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!