There's nothing better than watching a bird dog work our native wild grouse, woodcock, or a covey of quail. Much of that action occurs within 50 yards. Then there's the wild turkey. A wild turkey would rather run than fly and turkeys don't fear dogs they can see. Usually, when flocks of turkeys see a dog or a hunter enter the woods, they back off 100 to 150 yards and watch from a distance. A dog has to accelerate to get a turkey to flush. When they can't outrun the dog, they finally fly, but not until the dog is about to catch their tail.
Once the dog smells or sees a turkey, that's just the beginning. A turkey hunting dog has to locate the flock with all their senses, using their eyes, ears, nose and brain, to pressure every single bird in the flock fast enough to force them to fly. The dog quickly makes a lot of decisions, regarding the smell, the distance, the speed, obstructions and direction. Possibly for the next hour, until all of the flock are off the ground (Fall flocks can be large). If the dog leaves one turkey on the ground, the hunter's calls will be futile, for the turkeys in the trees will ignore the hunter's calls and fly down to the real bird instead, ruining all of the dog's hard work and the hunter's efforts.
One essential difference between other upland bird dogs and turkey hunting dogs is; they enthusiastically bark on a hot track and vociferously on a flush. A dog barking on a flock of wild turkeys flushing is something to see and hear. The dog is loud and the birds are big, strong and fast (and they're the only upland bird that can be called back to the gun). There's bird dogs, then there's turkey dogs. Meet the rarest bird dogs in the country, hunting the grandest of all game birds:
“There are three paramount essentials in a bird dog - he must have a good nose; he must have brains to direct his nose; he must have the physical ability to carry his nose and brains around... Suppose we had bred Doughboy to Becky Broomhill and Becky should whelp six puppies... train two of them as wild turkey dogs... train two of them as shooting dogs... train two of them for the field trials...” M. D. Hart, Virginia Chief of Conservation, 9/25/1927
The only upland bird dogs that get to run full-tilt for two months in the spring.
There's one thing the best dogs have in common. Join the club.
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” Milan Kundera
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|A lot of bird dogs must envy the way turkey dogs get to run.
We buy uninhibited young setters and pointers that run big (800 yards) and bark without encouragement.
If you have a young, mouthy dog that doesn't want to hold point, they might make a great turkey dog. Top prices paid, call 920-776-1272.
a name for your dog.
"Since turkey dogs originated in Virginia and being southern reared myself, I use the Southern tradition of calling my dogs by their middle name. For convenience, they all have the same first name, so when I say: "Come, damnit", they all do.
It's especially charming to call them by their full name: Damnit Buster, Damnit Jenny, Damnit Jake, Damnit Patch or Damnit Princess. Sorta rolls off the tongue natural like. Makes a feller tear up 'n ask fer another mint julep." JW - Texas (where we name Beers after our dogs: Dammit Jim)
The traditional method is to scatter the turkeys, then call them back
in, so you have a close range, standing or walking head shot. While you
can shoot turkeys on the flush, the excitement is hearing the
majestic bird walk and talk, as he stalks your call. We try to dispatch
the royal bird with one shot to the head, because we like our birds
without one pellet in the leg, thigh or breast.
Native Tennessee sharpshooter Sergeant Alvin C. York was champion of the turkey-shooting matches (they had to shoot turkeys in the head). Alvin went on to receive the Medal of Honor for his attack on a 32 gun German machine gun nest, killing 25 German soldiers, and capturing 132. Movie of the turkey shoot.
|When cleaning your birds, look for the Turkey Oysters, those choice, flavorful, juicy little parts the French trappers and traders called sot-l'y-laisse.|
|Learn about these special bird dogs for
hunting wild turkey. Join the club:
Wild Turkey Dogs: Tips on Choosing, Training and Hunting. Includes 'Training a Turkey Dog' by Parker Whedon. 5th Edition, March 2018 Includes secrets of the old days and contributions from 100's of turkey dog hunters.
The breeding of the original Virginia type turkey dog has always been a well kept family secret. There's still some breeding the traditional turkey dogs, then there's others who tried different ones, in a wide variety of habitat and terrain. Join the club, read the book and find the best dog for you.
Proof dogs are smarter than people department: Dog has it's human do the work. Look how smart dogs are. Dogs undertand more than we think.
Are dogs smarter than cats? Do we have any Search & Rescue cats, Police-Cats, or Seeing-Eye Cats? Enough said.
They Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dog Around - Listen to the old time string band, or listen to these artists. This one really gets my dog worked up.
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WE HUNT TURKEYS, ONE BARK AT A TIME.