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I Shot An Odd One.

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Tanglewood Taxidermy, May 8, 2022.

  1. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Has anyone who mounts and/or hunts wild turkeys come across an oddball like this?

    He has a jake head and a jake body. He weighs 15.4 pounds. Spring jakes around here run 14.5 to 16.5 pounds, so he is on par.

    He has 11/16" semi pointed spurs. Most jakes around here have buttons up to a 1/2". Most 2 year old toms around here are between 3/4" and 1 inch.

    Now it gets real weird. He has full tom tail. All spring jakes around here have an uneven tail.
    All the jakes around here have 1" to 4" beards. This one has a full 10" split beard.

    I think he was a jake that was identifying as a tom? His deception got him killed.
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Sounds to me like a skinny Tom . Not sure what you mean by Jake head , if a Tom isn’t fired up for the girls his snood and neck isn’t inflamed

    Congrats on a bird tho
    Last edited: May 8, 2022

  3. arrow30

    arrow30 New Member

    he was just dressed up for the girls.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member


    Ya, by jake head I mean super small like a jake. We are aloud 3 bearded turkeys in the spring and two of either sex in the fall. I fill most of my tags most of the time on jakes and on toms from 2 to 3 years or older and there is a very noticeable difference in the jakes heads from the toms. Everything about this turkey but the tail and beard says jake. My longest beard on 30 some toms is 10 1/2" with most from 8 1/2 to 9 1/2", so 10'' is long.

    I have heard of super jakes. I don't really know what they are, but that long of a beard is somewhat baffling to me.
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Can't blame him for that!
  6. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Most beards get shortened by dragging the ground when strutting and eating , being that weight maybe he didn’t do much of that lol . I killed a young bird years ago that was a Tom but only weighed 19 lbs had 7/8 spurs but the kicker , had a 13 1/8 beard
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  7. grumpa

    grumpa Active Member

    Just a runt of a bird. No doubt an older bird [2 or older] that didn't get enough groceries when he was little fella. There's big and little people, and the same goes for turkeys.
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I think you are right. Had just enough genetics and spent all this energy in growing a beard. I once killed spring jake that weighed 13 pounds, had a 3/8" beard, button spurs no more than 1/8", all well below a normal jake, and still in fall plumage, so I guess they can vary a lot from bird to bird.
  9. Leonard "Tazman" Qualls

    Leonard "Tazman" Qualls Active Member

    Yep. Check into a "Mossy Head" turkey. It's a dwarf bird with all the bells and whistles of a stud tom.
  10. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    Could be just a small Tom , first Rio Tom I ever killed only weighed 16 lbs , had a 8” beard and 1/2 spurs .. Just a small ToM , I called him Tiny Tom and have him in a dead mount hanging off an old fence post ..I kinda bag on it for being small to a buddy , he says you know how long I’ve been Turkey hunting .. I’m like Nope .. he say 10 yrs and I’ve never seen a Tom I’d be thrilled with that bird , just mounted my 24 lb in full Strut .. it looks like a giant next to Tiny Tom … The tiny Tom fan fully open fits inside the fan of my last seasons 24lber , with 1.5 “ left all the way around .. although that 24 liber fan is damn near as big as I’ve seen on a Rio .. But my bet is that bird you shot … he’s a MiNI Tom not a Jake .. biologist buddy said my Tiney Tom was likely a 2 yr old … and this season I never had one come in .. sucks cus I only heard one gobbler all season , and someone must have got him cus last two hunts nothing no gobbles .. think my spot has too many hogs running around eating the eggs is my guess ..Cus they’re everywhere see them all the time just don’t feel like spending 25 to shoot just one hog when we need to kill a few hundred .. for starters ..
  11. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Yes, I agree. I can't imagine a jake growing a 10" beard, so a dwarf tom makes the most sense. I'm mounting him in a roosting position like he was when I first saw him in his tree.
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for the insight.
  13. Jim Keller

    Jim Keller New Member

    I shot a two year old last spring in Maine that weighed 13.7 lbs. I’ve shot two year olds here in PA that were 14-15 lbs. just small birds. I shot a Merriams the other week in Montana that weighed 16 lbs. it also was a two year old.
  14. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    After doing some internet research, I have come to the conclusion that it was a dwarf 2 yr old that had great beard growing genetics.

    The average 2 year old rios I kill around here, mostly on this property are 18 to 19 pounds, with a 8 1/2" to 9 1/2" beard and 3/4" to 1" spurs.
  15. spurhunter

    spurhunter Active Member

    That’s a two year old tom description imo, without any pictures provided. You can check further by the covert feather lengths. Jakes are not fully developed and uneven. I’ve killed “super jakes” before that are basically very early or late? hatched poults that are over 1 year old but not quite 2. Have also killed some low weight old and or short spurred toms that otherwise had all other typical “older” characteristics. Had a “hen with tom plumage” per Mr. Lovett Williams here at the farm for some years that had a 9” thick beard, fuzzy hen head and small body size. She/he/it ran with 5 other Tom’s so the difference was very apparent when I saw it. Have some grainy video of her. Common to see bearded hens here as well, have seen up to 5 in one flock. Killed an erythristic Tom with black primaries some years ago. I guess the point I’m trying to make is there is always something new to see.

    Also believe I read a post here a while back by Mr. George about getting a small “Tom” in that had an egg in it. Apologies if I am misreporting that.
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  16. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I certainly do get your point. Here are some of my oddities in my opinion.

    I have killed two hens in the fall season that had tom plumage.
    Two bearded hens.
    A tom with a 9 1/2" beard, an 8 1/2" beard and one spur that was exactly 1 1/2" long with the other broken off at the leg.
    Three toms with split beards.
    A tom with no spurs. Not even a large scale there. No button or anything.
    Some that had a black wing primary or secondary feathers here and there.
    A spring jake that had fall jake plumage, weighed 13 pounds, button spurs and a 3/8" beard.
    A spring jake and a fall jenny that had 10 middle feathers longer than the rest.
    A spring jake that when I removed the secondary feathers off of the tail, it revealed that it was solid black under and in the shape of the secondaries with white barring much like it is on the wing primary and secondaries.
    Two hens with fully feathered heads.
    And now a tiny tom with a big tom beard.

    Turkey hunting and turkey taxidermy is pretty much my favorite things I do!
    Probably because I don't do taxidermy for customers now and never did turkeys for customers, just myself and hunting buddies.
    spurhunter likes this.
  17. spurhunter

    spurhunter Active Member

    Called in a three toe tom a couple years back, no evidence of a rear toe on one side. Lots of peculiar feathers. I'm with you on turkeys, when they stop making me breathe ragged breaths I'll stop chasing them. Thanks for the oddball thread.
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  18. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

  19. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to figure out how to post a pic. Looks like it worked.
  20. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Wally Gator likes this.