He's the Sultan of the Swamp. Long-spurred and aggressive, he's not afraid to drop those jet black primary feathers into full strut to show off for the ladies across the orange grove or cattle pasture. Inhabiting only the Florida Peninsula, he's at home among heat, humidity, raptors and reptiles that most hunters would prefer to avoid. Yet the allure of hunting such a wild place and the desire to add him to their Grand Slam keeps die-hard hunters coming back year after year to pursue the legendary Meleagris gallopavo osceola. This is the Osceola Wild Turkey.
Tailfan: Dark chocolate-brown tips on the tailfeathers; chestnut brown coverts
Wing Feathers: Very dark, consisting of large black bars and thin, broken white strips
Breast Feathers: Tipped in black and reflecting iridescent greens and reds, with less bronze than Easterns
Spurs: Often long, thin and razor-sharp due to the softer terrain they inhabit in the swamps of Florida
Beard: Generally thinner and slightly shorter than those of Easterns
Gobble: 4 out of 5 in strength compared to the other Grand Slam subspecies
Osceolas thrive in the vast orange groves, open pastures and deep cypress swamps of the Sunshine State. You'll have to endure mosquitoes and watch your step to avoid cottonmouths, rattle snakes and alligators, but Osceola hunting is an experience unlike any other.
Mornings begin with owl hoots echoing through the pines, followed by the sound of a gobbler roosted deep in the swamp over water. After fly-down, he'll head to dry land and openings to commence his daily routine. Decoys can be very effective, as prime habitat is limited and Osceolas are used to competing for it. By mid-morning, it’s usually hot enough to find strutting gobblers in the shade.
Want to display all four Grand Slam Subspecies? Now you can, with “The Grand Slam Subspecies of the North American Wild Turkey.” Essential for any turkey hunting enthusiast, this print includes new original art and interesting facts and figures about each of the four Grand Slam wild turkey subspecies. Each print is signed by Ryan Kirby and stamped with a seal of authenticity. It’s perfect for the office, hunting lodge or mancave.