I've spent the last couple of years reading and talking to everyone I could find that turkey dogs. Special thanks to Jon Fries of www.turkeydog.org
he led charge- mostly single handed to get dogs legalized in WI, the turkey dog hunter and Steve Hickoff spent the most time coaching me. Many others too. The variety of breeds used is mind boggling it would be so much easier to pick a dog if there was a turkey dog breed. If there is I haven't found it. From mutts, hounds, setters, spaniels, retrievers.. every turkey dogger agreed it was not so much the breed as the training you give it. Of course they loved their selected dogs and believed them to be the best.
My reasoning and considerations-
Most of my turkey hunting takes place in steep hills and valleys on large tracts of land- a small breed would wear out, a larger athletic type is better suited.
Burrs and stickers are abundant - making short hair a plus.
Train-ability with intelligence, desire to please a plus.
Self confidence should the dog run into coyotes, the occasional wolf or bear.
I talked with a Viszla owner who uses his for bear hunting and grouse hunting. Another in KY uses his for boar and quail hunting. Many others use them more traditionally for pheasant and furry small game. So with this apparent flexibility seemed like a good chance it might be trainable for turkeys.
Last but certainly not least Mrs Elk has wanted a Viszla for a long time and assures me if it doesn't hunt she'll take care of him. Allowing me to try again.[;)] Happy wife = Happy life.
Hope my reasoning turns out to be sound.[8|]