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Focusing on managing Texas wildlife habitat and natural resources for native and exotic wild game species, for this and future generation of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


How common are birds big enough for trophy wild turkey hunts in Texas?

Texas, especially the Hill Country area, is home to over 600,000 Rio Grande Turkeys. While they are not all toms and definitely not all the large trophy size, they are still very, very plentiful. This natural abundance of turkeys in the area means that hunters are sure to get hunting action in both the spring and fall seasons.

Like with many other species on Escondido Ranch, the river area is one of the most popular areas for turkey hunting in both seasons. Turkeys are naturally attracted to the ready supply of water along with the vegetation and insects that are found along the wet areas of the river. The brushy areas beside the river banks also provide ideal cover during the day, making the area of the ranch perfect for trophy wild turkey hunts.

How are the Rio Grande Turkeys kept on the ranch?

The simple answer to that question is that they aren't. The turkeys are able to wander in and out of the ranch since it would be almost impossible to keep them confined. Rio Grande Turkeys do have the ability to fly for short distances and they do fly up into trees to roost, meaning they can easily get out over any type of game fence.

The two square miles of Escondido Ranch provide the best possible terrain and environment for Rio Grande turkeys, meaning that more turkeys come into the ranch than leave, even counting the toms that are taken in trophy wild turkey hunts. This never ending natural supply of turkeys to the ranch ensures that there are always turkeys in the area for hunting and just enjoying in the early morning hours of the day.

What do Rio Grande Turkeys eat?

Part of the reason that turkeys find the Escondido Ranch a favorable place to live is that they have the opportunity to eat the grains provided at the feeders. This readily available source of food for the turkeys ensures that they both stick around the ranch plus they tend to spend a great deal of time in the areas around the river and the feeders. The turkeys also eat natural vegetation, seeds, worms and insects and fruit and berries they find on the wild plants on the ranch and surrounding areas.

One of the advantages of the turkeys learning to come to the feeders means that sometimes, such in the fall, the turkey season will overlap with another species, specifically that of the whitetail deer. This gives hunters in this season the opportunity to go on trophy wild turkey hunts as well as trophy whitetail hunts all on the same piece of managed hunting reserve. These double hunting options make Texas hunting both practical as well as a lot of fun for hunters as there are hunting options galore. Keep in mind there are several exotic species on the ranch with no pre-set seasons so it is possible to hunt for in season turkeys and whitetail as well as exotics, making it a exceptional hunting opportunity for novice or experienced hunters alike.

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