Eastern turkey hunting is one of the best bird hunts in the U.S. Whether you’re aiming for an NWTF Slam, a trophy tom, or just a great time, Global Sporting Safaris can set you up with the hunt you’re looking for.
This is the bird most people think of when they imagine a turkey—it’s the same one that early North American settlers first encountered, and the one commonly pictured as the centerpiece of a Pilgrim’s thanksgiving feast. It can be found all along the eastern U.S. coast, from Florida to Maine. Estimates of the total population are over five million.
Eastern turkeys are distinguished from other subspecies by light brown upper tail coverts, black- or white-tipped breast and side feathers in males (these are brown in females), and bronze iridescent body feathers that are more pronounced in males. Their wings’ secondary feathers have white bars and edges.
Males can grow as large as four feet tall, with the largest beards reaching up to a foot in length. Spurs can be anywhere from ¾ of an inch to 1½ inches long. A sizable male will generally weigh 20-24 pounds, though record-breakers can weigh as much as 30.
The fall Illinois turkey hunting season is short for shotgun hunting, usually lasting for about a week in October, but there is an extensive bow hunting season from early October to late January. In Alabama, there is a spring season and a fall season, generally lasting from March through late April in the spring and November through January in the fall. Most of our outfitters’ hunts last about three days, with hunts taking place during the morning, with the rest of the time spent in a comfortable lodge or enjoying the various other activities available.
Illinois turkey hunting can range from relaxing to demanding, and most hunts can be tailored to the level of challenge the hunter wants to face. Beginners can feel confident working with any of our guides. Standard hunting grounds for both our Alabama and Illinois outfitters include fields and river bottoms, plus hills and crop fields with the latter.
Bow hunting is a great choice, especially considering the long season. Those who prefer to bring a shotgun on their eastern turkey hunting trip should use anything between a 10 and 20 gauge. Full camouflage is recommended, as hunters will often be working without blinds.
Call today or fill out the form on the right and let us know what type of eastern turkey hunting experience you are looking for. We’ll send you information on opportunities that match your goals. Our experienced outfitters are second to none and we’re happy to share personal experiences with you.