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Matchbook454 05-08-2012 06:37 AM

Year of the Color Phase Turkeys!
Never before have I seen a color phase turkey nor do I know anyone who has personally. I have only seen pics on the internet. Well, this year while hunting in KS the outfitter had 2 smoke phase hens which were shot last fall that he asked me to mount for him. I couldn't believe he had 2 of them! They are both smokes and not domestic royal palms or narragansets whick look very similar. I thought cool, I have 2 color phase birds to mount - first ones I've ever seen in person.

Well, last Friday I drove up to my relatives place in central WI and although turkey numbers are way down in their area and all the reports I've heard is that hunting has bad, I decided to still give it a try. Well, I'm glad I did. At 5:50 a.m. this Red Phase Tom came gobbling and running into my decoys. I didn't realize he was a color phase bird until after I pulled the trigger but the whole time he was coming in I kept saying to myself that he looks kinda funny. His secondary wing feathers had very little and very light red barring instead of bolder black/dark gray. His secondary tail feathers are red and his fan has a very light black band with red and buff colored tips. He also had light pink legs similar to a hens as well as reddish/pink and white spurs. He wasn't a big bird - only a 2 year old with 1/2" spurs, 8 1/2" beard and weighed only 18.9 lbs making him the smalles tom I have ever taken but he is the prettiest tom I have taken. I can't wait to mount him!

doetrain 05-08-2012 07:25 AM

Nice to see one that looks different from the standard Turkey,I would consider that a very nice bird indeed even if he is small in the stats department. Good job,if you mount him let us see it later when finished. Thanks for sharing. My Bird this year had the best looking tail of any I have shot thus far,he likewise is a special bird to me. I made him my new avitar.

Western MA Hunter 05-08-2012 08:36 AM

beautiful bird

Adrian J Hare 05-09-2012 03:53 AM

Took me a while to see what you ment but ya , kinda neet. You should have taken the photo from the side with the wings spread...

This is what happens when you hunt the land of the Nom's lol

Matchbook454 05-13-2012 03:47 PM

You can see his tail fan has color to it too. I should have taken a picture of his legs an spurs too - they're neat looking as well.

huntrfishr 06-07-2012 08:55 AM

Very nice looking turkey.
I just picked up a light turkey feather in the field this yr. kind of cinnamon in color.
So I hope I can get a good look at him next yr.

Phil from Maine 06-10-2012 02:12 AM

That is a pretty cool looking turkey you have gotten yourself.. I hope when you get him mounted you can show us some photos of him.. Congrats!

Matchbook454 06-13-2012 05:16 PM

It'll be a few months before I start mounting him but once he is done I will definately post pics.

JW 06-15-2012 05:31 AM

Here is one - the copper colors on this bird was awesone! And the buff tips would almost make one believe this was a Rio or Merriam....but it was not. This was a 4 to 5 yr old Eastern....

And another color phase taken this yr.

Oh and thanks Basserman - not possible to do this with out your help!


Matchbook454 06-17-2012 06:10 AM

JW - that first one looks almost exactly like a Rio that I shot this year in W. Kansas. Pretty cool looking bird!

Either my uncle or I shoot a tom every year in WI that has buff tips. I've heard that their diet can influence feather color somewhat - such as if they're eating bugs, acorns, corn, etc. Noot sure how true that is though.

I personally believe that it might be that the state got their birds from Kansas, Nebraska, or somewhere where there might have been some Eastern/Rio hybrid thing going on. Now every once in a while the Rio genes start coming out. Unfortunately I've only been turkey hunting in WI for the past 4 years so I don't know what the birds looked like when they first opened a season.

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