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Indiana bird down

Old 05-05-2020, 06:37 AM
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Default Indiana bird down

Been busting my but here in Oklahoma public land with only a few jakes showing up. The population has taken a huge hit from droughts and wild fires the last 4 years. Our first decent hatch was this past year so hopefully it will pick back up in a year or 2. Walked well over 50 miles this season here. As luck would have it a buddy invited me to Indiana to try my luck on property he has permission to hunt and they have never turkey hunted it. I packed up and made the 11 hour drive Thursday. Friday morning we just went in to a blind he had set up without roosting any birds and by 7:15 am I had this guy flopping. Not use to hunting open corn fields so kind of miss judged the distance but the 20g with #9 tss did the job at just under 50 yards! The bird had 11" beard, 1 3/16 spurs and weighed 22 lbs but what got me is how thick the spurs are. They are almost twice as wide as any other bird I have taken. Is this an indicator of age?

I was also able to take a first time turkey hunter out the next morning and was lucky enough to get him on a good bird. We had a hen come right into out decoys as 25 yards and stay there for an hour while the tom that was with her pushed some jakes 800 yrds away before making his way back. He got to hear just about every vocalization that a hen makes while she was there which was awesome. I used his phone to video some the shot and here is the link.
Attached Thumbnails Indiana bird down-indiana_may_1_2020.jpg   Indiana bird down-spur.jpg  

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Old 05-05-2020, 06:40 AM
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Having trouble getting the video link to show.

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Old 05-05-2020, 10:01 AM
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congrats to you

I did some different hunting this morning, anc caught me a crook stealing US mail and a package!
so off to jail they ago LOL

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Old 05-05-2020, 02:12 PM
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IF you dont mind me asking, what part of Indiana were you hunting?
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Old 05-05-2020, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by grinder67 View Post
IF you dont mind me asking, what part of Indiana were you hunting?

I was by Monrovia
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:58 AM
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Nice bird Iíd say heís a two - 3 year old the spurs in the pic are common but itís hard to age a turkey I donít think there is a guaranteed way of aging one of course longer sharper spurs are gonna be on an older bird shorter thicker younger is the way Iíve always taken it but either way nicebird congrats
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by WV 67 View Post
Nice bird Iíd say heís a two - 3 year old the spurs in the pic are common but itís hard to age a turkey I donít think there is a guaranteed way of aging one of course longer sharper spurs are gonna be on an older bird shorter thicker younger is the way Iíve always taken it but either way nicebird congrats

Normally rounded off I would consider to be younger but this spur is 1 3/16" and not even beginning to curve and sharpen like most of the other birds. Thats why it is throwing me. Its also much thicker at the base than I have seen before. We also took a few. The easterns we have here live in rocky hills and tend to grind them down over time. Not sure if its common where I took this bird though.
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:42 AM
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Congrats on a hog Kelly!

I would bet that bird is definitely at least 3 years old.

Spur growth is a combination of spur length, curve and width - some birds grow wide fat spurs, others grow long daggers.

When in doubt about age, many people (including many of the wildlife biologists I know and/or have spoken to over the years) look at spur length, body weight and beard length. If the spurs are 1+ with any curvature, beard is 10+ and weight is 20+ = most likely 3 years old or older. Spurs can get worn down, beards can break and strutting can take a toll on the weight - but when all 3 of those variables are that large, then I personally don't have any doubts.

Those spurs are obviously curved (they just don't end in sharp points) whereas 2yr old spurs are typically 3/4-7/8 of an inch long and form a blunt triangle (no curve at all). The spurs aren't sharp, but I would never consider a 22lb bird with an 11" beard and 1 1/4 hooks anything less than 3, and he may be even older (based on the width of the spur, which suggests extensive growth).

Last week my son shot a tom with spurs similar to your bird, except the spurs on his bird were 1 1/16 inch - but they were white, as thick as a my pinky and had more curvature - but they also weren't sharp. He had 'beard rot' (broken off with a brown ring, evidence of a vitamin deficiency), but even with the short beard everyone who saw the bird immediately said - '3yr old'....

Last edited by Strut&Rut; 05-11-2020 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:50 AM
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Congratulations on a very nice bird!
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:57 AM
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[QUOTE=kellyguinn;4375038]Been busting my but here in Oklahoma public land with only a few jakes showing up. The population has taken a huge hit from droughts and wild fires the last 4 years. Our first decent hatch was this past year so hopefully it will pick back up in a year or 2. Walked well over 50 miles this season here. As luck would have it a buddy invited me to Indiana to try my luck on property he has permission to hunt and they have never turkey hunted it. I packed up and made the 11 hour drive Thursday. Friday morning we just went in to a blind he had set up without roosting any birds and by 7:15 am I had this guy flopping. Not use to hunting open corn fields so kind of miss judged the distance but the 20g with #9 tss did the job at just under 50 yards! The bird had 11" beard, 1 3/16 spurs and weighed 22 lbs but what got me is how thick the spurs are. They are almost twice as wide as any other bird I have taken. Is this an indicator of age?

I was also able to take a first time turkey hunter out the next morning and was lucky enough to get him on a good bird. We had a hen come right into out decoys as 25 yards and stay there for an hour while the tom that was with her pushed some jakes 800 yrds away before making his way back. He got to hear just about every vocalization that a hen makes while she was there which was awesome. I used his phone to video some the shot and here is the link.
[/QUOTE


nice bird Kelly. I hope Florida turns out as productive next year

thanks
buck]
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