The "Gobble-obble-obble!" of a wild turkey is one of the most recognizable sounds in all of nature. Yet, the wild turkey's boisterous call was nearly silenced in the early 1900s because of poaching and habitat destruction. At the time of the Great Depression, only 30,000 turkeys remained in all of North America. Today, thanks to conservation efforts by sportsmen's groups, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and state and federal wildlife agencies, the United States is home to nearly 7 million of the wild birds.
The aggressive reintroduction program launched in the 1980s and since then Colorado's turkey population has surged to more than 35,000. The abundant birds are now found in 53 of the state's 63 counties. Colorado has two subspecies of wild turkeys: The native Merriam's, which are found in the foothills and mountain meadows west of I-25, and the Rio Grande, which were introduced to riparian corridors on the Eastern Plains. The reintroduction of wild turkeys in Colorado has proven so successful that Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has increased hunting licenses to help manage turkey populations in areas where the birds have become too plentiful.