Hunting the Ocellated Turkey

About the bird

The bird is brilliantly colored copper and electric blue, 100 percent turkey and just as paranoid as any you’ll hunt in the States.

Male Ocellated turkeys don’t gobble, they sing. They wear no beards, weigh far less than U.S. birds, and still, these jungle turkeys are as wary as any U.S. tom. Male and female coloration is similar; only male Ocellated turkeys have spurs.

Hunting strategies

Historically, hunters shot roosted turkeys off the limb. Sometimes this strategy is still practiced, especially in dense jungles after singing males have dispersed to breeding grounds, but hunting attitudes and management strategies are changing.

Birds are now also hunted in agricultural fields (sorghum, soybean or corn) as much as you’d find around the United States. Calling to these Southern Mexican turkeys and even using decoys by some are featured tactics these days, along with other fair-chase strategies.

How hunting helps

As a conservation model, hunting Ocellated birds can ensure sustainable populations and wise land management. Just as it’s been during the restoration and preservation of stateside wild turkeys, American hunters and NWTF members can support the conservation of this turkey by hunting them.

There also is a benefit of tourism dollars which follow foreign hunters coming in to hunt these unique turkeys.

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