By: Marlene Affeld
Watching a flock of wild turkey move across a Montana meadow is a fine sight. They forage, yelp and gobble, oblivious to the plight of millions of their domesticated brothers doomed to grace holiday tables. If you are a wild turkey living in Montana, it is highly unlikely that you will ever wind up in the oven.
Once non-existent, Montana’s wild turkey population is flourishing. Distinguished from other birds by their impressive size, iridescent bronze-colored plumage and naked bluish head, wild turkeys are a prized addition to the state’s diverse upland game bird population.
Although the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopova) is native to North America and was an important staple in the Native Indian diet across most of America, it is only in the last fifty years that the succulent bird could be found in Montana.