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Question for turkey hunters #7266773
05/18/21 09:35 AM
05/18/21 09:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 893
ny
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gcs Offline OP
trapper
gcs  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 893
ny
I know turkey hunting is an obsession to some, growing up we had no turkeys and no turkey hunting culture, nowadays we are over run with them and aside from shooting a couple during deer season I didn't catch that particular bug.
I have had up to 40 turkeys, mixed flock coming to the house every day for groceries and have been watching them carefully, they come running when they see me outside for more corn, they tame up fast and watch through my windows for movement and holler to get out here and feed us!. so, my question, what do you all consider a "trophy" Tom?

They all seem about the same to me, some a little larger, beards about the same, some more aggressive then others, but other then that they don't appear to be anything particularly different about them, not like a deer for instance...

I read here and there that a "good" one was taken. So what constitutes a "good" one? or a trophy one? Pardon my ignorance, grin Thanks for playing along.....

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266780
05/18/21 09:42 AM
05/18/21 09:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,048
Ne pa
J
Jerry Jr. Offline
trapper
Jerry Jr.  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,048
Ne pa
A 10" or longer beard and 1.25"+ spurs. If you can hang it from a limb it is a good one. It is called a limb hanger.


You can't buy experience, but you'll pay for it.
.... but what do I know, I'm just a dumb farmer. ~ My Dad.
NRA LIFE MEMBER, Endowment Member 5-23-14
Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266788
05/18/21 09:44 AM
05/18/21 09:44 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 345
Pottsboro TX Grayson county
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Jiggamitch Offline
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Jiggamitch  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 345
Pottsboro TX Grayson county
Weight, length, spur and beard length. Multiple beards and some big 1&1/2 inch hooks would be a trophy for me.

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266806
05/18/21 10:04 AM
05/18/21 10:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,006
Green County Wisconsin
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GREENCOUNTYPETE Online content
trapper
GREENCOUNTYPETE  Online Content
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G

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,006
Green County Wisconsin
the rules of fair chase in most places have you working hard and it is exciting when you get them calling back at you , and come into the call and decoy

it is a very vocal type of hunting or can be especially when you have 3-4 gobbling back at you

in the spring only toms can be taken no beard = no kill so you also need to get them close

it's a little like the fisherman with a trot line catching a bunch of 5 pound cats vs the guy with the ultralight pole hauling in a 5 pound cat , one guy has a fish to clean , the other had an epic fight and pictures to take.

I think it is safe to say no one turkey hunts just for the meat it is a spring hunting season , that can be very exiting to participate in.

I am not much of a turkey hunter but I went out a couple weeks ago with my son and his friend who is really into turkey we made 4 stand in a morning and had a couple coyotes coming in to the calls as well .

if you enjoy the hunt , it is a season when the weather is really nice , you can go with friends and call for each other , you generally don't hunt Turkey in the rain or bad weather , it is a rush to get them to come in. and your seeing the woods in a different season.


the sun rises early enough in the spring you can get a days hunting in and be home by noon to take a nap

Last edited by GREENCOUNTYPETE; 05/18/21 10:08 AM.

America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266812
05/18/21 10:16 AM
05/18/21 10:16 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 173
West Virginia
W
WV Danimal Offline
trapper
WV Danimal  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 173
West Virginia
Be a lot better to just invite me over with my 12 gauge and let me show you up close which one out of your flock looks best.


Trash your goals and plans for life. Just wing it and you'll never be let down!
Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266821
05/18/21 10:25 AM
05/18/21 10:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 91
Eastern Shore, MD
Rob & Neall Offline
trapper
Rob & Neall  Offline
trapper

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 91
Eastern Shore, MD
I agree with all that has been posted above...my youngest son finally connected a couple weeks ago on his first bird after trying for a couple seasons...I was with him and called the bird in...50yd shot from his grandfather's Model 12, 16 gauge...I think I was more excited...22.4 pounds, 10" beard and 1" spurs...currently at the taxidermist.

Pete mentioned that only Toms are taken in his state...Maryland does allow for the harvesting of a bearded hen (doesn't happpen often) which in itself is a trophy, much like a piebald deer.

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: Rob & Neall] #7266838
05/18/21 10:38 AM
05/18/21 10:38 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,006
Green County Wisconsin
G
GREENCOUNTYPETE Online content
trapper
GREENCOUNTYPETE  Online Content
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G

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,006
Green County Wisconsin
Originally Posted by Rob & Neall
I agree with all that has been posted above...my youngest son finally connected a couple weeks ago on his first bird after trying for a couple seasons...I was with him and called the bird in...50yd shot from his grandfather's Model 12, 16 gauge...I think I was more excited...22.4 pounds, 10" beard and 1" spurs...currently at the taxidermist.

Pete mentioned that only Toms are taken in his state...Maryland does allow for the harvesting of a bearded hen (doesn't happpen often) which in itself is a trophy, much like a piebald deer.



yes bearded hens may also be taken in WI but no beard= no shot in the spring there is a hen season in the fall


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266869
05/18/21 11:24 AM
05/18/21 11:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,711
American In the Pyrenees; Fran...
S
swift4me Offline
trapper
swift4me  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2,711
American In the Pyrenees; Fran...
For me, the ''best birds'' are because of the place and the hunt. I've killed jakes I remember more than some longbeards. I've had the chance to kill two bearded hens, but let them walk just because they looked neat.

I'll always remember my first, my first with a bow, and a couple with great friends.

Pete

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266881
05/18/21 11:52 AM
05/18/21 11:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,564
Wisconsin
M
Moosetrot Offline
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Moosetrot  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,564
Wisconsin
I got very lucky with my first gobbler on my first morning of hunting in 1988. He had a 12.5 beard, 1.25 spurs, and he weighed at 28.4 pounds. I was hooked! Since then I have killed many birds, some in the range of 25+ pounds, but will most likely never match my first.

I agree with those that judge a "good" bird by the situation/hunt. I have killed Jakes in some really exciting hunts, and some adults that I will always remember as "good" birds. One Jake I took was on the last day of the season in a thunderstorm which, with the ridges I hunt, I should not have been out there. He came through and I nailed him on the edge of a steeply sloped alfalfa field and I rolled him, but when I got near he had a lot of life left in him. I grabbed him by the neck and he and I went rolling downhill through the alfalfa, mud, and rain. When it was all over I yelled out loud "I got a turkey!"

I have had many duels with wily gobblers. One of my most memorable was one that I battled with for about 5 hours, trying to outwit and get in front of him as he gobbled through the woods. Finally did it on a steep ridge. He was a big bird, 26 pounds, and had 4 beards.

I think any turkey you take legally is a trophy. Some come with a lot of weight, long or multiple beards, and long spurs but some do not. They are truly a worthy adversary when you are able to call them in gobbling, strutting, and pretty much full of themselves. It can be a heart-pounding experience, and I get more excited about taking a "good" bird than I do taking a nice buck.

Good luck and have fun!

Moosetrot

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: GREENCOUNTYPETE] #7266894
05/18/21 12:11 PM
05/18/21 12:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,912
MN, Land of 10,000 Lakes
T
Trapper7 Offline
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Trapper7  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,912
MN, Land of 10,000 Lakes
Originally Posted by GREENCOUNTYPETE
the rules of fair chase in most places have you working hard and it is exciting when you get them calling back at you , and come into the call and decoy

it is a very vocal type of hunting or can be especially when you have 3-4 gobbling back at you

in the spring only toms can be taken no beard = no kill so you also need to get them close

it's a little like the fisherman with a trot line catching a bunch of 5 pound cats vs the guy with the ultralight pole hauling in a 5 pound cat , one guy has a fish to clean , the other had an epic fight and pictures to take.

I think it is safe to say no one turkey hunts just for the meat it is a spring hunting season , that can be very exiting to participate in.

I am not much of a turkey hunter but I went out a couple weeks ago with my son and his friend who is really into turkey we made 4 stand in a morning and had a couple coyotes coming in to the calls as well .

if you enjoy the hunt , it is a season when the weather is really nice , you can go with friends and call for each other , you generally don't hunt Turkey in the rain or bad weather , it is a rush to get them to come in. and your seeing the woods in a different season.


the sun rises early enough in the spring you can get a days hunting in and be home by noon to take a nap

All of this is true, especially the nap part. I might add that it's the only hunting season I can think of that you aren't required to wear blaze orange other than waterfowl hunting.


