Gobble up South Carolina’s Old 96 District.
By Hope S. Philbrick
We’ve all seen the famous image of a pilgrim standing next to a wild turkey. Turns out, that turkey with the fancy fan tail isn’t the sort of turkey a pilgrim would have seen at all.
This is just one fact about wild turkeys that I learned during a recent visit to the world’s only museum dedicated to the North American wild turkey, which is located in Edgefield, S.C., in the Old 96 District.
Those picturesque turkeys with tails splayed out like a peacock are native to the western United States. Pilgrims wouldn’t have laid eyes upon a bird living in the distant frontier, but the eastern turkey is not quite as pretty, hence the artistic license.
The Winchester Museum is located at the Wild Turkey Center, the National Wild Turkey Federation’s national headquarters. NWTF was founded in 1973 and has chapters in all 50 states, dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of hunting heritage. The Winchester Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to wild turkey restoration, management and hunting.
The museum tells the comeback story of the wild turkey through several exhibits, including:
- Animatronic storytellers who share legends and stories about wild turkeys
- Video showcasing America’s largest resident game bird and conservation methods that brought the wild turkey back from the brink of extinction
- Historic turkey calls and the world’s largest turkey call
- Retired USDA forest service helicopter
- Preserved specimens and dioramas showing the five wild turkey subspecies in natural habitats
- Skeleton proving the link between turkeys and dinossaurs
- …and more
Visit and learn.
Odds of Encountering Children: Varies. School groups do periodically visit the museum, but visit on a weekday and you might have the whole museum to yourself, as we did.
National Wild Turkey Center & Winchester Museum
770 Augusta Rd.
Edgefield, SC 29824
More of our Old 96 District Coverage…
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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