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    • Rick

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fishermusk

Sick Turkey

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Yesterday I came upon a turkey with a real short beard, that appeared to be sick. I was able to walk right up to it within a foot , and when it ran off it ran into some brush literaly. I didn't see the spurs but the bird appeared to be old, do there beards get short in there old age or do you think it was a jake. Any idea what might have been wrong with it, it looked sleepy while i was watching it it kept closing its eyes.

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Sure hate to hear that. There could be any number of things wrong with it. Maybe someone shot at it and it got a pellet into it's internal organs. (most likely IMO considering it's turkey season) Maybe it's very old. (unlikely with hunting pressure these days). Maybe it has some sort of disease. Some birds are very susceptible to salmonella, though I'm not sure if the wild turkey is one of them. I've seen birds with this disease and that is how they act.

Beard length also can vary for many reasons. I wouldn't read too much into that.

Anyone else have an idea???

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I would agree that it could have been shot in one of the early seasons and is now dying a slow death. maybe also a disease.

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Short beard could be due to beard rot. But that would not explain the other behavior. Donbo ha some good possible explanations.

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Thanks for the info, the weight of this turkey was low aswell, he may have been suffering from some shot. This was in Carlos Avery and they only allow 25 permits per season I think.

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The MN bird that filled my tag this year acted healthy but cleaning him he obviously had been shot earlier. Shot on the last day of E season. He had pellets smaller than the 6 shot I hit him with on the other side, one leg was green. So, I'm not sure how old the wounds were. But one thing is certain, whom ever shot at it before me did not do so legally. The shot size was not legal.

I've seen gimping hens in the fall too before there was even a spring season for the zone. So, it seems turkeys are subject to a lot of pressure beyond what we permit holders apply.

Your bird may have barely escaped a legal hit or survived a pot-shot by someone less ethical.

Like AC777 asked, did you shoot it, clean it, what did you find?

Some hunters also have difficulty waiting for birds to seperate so they shoot just one end up wounding others too.

Then again, that disease that kills the crows, etc, could be a cause.

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No I don't have a tag for that permit area, and even if i did I would not have wasted it on that bird. The coyotes will take care of that one.

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Leaddog,

The regs changes in MN a couple years ago and now states fine shot #4 or smaller. So it it's smaller than #6 shot it would still be legal.

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Injured birds will head for heavy cover so will birds that have had a lot of pressure.

My brother shot a tom from blind this year. It flopped and stopped. We gathered our stuff for a few minutes and climbed form the blind. Half way to the bird I could see his red head up against his chest as I looked back to see my brother didn't have his gun. He fixed that error and as we approached that bird it acted as you descriped. Got up took a few steps. He knocked down with the gun barrel and I stepped on the head.

I felt good about taking my tom after having missed one a few days earlier. Later I saw my empty shell. The crimp was part open, some not, some shot off. Guess I didn't get the pattern I'd expected. Anyway, after that mistake (mine and/or Federal's)it felt good to clean up someone else's mistake. But, I did get to watch him fly from the roost and come around a deadfall to find me. Yep, a coyote will eat well.

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Huh, not just 4, 5 or 6? I read the regs often, guess since I've patterned my gun I've been skipping that part. Thanks for clearing that up. Can't see using 7 1/2 though! Thought maybe it was a youngster with 20ga.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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