To the white people apologizing for the past. Speak for yourself, I myself did nothing to apologize for!
Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266904
05/18/21 12:25 PM
05/18/21 12:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,866
NC, Orange Co.
QuietButDeadly Offline
trapper
QuietButDeadly  Offline
trapper

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,866
NC, Orange Co.
Fooling the tom and getting him to do something that is not natural to him makes turkey hunting special.

For birds, the male of the specie is the more colorful bird. The females are more drab compared. And the male bird calls and displays their plumage to attract the female to mate. When a turkey gobbles, he is calling the females to come see daddy. When he puffs up to strut and drum, he is putting on a show as saying to the hens, here I am, come get you some. And that is the natural way turkey mating works. The males gobble and display and the hens come to them.

As a hunter, I am making hen turkey sounds, trying to convince the gobbler to come to me rather than me go to him because I can not go to him like a hen can. If he already has hens with him, it is near impossible to get him to leave the real thing. That is just not natural to him.

But on those occasions when you are able to get his attention and get him to come looking for that hen, when he comes in gobbling, strutting, spitting and drumming, if that does not get your heart rate up, I am not sure you are alive.

The stats for a bird are a bonus. 25 lbs or more is a big bird, a 10"+ thick beard is great and sharp spurs 1 1/4" or more are nice trophies as well. But unlike judging a deer antlers before the shot, the beard is about the only thing you can judge on a turkey before the shot. Hard to judge size on a strutting tom and almost impossible to see spurs.

But this is a trophy spur....1 1/2" on one leg, the other leg was 1 1/4" on one of my Nebraska birds this season. Last season, one of my NC birds had 1 1/2" spurs on both legs and my personal best was a NC bird with one at 1 5/8" and the other at 1 5/16" with the tip broken off.
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Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266921
05/18/21 12:51 PM
05/18/21 12:51 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 4,559
SW Georgia
W
Wanna Be Offline
trapper
Wanna Be  Offline
trapper
W

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 4,559
SW Georgia
This is where deer hunting vs turkey hunting differ for me. I try and only shoot 140” deer or better, all other get a pass.
For turkeys it’s anything except a jake. I want that full fan and gobbling. Y’all can believe it or not, but I will eat tag soup before I shoot a gobblers that either doesn’t gobble or at least come in strutting. And yeah, I’ve passed on a few that just came in looking.
I want the “game” played my way or not at all. I don’t use decoys or fans, just calling and woodsmanship.
Any bird is a trophy, BUT the first thing I looks at on a downed bird are the spurs. Anything 1.5” or better gets a forever reminder for me. I have an Eastern and Rio with 1.5” spurs, my best Osceola was 1 3/8”, oh so close! I doubt I’ll ever kill a Merriam with spurs like that and may settle for 1.25”.
I could really care less about beards unless the spurs match.
My Eastern had 11.25” beard to match his 1.5” spurs...it’s one hunt I’ll never forget.

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: Trapper7] #7266930
05/18/21 01:04 PM
05/18/21 01:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,006
Green County Wisconsin
G
GREENCOUNTYPETE Online content
trapper
GREENCOUNTYPETE  Online Content
trapper
G

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 10,006
Green County Wisconsin
Originally Posted by Trapper7
Originally Posted by GREENCOUNTYPETE
the rules of fair chase in most places have you working hard and it is exciting when you get them calling back at you , and come into the call and decoy

it is a very vocal type of hunting or can be especially when you have 3-4 gobbling back at you

in the spring only toms can be taken no beard = no kill so you also need to get them close

it's a little like the fisherman with a trot line catching a bunch of 5 pound cats vs the guy with the ultralight pole hauling in a 5 pound cat , one guy has a fish to clean , the other had an epic fight and pictures to take.

I think it is safe to say no one turkey hunts just for the meat it is a spring hunting season , that can be very exiting to participate in.

