As the world’s best athletes compete at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, the “Olympian of the Woods,” may be taking flight near you. With five species located across North America (every state but Alaska), the wild turkey is known as the “Olympian of the Woods” with running speeds of 25 MPH and flight speeds exceeding 55 MPH.
In the 1930s, the North American wild turkey population fell to less than 30,000. Today, due to the conservation and wildlife management efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation, population levels are at 6.2 million—and rising. It’s a comeback story any species would be proud to gobble about—one of Olympic proportions.
As the state game bird in Alabama, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and South Carolina, the wild turkey is celebrated at the Winchester Museum at the Wild Turkey Center in Edgefield, SC. It’s the ONLY museum in the world dedicated to the restoration, management and hunting of the wild turkey. Here, the story of the American wild turkey unfolds through 7,200 square feet of interactive displays and exhibits.
Amazing dioramas of the five species of the wild turkey in North American provide the backdrop for the museum housed within the national headquarters for the National Wild Turkey Federation. The museum boasts the world’s largest collection of turkey calls, including the world’s largest turkey call. Animatronic storytellers draw in children and adults with their tales of turkey prowess and ways safe hunting tips. Visitors can step inside the USDA Forest Service helicopter where video and the vibrations of the helicopter swooping over the burn site is simulated. At the virtual reality theater, you’re transported to the break of dawn on a spring morning as you hear the sounds and see the sights of the woods waking up. Watch out for the turkeys flying off their roost!
Learn more about the National Wild Turkey Federation: