Turkey hunting is an exciting and challenging activity that requires a great deal of skill and knowledge. One of the most crucial aspects of turkey hunting is identifying the sex and age of the birds. This knowledge can help you determine the type of calls and decoys to use and increase your chances of a successful hunt. In this blog post, we will discuss how to identify the sex and age of turkeys, which is important if you plan on experiencing turkey hunts in Orlando, FL. So, let's get started!
The first step in identifying the sex of a turkey is by looking at its plumage. Male turkeys, also known as toms or gobblers, have brighter, more iridescent feathers than females. Toms also have longer and thicker beards that protrude from their chests. On the other hand, female turkeys, or hens, have duller feathers and do not have beards. Another way to identify the sex of a turkey is by their calls. Toms have a distinctive gobble, while hens produce a range of different yelps, clucks, and purrs.
Determining the age of a turkey is essential to understanding their behavior and adjusting your hunting tactics accordingly. Juvenile turkeys, also known as jakes, are typically smaller in size and have shorter beards. A jake's tail feathers also tend to be sharper at the tips. Adult males, on the other hand, have longer and thicker beards and spurs on their legs. The size of the spurs is a good indicator of their age, with older birds having longer and sharper spurs. Hens tend to be smaller in size and have shorter beards than adult males.
Knowing the sex and age of the turkeys in your hunting area is crucial for a successful hunt. If you are looking to harvest a gobbler, then you need to locate the toms and set up your decoys accordingly. Alternatively, if you only plan on harvesting hens, then you need to focus on calling in groups of hens instead. Identifying the age of the turkey can also help you understand their feeding and mating patterns, which can make it easier to set up your hunting strategy.
If you are hunting jakes, focus on using smaller and more subtle calls. Jakes are inexperienced and less aggressive, so using aggressive calls and decoys can scare them away. For adult toms, use louder and more aggressive calls to mimic the sounds of competing males. You can also use decoys to lure them in and create a sense of competition. With hens, use soft yelps and clucks to mimic their natural sounds and try to call in large groups to maximize your chances of a successful hunt.
Identifying the sex and age of turkeys is a vital part of turkey hunting. It can make the difference between a successful hunt and a failed one. By understanding the physical characteristics and behavior patterns of turkeys, you can adjust your hunting tactics accordingly, increasing your chances of success. If you want to experience turkey hunts in Orlando, FL, then contact Switchgrass Outfitters today for booking information. We have experienced guides who can provide tips and advice on how to identify the sex and age of turkeys, making your hunt more successful and enjoyable.