I am not much of a turkey hunter but I went out a couple weeks ago with my son and his friend who is really into turkey we made 4 stand in a morning and had a couple coyotes coming in to the calls as well .

if you enjoy the hunt , it is a season when the weather is really nice , you can go with friends and call for each other , you generally don't hunt Turkey in the rain or bad weather , it is a rush to get them to come in. and your seeing the woods in a different season.


the sun rises early enough in the spring you can get a days hunting in and be home by noon to take a nap

All of this is true, especially the nap part. I might add that it's the only hunting season I can think of that you aren't required to wear blaze orange other than waterfowl hunting.


we are not required to wear orange for anything but deer , it is a very good idea to wear orange for everything

there was just a reminder email from the WI DNR today about decoy safety ,an orange bag is the preferable way to move a decoy in an out of the field , also how to set up to be safe and if you see someone stalking your decoy , yell loud to them.

when my son is out on public land I make him bring an orange hat to put on when moving from stand to stand and no wearing any red, white or blue nothing looks like a turkey but a turkey and you really need to see the head clear to shoot , but you hear about stupid turkey hunting negligence all the time. better to have a little orange with to pull out


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266932
05/18/21 01:12 PM
05/18/21 01:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 906
Sumner, Mo.
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claycreech Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 906
Sumner, Mo.
The degree of turkey hunting difficulty directly relates to the amount of hunting pressure put on a turkey population not only during the current season, but the hunting pressure that has been put on the population historically. States that have had high hunting pressure for decades have way harder to hunt turkey than states with relatively new seasons. If you think you’re a good turkey hunter, head for SC, GA, AL, MS, AR. If you consistently kill turkey there I’m impressed. Especially on public land.
Subspecies makes no difference. A hard pressured Merriams or Rio is just as tough as as a pressured Eastern.
Always cracks me up when guys from the Northern and especially Western US go on about how easy they are to kill and how stupid they are.
To answer your question. A turkey from high pressure areas is a “good one”, no matter the size.
A big spur doesn’t hurt either lol

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266935
05/18/21 01:14 PM
05/18/21 01:14 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,846
SE WI
DuxDawg Offline
trapper
DuxDawg  Offline
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Posts: 1,846
SE WI
There's always something special about calling critters in.


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
-Edmund Burke
"We are fast approaching... rule by brute force."
-Ayn Rand
Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266936
05/18/21 01:15 PM
05/18/21 01:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 78
Missouri
T
Trapper Bo Offline
trapper
Trapper Bo  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 78
Missouri
Any turkey shot thru both lungs with archery equipment is a trophy...

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266948
05/18/21 01:30 PM
05/18/21 01:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 170
CO
R
Ringneck1 Online content
trapper
Ringneck1  Online Content
trapper
R

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 170
CO
More than the beard length or spur, I remember individual turkey behavior more. For instance, the only time I hunted Law Dogs Black Hills, I shot a great 11.5 inch beard. What made it memorable was the bird came to calls from over 1\2 mile away, gobbling every few minutes. He traversed two huge ravines on the way in, each at least a hundred feet deep. He must have gobbled a hundred times by the time he got into range he was hoarse. before I shot him, he walked up to the blind, looked inside at my buddy who was polishing of the last of a side of ribs from the previous evenings supper from a dynamite little restaurant down in Hot Springs. Never forget that turkey or the ribs!

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266985
05/18/21 02:31 PM
05/18/21 02:31 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,375
SW Pa
W
wr otis Offline
trapper
wr otis  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,375
SW Pa
Anything make you think the ones in your yard eating corn like chickens, are any smarter or dumber than any other turkeys?

Most of the perception that they are super smart is due to hunters making one mistake or another. Spend a lot of time outdoors with them and draw your own conclusions.

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7266997
05/18/21 02:59 PM
05/18/21 02:59 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 4,559
SW Georgia
W
Wanna Be Offline
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Wanna Be  Offline
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Posts: 4,559
SW Georgia
Winter time turkeys and I can stand in blaze orange doing jumping jacks and they couldn’t care any less...

Spring time turkeys, dressed in full camo head to toe, and they spot me blink at 100 yards...

Re: Question for turkey hunters [Re: gcs] #7267000
05/18/21 03:01 PM
05/18/21 03:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 957
Alaska Northwestern
That Fool Offline
trapper
That Fool  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 957
Alaska Northwestern
can get yourself a turkey for dinner each week. Use the feathers or what else you can use off of them for projects.

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