Upland Inn offers some exceptional Rio Grande turkey hunts. The wide variety of habitat we have on our 12,000 acres creates some unique hunting opportunities. There is nothing like the thrill of watching a mature tom work his way towards our ground blinds, tail feathers spread and gobbling in the cool spring air. Hunters must use their tricks of the trade to lure their prey into the open. The primary method of doing so is to mimic the call of the hen in order to bring out the toms. This means that hunters must be familiar with the behaviors and calls of the Rio Grande, which, like the other subspecies, total 28, each of which has a different and distinct meaning. These calls include clucks, yelps, gobbles, purrs, rattles, and cackles.
The Rio Grande wild turkey looks much like the other subspecies of wild turkeys and can measure up to four feet tall, but they have exceptionally long legs and are quite pale in color, with copper being the dominant hue. They have tail feathers and rump and tail coverts that are yellow-, tan-, or buff-tipped, which is lighter than that of the eastern or Osceola subspecies and darker than those of the Merriam’s wild turkey. The hens are similar in appearance and size to the males, known as gobblers or toms, but they are duller and weigh less. The average hen weights about 8-12 pounds, while the average mature tom weighs in at about 20 pounds.
As with other subspecies, the males have a beard on the chest and spurs on the lower legs. Only about 10% of hens have a beard and some may have underdeveloped spurs. Like the other subspecies, the Rio Grande tends to eat a diet rich in plant life and insects, with insects being the primary food for young turkeys and plant life dominating the diet when they mature. This bird likes to hide out in the wooded areas near streams and rivers and with its keen hearing and eyesight, it is a challenge to track down and capture.
After a great night of sleep in our modern lodge, you will wake up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee. An excellent breakfast will be ready for you of biscuits and gravy, ham and eggs, or one of the other delicious meals prepared by our cook will give you the energy for a great day of hunting. We will then head out to the fields before first light and get set up in our ground blinds. Generally we will be hunting near old, mature hedge rows surrounded by native grass and agricultural fields. We scout these areas before the season opens to find the most common roosting areas. If we don’t happen to get you a turkey that morning, we will head back to the lodge for a great lunch.
After a short siesta, we will head back out to the fields for an afternoon of hunting until sunset. Once back at the lodge, we will feed you an excellent meal of prime ribeye, lasagna, smothered steak, or one of the other great meals our chef will prepare. Fresh homemade pies will keep a smile on your face until morning. Get comfortable in one of our reclining, heated, massaging recliners as you watch television on our big screen TV’s. Or play a game of pool, darts, shuffleboard, or foosball as you recall the memories of your hunt.