Oklahoma's Wild Turkeys
The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is represented in Oklahoma by three subspecies: Eastern, Rio Grande and Merriams. Hybridization occurs where their ranges overlap. Wild turkeys are large birds, with adult toms often weighing more than 20 pounds. Both sexes have long legs and broad wings and are swift runners and powerful flyers. Both have long necks which, when the birds are alert, extend upward to improve visibility. They also have excellent vision and hearing and both sexes may come to a hunter's call. However, only toms are legal during fall and spring hunting seasons and hunters must learn to distinguish between hens and toms. Generally, males are larger, darker, and more brilliantly colored than females.