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how do you determine a good turkey, beard, spur, or overall weight?

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  • Katherine White
    replied
    The National Wild Turkey Federation has a pretty fair method of ranking birds based on a combination of spur length, length and number of beards, and weight. I'm sure it's not perfect (nothing is) but I'm glad for a way to compare and showcase these awesome birds.

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  • OWLER
    replied
    Really the only true way to determine how good of a gobbler you have bagged is by its spurs. A "true" wild turkey tom should weigh about 18 lbs. As far as the beard goes, it’s a far cry from a determining factor. For example is South Carolina I've two gobbles in the past that have had Beard Rot. The wildlife biologist claims it is a fungus that is a result of the tom strutting on sandbars in the creeks. Also you hear about turkeys killed with multiple beards. In Florida last year I shot a 19 lbs. 1 inch spur gobbler, that had no beard at all, not even a place for one. So in my opinion the best way to judge your bird is by the spurs. However like hunters before me have said it is really about the hunt, happy hunting.

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  • rudyglove27
    replied
    Agreed with Beekeeper answer above and A + 1 for you sir!!!

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  • DanInArkinsaw
    replied
    I have killed Toms with 9.5", 10" and 10.75" beards. One of them weighed right at 24 lbs. None of them had spurs much over an inch. I consider them all trophies. In my opinion its all about the show they put on when they're coming in. Any bird that gobbles and struts is a trophy.

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  • timothyfaw
    replied
    a overall weight.

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  • huskerguy
    replied
    I say its all of the above. But it also means more to me on how hard of a hunt the bird gave me.

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  • lukem
    replied
    Quality of hunt and taste of bird

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  • rezavoirdog
    replied
    Any Turkey, a Jake or Tom is a Trophy taken with a Bow...

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  • Beekeeper
    replied
    For us older turkey hunters it is spur lenght hands down, beards seldom get much over 11 inches due to wear and tear. A corn fed tom can get very heavy but age gives him spur lenght! Big, long, hooked and sharp spurs will belong to the older boys. We call them a limb hanger down here in the south. A bird which will hang by his spurs from a tree limb.

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  • alpettibone
    replied
    jbird had a good note, it depends where you are hunting. In western kansas there aren't a whole lot of turkeys so beard length is a big deal. However, in eastern Kansas where there are a bunch of birds weight, spur length, and beard length are big factors.

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  • bear hunter
    replied
    all 3 but up in n. michigan most of us go by beard

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  • wallofsam
    replied
    I generally try for a bird with a 10"+ beard, there are so many birds around here (I'm furtunate I know) that we can afford to let the jakes get big, and be patient for a good tom. I have yet to score a bird with my bow, that's my plan come April 20th here in MI.

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  • VT Outdoorsman
    replied
    Haven't killed one yet, but its definitely the combination of the three for me.

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  • buckhunter
    replied
    I like my bow kill birds over my gun kills regardless of size. Other than that I think the weight more accurately describes a mature bird.

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  • jbird
    replied
    I'd say all 3. Depends on the turkey though. If your hunting in my neck of the woods, 10" is a good beard, 20+ lbs. is a good weight, and 1" or better is a good spur. Some places w/lots of rocky/hilly country produce turkeys that have nubs for spurs.

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