guess age of this gob

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Treerooster
 
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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby Treerooster » January 14th, 2014, 1:53 pm

eggshell wrote:Scoot, he is 3 yearse plus and that is all that can reseasonably be determined. I ran a turkey check station for 30 years and saw thousands of dead gobblers and listened to 10,000 debates on age. I also had several gobblers checked in that were tagged as jakes and so had a known age. In most cases you could guess within a year, but it was at best 60-40 after 3 years. Of course we know a jake and the second year a 1" rounded spur gives an 85% chance it's a two year old and a pointed spur 70% it's three, after that it's a guess. I know one time we had two birds checked in the same day from the same area that were tagged and we all guessed the ages. I called the research center and they checked the age. everyone guessed right on the one bird as a 2 year old, but the other bird no one guessed right. The guesses started at three and went to 5-6 years old. when I checked I found both birds were tagged at the same cannon net on the same day and were both jakes. genetics have as much to do with it as age, but standard rules usually get us close, I will not guess beyond 4 years and accept that any gobbler that survives that long is a wise old bird. I know I'll probably get some disagreement on this, but that's my 2 cents worth on aging. Oh yeah, I do have a degree in wildlife management and a long career with a wildlife agency, although; it was in fisheries I had a lot of crossover experience with our game managers. So I am fairly confident in my opinion.


I agree with Dana (eggshell) on this. There was a study done on my home stomping turkey hunting grounds. They tagged birds for 3 years, some with radio collars. I "guide" a lot of hunters in that area and there were 3 guys that killed tagged birds with spurs that measured 1 3/8 to 1 7/16. All 3 of those gobblers were 3 year olds as determined by there tags and they were banded as jakes.

Here is a pic of one of those gobblers' spurs.

Image

I strongly believe that spur length, how sharp they are, and how big/massive (dia of base) they are is determined by genetics. In the area of my home hunting grounds I commonly see some pretty good spurs. I hunt N Wis and much like Willowridge I have not seen a spur over 1 1/4. Now I have only seen about 25 dead gobblers from that area but nothing more than 1 1/4.

I don't put much stock in the rocks wearing spurs down either. I hunt Merriam's in different areas/states but very similar terrain. Ponderosa Pine mountains. I have seen many gobblers in one area with very short and rounded spurs (a lot of 1/2 to 5/8 spurs on 2 YO's) and another area with fairly sharp spurs with 1 to 1 1/8 inch spurs being somewhat common.


As for the age of your gobbler scoot, I would say he is a rather late hatch of 2010...probably born between July 17th and July 2ist.

And if you believe that I also have a bridge for sale and at a bargain price. :D
As far as this turkey thing......I know enough...to know enough...that I don't know enough

misoiltester
 
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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby misoiltester » January 14th, 2014, 2:33 pm

[quote="Treerooster

As for the age of your gobbler scoot, I would say he is a rather late hatch of 2010...probably born between July 17th and July 2ist.

And if you believe that I also have a bridge for sale and at a bargain price. :D[/quote]

Do you have a pic. of the bridge and the price?? :shock:
Ever wonder where the white goes when the snow melts????

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turkey junky
 
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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby turkey junky » January 14th, 2014, 2:40 pm

id guess thats a solid 3.5-4 yr old pair of gobblers... i put alot of faith in spur length to get a idea of the birds age after they get past 3.5-4 its hard to judge them i agree but B4 3.5-4 its pretty simple...

i also agree that genetics has alot to do with diameter of spurs but not length besides spur less gobblers of course but i do think the terrain the birds live in does help shape the spur many biologist have said this i also have seen & shot birds in rocky/bluff country with broken spurs & nicks on there spurs i assume from when they either pitch out of the roost tree & land on the ruff rocky terrain or when they pitch of them big bluffs & sail away when scared i bet they ruff up there spurs on landings more then scratching for food???

its not common for a rocky terrain mountain merriams or goulds for that matter to have long sharp spurs in any state they are found maybe its genetics? maybe its the terrain? i have seen some long spurred merriams harvested but they seem to come from areas with alot of sage brush or sand hills around think that may be better for spur growth??? also they were shot in years of poor brooding maybe it was just a older bird???

treerooster how old was that banded gobbler you posted a pic of??? id bet 3-4 more like 3.5 no older then 4? just a guess???

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Treerooster
 
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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby Treerooster » January 14th, 2014, 4:06 pm

turkey junky wrote:

treerooster how old was that banded gobbler you posted a pic of??? id bet 3-4 more like 3.5 no older then 4? just a guess???


I "guide" a lot of hunters in that area and there were 3 guys that killed tagged birds with spurs that measured 1 3/8 to 1 7/16. All 3 of those gobblers were 3 year olds as determined by there tags and they were banded as jakes.


