Me too Brian

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Me too Brian

Postby Pete-pec » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:27 am

There was a gap between storms, so even though I got a late start this morning, it still worked out. Got out there about 8:45, and had about 60 hens feeding in the field already. They looked wet, so they must have been there a while, even though the rain only stopped about 45 minutes before I got there. I had no choice to keep still until they slowly walked to the adjacent property. I put out two hen decoys, one upright hen, and another feeder. I tried mimicking a dominant hen with super aggressive yelps. I did this yelping sequence three times, until I had a gobbler respond in the field (behind a hill) about 100 yards away. He walked by at 50 yards strutting and gobbling, but kept on, until he stopped at what I think was his strutting zone. He was begging those two decoys to come his way, so I did some super subtle calling. He soon figured out that all his pretty dancing was not going to make those girls come any closer. He would shake his head and snood, spit, drum, come out of strut, and take the smallest step. Took him 45 minutes to walk into range. It was a real show. He is a lightweight 3 year old with 1 and 1/4 inch spurs. Skinny bird with a skinny 10 inch beard.
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby duxrus » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:39 pm

Congrats. I came VERY close to getting a #3 bird yeaterday and today with nice birds at 60ish yards. I have all the jakes and hens in range but the big boys just wouldn't close those last few yards. Hopefully they will be more user friendly once it cools down. 85 degrees is hell on a camo clad feller.
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby kyle916 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:04 pm

1.25" spurs and 10" beard is older than 3 year old bird. probably 4+ yrs old. congrats! :thumbsup:
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby PADuck » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:50 pm

Kyle I am going to disagree that bird is 3 years old
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby duxrus » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:13 pm

Around here we say 1/2-3/4" is a 2yr old.....1" is a 3yr and 1.25 or larger is definitely a 4+ year old bird. :beer:


Pete, I have hit a slump with only close calls with no BOOM. :no: Send me some good luck so I can tag a third bird soon before I run myself into the ground and die of no sleep :fingerhead:
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby The Waterfowler » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:26 am

Spurs are genetic, just like beards. At Big Sandy Refuge in Tennessee they have been catching Jakes in the fall and wing tagging them. They are getting two year old birds with 1 1/4 inch and up spurs the following spring. Just ask John Beard at birds only taxidermy near Nashville. A Jake banded in Kentucky by their DNR was killed as an ancient 6 year old with 3/4 inch spurs! Middle Tennessee where I hunt a bit has great genetics for both beards and spurs. I took and ill advised shot on a longbeard a coyote spooked and broke his leg at the hip. My son, Stephen, killed him the following year with 3 of my pellets still imbedded in his leg and thigh that had mended. So we knew this bird was at least 3 or older and his spurs were 1/2 inch. We watched a full-fanned, mature, strutting long beard with a distinctive limp off and on for two seasons before we killed him and his spurs were just over an inch. Only way to definitely age one is to keep it in a pen from hatching or carbon date him.
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby duxrus » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:22 pm

I agree it is nothing but a guessing game at best. I had a farm where you never killed sharp spurs and another where it seemed they all would be super sharp no matter the length. I would assume terrian (rocks, sand, swamp, etc...) all play a part in spur condition also. Since I have never worried about a birds spurs until he was flopping on the ground they are just something to hang with the beard. :grooving:
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby The Waterfowler » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:10 pm

I'm just the opposite. Beards don't do much for me but a big set of hooks does.
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby duxrus » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:52 pm

I didn't say I didn't like them, especially the good ones. You just never know until you flip them over. Atleast you can see what type of beard you are getting before the trigger pull. I myself will shoot any mature tom with a swinging beard. I have killed some dandies but only because they beat the younger ones to me :lol3: My trigger finger doesn't have much patience after they cross the 40 yard mark :thumbsup:

Pat, you finding the birds to be getting pretty henned up and quiet over the last week like I have ? I am so ready for some mid-morning action soon.
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby Pete-pec » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:36 pm

I will say it again. I shoot a bird based on his maturity. That being a bird with a beard. We don't shoot jakes, and we don't shoot bearded hens. The bird hits the ground, and that's when you see the spur and beard length, and see how much it weighs. For the life of me, even with good optics, I just can't see the spurs before the bird is shot? Oh well, give me a two year old eager bastard any day of the week!

Around here, we do say a bird with 3/4 inches or less, that has a full fan is a two year old, and anything greater than 1 inch with curving hooks, we call it three. Are they older or younger? I really don't know, and I really don't care. I don't feel like a better hunter because I happened across an older bird, and the only reason I ever post measurements, is simply because everyone else does, or they seem to ask. Those measurements are a pure afterthought to me. I dig big hooks, but I still have no idea why? Perhaps the animal still deep inside us still appreciates the trophy that we take from the hunt. I certainly enjoy watching my kid's eyes widen and their hearts pound far more than killing one myself!

I know most of you will agree!

Around here, the birds are still a bit flocked up, and are hard to hunt. We got two, but I wish I had put the decoys away three days ago, because these birds are skittish. My Son and I hunted for 6.5 hours yesterday in terrible winds, and seen a bunch of hens. One gobbler who is a girl, and a super jake who had his own set of ladies. I really need the warm weather to split these birds up, so I can target them better. They are holding tight on the neighbor's land, who doesn't hunt, and they are feeling mighty fine sitting on his property for now. As soon as the split up, we will be on them!
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby The Waterfowler » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:04 pm

Brian, the last 4 birds I killed were by themselves. Patrick and Stephen both killed lone longbeards this weekend also. I suspect the satellite gobblers running around now have been kicked out of the loop by the dominant gobblers. I saw one group of hens with a longbeard escorting them after I shot my bird Saturday and there was another longbeard trailing them but keeping his distance. My last two birds gobbled pretty good and Stephen had one they worked on for 3 1/2 hours gobble over 200 times by his conservative estimation and he's turkey hunted for 20 years now. If he hadn't killed him he would have died of a sore throat!

And yes if it has a full fan it dies if it gets near me. Jakes get a pass just like hen Mallards and hen Pintails.
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby kyle916 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:16 pm

"I don't feel like a better hunter because I happened across an older bird, and the only reason I ever post measurements, is simply because everyone else does, or they seem to ask."

with all due respect, and I do respect your opinion, I have to disagree. getting that trophy bird is what turns a good hunt into a great hunt. don't get me wrong, it's not necessary to shoot a trophy tom to have a good turkey hunt. it's about the experience, company, and the work you put into it that makes a great hunt. but, getting a big old tom is the best! it's just like calling in the band on a duck to see how old it was and where is was from. it's like getting a nice big buck with a huge rack. it's knowing that you were the one to get that old animal. your calling was good enough to fool the old guy. the older an animal is the smarter it is. an old tom has heard other calls, seen hunters, and has heard real hen yelps for years. he knows where it's safe and where it's not. if you bag him, that means you're good! sure you may get lucky once and a while, but getting an older animal is like an extra payoff for all your hard work. it's your reward for good calling, camo, placement, and shooting. getting an average size game bird/animal is great and I'll enjoy it all day long. but getting an old one with (in the case of turkeys) a long beard and big spurs is just awesome.
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Re: Me too Brian

Postby jpostx3 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:26 am

I personally love two year olds. Yes, killing a monster with big spurs and beard is nice, but it seems two year olds put on more of a show. Not always, but the hunts typically seem more exciting to me.
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