There's spring turkey hunters, then there's fall turkey hunters.Phil M. Goes on Fall turkey huntingThere's nothing better than watching a bird dog work wild grouse, woodcock, pheasant, or a covey of quail. Much of that action occurs within 50 yards. While the ringneck pheasant’s most famous relative is the chicken, the wild turkey's closest relatives are T-Rex and Velociraptors (you can do this to a pheasant, but not a turkey). A wild turkey would rather run than fly. Turkeys don't fear dogs they can see, they can outrun most of them. For those fast dogs they can't outrun, they fly up into the trees. Hens with poults are quick to give the command for everyone to fly early in September. By November, the poults make their own decisions. When 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 literally fly, to get every one in the flock to flush. When a turkey can't outrun the dog, they finally fly, but not until the dog is about to catch their tail.

Once the dog smells, hears, or sees a turkey, that's just the beginning. A dog has to locate the flock with all six senses, using their eyes, ears, nose, brain and intuition, 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 intensity of the scent, the distance, the speed, obstructions and direction. Possibly for each bird, for the next hour, until every bird flies. If the dog leaves one turkey on the ground, the hunter's calls might 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 especially 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). Sight hounds have the Greyhound. Scent hounds have the Bloodhound. Terriers have the Airedales and Jagdterriers. The sporting group has the Turkey Dogs. There's bird dogs, then there's Turkey Dogs. Meet the rarest bird dogs in the country, hunting the grandest of all game birds:
Jon Freis' WI turkey dog Keena. Cur x walker x lab x tri-color rough collieGary Bunofsky's Ohio turkey dog GiaBill Mantle's PA boykin turkey dog CutterMarlin Watkin's OH turkey dog CutterMike Joyner's NY Weimaraner turkey dog TrooperGratten Hepler's VA brittany turkey dog Missy
Dave Edge's WI gordon setter turkey dog KeitaTodd Clemens WV brittany turkey dog Kee KeeJob Seger's NY turkey dog GunnerDrew Cashatt's VA Wire Haired Pointing Griffon turkey dog OttoJon Freis WI turkey dog Lucky from VirginiaEddie William's KY turkey dog BelleRob Mucinski's PA turkey dog GageNathan Beaston's PA golden retriever turkey dog CooperMarlin Watkin's OH turkey dog KeeKeeGary Bunofsky's AL, KY & OH turkey dog SugarBarry Barns PA Yellow LabCharlie Elk's WI vizsla turkey dog VicMike Morrell's brother's VA turkey dog Sam (Gracie's brother)Tom McMurray's VA chocolate lab turkey dog MaggieEd Watson's WV turkey dog Pixie
God made the world round, so turkey dogs wouldn't run over the edge.
Ed Morris's VA turkey dog WoodyKarl Leslein's IA turkey dog PhoebeFrederick Payne's VA llewellin setter turkey dog DrakeJon Freis's WI via KY turkey dog TannerMarlin Watkins OH german shorthair turkey dog Morgan
Larry Case's WV turkey dogs Kota & PatchesLarry Case - WV turkey dog BuckMichael Christensen's NE turkey dog MaxCharles Hartman NY Flat Coated Retriever turkey dogs Marley and KipGary Flynn's OH german shorthair turkey dog SophieKenny Wayne Kishman's KY black labrador turkey dog Daisie MaeEarl Sechrist's VA brittany turkey dog JakeFrederick Payne's VA Llewellin turkey dogs Hawkins and Ralegh
Ontario hunter Dave Reid's turkey dog Turk an English Cocker SpanielOntario English cocker Spaniel Lady - Dave Reid's turkey dogOntario turkeyRandy Carter's VA turkey dog BusterRandy Carter's VA turkey dog ShilohRandy Carter's VA turkey dog Bear
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 

There's more dedicated old time breeders of exceptional turkey dogs in Virginia, than anywhere in the world.
Carroll Gathright old time Virginia turkey dog breeder
Originally published at VirginiaWildlife.Gov - Teaming Up with Dogs for Turkeys by Bruce Ingram.

R.I.P. Carroll Gathright 1947 - 2021. Pictured with Bobby Joe in 2015.

