Wild turkeys are native to the New World. Explorers brought turkeys back to Europe in the early 1500s. Flock are found living in open forests and clearings in Canada, Mexico and every state in the United States except Alaska.
Though American hunters prefer wild turkeys second only to deer, the wild turkey population has greatly increased since its decline in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Conservation activities in the late 1940s are largely responsible for this resurgence and the increased range of their habitat. After previous failed attempts at releasing farmed birds, wild-caught turkeys were successfully transplanted from one region to suitable habitats in others.