WTR Staff's Top 5 Cities For Turkey Hunting

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To be fair, I write this article with a wisp of sympathy.  I am blessed to be able to live, work, and hunt in a small town, where I literally can hear gobbling turkeys from my office.  While small towns do have their drawbacks, especially in terms of entertainment and amenities, they certainly even out the scales come springtime.  However, not all of us are blessed to be able to live in Mayberry and hunt turkeys every morning before work.  Some members of our esteemed fraternity are forced to live in the concrete jungle and fight the rat race every day.  As terrifying as that may sound to this five-red-light-town native, I take solace in the fact that if I was forced to live in a city, there are some that are in the hub of some of the countries’ finest turkey hunting action. 

We decided to rank the top 5 cities in America for turkey hunting, with the criteria being that the city/metro area had to be larger than 100,000 people and had to have scores of turkeys within an hour and a half drive.  Let’s take a look at our opinion on some of these areas.  Feel free to debate at the bottom or on our Facebook/Twitter pages!

1)  Nashville, Tennessee

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the Music City, you have more than likely seen wads of turkeys on the roads leading in.  Central Tennessee may be as hot of an area as there is in the country at the present, giving metro Nashville turkey hunters simply stupid numbers of gobbling turkeys to pursue.  Several WMA’s and other public hunting opportunities, including Cheatham WMA, are located within an hour and a half drive of Nashville.  To top it off, the NWTF frequently holds its annual convention at Opryland.  So you see, Nashville would not be a bad place to live, or even visit during the spring.  A four bird limit and over the counter tags make Tennessee in general a friendly state to hunt turkeys in.

2) Savannah, Georgia

In addition to being one of the South’s most charming and visited cities, Savannah is located in a hotbed of swamp gobbler action.  Not only do Savannah resident turkey hunters have excellent hunting in their home state of Georgia at their finger tips, they can also jump across the Savannah River into the South Carolina lowcountry to boost their total allotment to eight birds.  You heard that right, a guy that lives in Savannah has both South Carolina (five bird limit) and Georgia (three bird limit) at their finger tips.  Additionally, because the South Carolina lowcountry season opens on March 15, and the Georgia season closes on May 15, Savannah area hunters have a full two months to fill those eight tags.  When you factor in that Osceola country is just a couple of hours to the South, you truly have a turkey hunter’s paradise.  Be sure to check out Fort Stewart for Georgia birds and Palachucola WMA in Hampton County for South Carolina birds.
3) Kansas City, Missouri

The so called “Heart of America” is also in the wheelhouse of some fantastic turkey hunting.  While northern Missouri has long been a bastion for turkey hunting action, with its massive birds and rolling farm country, northeastern Kansas and southern Nebraska are both building steam as the epicenter of the turkey hunting world.  From Kansas City, you can reasonably hunt four states (if you throw Iowa into the mix) with eight tags-and two subspecies-at your disposal.  With public hunting opportunities galore in each of the states, and all states with the exception of Iowa being over the counter tags, this is a very hunter friendly region to call home.

4) Huntington, West Virginia

For those hunters who have been fortunate enough to hunt the Mountaineer State (I, sadly have not to this juncture), they know that West Virginia has an excellent population of birds and a beautiful setting to chase them.  Huntington, strategically located on the Ohio River, is within a stone’s throw of both Ohio and Kentucky, which are two of the top states for Eastern wild turkey.  With plenty of public land and gobbling turkeys nearby, Huntington is a Mecca for hardcore turkey hunters.

5) Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Not only is Tuscaloosa home to three of the last four BCS National Champions (sorry, this Alabama alum had to throw that in there), but it is also a top-shelf city for chasing Dixie gobblers.  Tuscaloosa is sandwiched in between the famed “Black Belt” and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and there are oodles of turkeys within a two hour drive.  Less than 15 minutes to the southeast is the 45,000 +/- acre Oakmulgee WMA, as well as the larger Talladega National Forest it is a part of, and the Warrior, Tombigbee, and Sipsey River drainages are all within an hours’ drive.  Additionally, the Mississippi state line is an hour away, giving you the option to add three birds to the allotted five Alabama allows.

Honorable mentions: Cincinnati, OH, Orlando, FL, Fredericksburg, TX, Rapid City, SD
Wild Turkey Report Staff
Wild Turkey Report is the internet's new destination for information on the sport of turkey hunting. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wildturkeyreport and on Twitter @wildturkeyreprt!
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