Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz


1 | Question 1 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

OK, boys and girls, let's get started. This is an old-fashioned quiz, so you'll need a pen and paper handy to keep track of your answers. Number it 1 to 20 (answers are on the last page).

1. What writer said a wild turkey “can see a bumblebee turn a somersault on the verge of the horizon"?

A) Tom Kelly
B) William Faulkner
C) Archibald Rutledge
D) None of the above.

(photo by John Hafner)

2 | Question 2 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

2. How do you officially score a wild turkey gobbler?

A) Beard length + spur length + weight. 
B) Beard length + 10 times combined spur length + weight.
C) Twice beard length + 10 times combined spur length + weight.
D) Beard length + 10 times combined spur length + 2 times weight.


(photo by John Hafner)

3 | Question 3 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

3. Calling turkeys was once illegal in states like Pennsylvania.

A) True
B) False

(photo by Bill Konway)

4 | Question 4 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

4. A father and his son are turkey hunting together. Both have turkey tags. Two longbeards come in and the kid shoots the strutter. What should the father and son do at this point?

A) Jump up, swap high fives and sing “Sweet Home Alabama.”
B) Sit still and call aggressively.  
C) Calmly unload both guns then carefully walk to the downed tom.
D) Shoot the dropped gobbler again. Who knows, he may get up at any time and fly off.

(photo by John Hafner)

5 | Question 5 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

5. A wild turkey hen starts laying eggs about one week after a gobbler breeds with her. She drops a clutch of about 10 or 12 eggs on average. What is her laying schedule?

A) One egg per day. 
B) One egg every other day. 
C) One egg the first day, skipping the next; then laying another egg; then one egg per day after the third egg is laid. 
D) Several eggs per day.

(photo courtesy of the NWTF)

6 | Question 6 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

6. When hen yelping to bring in a spring gobbler, which following choice is most important to calling success?

A) Cadence.
B) Yelping loudly. 
C) Yelping softly. 
D) Contest-quality yelps.

(photo by Bill Konway)

7 | Question 7 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

7. Male wild turkeys establish dominance to determine which tom breeds the hens. Gobblers only fight in the spring to determine pecking order.

A) True
B) False

(photo by Denver Bryan/Images on the Wild Side)

8 | Question 8 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

8. A spring gobbler is often polygynous. What’s this mean?

A) He can strut many times during the day.
B) He can breed without eating for days.
C) He breeds with more than one hen.

(photo by John Hafner)

9 | Question 9 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

9. A wild turkey poult first calls:

A) Before it hatches. 
B) Right after hatching. 
C) A few weeks after hatching. 
D) A wild turkey poult doesn’t call.

(photo by Russell Graves)

10 | Question 10 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

10. A wild turkey almost always has how many large major tail feathers?

A) 16
B) 18
C) 22
D) 26

(photo by Bill Konway)

11 | Question 11 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

11. What is the registered record length for a single wild turkey beard?

A) 22.5000 inches
B) 15.5000 inches
C) 17.2500 inches
D) 13.8750 inches

(photo by Denver Bryan/Images on the Wild Side)

12 | Question 12 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

12. After you’ve killed a gobbler, the best way to judge a male turkey’s age is:

A) Length of the beard. 
B) Weight of the bird. 
C) Length and sharpness of the spurs.

(photo by John Hafner)

13 | Question 13 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

13. The longest all-time registered spurs belonged to what turkey subspecies?

A) Eastern
B) Osceola
C) Merriam’s
D) Rio Grande
E) Gould’s
F) Ocellated

(photo courtesy of the NWTF)

14 | Question 14 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

14. What wild turkey subspecies has the longest legs?

A) Eastern
B) Osceola
C) Merriam’s
D) Rio Grande
E) Gould’s
F) Ocellated

(photo by John Hafner)

15 | Question 15 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

15. How early can wild turkey poults fly?

A) 7-14 days
B) 14-21 days
C) 21-28 days
D) 28-35 days

(photo by Bill Konway)

16 | Question 16 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

16. Some hens have beards.

A) True
B) False

(photo by John Hafner)

17 | Question 17 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

17. Pick the weight of the heaviest registered wild turkey.

A) 28.5000 lbs.
B) 37.1250 lbs.
C) 26.7500 lbs.
D) 33.3750 lbs.

(photo by Bill Konway)

18 | Question 18 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

18. What turkey subspecies can you hunt in Washington state?

A) Merriam’s
B) Merriam’s and Rios
C) Merriam’s, Rios and Easterns
D) Washington state has no turkeys

(photo courtesy of the NWTF)

19 | Question 19 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

19. How fast can a wild turkey fly?

A) Fast as Dale Earnhardt used to drive. 
B) 55 mph
C) 15 mph
D) 28 mph

(photo by Denver Bryan/Images on the Wild Side)

20 | Question 20 - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

20. FINAL QUESTION: What following tactic is best for fall turkey hunting?

A) Scatter turkeys in all directions, then sit down and call one back in. 
B) Sit quietly in a good location, calling only occasionally. 
C) Set up near a food source and do no calling whatsoever.

Click over to the next page to tally up your score!

