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The quest for 80.

Old 03-03-2008, 10:29 PM
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Default The quest for 80.

Honest to god, I'd sell my soul to kill a natural bird that scored in the 80's. No cheating. 1 beard. 2 spurs. No extra credit.

Once April comes, I'll be in full turkey mode. It's kinda sick - I start leaving for work early and riding the local back roads scouting birds - locating, cold calling, watching, listening, then banging on doors on the way home.The next step is to start glassing them in the evenings with the varmint gun, trying to find that one-in-a-million prehistoricheavyweight tom with true 1.5"+ dagger hooks and a paintbrush rope.

I'd love to leave my name in the record books with a natural 80 pointer.I've taken 2 naturals that scored around 75 or better. Either one, had I had them professionally scored, would've made Page 1 of the NWTF PA records page - but they won't make 80, so what's the point?

Something about those big birds - just like isolating a big buck - it's like you're hunting a different animal.The birds around here are really cautious to begin with, but even with their skittish demeanor in mind, you always know right away when you're into one of the big boys. These birds(if you're lucky enough toget intoone) is borderline unkillable, and those arethe chessmatches that I live for. Those 5+ year old birds are the rarest of the rare in my neck of the woods. They do exist, however.

To be honest, I think I had my80 pointer a couple years ago. I glassed an absolute monster bird in a cut hayfield one spring evening. Isnaked my way into a pasture field200 yards out and zoomed in at 32x. I got one clean look at it when he lifted it out of the grass- a MONSTER hook. The biggest I'd ever seen, by far. So it began. I finally killed this bird after what had to be the most ridiculous hunt I've ever been involved in. He made a mistake and got sloppy with his sight lines - let me swing around on him to reposition - I got in his head- and it was game over.The first thing I saw when I walked up was a left spur that hookedlike a boomerang- pushing 1-3/4" - it was ready to break off (already cracked). Unbelievable. Other spur was broken offclean at 1/2" on the right. The beard was rotted off at 5" and his weight was already down from breeding. So, my "80 pointer" wound up netting out about 50. [>:] I know, the score doesn't dilute the accomplishment...but...

It's just so damn hard to age a turkey in the field. Short of slithering into position and glassing hislegs - it's a guessing game. I can almost always distinguish a 3-year old from a 2, just based on their mannerisms. But in the rare event that you're into a 5+, all bets are off. They might sound raspy - like a jake, their self-preservation instincts are unreal, and they're just so much different. And you only get one tag, so once you pull the trigger - you'd better be sure it's the bird you want. You can look a buck's rack and say "120." But you just can't look at a turkey in the field and say "70+." There's always an element of the unknown.

To me - the holy grail of turkey hunting isn't the grand slam - it's the 80. Anyone with a bank account can shoot 4 turkeys. But can you kill the unkillable?




So? Who here has a natural 80 hanging on their wall?
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:10 PM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

The only 80 plus I killed was a 'non-typical' And out of all the other toms ive killed (over 20)only one was in the 70's. 80 is like a B & C buck, only you cant look at him and see it. Spursare the biggest factor for the score and almost impossible to see without short grass, high power spotting scope, and and a steady turkey.


Good luck, Quik! Let us know if you spot one.

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Old 03-04-2008, 07:10 AM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

Good luck on finding that monster Tom!!! Besides Pa, are you hunting in OH also? The same area you deer hunted is a pretty good area for turkeys also.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:22 AM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

drhntr - you're right... If there was a threshold for a "Booner" turkey - it would be 80. That's a once-in-a-lifetime bird...

Chris - I'll be down there for sure this spring (probably Sundays). That's a great area for turkeys - I saw a lot of them from the stands this fall, including a few nice ropes. Depending on how things go, maybe we'll hook up for a hunt someday this spring.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:55 AM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

If you ever get that "80 typical" Tom, you better go out and play powerball right after, because luck is definitely on your side. Luck plays the biggest factor in high scoring birds. For simple fact, that for the most part Toms cant' be scored before the shot.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:41 PM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

My second ever bird sported a 11.5 inch beard, 1.5 inch hooks and was 20 lbs. Scored 73...To get to an 80 class he needed an extra .5 inches on the beard, 1/8inch on each spur, and 4 lbs. That's asking alot. i know they are out there but that bird was a once in a lifetime bird for me already.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

ORIGINAL: quiksilver

Honest to god, I'd sell my soul to kill a natural bird that scored in the 80's.
"What shall it profit a man, should he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?" , and here you are, not selling your soul for the whole world, but just a turkey? Better get back to the good book.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

I don't know if I've ever heard of a true 80 bird?

Many years ago now, when I shot my big one (76 3/4... and thats a true typ bird as well), a gentleman entered a bird in the state contest (I did not) that was a true typical also and scored 77 11/16 or something like that. It was close to 78. Bird had matching 1 7/8" hooks, and was a good piece lighter than my bird. Had a 1/2" longer beard.


BTW: The bird that I shot weighed 23# 4oz, L: 1 5/8" R: 1 5/8" Beard: 10.5" for a total of 76 3/4. I'll never best him in VA. Its a book bird for sure. It was the first turkey I ever killed and was just so pleased with him I had no clue what I had come upon.

Fran if you want a true 80..... I'd suspect he'd be found somewhere in the mid-west. Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio... one of those big cold region 24#+ monsters. Gotta have a place with no rocks as well. Better get him early before he loses weight. That big bird that scored over 77 here in VA was shot on the last day of the season and went 21#s and change. Thats a big one in VA... but to be on the last day... I'd suspect he would have gone over 24 in early April. Very few turkeys killed in this state over 21#s.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:36 PM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

It is good to dream. My best is only 73 and change.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:33 PM
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Default RE: The quest for 80.

I can say to shoot a one bearded tom and score over 80 would be awesome. Ive believe I scoredaround 88with a double beard I shot back in 2006. I could be wrong, been too many years. It was entered in the 2006 HNI contest. I still have the pics of it. Its my biggest bird to date. 25lbs 11in and 8 in beards 1 1/4 in spurs.
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