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When Did We Start Keeping Records for Turkeys?

When did we start keeping records for turkeys, specifically with the measurements of the beard and spurs?

Many turkey hunters think about the score of the bird, and figuring that out is pretty easy to do. (Photo: Gordy J. Krahn)

If you’ve killed a big gobbler with a giant beard and spurs, or multiple beards, sometimes it’s fun to find out how it would score based on the National Wild Turkey Federation system. The NWTF has scads of information about turkeys, hunting areas, conservation success stories, where to find your local chapter and much more at its website, www.NWTF.org.

One cool feature is its own Dr. Tom, who answers reader questions, such as the one about scoring. Here’s part of his answer: The collection of World Wild Turkey Records began in 1980 by outdoor writer and wild turkey hunting enthusiast Col. Dave Harbour and his wife, Bobbi. They established categories so differences between subspecies would not be an issue.

After consulting with wildlife biologists, Harbour developed a formula that gave more “weight” to spur and beard length than the heft of the bird. That formula provides a method of leveling the playing field. Col. Harbour believed that all three attributes should be considered to determine the overall record potential of a gobbler. In the fall of 1982, Col. Harbour turned the responsibility of record keeping over to the NWTF, where records are maintained today.

Find out the rest of the story about scoring along with other great turkey facts and how to join the NWTF at www.NWTF.org.

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