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The Spurless Gobbler

by Brian Lovett, editor

Here’s a cool footnote to my recent Kansas hunt. The first gobbler I shot
had no spurs. They weren’t broken off, either. The bird never grew them.
Only the small bumps of the spur caps were visible on its legs.

How rare is that? I asked Lovett E. Williams Jr., our resident turkey
biology expert.

“I haven’t kept up with the exact percentage, but out a sample of approximately 2,000 adult gobblers I have examined, only three had no spurs,” he wrote. “But I have heard of at least 10, not counting scores of Gould’s.”

Williams mentioned Gould’s, of course, because many adult Gould’s gobblers have no spurs. In fact, the only other spurless turkey I’ve encountered was – surprise! – my Gould’s, which I shot in Spring 1998 in Sonora, Mexico.

And here’s an amazing coincidence: Just four days after I shot the spurless
Kansas turkey, Turkey & Turkey Hunting designer Dustin Reid shot a Wisconsin gobbler with no spurs.

Learn more about Lovett’s hunting techniques in this collection of Online Courses.

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