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Got this gobbler this morning. 60 yards with Hevi-shot dead coyote with a full choke. Not sure how many pellets I got in him, I'll clean him when I get home. He walked around for about 10 yards then just dropped. The most surprizing thing though was there was two, the smaller one had a slightly long beard, but he sat their fighting the dead one, completely ignored me.


No lie, I got within 10 yards of the other one, and I was barking at him so he would move away, he challenged me by fluffing up in my direction, I stomped at him and he decided to leave, never seen a turkey do that. Our camera died about 2 minutes in, so we didn't get it on video, which seems to happen a lot on occasions like these.


The shirt and clothes I am wearing were my camo, I saw him from the house just as we were going to work, he was about 400 yards from the house with a smaller tom and a hen. I sidehilled him as far as I could, got about 60 yards away, and I had no more cover, so I picked out the bigger one, and pulled the trigger. I will get an exact weight and spur length and beard length when I get home. His spurs are not that long, rounded and worn down it looks like.


I saw a larger tom a few weeks ago, longer beard and possibly heavier, but I am very pleased with this bird, he has some great color on him too. The other one had more white, a redder head, and some more green but was a much smaller bird. This is the first actual tom I have shot, my first two were jakes. Now for some pictures.






Now I know what you were talking about Mudhen, sorry for doubting you.

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No shot restrictions here, and it was shot into a hill, so no danger to anythnig else there. I'll probably use much smaller shot for the next bird, but the store only had some cheap turkey rounds, some hevi-shot #4 or #5 and I only had a full choke, so I would have to get within 30 yards or less, probably less. Season was running out. I knew what DC did, so I used them, I aimed high so I didn't just load him with pellets.


Dead coyote T shot, 3-1/2" I couldn't believe the other one just sat there, I wish it was fall because I could have dropped him along side his buddy. I probably could have gotten closer, and used the smaller shot with the full, I'll get a JH before this fall, do some testing.


Do you recommend the JH, or the Tight Wad? Not sure what to get.


How do I mount the tail?

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How do I mount the tail?


Here is a fairly good description I found once upon a time. And I quote:


How to Make a Turkey Fan Mount


-- by Rob Ramsdale --


If you want to save a fan mount like the one shown, here are the basic steps to follow. As with any taxidermy mount, the quality you end up with depends on how well you take care of the fan feathers. Take extra care in the field and transporting the fan and your finished mount will be that much better.


1. Lay the turkey down on a bench or table and starting about 6" or more from the base of the tail, make a cut through the skin on the back and begin skinning down to the base of the tail. The reason I start about midway up the back is you never know how many feathers you're going to want for your eventual mount of the tail. It is much better to start off with too much back skin and remove them later than to find out you wish you had more of the back feathers. Error on the safe side and take a lot of back feathers to start.


2. Carefully skin the bird's back all of the way down to the tail and then cut down through the base of the tail to remove the tail with some of the back skin still attached.


3. Lay the tail fan off to the side and finish dressing the bird.


4. Once you have the bird cleaned, go back to the fan and start by scraping all of the flesh off the skin and then proceed to the tail.


5. The tail fan takes some time to get clean. You want to remove all of the flesh and fat possible by cutting or scraping with a knife and even using a wire brush to get down between the feather quills. You also need to remove the piece of the backbone that is still attached to the tail. A pair of pliers will help you twist the tailbone out which will allow the tail fan to lie flat when you mount it.


6. After the cleaning is complete, you have the option of washing the fan if the feathers got dirty or were messed up on the tips. If you've ever shot a bird that rolled down a mountain or shot one in the rain you know that often the tail feathers are a ragged mess when you get to the bird. They can be fixed, as long as they aren't broken, by simply washing them. Start by dunking the cape, tail feathers and all, into a tub or sink of warm water that has Dawn or some other mild grease-cutter/cleanser mixed in with it. Swish the feathers around really well and work any noticeable dirty or greasy spots on the feathers between your fingers. It's amazing how much dirt the turkey feathers can be carrying and a good wash and clean water rinse will really make your feathers shine. After the fan is rinsed, you can use a hair dryer set on low to gradually dry and fluff the feathers. I don't own a hair dryer so I generally pin the tail up in front of a fan and just let it dry that way. It doesn't take long and I check it once in awhile and help get the feathers "combed" back neatly by running the feathers through my finger tips. If you kept really good care of the feathers on your way in from the field, you can often skip this step.


7. After the feathers are dry, rub the bare skin and tail section with borax (You can use 20 Mule Team Borax which is a laundry additive you can find at WalMart.) Don't skimp on the borax since it will help dry the skin and preserve it so the bugs won't attack it.


8. Take the treated skin and lay it skin-side down on a board or stiff piece of corrugated cardboard. Work your way around the fan pinning the feathers into the position you want them to dry in. This is one place you can actually cover up a broken or missing tail feather by spacing the rest of the feathers out enough to cover the extra space.


9. The fan should be check periodically during its drying period of around 3 - 5 weeks. You may need to add more borax during this time.


10. Once it's dry, remove the pins and shake off any excess borax. There are many commercial kits out there with nice wood panels to mount your turkey fan on. I prefer to mount my own using a simple wood stand which I then cover in leather.


Good luck with this project. I hope this will help you create a lasting memory of your favorite turkey hunting adventure.


/end quote


Article found here: http://www.wildturkeyzone.com/articles/fan.htm

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Hello Liberty, that thing you called a dohicky is actually called a snood. The lenth of his beard and the length of his spurs should give you a good hint at his age. I would age him to be a 2 year old bird. He is a pretty bird. Congratulations

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Thanks Krr, how old do turkeys get? I saw one last year and another this year that had huge beards. I would guess the beard on the one last year was at least 14" It looked at least twice the length through the binos, it was huge. The one I saw this year that I wasn't able to get a shot at had a really long one too, I would have guessed 12" I was amazed that the one I got was 9" he looked like he had a 5" beard in the scope.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Liberty, I don't know for sure but I have never heard anyone talk turkey ages past 4 at the most 5yrs old. I don't know if they live longer than that or not. I know that really doesn't give you much info but your local game wardens or state DNR should be able to answer that for you.

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Thanks Krr, how old do turkeys get? I saw one last year and another this year that had huge beards.



judging from the spurs on your bird it's most likely a 2 year old bird. The beard length is usually a poor indicator of age.

The only way to make an educated guess is by the spur length.

Nubs are jakes.

1/2" to 3/4" is usually a 2 year old.

1" is usually a 3 year old.

1 1/4" is probably a 4 year old, and past that is anybody's guess.

You noticed I said "usually" and "probably", because that's about as close as you can get.

I would think that 6 or 7 years is a VERY long life for a turkey in the wild.

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Except that spur length tends to vary from species to species, due to what type of terrain they live in as spurs will get worn down on birds that live in area's that are more rocky. In certain area's it probably is a fairly good indicator for age of a bird, just not everywhere.

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Except that spur length tends to vary from species to species, due to what type of terrain they live in as spurs will get worn down on birds that live in area's that are more rocky. In certain area's it probably is a fairly good indicator for age of a bird, just not everywhere.


sdk, I agree with your comments. Seems like Osceolas and Easterns have the best spurs, and I think it's because of the soft soil where they live. I have killed birds in S. KY where the soil is very rocky, and a 1" rounded-off spur is common.

I was just making a GENERAL observation. There are lots of exceptions.

The weight of a bird is usually a poor indicator of age, because it's just an indication of how well they've fared that year, and the beard length can be affected by genetics, weather (ice storms), and something as simple as how long the bird's legs are.

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