Unusual Spurs

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nocibur3outdoors
 
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Unusual Spurs

Postby nocibur3outdoors » September 23rd, 2013, 4:36 pm

Hey Everyone,
Last Saturday on opening day of the fall turkey season I shot a nice gobbler with my bow. I’ve never shot a turkey in the fall before and noticed a few things that seemed different from your typical spring gobbler. The obvious ones were that his fan only had a few feathers of differing lengths (due to molting) and that his head looked similar to the head of a hen (probably since its fall and he’s not as exited). Another thing I noticed was that he was very light. I didn’t have a scale to weigh him since I was deer hunting and not expecting to shoot a turkey, but I weigh all my birds in the spring, and in Wisconsin the toms I’ve shot usually weigh about 23 pounds on average. Thats mostly 2 year old birds with a few older. This Tom had a very nice 11.5 inch beard and 1 and 3/8s inch spurs. However, I would guess he weighed not even 20 pounds. Is this because it is fall and the toms are smaller, or is it possible that this tom is so old that he is starting to get smaller? Also, I thought that his spurs looked very unusual as well. If you look at the picture, its almost like they maybe broke and regrew at one point. but the little extra piece at the end could also just be a random abnormality. Has anyone ever seen anything like this and possibly have an explanation? Also if anyone has any more information on how spurs grow, if you look closely its almost like they're made of layers or something. All I can find online is just the generic, "Male turkeys have spurs, at 18 months old they are less than half an inch.." blah blah blah, not really any information on what is actually biologically taking place.
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Fall 2013 Gobbler Spurs
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nocibur3outdoors
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby nocibur3outdoors » September 23rd, 2013, 4:39 pm

Not sure why the image was posted so large, I found its easier to right click and select open in a new tab or window.

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kygobbler
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby kygobbler » September 23rd, 2013, 8:23 pm

That's pretty unusual for sure. Was the other spur the same way or was it normal?
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nocibur3outdoors
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby nocibur3outdoors » September 24th, 2013, 12:54 am

The second spur doesn't have the little growth on the end, but they both have a line that kinda wraps around the spur. Its almost like a deep scratch into the spur or something. Its strange. It almost looks as if there was a wire wrapped around the spur, and then the spur continued to grow and kind of grew around the wire, but then the wire fell off and it left an indent. Or maybe its from fighting, I'm not really sure. I'm hoping somebody else out there has the answers, or has seen spurs like these before.
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ads1
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby ads1 » September 24th, 2013, 8:18 am

I have a couple of ideas that may or may not be right:

First, this could be an extremely old bird. When animals get old deformities can occur. In cattle for example, when they get real old, their hooves can grow and look abnormal.

Second, The animal may have had a high fever, been sick, had a disease, etc. These kind of things can cause lines in this type of tissue to occur. In deer the blue tongue virus causes a line to occur around the growth plate of the hoof. Some of you may have seen this condition in deer.

Third, this could have resulted from an environmental factor such as something the animal ate. In cattle, if they over eat on a high carbohydrate feed, it causes them to "founder" and they have abnormal hoof growth. If an animal is extremely hot and drinks too much water, the same thing can happen.

Just some ideas!
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WillowRidgeCalls
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » September 24th, 2013, 10:01 am

Just a guess, but I'm saying that's an old bird, that is passed his prime, but still surviving. I've seen a few old birds like that, that have strange looking spurs because of their age, as a bird gets that old they can't produce the enzymes to produce a clean looking spur. Those could be cracks that have healed over in the spurs, they didn't break off just cracked from fights a year or two ago. I've seen some that had a big chunk broken out and didn't break off. He could of survived a rough winter and that may have caused it also?
WillowRidgeCalls
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nocibur3outdoors
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby nocibur3outdoors » September 24th, 2013, 10:20 pm

Wow great info guys! So are you saying that the tissue that makes spurs is similar to the tissue in hooves? Also, is another characteristic of old age losing weight? He was probably less than 20 pounds and usually Wisconsin Toms are in the 23lb range.

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ads1
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby ads1 » September 25th, 2013, 9:44 am

nocibur3outdoors wrote:Wow great info guys! So are you saying that the tissue that makes spurs is similar to the tissue in hooves? Also, is another characteristic of old age losing weight? He was probably less than 20 pounds and usually Wisconsin Toms are in the 23lb range.


Yes, old age is related to size. I don;t know how well this is documented, but this is true in most mammals. In deer, antler size peaks and then starts to reduce in size after the peak.
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Steve_In
 
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Re: Unusual Spurs

Postby Steve_In » September 25th, 2013, 2:21 pm

Wow blown up that big they look like raw cow horns. They might be beat up from breaking through crusty snow.
Steve, I love "smoked" turkey


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