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  • Ken Perrotte

Make Wild Turkey Hunting Success Photos Pop -- Add Props, Color, Habitat, Kids, Dogs & More

The May-June 2023 issue of the National Wild Turkey Federation's Turkey Call magazine is loaded with good information and features. If you're not a member, please consider joining. It's an inexpensive, but important investment in habitat conservation and the future of hunting. The magazine also had a feature by writer Brandon Ray. He outlined some of his favorite ways to pose with wild turkeys after a successful hunt. Here's a link. The article had me thinking back to my past hunts and looking through my own photo archives. I, too, used many of the same concepts Ray suggests. I also found some examples of lackluster "snapshot" photography that could have been better.

Here are some of my examples, along with a little commentary. Since I am in many of the photos, I probably didn't trip the camera shutter on those pics, but the image composition was usually collaborative, looking for the best angles, scene, lighting and other elements.

Make your wild turkey hunting success photos pop by adding props, color, habitat, kids, dogs and more.

Find Color

Wild turkeys have great iridescent colors in their feathers but posing with the bird adjacent to some pretty spring wildlflowers or other blooms makes things a little more interesting.

Rustic Wood, Stone Walls & Ruins

Old barns, sheds, carts and more can make for interesting backdrops - as shown in these pics from Canada, Nebraska, Kentucky and Indiana.

Farm Vehicles and Equipment

Old vehicles laying around a farm can make for good props - a little rust doesn't hurt.

Dogs and Kids and Pals

Having a happy or inquisitive dog (or child) in a shot with your turkey can add visual interest.


Images that convey a sense of the habitat, the terrain, the overall feel or mood of a place can help make a more interesting image. Mountains, swamps, pasture, native vegetation - use them in the photos.

Establishing Dwellings, Signs, Blinds, Gates, Etc.

Sometimes a pose (or even a "selfie") with a structure, a sign or another feature that happens to give a sense of place can help make a photo.


Over the shoulder, capturing the sunlight in the feathers, closeups of spurs and favorite calls, unique perspectives, such as the pic from Missouri that seems to make the gobbler as big as my hunting partner Eldo Meyer. And, in a pinch, and old pile of logging debris can work just fine, too. Have fun with your wild turkey success photos. Document every bird in colorful, creative ways. Thanks for looking and sharing our great outdoors.


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