Wild turkeys are currently present in 49 American states. The frozen tundra of Alaska is the only place in the country without wild turkeys. There is also a turkey hunting season in all 49 of the states that are home to the birds. Outsider previously shared a comprehensive calendar that details when turkey hunting season opens up in each and every state. Realtree’s Turkey Hunting Nation is also one of the most in-depth overviews of turkey hunting in America that you will find online. It has details on turkey populations, hunter numbers, bag limits, the ease and cost of getting a license, and the amount of public land available in each state. It also provides each state with a turkey hunting grade like a report card.
Such widespread and sustainable turkey populations are no accident tough. It took targeted efforts to bring the birds back from the brink of extinction. The remarkable recovery of America’s wild turkeys is one of the best conservation comeback stories in history. The best way to continue the legacy of that story is to be a proud turkey hunter.
A Quick Introduction To The Concept Of Turkey Hunting Slams
There are 4 sub-species of wild turkey in the United States. The Eastern sub-species is the most common. Osceola Turkeys live only in Florida. Rio Grande Wild Turkeys inhabit mostly just Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. They’ve been introduced to parts of California and Washington state as well though. Merriam’s Turkeys are found mostly in the Rocky Mountain region and bordering states. When a hunter shoot’s all 4 of those sub-species, the accomplishment is what’s known as the Turkey Hunting Grand Slam.
There are several other Turkey Slams that hunters can achieve as well. Throw in a Gould’s turkey from Mexico and limited areas of the southwest on top of the Grand Slam and it’s called Royal Slam. Add in the Ocellated Turkey from Mexico and it’s called the World Slam. Similar to the Grand Slam, there are also separate Slams that hunters can complete in Canada and Mexico respectively.
The most incredible of the Turkey Slams though is the U.S. Super Slam. To complete that feat, a hunter must tag out on a bird in all 49 states where turkey hunting is allowed. It’s an incredibly difficult task to accomplish. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, only 16 people have ever completed it and officially registered their achievement.
Chasing 49 Film Series Documents Hunters Pursuing The U.S. Super Slam
Beginning in 2016, a media brand named Chasing 49 set out to showcase the U.S. Super Slam like never before. Founded by Stephen Spurlock and Keith Ott. Ott first began his pursuit of the Super Slam in 2015. It took him until April of 2020 to complete the endeavor. The National Wildlife Turkey Federation is the presenting sponsor of the film series. Additional sponsors include Lit Coolers, Nomad Outdoor, SureFire, Mossy Oak, Danner Boots, and Avian X Decoys.
The first film in the series introduces the concept of the Super Slam and shows a glimpse of the action-packed, fast-paced style of hunting it takes to make progress on shooting a bird everywhere you possibly can. Chasing 49’s first film is titled Day 7 and it details the early stages of founder Keith Ott’s quest to shoot a bird in all 49 applicable states. So take a look at that first film. And buckle up as Outsider prepares to take you on a wild ride all across the country as we showcase some of the very best films in turkey hunting history.