The eastern turkey covers a large range. The turkey subspecies can be found from northern Florida and Mississippi to Maine and northern North Dakota. Eastern turkey prosper in a mix of forest and agricultural lands. Because of habitat loss and unregulated market hunting, eastern wild turkey populations plummeted in the late 1800’s and by the turn of the 20th century few observations were reported. However, by the 1950’s wildlife biologists developed a turkey management initiative and began a reintroduction program releasing birds throughout much of the bird’s range Since the 1960’s, turkey populations have grown despite some parts of the turkey’s range are subject to severe winters. In many areas, however, supplemental feeding seems to play a major role in winter survival.
The home range of easter wild turkeys is one to four square miles or roughly 640 to 2,000 acres. Landowners who are able to provide the necessary habitat components and are within the range of eastern turkey are likely to have turkeys on their property, especially if they live in an area that receives less than 60 inches of snow each year.