Put A Buddy On A Spurrless Gobbler This Morning

Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,617 Captain
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I was able to help my buddy get his first Florida gobbler this morning. The bird worked in all the way to 70 yards away and then ducked into some planted pines. I told my buddy that the bird was probably going to come out to our left and pop out right in front of us. That's exactly what he did, but he hugged the line of palmettos the blind was in all the way to the blind's window. I had the camera rolling when the shot occurred but I didn't have it on the turkey, I didn't want to risk him seeing me move that close.

This gobbler had no spurs. Not even nubs. Its got to be some sort of genetic defect. I've never seen that before or knew that such was possible. It makes me wonder how he made it to become a mature, dominant, gobbler without them. He's not the biggest gobbler on property but he's definitely mature and one of the bosses.

Techincally its an eastern but its one of those easterns that looks and acts like an Osceola.

Gertrude lost her snoot this morning while I was setting her up. Her original snoot was lost when some hens pecked it off. Since then I've used a small stick superglued to her forehead encased in blue playdough and dirtied up to look more organic. As I have said before, I can't recommend enough that someone serious about turkey hunting invest in a stuffed hen (for private land of course).

I'll get the video up soon.

Replies

  • cypresscypress Posts: 400 Deckhand
    Nice bird. I've seen gobblers with no spurs like that before.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 13,490 AG
    Congrats to your buddy on a fine and ordinary bird but I want to be the reason that a gobbler dies,as in my calling, not a decoy. :beer
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 689 Officer
    Killed a bird with no spurs just like that a couple years back up in the panhandle...congrats he'll taste just fine.
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,472 AG
    cypress wrote: »
    Nice bird. I've seen gobblers with no spurs like that before.

    Killed one a few years ago with a decent beard and weight, just bumps where the spurs grow. Probably not the best use of using a full strut gobbler decoy, I'll bet they both got their arses kicked regularly and often. :grin
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,617 Captain
    micci_man wrote: »
    Congrats to your buddy on a fine and ordinary bird but I want to be the reason that a gobbler dies,as in my calling, not a decoy. :beer

    I hear ya, but I think most turkey hunters get hung up on calling as an an end in itself, not a means, and as a result they over-call and end up turning away birds because their calling is too frequent to sound natural. The turkeys I hunt across 4 counties are mostly quiet. They don't go around the woods constantly yelping and they rarely gobble. A good turkey caller sounds natural, and natural means calling as infrequent as the turkeys themselves. You might not impress a panel of turkey calling judges or X company that wants you to buy their calls, but for me its about impressing the birds, not humans. Other humans aren't the best judges of what sounds real to a turkey anyhow. Best thing anyone can do is find some land full of turkeys and practice calling around them to see what does and doesn't appeal to them and work it like a formula when you're hunting in the same way a professional bass fisherman might have formulas of lure selection and colors for certain conditions.

    Most days I don't call for more than 20-30 seconds at a time and I sit silent for 15-30 minutes. Any turkey within earshot that's curious will show up within that 30 minute silent period or they'll hang back and respond immediately after the next call sequence. When they get within visual range of the decoy, then they go from "where's this unfamiliar turkey at?" mode to "who is this new turkey and can I bread with her?" mode. I do this because it works. Almost every time. 100% so far this season. About 75% of all sits last season (with success measured by getting mature gobblers within shooting range of a shotgun, whether or not I or someone else killed the gobbler).

    This particular gobbler gobbled at me immediately after I broke a 30 minute silent period. He fired off, I yelped back, and then I shut up until I saw him. I yelped one more time when he was at the end of the road, and then I let him come to me. He'd gobble every few steps and blow up but I wouldn't respond. Then when he got to where he could see the decoy he gobbled more aggressively to get her to look at him, and of course she wouldn't, so he closed the distance himself. Most turkey hunters would have yelped at him every step of the way until he would have hung up and wouldn't have come any further. Most don't understand that when you aggressively yelp at a gobbler within visual range, you're sending him the message that you (as a hen) see him and that you are impressed and are going to come to him. All you want to do with the gobbler in calling is let him know where you are if he doesn't already, nothing more.

    I'm a turkey hunter, not a turkey caller. Calling is just a tool to use to kill a turkey just like a decoy. I use calling when it makes sense to help me kill a turkey, I don't use it for the sake of using it because its fun or it makes me look like a better turkey hunter. Don't get me wrong, if the pleasure you get from turkey hunting is calling first and foremost, there's nothing wrong with you choosing to focus on that at the expense of other things. But for anyone like me that values efficiency and predictability when hunting, call less when turkey hunting and you'll see more.

    I can also see the argument that you'd just rather not use a decoy for the challenge, and again to each his own. But if someone is going to use a decoy anyhow (and I am), there's no comparison between the stuffed hen and the plastic/rubber decoys. I've lost gobblers because they've been unsure of my fake decoys. The only time I've had turkeys get unsure of the stuffed hen is when they've seen it before and seen me as well. I have seen them get burned out on in by the end of the season for that reason. But from year to year they forget.
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,379 Officer
    Congrats. Good read. Different strokes for different folks.
  • DoradoDreaminDoradoDreamin Posts: 1,998 Captain
    Congrats to your buddy. Didn't know it was fairly common to have gobblers with no spurs. Interesting.
  • flydownflydown Posts: 6,464 Admiral
    Never had a, "What the ....?" moment of killing a bird with nary a spur.
    Know a man that has two of them under his belt. In back to back seasons, no less. He got a good ribbing when he killed the second one.
    DYING for me was the most HE could do. LIVING for HIM is the least I can do
  • mobenmoben Posts: 146 Deckhand
    Killed one in Tosohatchee several years ago with no spurs.
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,472 AG
    flydown wrote: »
    Never had a, "What the ....?" moment of killing a bird with nary a spur.
    Know a man that has two of them under his belt. In back to back seasons, no less. He got a good ribbing when he killed the second one.

    Well.......if he wanted a classic photo, he could nail them to a limb. :grin
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    2 years ago my buddy killed one with no spurs, just black "scales" where the spurs should have been. It was a nice bird though.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • doghunterdoghunter Posts: 469 Deckhand
    One year I killed one grown gobbler with no spurs, and another with no beard, due to beard rot. I joked that I had to kill 2 to get a complete bird. Killed one this year with one 7/8" spur and nothing on the other leg. He had a 3" beard the didn't look rotted. He weighed 17# and had a full fan. Still perplexed on that one. They all taste the same when soaked in buttermilk though.
  • g8rvetg8rvet Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Nephew killed one this year with a 1" spur on one leg and nothing at all on the other. Short thick beard too. Maybe 9-10" max but as thick as any I have seen.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,617 Captain
    [video]

    Video is up.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 13,490 AG
    Nice :beer

    I killed one once that had a 1 1/2" spur on one leg and the other was slick smooth, not even a bump.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
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