Turkey Hunting Whether it's spring or fall doesn't matter to this bunch. Great tips on calling, bustin flocks, using blinds and more.

What's a "good" bird

Old 02-09-2012, 07:10 PM
  #1  
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Bocajnala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 8,871
Default What's a "good" bird

So what am I looking for in a "good" Turkey? Honestly, I'll probably take the first legal bird I see, but what's a good turkey? I hear people talk about Toms and Jakes, what's the difference? I'm new to this turkey thing, so make it simple for me. Include pictures if you've got them. I got my first turkey two years ago, and I was told it was a good bird, It was certainly good enough for me. It had a 9" beard, how long can beards get? I don't remember about the spurs, but I have a picture of them posted here. But show me some birds and explain what I should be looking for.
Thanks everyone,
Here's some pictures of my first Turkey.









-Jake
Bocajnala is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 03:29 AM
  #2  
Fork Horn
 
Gamblinman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yantis, TX
Posts: 287
Default

That's a great bird you have right there. 2 year old. Congrats!!

Jakes are first year toms. Jakes will have a shorter beard, bumps for spurs, and the primary tail feathers will be longer than adjacent feathers
Gamblinman is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 03:30 AM
  #3  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,445
Default

I'm no expert, but your bird looks like a 2 yr old to me. The spurs look like they are about 1".

A Jake is a 1 yr old bird, they have beards that may be hard to see, or up to 3-4 inches or so. Their spurs are generally .5" or less around here. A Jake's fan will be longer in the center, with the outer tail feathers about 1 - 1.5" shorter than the center.

A 3 yr old bird will have spurs around 1.25" or so. Beards can vary, but a 3 yr old will generally have a thicker beard.

A lot of times you'll see 2 toms come in. One will be looking for the hen and the other will be strutting. The strutter is the dominant bird, but not always the bigger of the two.

IMO, any bird 2 yrs and older is a "good turkey". I don't shoot Jakes any more, but I did shoot a few when I was starting out.
UncleNorby is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 06:28 AM
  #4  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Des Moines, Iowa. Raised in Minnesota
Posts: 207
Default

My first Turkey years ago was a Jake, but only shoot Toms now, but the whole experience of Turkey hunting is what turns me on. A good bird varies widely in personal choice, and the particular species. An Eastern, especially around my area are very large birds by weight, but seldom do you get a good set of sharp hooks. They have a tendency to round them off from digging in rocky areas. If you want an awesome set of hooks the Osceolas in Florida are the way to go. Because of the lack of rocky ground, them birds have daggers for hooks, but they run on the small side on weight. The bird you shot looks like a 2 year old, but could be 3. Nice Tom, and I'd take him and be happy.
Iowa Jaybird is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 08:19 AM
  #5  
Typical Buck
 
turkey harvester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Southeast Missouri
Posts: 647
Default

Is there a such of a thing as a bad turkey, uh no. Any bird that works or is taken by a hunter, and its what the hunter wants is a good bird. Most people believe the older the bird the better, its what ever your happy with. Good Luck this spring.
turkey harvester is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 10:49 AM
  #6  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pa
Posts: 4,647
Default

I'll take the bird you shot every spring if givin the chance!!!
Mr. Longbeard is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 12:44 PM
  #7  
Fork Horn
 
mw_Guerilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 101
Default

that's a nice bird! good take brother.
mw_Guerilla is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 02:42 PM
  #8  
EFH
Typical Buck
 
EFH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tuscaloosa AL
Posts: 609
Default

UncleNorby covered the age and size pretty well! I think any bird you call and shoot yourself is a good one. I've been lucky enough to take some very large birds, but I've been just as proud of a smaller Toms. Its sometimes is just the hunt that makes them good birds! How much they gobble, if you've been on him several times and finally sealed the deal, or finding a strut zone and waiting out one of those ole tight lipped toms usually makes the bird for me!
EFH is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 03:55 PM
  #9  
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Bocajnala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 8,871
Default

Are the beards something that they grow throughout their entire life? You say they can vary alot... I guess I'm asking does a bird keep its beard it's whole life or do they grow in and out? Like a deer would lose its rack. I really am new at this haha..
Thanks for the input so far everyone.
-Jake
Bocajnala is offline  
Old 02-10-2012, 04:09 PM
  #10  
JW
Super Moderator
 
JW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 7,270
Default

Any bird scoring over 70 points using the NWTF scoring method is a great bird!

But any bird that I have had the pleasure to call in has been a trophy in my book.....

JW
JW is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.