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Turkey ID Help

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by bymers42, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Hello everyone,

    Hoping somebody could help with telling if the turkey I shot is a Rio or Eastern as I have looked at reference pics and keep going back and forth. Growing up in Iowa all I ever hunted were Easterns (as far as I know at least). I went hunting in Northeast South Dakota again this year(where I have harvested Easterns in the past) and got a bird that has a fan with lighter colors than I am used to, so I looked at the NWTF website and see that they say there are Rios in the area that I hunt, so I am thrown off now. If anyone with more experience or expertise can offer help it is greatly appreciated.

    This may not be the greatest pic. I can post a pic of the fan once it is done drying and I get it mounted up too.


    Attached Files:

  2. Try the photo again.

    Attached Files:

  3. Well I haven't posted a photo since Tapatalk stopped working, so I apparently need to find out how to post with the outdoor hub. Sorry!
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    South Dakota has three different kinds and they all can and will mix and you end up with muddy birds. Cleaner genetic lines can have varying colors as well. If I remember right the barring on the wings is a more consistent way of telling, I don't remember the specifics, hopefully someone that does will chime in. The terrain of where it was killed can often give you an idea of the "flavor" you shot.
  5. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    A Rio has 20 tail feathers where the eastern has 18.
  6. [​IMG]

    Looks like my app needed an update, so let's see how this works.
  7. I wondered if hybridization might end up being the answer. I know I have heard of that being very prevalent in nebraska. Unfortunately, the wing feathers have been discarded, so I can't check that route. I harvested the bird on the edge of a small shelter belt bordering a a field and pasture land. Thanks for the help.
  8. I have never heard of this as being a way to differentiate the species. Will give the tail a count tomorrow and see what I can come up with. Thanks!
  9. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I haven't heard this one before. How does it work for "muddy" birds?
    bymers42, looks like the Easterns we shoot here in MN.
  10. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    Next Rio you get in count the tail feathers. Every one I have done has 20 unless the hunter shot them off.
  11. Adam Edwards

    Adam Edwards Member

    I have also never heard this, we have Rios and Merriams here in Utah, out of all the Rios we have shot here, the most I have ever seen is 18 tail feathers. I also raised and bred Rios for several years, and they had 18 tail feathers.

    As to that bird you shot it looks like a rio to me, too cream colored to be a true eastern. Although i was just reading about the turkeys in Nebraska and according to the NWTF website, mostly all the turkeys in Nebraska are either Merriams, or hybrids of the Merriams crossed with either Rios or Easterns so a good possibility it could be a hybrid.
  12. Ive only delt with 18 tail feathers on rios also mounted one the other day and it only had 18
  13. I have shot a ton of rios - all with 18 tail feathers.
  14. Grummpy

    Grummpy M.A. Keeley III

    Looks like an eastern/ rio cross to me.
  15. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    I must have been lucky then getting all the strange odd ball Rio's.
  16. Looks like an eastern to me. All I've ever hunted in Kentucky has been eastern and have killed several with the lighter tips, and know we don't have any rio's in the state.
  17. Thanks for weighing in guys, the insight is much appreciated!