The most populous and popular wild turkey is the Eastern Wild Turkey. Eastern Wild Turkeys inhabit most of the Eastern half of the country, and it is the most hunted turkey subspecies in the country living in pine, hardwood and mixed forests. Eastern wild turkeys have been transplanted in Washington, Oregon, and California. The Eastern wild turkey looks very similar to the Osceola turkey with its brown tipped tail feathers.
The Eastern wild turkey is a hard gobbling turkey with a scary good sixth sense about danger, and they have a way of just disappearing into thin air when they sense something is not quite right. Eastern wild turkey gobblers sometimes will fly from one tree to another to another before flying down to the ground just to make sure they know that the hen they hear calling from the ground is actually a hen.
Some of the problems I’ve encountered when hunting Eastern’s include competition from hens, being spooked by coyotes, bobcats and deer, blow downs that birds won’t come through, creeks they won’t cross, fences they won’t fly over or duck under, and being gobbler blocked by another hunter, just to name a few. Eastern wild turkeys are some of the most frustrating to hunt, in my opinion, but I also love hunting them for many of those same reasons.
Eastern wild turkeys will respond to almost any type of call, so when you go hunting for an Eastern be sure to fill your vest with all of your calls because you don’t know what is going to get one going that particular day. When I stop to try to locate a gobbler I’ll sometimes run through every call in my vest before I get a response, but crow calls, owl hoots, hawks screeches, and even a turkey gobble are all great locator calls. Of course, the yelps, clucks, and purrs of a hen work well to locate a gobbler also, just be sure you have a tree picked out to sit against before calling in case he is close when he gobbles. When hunting a new area, I’ll often do more listening than calling. Let the hens tell you what to say, how often to say it, and how loudly it needs to be said. Over calling to an Eastern gobbler is often much worse than under calling him.