Targeting the Rio Grande Wild Turkey


The grand slam of wild turkeys is an obtainable objective for every turkey hunter, for a variety of reasons. Whichever species of bird live in your neighborhood, it’s enough like its out-of-state cousins that you don’t need to learn a new bag of tricks, yet different enough to make the hunt truly interesting and exciting. The Rio Grande subspecies is noted for roosting regularly in the same trees, and for traveling extensively after fly-down. However,  henned-up Rios are notoriously difficult to call. Join Greg Powers as he tries to fill his grand slam with a Rio on this Texas hunt:

SD Turkey 06 296All I needed was a Rio Grande gobbler — just one — to complete my first Grand Slam. So, when I got an offer from Mossy Oak last spring to come to Texas for their annual Rio Round Up, take a wild guess what my answer was.

 Welcome to central Texas

After arriving at camp near Eldorado, Texas, meeting the group of industry professionals I would be sharing camp with and sighting in our Mossberg Turkey Thug Shotguns, Mossy Oak’s Ben Maki, Neill Haas and I piled in the truck and headed for turkey country.  I mentioned on the trip to the woods that I wasn’t fond of snakes, especially rattlers, so if the guys missed me, I most likely had seen a snake and would be back at the truck. Ben and Neill laughed. I was pretty serious.

We hadn’t been out of the truck 10 minutes when we heard gobblers in the distance. As we walked, single-file, toward the action, I heard what I thought was a rattling sound. About that time, Neill turned to me with a “Is that a snake?” look on his face.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.