Randy Carter's VA turkey dog Meggie'dropper' turkey dogWV dropper turkey dogWI black lab multi purpose turkey hunting dogchocolate lab hunts pheasant, grouse, woodcock and turkeyFinest Appalachian turkey hunting dog in VirginiaRon Magnano's famous New York state turkey dogs
Virginia's famous turkey dog GracieVirginia turkey dog BaileyBrouck Sleight's Wisconsin turkey dog Lab X GreyhoundBill Roder's northern Wisconsin turkey dog Mr T - Pointer X BrittanyBill Roder's Golden X Labrador pup BJPride of Virginia - Stonewall JacksonTravis Byrd's KY turkey dog MickMike Morrell's Virginia turkey dog Bailey 2014
Brouck Sleight's WI turkey dog Fisher - Greyhound X Lab, good looking, fast, with a hounds voice.Nicholas Dalasio's Virginia and Pennsylvania Turkey DogMark Lininger's California turkey dog from the Richard Rose kennel in VirginiaRichard Rose kennel Gordon setter, English setter & pointer VA turkey dogBeautiful black setter pointer dropper Virginia turkey dogKentucky turkey hunter uses dropper dog from VirginiaA Carter Family Original - My Dixie DarlingTim Hoden's dropper Virginia turkey hunting dog
"Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies." Gene Hill
Gathright's Virginia turkey dogs Father and SonGathright's Virginia turkey dog JebBeautiful Llewellin Settter Virginia Turkey Dog PuppyLlewellin turkey dog from VirginiaObedient, far-ranging Golden Retriever northern WI turkey hunting dogCogar's Wachtelhund J ger3 month old Kentucky dropper originally from Virginia
Bill Kemp's turkey dog Marvin, of Ontario Canada
Virginia dropper turkey dog Fredericksburg, VAdeceased matron of Fredericksburg, VA turkey dogsFredericksburg, VA turkey dog puppyBlind for fall turkey hunting with a dog in VirginiaWisconsin turkey dog Fisher from PardeevillePaul Brantley's Alabama & Wisconsin Boykin RemingtonJeff Gardner's Virginia dropper Buck
Kentucky turkey dog BrownieKentucky turkey dog AddieKentucky turkey dog SisKentucky turkey dog GusWisconsin turkey dog RedWisconsin turkey dog BlackieCalifornia German Short-haired Pointer turkey dogOne of Pennslvania's best turkey hunting dogs
Many breeds are used for turkey, from specialized 'Appalachian' turkey dogs, to mixed breeds, with varying results. What each dog guarantees is a unique and personalized experiences for their owner. There's some things the best dogs have in common. Join the club and find out what they are.
Bubba's Brittany JackMcCann's Tennessee turkey dog RalphMountain Cur X Bluetick hound Kansas turkey hunting dogOhio turkey dog RioVizsla turkey dog from PennsylvaniaMaryland turkey dogTraditional turkey dog from Charlottesville, VirginiaChesapeake Bay RetrieverMaryland turkey hunting dogs
old time Virginia turkey dogMike Alf's Mountain Cur Titus in WisconsinField Bred Cocker Spaniel Turkey DogJeff Jones West Virginia turkey dog MillieMichigan German Shorthaired Pointer turkey hunting dog RingoAKC German Wirehaired Pointer turkey dogHassinger's Pennyslvania turkey dog JakeBryan Burhans Pennsylvania turkey dog TuckerKenneth Young's Boykin Spaniel and Virginia turkey dog Natty DreadPennsylvania Golden Retriever RemiTurkey hunting pool dog
Subscribe to the Turkey Dog News - Issued randomly a few times a year.
Field Bred English Cocker turkey dogSave a turkey - shoot a single shot
15,000 years ago, some wolves hung around campfires, for bones and meat scraps.
Today, in exchange for food and shelter, their descendants scatter turkeys like wolves would. Then they sit like lapdogs (Members Only).

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.
Turkey hunting dogs will stack them like cordwoodDammit All - names of dogsChoosing 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)
Statue of Alvin York in TN State CapitolVirginia cave painting of turkey hunter with dog 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 Pall Mall, 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.
"Of course everybody was nice. But I'm a-telling you it was a tough corner for a mountain boy to be in... In the middle of that-there old banquet I got to kinder dreaming about home and the little log cabin and my mother and Gracie and them-there hound-dogs of mine. I knowed I was to be with them soon." The York Patrol - The real story of Alvin York and the unsung heroes who made him World War I's most famous soldier by James Earl Nelson.
Looks like somebody sitting on the porchHe's got dogs.Them dogs look nice.He has a partner.Hunting dogs.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. In German, pfaffenschnittchen.
How to train your bird dog for hunting wild turkey by Jon L Freis 20135 collector editions of the Turkey Dog BookLearn 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.

Ya Gotta Quit Kicking My Dog Around by Gid Tanner & His Skillet LickersAiredale, Boykin, Brittany Spaniel, Dropper, English, Feist, Gordon & Llewellin setters, English Cocker Spaniel, English pointer, Flat-Coated Retriever, German shorthair pointer, Golden Retriever, Greyhound, Irish Terrier, Labradors - Black, Yellow, Chocolate, Mountain Cur, Plott, Treeing Walker, Tri-Color Rough Collie, Vizsla, Wachtelhund, Wire Haired Pointing Griffon, Weimaraner, Whippet
Proof dogs are smarter than people department: Dog has it's human do the work. 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. This one really gets my dog worked up.
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