Image Via: Mark Raycroft

Test your turkey smarts



1. Adult toms of the Eastern subspecies can weigh as much as:

a) 20 pounds


b) 25 pounds

c) 30 pounds

d) 40 pounds


2. The Eastern subspecies of wild turkey is the largest.

a) True

b) False

3. Baby turkeys are called:

a) chicks

b) poults

c) fry

d) pelts

4. Wild turkeys are:

a) nocturnal (active at night)

b) crepuscular (active during the twilight hours)

c) diurnal (active during the day)

5. Yearling males, or jakes, have fully developed spurs.

a) True

b) False

6. How long can turkeys go without feeding during the harsh winter months?

a) Five days

b) One week

c) Two weeks

d) Three weeks

7. For defence, the turkey’s most acute sense is:

a) sight

b) smell

c) hearing

8. A hen can have a beard.

a) True

b) False

9. During the harsh Canadian winter months, up to how much of their normal body weight can turkeys lose?

a) 20%

b) 30%

c) 40%

d) 50%

10. How can you distinguish the track of an adult male from a female’s?

a) It’s twice the size

b) The middle toe is more than 2 1/2 inches long, and clearly longer than the other two

c) The middle toe is shorter than the other two

d) All the toes are the same length

11. When do hens begin to incubate their eggs?

a) They lay about a dozen eggs all at once, then start sitting on their nests

b) They lay one egg a day for about a dozen days, then they begin to incubate

c) They lay three eggs a day, then start to incubate after four days

d) They lay one egg every other day, then start to incubate in 24 days

12. How long does it take for turkey eggs to hatch?

a) 12 days

b) 20 days

c) 28 days

d) 35 days

13. You can differentiate the droppings of a male from a female’s because:

a) they’re much larger

b) they smell much worse

c) they typically have a distinct J-shape

14. The lifespan of a wild turkey is:

a) three years

b) four years

c) six years

d) nine years

15. Male wild turkeys can grow more than one beard.

a) True

b) False

16. Male wild turkeys reach full maturity when they’re ___ years old.

a) Two

b) Three

c) Four


1. c

2. a

3. b

4. c

5. b

6. c

7. a

8. a

9. d

10. b

11. b

12. c

13. c

14. c

15. a

16. a


1. How old are turkey poults when they leave their nesting areas with the hens?

a) 12 to 24 hours

b) 48 hours

c) One week

d) Two weeks

2. Turkey poults can fly short distances within how many days of hatching?

a) Six days

b) 10 to 12 days

c) Three weeks

d) One month

3. How far can turkeys fly?

a) 50 metres

b) 100 metres

c) A few hundred metres

d) One kilometre

4. A gobbler uses the same strutting area on consecutive days.

a) True

b) False

5. Which of the following are wild turkey vocalizations?

a) Gobble, yelp, purr, cluck, cutt, kee kee

b) Gobble, yelp, purr, cluck, cutt, hoot

c) Gobble, yelp, purr, cluck, cutt, bark

d) Gobble, yelp, purr, cluck, cutt, squeal

6. How fast can a turkey run?

a) 9 km/h

b) 19 km/h

c) 29 km/h

d) 39 km/h

7. Male turkeys will gobble when they hear thunder from an approaching storm.

a) True

b) False

8. By the time turkey poults are ____ old, they begin to roost at night.

a) one week

b) one month

c) two months

d) three months

9. The best weapons an adult male, or tom, has for fighting for dominance and establishing breeding rights are:

a) its wings

b) its feet

c) its beak

d) its spurs

10. By the time hunting season opens each spring, wild turkeys are:

a) just starting to mate

b) in the middle of the mating season

c) at the end of the mating season

11. Which weather condition has the most effect on turkey movement patterns?

a) Heat wave

b) Cold snap

c) Heavy wind and rain

12. How does foggy weather influence turkey behaviour?

a) It will not alter turkey behaviour

b) They’ll be more active

c) They’ll hold tight on their roost longer

d) Gobblers won’t respond to calls


1. a

2. b

3. c

4. a

5. a

6. b

7. a (this is called “shock-gobbling”)

8. b

9. d

10. c

11. c

12. c


1. When aiming at a male turkey with a shotgun, you should aim for its:

a) head

b) tail

c) feet

d) wings

2. During which part of the day do most turkey hunters get their bird?

a) Early morning

b) Mid-morning

c) Noon

d) Afternoon

3. The location where you’re most likely to bag a bird during mid- to late morning is:

a) near a food source

b) in a clearing where you’ve seen birds strutting before

c) near the site where the birds take dust baths

d) near a water source

4. Which is the optimal shotgun choke for turkey hunting?

a) Modified

b) Full

c) Extra-full

d) Improved cylinder

5. What natural and/or man-made structures can act as barriers to gobblers that may be responding to your calls?

a) Ditches

b) Streams

c) Farm fences

d) Large deadfalls

e) All of the above

6. If a gobbler gets hung up on the far side of a barrier, you should:

a) get up and stalk toward him

b) keep calling and hope that the bird will become enticed enough to cross the barrier

c) let things quiet down until the bird loses interest and walks out of sight, then cross the barrier and call again

d) let things quiet down and call it a day

7. Used to spur toms into gobbling, a locator call sounds like:

a) a coyote howl, b) an owl hoot, c) a crow call, d) a bull elk bugle

e) all of the above


1. a

2. a

3. c

4. c

5. e

6. c

7. e

Facts & figures

1. Wild turkeys are legally hunted in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C.

a) True

b) False

2. Ontario’s wild turkey reintroduction started in what year?

a) 1979

b) 1980

c) 1984

d) 1994

3. Which of the following is not a North American subspecies of the wild turkey?

a) Gould’s

b) Merriam’s

c) Western

d) Eastern

e) Florida/Osceola

f) Rio Grande

4. Which provinces are home to the Merriam’s subspecies?

a) P.E.I.

b) Quebec

c) Ontario

d) Manitoba

e) Alberta

5. Which provinces are home to the Eastern subspecies?

a) P.E.I.

b) Quebec

c) Ontario

d) Manitoba

e) Alberta

1. a

2. c

3. c

4. d, e

5. b, c