it takes one, 5 or 20 years or longer to score a grand slam. Just do it and reach the pinnacle of spring turkey hunting.


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