Goulds Wild Turkey Hunt: The Least Known Subspecies
Goulds Wild Turkey Hunt: The Least Known Subspecies

Goulds Wild Turkey Hunt: The Least Known Subspecies

March 19, 2020

The Gould’s turkey is probably the least known

of the five wild turkey subspecies. Gould’s can be found in plentiful populations in the mountains of northern Mexico in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco and Coahuila. US populations are becoming more and more prevalent in the Southwestern States of Arizona and New Mexico due to the work of the National Wild Turkey Federation and several state agencies, along the Mexico / U.S. border. It was first described by J. Gould in 1856 during his travels in Mexico and aptly named for him.

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The Gould’s turkey has the largest body frame of any of the five North American subspecies. It has longer legs, larger feet, and larger center tail feathers than other wild turkey. The White tips or “Band”on the tail feathers gives the Gould’s a very spectacular look when they are observed in full strut. The body plumage is blue-green in color and the lower back and rump feathers have copper and greenish-golden reflections unlike the faintly iridescent velvety black of the Merriam’s. Hens have a less pronounced metallic green and red sheen and are more purplish in color. The Gould's can physically be distinguished from the Merriam's by its larger size, longer tail feather and the even whiter tips of the upper tail coverts and major tail feathers.

 

We are fortunate to have spent a lot of time around this spectacular bird during their spring mating season and find them to be a truly amazing turkey. Our business is called GouldsTurkeyHunt.com and we conduct our hunts out of Sonora and Chihuahua Mexico. I spend from about April 15 to May 15 every year since 2010 guiding clients for Gould’s turkey. When hunters have completed the harvest of all 5 turkeys that is called the “Royal Slam”. Most hunters finish their Royal slam with the Gould’s turkey.

 

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