Meleagris gallopavo silvestris {POPULATION: 4,575,000*}

He’s the King of Spring. Inhabiting a larger range than all other wild turkey subspecies combined, the Eastern gobbler leaves his three toed track in nearly every field, forest, riverbank and ridgetop across the eastern half of the United States. Known for his thunderous gobble, wary nature and generally large size, Easterns hold records for the longest spurs, longest beard and heaviest weight ever harvested by those lucky enough to hunt them. He’s an American Original and a truly iconic symbol of the spring woods.

Easterns inhabit a larger range than all other wild turkey subspecies combined.

Easterns inhabit a larger range than all other wild turkey subspecies combined.

Easterns exhibit chocolate-brown tailfeather tips with chestnut brown tips on their covert feathers.

Easterns exhibit chocolate-brown tailfeather tips with chestnut brown tips on their covert feathers.

Physical Markings

Tailfan: Chocolate-brown tailfeather tips with chestnut brown covert feathers

Wing Feathers: White and black barring,relatively equal in size

Breast Feathers: Tipped in black, displaying metallic and copper iridescence

Spurs: Can be very large in size, varying in sharpness and length depending on the local terrainH

Beard: Typically long, full and thick, especially in agricultural areas

Gobble: 5 out of 5 in strength and well known for his booming gobble.

{Size:  18-26 lbs. }  The largest of all subspecies, as Easterns can reach up to four feet tall and weigh over 30 lbs.

{Size: 18-26 lbs.}

The largest of all subspecies, as Easterns can reach up to four feet tall and weigh over 30 lbs.

Habitat

As widespread as Easterns are, their habitat is diverse. From Deep South pine plantations, to Midwestern crop fields, to Appalachian hardwoods and the Atlantic coast, the Eastern turkey supports a wider range and more hunting opportunities than all other wild turkey subspecies combined.

Hunting

Wary Eastern gobblers have been hunted for generations, so in many areas, silence kills asmany Easterns as aggressive yelping. With plentiful timber in America’s eastern half, finding a high spot to listen or owl hooting at daybreak is a popular way to start a hunt. From there, dense woods allow for sneaking close to the roost, and nothing beats soft tree yelping an Eastern gobbler into range minutes after he pitches down from the roost.

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The Eastern boasts records for the most number of beards, longest beard, longest spurs and heaviest weight of all the Grand Slam Subspecies

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.

 

 

 


*Population Estimates by subspecies in the United States, 2014, based on survey data submitted from state wildlife agencies. © 2020 Ryan Kirby Art & Illustration. All Rights Reserved. RyanKirbyArt.com

 

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