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.
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.