What do you get when you crossbreed a pointer, a setter, and a Plott Hound? A turkey, that’s what! No joke. A turkey dinner is the end result of breeding a trio of dogs to hunt turkeys in the wild.
Boykin Spaniels were bred in the Carolinas years ago for turkey dogging, but the trend now favors breeding a Plott Hound, Gordon Setter and English Pointer. The idea is to not only have a dog with a keen nose, but also one that barks like crazy. First bred in Virginia by John Byrne and his son, J.T., the breed is commonly referred to as the Appalachian turkey dog.
Training the dog is key. It’s based on (1) showing the dog what you want it to do, and (2) reading that animal’s natural abilities. That combo makes for the ideal hunting partner.
Ideally, your turkey dog should cast ahead about 100 yards, check back to your position, and find turkey flocks. Once the dog makes eye contact with a turkey, he should then run directly toward it, bark to announce its position while also busting them up and chasing down singles so they fly into the air.
Most hunters start the hunt by concealing their dog in a camouflage bag or behind camo-blind material. The dog must freeze or “stay” as turkeys approach your position.
Speaking of genetic breeding, eugenics was once popular among humans at the turn of the 20th century. It lost favor, however, with elitist snobs. Does that explain the abundance of “wild life” in our modern era?