vBCms Comments

Welcome To Hunting Country

    Site News & Announcements (34)
    New Member Introductions (142)

General Hunting Forums

    After the Hunt - Recipes / Cooking (59)
    Waterfowl, and Small Birds (15)
    Big Game General (47)
    Turkey Hunting (60)
    Small Game (11)
    Whitetail / Mule Deer Forum (149)
    Pigs & Exotics (11)
    General Gear and Hunting Accessories (59)

Archery & Bowhunting

    Archery Gear Talk - Compounds (80)
    Archery Gear Talk - Accessories (28)
    Bowhunting (153)
    Archery Gear Talk - Crossbows (7)

Shooting Sports

    Gun / Rifle Target Shooting (17)
    Archery Target/Tournament Shooting (5)

Manufacturers' Corner

    Product Announcements (2)
    Promotions and News (6)


    Black Powder (1)
    AR Talk (15)
    Guns & Rifles (88)
    Reloading (12)


    Fishing Gear (1)
    General & Misc (3)
    Archery Equipment (17)
    Guns & Firearms (11)
    Camping & Hiking (0)

Not Hunting / General Chit Chat

    Podunk Corner (1588)
    Photography (118)
    Fishing Chat (46)
1.) Swamp Fox - 04/18/2017
I came across an article a while back that tried to explain how to age turkeys by spur characteristics. I think it was in one of the Big Three, and it could have been an issue several years old. In any event, I don't recall it making distinctions between different subspecies, or terrains, or any of that, which I thought was a swing and a miss.

But I'm a little skeptical about the whole "aging turkeys" thing anyway, especially when discussing general rules that you're supposed to apply in Georgia or Nebraska because some guy in Wisconsin or California said so.

It's probably true that spur length in the best single indicator if you know the caveats, though. I'm more of a "look at the whole picture" guy. Here's well-regarded biologist and turkey fiend, the late Lovett Williams, on spur length and aging known birds:


Here's a good rundown on variation in tailfeathers, beards and spurs:


And here's a brief discussion, with pics, of a full Rio fan with nubs and an 8- to 9-inch beard:


A little more weird, I think, would be a "jake fan" with a 6- or 7-inch-plus beard, plus something a bit more than nubs, which I've seen.

I've also seen what looked like a full Rio fan in the field morph into a jake fan in possession, LOL. Seven- or eight-inch beard and nubs.

I'll have to call a buddy of mine who got into it with someone else about a particular Eastern with a 6-inch beard being a jake...I don't know why it didn't get settled with a tailfeather test, and I don't know if anyone ever told me what the spurs looked like...But several years later, it's still the Hatfields and McCoys...LOL