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i bought a dvd and this guy shot a big tom, he picked him up and said "hes 3 years old." then on another hunt that guy picked up his bird and said "hes 2 years." how do you age them? their spurs or something?
 

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The spur length or on the Jakes the tail feathers are not all the same size
 

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Spurs grow around one quarter of an inch per year....according to what I've read in NWTF literature, and other sources....
 

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They can break off, not sure about the down sizing. If I remember right, it went something along the lines of... nub to 1/2 an inch (and notched feathers, short beard) = jake (one yr. old). @5/8" - @3/4" = 2 yr. old. @7/8" - 1 1/8" = 3 yr. old. More than 1 1/4" plus = grand daddy. 1 1/2" plus = Freakin old.
 

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Beards can suffer damage form bitterly cold winters and spurs can be rubbed down or broken off. Basically you shoot a turkey with 1 1/2" spurs he's getting up there and he he was pretty smart too. The weight of a bird doesn't say a whole lot about that bird at all. Big Toms that breed heavily can lose quite a bit of weight during the rut if they devote all their time to breeding and little time for feeding.

Jack
 
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