I didn't think they lived very long but then I read an article where someone got a hen that was banded 12 years before.
So I think they can probably figure an average for how long they live but no one really knows for sure.
When you kill him cut one of his legs into and count the rings. Seriously I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything on aging turkeys. He definitely fits the term mature though. Hope you get a crack at him this fall.
It’s obviously about ready to die because per a former azz hat on here, 99.9999999999% of them die virtually instantly after they turn 2. Heck, that one is probably a just ghost.
Totally disagree about spur length not correlating to age. Unless of course they have been busted off or ground down running the rocky hills of the Ozarks. Beard length has absolutely nothing to do with age though.
The only dependable way, I think, is if the bird you shoot has been banded.
According to PA wild turkey biologist, Mary Jo Casalena, if wild turkeys survive their first year, their total lifetime will range from an additional 1 to 3 years - making any turkey living past 4 years an exceptionally old bird.
That being said PA biologists trapped a wild adult hen thought to be 1.5 years old back in 2012, with several others for a study and banded her leg.
Fast forward to this year and they were doing another study and captured the same hen, now 12.5 years old and they found her in good health, good enough that they were going to put a radio tracker on her for their new 4 year study! (she would be 16.5 if she made to the end)
I'm glad everybody got the gist of my original post.
To me, one of the things that makes turkey hunting more exciting than deer hunting is the anticipation of not fully knowing the trophy status of a bird until you check out the length of his spurs--which is the first thing I do. I always have an idea if I just shot a two year old or more mature bird by the way they acted, but it is always a surprise. I think there is something to the idea that spur length can vary, but if you kill a bird with a harem of hens who only gobbled a couple times and he has 1.5" spurs, I can promise you he ain't a two year old.
Maybe its just me, but it sure seems every time I shoot a bird with a white head, he is packing some daggers.
Missouri Whitetails - Your Missouri Hunting Resource
A forum community dedicated to Missouri Hunting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, gear, tackle, tips, tricks, optics, hunting, gunsmithing, reviews, reports, accessories, classifieds, and more!