<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Do all make turkeys have beards

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Do all male Turkeys have Beards?

How do you tell if you are shooting a male bird? I   had an opportunity this year to shoot a Jake and even though it has been explained to my by taxidermist Tim Hayes, "Generally, If the bird has blue on it's head it's a generally a male, but this will not guarantee it has a beard."  This being my first year in the field turkey hunting where I actually was seeing birds in range, I myself was very gun-shy at taking the Jake just on the assumption it would have a beard because it is most likely a male bird. Not to mention for the spring turkey hunt the rule clearly states "the bird must be bearded", which is why deciding it's a male will not always be legal.  The spring hunt is not restricted to just taking male birds. It is possible to take a hen during the spring hunt, as some hens will grow beards.  Waiting paid off, I was able to take a record book Tom as other birds came into my field of view.  I did verify later when the Jake got within 10 yards of me, it had a very small beard.  So to answer the question, not all male turkeys have beards and not all female turkeys lack a beard, so the moral of the story for the spring turkey hunt in Michigan "Make sure it has a beard!".


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