He is 3 years old. One of the birds I was talking about in the above sentence. Every one of the 3 year old tagged birds I saw had spurs like that.

The bird was killed in the spring so there really is no 1/2 year. To be a 3 1/2 he would have to be born in Oct.
As far as this turkey thing......I know enough...to know enough...that I don't know enough

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turkey junky
 
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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby turkey junky » January 14th, 2014, 6:38 pm

i seen & herd many other reports of baseball/softball sized turkeys in mid/late september of this yr also had some wild eggs from a abandoned nest hatch in late june them birds were 4-5 times the size of the poults i seen in late september so there is age difference in turkeys thus we have super jakes correct???

i was gonna say 3 yrs old to keep it simple for some... what are them spurs 1.3/8 or 1.25?

genetics play a role so does region a 3 yr old osceola will put out a longer sharper spur then a MN/WI 3 yr old most the time if not every time

my dad shot a 3 yr old trap and transplanted merriams in MN back in 1979 that bird had baby spurs 3/4-7/8 way under a inch... every merriams tom ive ever shot in NE has had the same spurs except the spur-less gobbler i got a few years back i dont think spurs are as importent to some sub species like merriams/goulds as others like osceolas they are more importent to them bad boys...

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Treerooster
 
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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby Treerooster » January 14th, 2014, 7:59 pm

The spur of the tagged bird in the pic was 1 3/8.

Here is a 1 7/16 spur from the same area of the tagged birds I was referring to. I shot this gobbler but it was not tagged.

Image

Here are some more spurs (3rd thru the 8th from the left) from the area where the tagged birds came from.

Image

Here are some longer and relatively sharp Merriams spurs (3rd thru the 6th from the left). All of these Merriam's spurs, sharp & dull, are from typical Ponderosa Pine habitat where I have hunted in WY, MT, NE, and CO..

Image
As far as this turkey thing......I know enough...to know enough...that I don't know enough

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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby turkey junky » January 15th, 2014, 12:36 am

very nice beards & spurs u have there... them 4 pairs of longer sharper merriams spurs in the middle are very nice indeed all the NE merriams ive harvested in the typical merriams habitat look like the other spurs you have on the plaque...

my buddy shot a snow white choppy high pitch sounding gobbling merriams last yr in NE but it was not in typical merriams habitat that bird had 1.3/8 inch dagger spurs needle sharp they were the best merriams ive seen harvested... even though he shot & wounded/missed the bird & i shot it & hurt it then shot it again as it rolled into a mucky creek my buddy happily took the bird as his after he seen the spurs it had lol can u say game hog?

i also shot a merriams/rio hybrid in the area most would call it a merriams & it had 1.25 inch spurs in the same general area i think the sand hill creek crop & riparian type habitat allows the birds to put out a good sharp spur??? or we were just shooting older birds???

my father shot a white merriams looking bird in the south dakota prairie last spring it had a full fan 6-7 inch beard & spurs like a jake exactly like a jake spur ill try to post a pic of it they were blunted or he was a in-between age class??? we also shot 2 other typical 2 yr olds in the area but they looked dark cream/tan in color like rios they put out better spurs 3/4 inch one had 9 inch beard the other a wispy 7-8 inch dont know if it was genetics or age??? guys no 2 birds are exactly alike a???

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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby turkey junky » January 15th, 2014, 12:45 am

i also have to add the co shot NE merriams my buddy took as his bird was one of if not the most weary toms i have ever seen harvested he stood in 1 place just staring at our decoys for well over 10 min just eyeballing our set up tree & the decoys he took well over 45 min to come like 60-80 yards if that he was smart we also had bumped some birds so that mite of had a major factor in his weary-ness that day we followed them birds & called him back to a area he had already been so that may have been it also??? i also gobbled at him so there was many factors i wish we had or could of aged that bird he had very nice spurs like many of treeroosters rio spurs long curved & needle sharp true trophys

i have some good age class spurs from KS ill try to post a pic of what id call a 3 age classes maybe ill learn a thing or 2 about ageing birds better

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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby gooseberry » January 15th, 2014, 7:31 pm

I apologize. I wasn't pulling your chain.
For some reason the entire picture doesn't show up on my computer screen. When I double clicked on the photo it sent me to photo bucket where I was able to view then. Go figure.
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kygobbler
 
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Re: guess age of this gob

Postby kygobbler » January 15th, 2014, 9:44 pm

My guess is 3+ also.

Scoot, when you bag him this spring maybe you can give us a up close pic of those hooks. :D He is a nice bird and I hope he is there this spring for you.
Is it turkey season yet?

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