Going out in the field hunting wild turkey with your pup can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. However, no dog automatically knows how to hunt, though some are better suited to hunting than others. Training your dog to hunt, indicate his find, and flush out the turkeys is going to take a few months and is best started while your pup is still quite young. You may be able to teach an older adult dog to hunt, but it can be very hard and is not always successful.
Once your pup has been fully trained to hunt turkey, he will be ready to hit the ground running each time you take him out during the season. He won't stop until he finds a flock of turkeys, barks to let you know he has done so, and flushes them out for you to bag. Sounds simple enough, right? Well by the time you get done training your pup, it will be.
Hunting birds on the ground takes a lot of practice. Your pup will learn how to find the turkeys, bark to let you know he has done so, and at the same time run amok in the flock to flush them out. Since the birds will scatter in all directions, this will give you the best chance of getting your next free-range Thanksgiving turkey.
To get him used to hunting with you, be sure to take him for walks in the woods and fields all year round. You can let him run off-leash, but every five minutes or so call him back in, give him a treat, and let him roam again. If he is tracking a scent, it might take him a moment. In time, your pup will gain a sense of timing for your calls and start coming back on his own. This is an important part of training your pup to hunt any type of game bird or waterfowl.
You can start training your pup to hunt turkey as soon as he has mastered the basics, including 'come', 'sit', 'stay', 'down', and be trained to walk on or off the leash. If you have not worked on training your dog to NOT be gun shy, be sure to prepare your pup to ignore the loud bang when you shoot at your quarry. You will also need a few training supplies, including:
Along with all of this, you need plenty of time to work with your pup and patience while he learns to hunt turkey with you. Even after your pup seems to have mastered this skill, you should always spend time in the off-season keeping him on his toes and ready to hunt.