(photo by Denver Bryan/Images on the Wild Side)

21 | Answers Page - Realtree Turkey Hunter's Quiz

The Answers:

1. Answer: C. Archibald Rutledge (1883-1973).

2. Answer: C. Measure beard length then multiply by two. Measure both spurs. Add lengths. Multiply this spur total by 10. Add the bird’s weight to the beard and spur totals. All measurements are converted to decimals. This is the gobbler’s score. The National Wild Turkey Federation has a complete listing of the top registered turkeys at

3. Answer: A. According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, turkey calls were outlawed on June 7, 1917 and legalized again in 1937. This was during the pre-restoration years when wild turkey numbers nationwide were at an all-time low.

4. Answer: B. When two or more gobblers come in together, it isn’t too unusual for one or more of them to hang around and beat up on the dead turkey. It’s a dominance thing. This is why the father and son should stay still in their positions. And even if the surviving gobbler starts to move off, it’s not all that unusual to have him come back with some aggressive calling.

5. Answer: C. According to renowned turkey biologist Lovett E. Williams Jr., a hen lays one egg the first day and takes a day off. She then typically lays another egg. After laying the third egg, she lays one egg per day until her clutch size is reached. Ten to 12 eggs is the average-sized nest, although on rare occasions as many as 20 eggs have been found in a turkey nest.

6. Answer: A. Cadence, the rhythm or speed with which you yelp, is arguably more important than the other choices. A perfect sounding yelp given without the proper cadence probably won’t bring in a tom. Yelps given with the correct cadence, on the other hand, can sound pretty rough and still coax in a spring gobbler. There are some really “bad” sounding live turkey hens out there. In the end, all four are important – making sweet sounding yelps with proper cadence, and knowing when to call softly or loudly helps kill birds. This only comes with hunting experience. Listen to calling turkeys, spring and fall. They’ll teach you plenty.

7. Answer: B. False. Gobblers spar year-round to determine dominance. Making a fighting purr is one way to pull male turkeys in for a look, spring or fall, especially after fly-down time. Hens also fight.

8. Answer: C. He breeds with more than one hen.

9. Answer: A. Poults peep while still inside the egg, a few days before hatching. The hen responds with clucking, forming a bond with her brood even before they leave their eggs and prompting the young birds to hatch.

10. Answer: B. Adult wild turkeys, gobblers and hens, almost always have 18 large major tail feathers, consisting of 9 matched pairs on each side of the middle. Juvenile turkeys often have extended middle tail feathers. Occasionally, a turkey may have 20 tail feathers, or an odd number of tail feathers if a few have been lost.

11. Answer: A. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s current registry (as of this writing), the record longbeard taped out to 22.5000 inches. Cody May shot the turkey, officially registered as an Eastern not a Rio Grande (the typical Lone Star State subspecies) on April 6, 2007 in Bowie, Texas.

12. Answer: C. A jake may weigh up to 18 pounds in some locations, while a mature tom may not go more than this in another, so weight can’t be an accurate indicator of age. A beard may wear, break or even be pulled out, so beard length isn’t spot-on either. Spur length and sharpness will reveal a gobbler’s age most reliably.

13. Answer: F. Connie Bender’s record Ocellated turkey had one spur taping 2.3125 inches and the other 2.2500 inches. She shot it in Champoton, CM, Mexico on April 26, 2007. Numerous 2.2500-inch spurs have been registered – a dozen others as of this writing: 8 Ocellated; 3 Easterns; 1 Merriam’s – but none longer than the one on Bender’s bird.

14. Answer: B. Osceola.

15. Answer: A. Turkey poults, as tiny as they are, can fly a week out of the egg, if only for a short distance. By two weeks of age, they can easily wing in and out of trees.

16. Answer: A. The beard is sometimes thought to be only a male turkey characteristic, but some hens also have beards, often 7 or 8 inches long, and thin, with a kink near the middle.

17. Answer: B. Jacob Braught killed the scale-creaking Rio Grande gobbler in Oregon on April 15, 2002. Amazingly (as of this writing) hunters have registered 63 turkeys with the National Wild Turkey Federation weighing 30 or more pounds.

18. Answer: C. In Washington state, Merriam’s live in northeast, central and south central locations, Rios in the southeast and toward the northeast, and Easterns in the southwest.

19. Answer: B. The average speed limit on some asphalt roads in turkey country, 55 mph. These big birds can only wing this velocity in short bursts, especially when alarmed and flushed.

20. Answer: A. Nothing tops a good scatter for fall turkey hunting. A good flock break offers you the best chance to call a bird back to your setup. This might seem like an unusual thing to do if you only spring turkey hunt. Where legal, autumn hunters use turkey dogs to scatter flocks.

So, got your beard and spurs in a row, or do you need to do a little studying? Let us know how you did. Leave your name and score in the comments section below!

18 – 20 Correct: When it comes to turkey hunting, you’re kind of a big deal. Steve Hickoff should worry about his job. 
15 – 17: Even the best turkey hunters miss longbeards on occasion. You’ll tag-out next time. 
12 – 14: So you’re a weekend warrior. Could be worse. 
8 – 11: Grown-ups use mouth calls. Perhaps you should practice more. 
7 or less: We need to talk. This April fishing nonsense has to stop.

(photo of Realtree's Steve Hickoff, Turkey Quiz mastermind, taken by John Hafner)